UCL Campaign


UCL Celebrates the opening of the Interim Hub of the UK DRI

19 July 2018

On 19 July, UCL celebrated the opening of the Interim Hub of the UK Dementia Research Institute.

Ribbon Cutting at the launch of the UK DRI

The Interim Hub is based at the extensively refurbished Cruciform Building at the heart of UCL’s Bloomsbury campus. The building will act as the home of the UK DRI until a major new building on the site of the old Eastman Dental Hospital is completed in 2024.

UCL was announced as the hub of the UK DRI in December 2016 in recognition of its world-class research. The university is home to one of the world’s largest, most productive and highest impact neuroscience centres, leading the drive to understand what causes dementia, how it develops and how it could be slowed or stopped.

The event welcomed key stakeholders including the founding funders Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Medical Research Council, as well as representatives from major donors to neuroscience and dementia research at UCL including the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation and the Rosetrees Trust.

President and Provost, Professor Michael Arthur said:

“Opening the interim home of the UK DRI feels like we are on the precipice of something really exciting. These new labs have been designed for the specific needs of the scientists who will work here. I am so delighted that we are able to celebrate today with some of UCL’s closest friends, whose support is helping to build the new home for the UK DRI and the Institute of Neurology.”

Sir Malcolm Walker, Founder of Iceland Foods and Chairman of the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation who was invited to cut the ribbon and officially open the hub said:

“At Iceland, we have been fundraising for dementia research and raising public awareness of dementia for a number of years, and I am delighted that we are now at this landmark stage of opening the interim hub of the UK Dementia Research Institute. Iceland has been involved in the concept of creating this institute since its inception and we are very proud to have contributed £10 million towards dementia research at UCL ourselves, and help raise £20 million as part of the unique Dementia Research Retail Coalition. This is a cause immensely close to my own heart, and those of my customers and colleagues. There is hardly a family in the country that has not been affected by dementia and the opening of the Interim Hub of the UK DRI is the first major step in fighting for a future in which no life is blighted by this devastating disease.”

Read more about Iceland’s contribution to dementia research here.

The highly collaborative new neuroscience centre being created on the site of the Eastman Dental Hospital, on Grays Inn Road, will be the bedrock of the UK’s dementia effort, bringing together academia, industry, the NHS, funders and patient organisations to break down barriers and find better ways to diagnose and treat people with devastating neurological disorders.

The UK DRI, launched in autumn 2017, is a £290m investment into dementia research from founding funders the Medical Research CouncilAlzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK. The iconic new home for the Institute of Neurology and the UK DRI will be part of UCL’s redevelopment of the Eastman Dental Hospital site, which will house over 500 neuroscience researchers when completed.

Read more about the UK DRI here.