ION-DRI Programme


A world class research and treatment centre

The IoN-DRI programme is creating a world-class research and treatment centre which could revolutionise 21st century healthcare

MRI Scanner
UCL is one of the world's largest, most productive and highest-impact neuroscience centres, with more than 500 principal investigators leading a research community of more than 2000 neuroscientists. By bringing research scientists, clinicians and patients under one roof, and improving services across the whole of the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, we can dramatically improve patient treatments to tackle the devastating global health challenge of neurological diseases. Its impact will be international, revolutionising 21st century healthcare.

Through pushing the boundaries of current research and clinical practice, we aim to transform the lives of future generations. 

The research focus will be specifically 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.

Our Research

Researcher in lab
Research will be carried out by leading scientists from around the world, in collaboration with NHS clinicians and PhD students who have expert knowledge and skills in this area.

Three types of research will be carried out:

  • basic research will allow researchers to gather important information about neurological diseases
  • clinical research allows patients to participate in programmes of research and is patient-focused
  • translational research links the two former research types together to deliver novel treatments for these disorders.

All of the building’s laboratories are designed to be reconfigurable so they can adapt to evolving research techniques and support future generations in developing breakthrough cures.

Our Clinical Work

Reception Area of the new IoN DRI building
The co-location of clinical work and research within the new facility will enable an active dialogue between individuals with neurological disorders, their doctors and researchers.

This means that the neurological research carried out will be geared towards the needs of patients, and advances in clinical practice will happen with little delay. 

The new facility will provide 22 new outpatient rooms for the UCLH National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), providing 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. It will also contain six state-of-the art MRI scanners that will be used for clinical work and research.

The 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.

The outpatient and MRI scanning resources in the new building will complement NHNN's inpatient wards, day care, operating theatres and intensive care at Queen Square.