Former Prime Minister visits ISG's Institute of Neurology project in London
Former Prime Minister and President of Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK), David Cameron, visited UCL recently to observe the impact of the work the charity funds, including the ARUK UCL Drug Discovery Institute and the new world-leading facility for UCL Neuroscience.
Professor Fiona Ducotterd (ARUK UCL Drug Discovery Institute) and Professor Selina Wray (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) led the visit and gave Mr Cameron detailed insights into their group’s translational research programmes and how the future looks for dementia research.
The group visited the new UCL Neuroscience facility at 256 Grays Inn Road, near Kings Cross, where the labs will move next year. It will be a comprehensive, coordinated neuroscience research hub, offering opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration across basic and clinical science and drug discovery.
Rt Hon David Cameron, President of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Dementia is still one of the biggest challenges we face. It was inspiring to visit the ARUK UCL Drug Discovery Institute and see research funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK in action. Seeing the work first-hand, I’m more encouraged than ever that we are making huge leaps forward in dementia research.
“Recent breakthroughs, such as donanemab and lecaneab, show that we can make progress in slowing the disease and what can be achieved when we invest properly in research and infrastructure.
The new centre will house up to 1,000 scientists, clinicians and patients together and enable advances to translate from bench to bedside and back again. As well as seven floors of shared labs, workspaces, consulting rooms and collaboration spaces for scientists and support teams, the building will host an MRI suite with five scanners, a 220-seat lecture theatre and a range of shared core facilities, equipment and core technology platforms including microscopy, transcriptomics and tissue processing to encourage new ways of working, collaboration and knowledge-exchange.
Professor Alan Thompson, Dean, Faculty of Brain Sciences and ION-DRI Programme Sponsor, said: “It’s over ten years since UCL first approached David Cameron as Prime Minister to co-ordinate a national response to begin to tackle neurological diseases, like dementia, which are now the world’s leading cause of disability.
“It’s fantastic to see what has already been achieved since then: We’re now home to the national headquarters of the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI), which is the single biggest investment the UK has ever made in dementia and are just one year away from opening our new centre of excellence for neuroscience on Grays Inn Road.
“I’m delighted that David Cameron, in his role now as President of our close partner Alzheimer’s Research UK, could come back to see how much has been accomplished and feel inspired about what the future holds.”
The purpose-built, state-of-the-art neuroscience centre is set to open in 2024.
This was first published on the UCL website and can be found here