UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


IoN scientist to front Alzheimer’s Research Trust national appeal

23 November 2009

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Dr Selina Wray (Department of Molecular Neuroscience) is to front a national appeal for the Alzheimer’s Research Trust.

Dr Selina Wray was selected by the UK dementia research charity thanks to her cutting-edge work using stem cells to fight Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Wray won a fellowship grant from the Alzheimer’s Research Trust in June 2009. She is using stem cells, made from adult skin cells, to study the tau protein, which forms toxic tangles thought to be behind the damage caused by dementia.

The new Alzheimer’s Research Trust appeal features an in-depth look at Dr Wray’s research alongside a letter written by actress Lynda Bellingham to nearly 40,000 of the charity’s supporters. The 2008 appeal, which featured Alzheimer’s Research Trust Patron Sir Cliff Richard, raised nearly £75,000, but the charity is determined to beat that total in 2009.

Speaking about her involvement in the appeal, Dr Wray said: “I’m over the moon to have my work featured in the appeal. Dementia research doesn’t get the attention it deserves and it’s a horrible disease for patients and their families. I want to be part of developing new treatments, which are now more important than ever as our population gets older. It’s an exciting time to be involved in this research and I’m really grateful to the Alzheimer’s Research Trust and its supporters for funding my work.”

Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, said: “Dr Wray is one of our pioneering researchers and we’re delighted to feature her work in this important appeal. We’re similarly delighted to have the support of Lynda Bellingham who sadly lost her mother to Alzheimer’s. Appeals like this are a crucial way of raising much needed funds for dementia research. The population living with this cruel condition is forecast to double to 1.4 million within a generation – UK researchers hold the key to arresting this worrying trend, we must back them all the way.”

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