ION-DRI Programme


Our Vision

Professor Alan Thompson
Our vision is to create the world’s leading centre for translational neuroscience.

We are building a world-class research and treatment environment to fight neurological diseases, which are now the world’s leading cause of disability. 

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


Innovating to create a better future

MRI Scanner
We are building a world-leading technologically-advanced environment with a purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility at 256 Grays Inn Road, alongside improving services across the whole of the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology to create a dual hub for neuroscience. 

We are investing in high performance laboratory equipment and services including innovative core technology platforms and services. By equipping the next generation of scientists, we can dramatically improve patient treatments to tackle the devastating global health challenge of neurological diseases and revolutionise 21st century healthcare.



Researchers, clinicians and patients under one roof

Reception Area of the new IoN DRI building
We are bringing research scientists, clinicians and patients under one roof to enable an active dialogue between individuals with neurological disorders, their doctors and researchers.

Already working in close proximity at the Queen Square hub, where the UCLH National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery’s (NHNN) existing inpatient wards, day care, operating theatres and intensive care units sit side-by-side with scientists at Queen Square House, the new facility at Grays Inn Road will build on this approach, providing 22 new outpatient rooms for NHNN and a joint UCL and UCLH MRI facility with the capacity for six MRI scanners for both clinical and research use, significantly increasing the number of scanners available to the NHS.  

The outpatient unit will provide clinical care for individuals with a whole range of neurological conditions such as stroke; dementia; epilepsy; movement disorders; and genetic, inflammatory and degenerative conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves and muscles, neurological research can be better geared towards patients’ needs, and advances in clinical practice can happen with little delay. 



Working together to tackle neurological disease

Researcher in lab
Collaboration is at the heart of the new facility. Pioneering a new way of working together, we hope to create the most comprehensive, coordinated neuroscience research hub in the world.

Shared flexible space, central equipment and services are fundamental in this vision, making major advances possible for the whole scientific community. Reconfigurable laboratories that adapt to evolving research techniques encourage collaboration and will support future generations in developing breakthrough cures. 

A joint endeavour, we are strengthening our partnerships to bring together world-leading expertise and offer unrivalled opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration across both our centres at 256 Grays Inn Road and Queen Square.  

The UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, with the UK DRI and its national network of centres and  UCLH National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), has partnered with charities like Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK, alongside government, the Medical Research Council and the NHS.


Our research focus

Researcher in lab

Basic research (gathering important information about neurological diseases), clinical research, where patients participate in research programmes) and translational research (linking basic and clinical research to deliver novel treatments for these disorders) will be carried out by leading scientists from around the world, in collaboration with NHS clinicians and PhD students.

Research will focus on 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 outpatient clinic will have dedicated areas where patients and their families and friends can interact directly with clinical researchers, to learn what studies are available and what they entail, and to give informed consent to participate in ongoing research programmes and projects.

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