UCL Institute of Neurology Professor John Hardy is first UK winner of $3m Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences
9 November 2015
John Hardy (Department of Molecular Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Neurology) was last night awarded
the $3 million Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for his pioneering
into the genetic causes of Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia
The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences honours ‘transformative advances toward understanding living systems and extending human life’. This is the first time that the prize has been awarded to a UK researcher, reflecting UCL’s world-leading position in dementia research.
It is a great honour to be awarded the prize for our work dissecting the causes of Alzheimer and Parkinson's diseases. It is, of course, our hope and aim that this understanding leads to effective treatments. At UCL with the Alzheimer's Research UK Drug Discovery Institute, the Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre and the fantastic clinical team we have at the Institute of Neurology, I feel we can beat these diseases.Professor John Hardy, Department of Molecular Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Neurology
Professor Hardy has generously agreed to give £50,000 from the prize money to match donations towards the construction of the new Dementia Research Institute at UCL. The Institute will bring together researchers from across UCL and UCLH to lead national and international efforts to find effective treatments and improve the lives of those with dementia.
John Hardy is a humble and hard-working scientist, so I am delighted that his pioneering work into the genetics of Alzheimer’s has been recognised by the award of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. I would like to thank John for his commitment to contribute generously towards the new Dementia Research Institute at UCL, which aims to find effective treatments and improve the lives of those with dementia. This exemplifies the tireless dedication that John has always shown to his work at the UCL Institute of Neurology and I am extremely proud of what he has achieved and continues to achieve. Professor Michael Arthur, UCL President & Provost
Using innovative genetic analysis methods, Professor Hardy has made major contributions to the study of almost all major neurodegenerative diseases. He has published over 850 scientific papers, many of which are focused on neurological disorders and more specifically the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease. His research has underpinned nearly all basic science and treatment research into Alzheimer’s disease over the last 20 years.
I am delighted that Professor John Hardy, who is based at the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, has been awarded this extremely prestigious prize. Over the last thirty years John has lead important genetic research which has significantly advanced our understanding of major disabling neurological diseases, most notably Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The work of John and his team lead to the so-called “amyloid cascade hypothesis” which is central to our current understanding of the causation of Alzheimer’s disease. Many current world-wide therapeutic trials in Alzheimer’s disease target amyloid protein based on this hypothesis. I would also like to personally thank John for his generous donation towards our plan to redevelop Queen Square House and build the new UCL Dementia Research Institute at Queen Square. The new Dementia Research Institute will enable us to deliver our vision to drive national and international collaborative research partnerships to improve care and find therapies for these devastating diseases. Professor Michael Hanna, Director of the UCL Institute of Neurology
- Matched donations page for the Dementia Research Institute
- Professor Hardy's academic profile
- Breakthrough Prize
- Media coverage
Image source: Getty images