Brain Sciences


IoN-DRI programme: new website launched and work on site begins

27 October 2020

The IoN-DRI programme, which will deliver a new world-class research and treatment environment for UCL neuroscience, has launched a new website at www.ucl.ac.uk/ion-dri-programme

Site entrance

The website provides a platform for programme updates and key information and resources relating to the new facility under construction at Grays Inn Road and the accompanying transformation across the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology (IoN).

UCL recently signed a construction contract with ISG to deliver the 17,500m² state-of-the-art new building at 256 Grays Inn Road. 

The facility will bring together research scientists, clinicians and patients to create a world-leading hub for dementia and neurological disease research and treatment. UCL is a global leader in translating neuroscience discovery research into treatments for patients with neurological diseases, which are now the world’s leading cause of disability.

The new centre for excellence, which is due for completion in 2024, will support over 500 researchers from IoN along with the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) national headquarters. It will also house outpatient consulting and an MRI suite for the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), part of UCLH (University College Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust).

Designed by architects Hawkins\Brown, the building designs were recently shortlisted for the New London Awards (NLA) 2020 in the category of 'placemaking'. The prestigious awards, supported by the Mayor of London, celebrate projects of the highest design quality which make a positive contribution to their surroundings and life in the capital.

nla nomination

Professor Alan Thompson, Dean of Faculty of Brain Sciences and Garfield Weston Professor of Clinical Neurology and Neurorehabilitation at UCL, said: “We’re delighted to have entered the construction stage of this ground-breaking hub for UCL neuroscience. Through this facility, our aim is to translate UCL’s research into new therapies to tackle neurological conditions that give rise to diseases like dementia. The collaboration which the building will enable between research scientists, clinical partners and patients will be fundamental in developing effective treatments.”

Professor Michael Hanna, Director of the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, said: “It is very exciting to enter the next stage of development of this transformational new building. The building will bring together a critical mass of world-leading expertise and offer unrivalled opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration between clinical and basic neuroscientists in order to understand disease mechanisms and translate this knowledge into treatments for patients with devastating neurological diseases.”

Dr Adrian Ivinson, UK DRI Director (Operations), said: “We are very excited to see work begin on what promises to be a fantastic new hub for the UK Dementia Research Institute. State-of-the-art facilities and a superb research environment will support our scientists to focus on their ground-breaking work to deepen our knowledge of dementia and develop effective treatments. The building will provide an exciting opportunity for researchers, clinicians and people affected by dementia to meet under one roof, and will also house our national headquarters team, providing support to all seven UK DRI research centres.”

Dr Chris Turner, Divisional Clinical Director, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, said: “It is fantastic news that construction has been able to start on this facility. We will be able to co-locate NHS services with research and academic facilities, enhancing collaboration and enabling us to learn rapidly to improve patient treatment and care.”

Kevin Argent, UCL Director of Estates Development, said: “We look forward to working closely in partnership with ISG to deliver this fantastic new building on the former Eastman Dental Hospital site. Despite the current challenges of Covid-19 across the sector, UCL is committed to delivering these key facilities as part of the next phase of Transforming UCL, our programme to create a world-class estate for a world class university.”