ION-DRI Programme


IoN-DRI programme

We are building a world-class environment to fight neurological disease through the IoN-DRI programme. The programme will deliver a new hub that will be one of the leading translational neuroscience centres in the world. 

UCL President & Provost Dr Michael Spence, Professor Alan Thompson and colleagues explain how the new centre of excellence for UCL Neuroscience will help revolutionise the development of treatments for neurological diseases.

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UCL is a global leader in pioneering research into neurological diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, neuromuscular diseases, Parkinson’s disease, motor neuron diseases, stroke and epilepsy.

The IoN-DRI programme was set up to enable a purpose-built facility on Grays Inn Road alongside new and more efficient ways of working to translate UCL’s exceptional research power into developing treatments for these devastating conditions.



We are creating a dual hub for UCL neuroscience, with a landmark new facility at 256 Grays Inn Road supporting our laboratories at Queen Square. 

ground breaking of new UCL Neuroscience facility

Breaking ground

In May 2021 UCL President & Provost Dr Michael Spence and partners broke ground at 256 Grays Inn Road to mark the start of construction.

Researcher in lab


The transformation will provide the highest quality services possible and support a collaborative, efficient and sustainable way of working. 

Construction progress 

Sept-Oct 2021

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A new home for three bodies

UCL is home to Europe’s largest group of neuroscientists and the new centre of excellence on Grays Inn Road will support over 500 researchers from the world-renowned UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology

The new facility will also house the UK Dementia Research Institute national headquarters, which is funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC), Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK. 

Strengthening the link between research and clinical work, the facility will offer outpatient consulting for the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, the UK's largest dedicated neurological and neurosurgical hospital. 


“Our vision is to create the world’s leading centre for translational neuroscience. A brand new state of the art facility will accelerate the discovery of new treatments, train the next generation of scientists and work in close partnerships with industry, funders and patients.”

Professor Alan Thompson | Programme Sponsor | Dean, Faculty of Brain Sciences

“This will be a fantastic 21st century interdisciplinary environment designed to support our world leading scientists to understand disease mechanisms and translate this knowledge into new therapies in a collaborative effort we call UCL Translational Neuroscience. The co-location of clinical and basic scientists and patient care will build on the major success of the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology partnership with the National Hospital (UCLH NHS Trust) by enabling patient observations to inform scientific questions. It will be a beacon of excellence for training the next generation and will facilitate critical partnerships with all stakeholders including patient organisations, philanthropists and industry.”

Professor Michael Hanna | Director, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology

“The future home for the UK DRI at UCL will be an internationally recognized symbol of our commitment to conquering dementia. It will enable us to attract the best researchers and to provide them with an optimum environment for getting the job done. Importantly, the new space will also connect our researchers to the public and people affected by dementia.”

Professor Bart De Strooper | UK DRI Director and Dr Adrian Ivinson | UK DRI Director (Operations)

“The new Queen Square Institute of Neurology and Dementia Research Institute development allows for the integration of world-class clinical services from the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, with state-of-the-art scientific facilities from UCL, to bring modern treatments for neurological conditions directly to patients. This is an exciting time for the management of devastating neurological diseases bringing hope to many people throughout the UK and the rest of the world.”

Dr Chris Turner I Divisional Clinical Director I National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery