UCL success at Dementia Research Leaders awards
8 July 2016
We are delighted to announce the success of UCL Institute of Neurology researchers at the Alzheimer's Society Dementia Research Leaders awards, which were presented at the Alzheimer's Society Research conference on June 30th 2016.
The Alzheimer's Society are dedicated to supporting researchers at all stages of their careers via their Dementia Research Leaders programme, and the awards were set up to
acknowledge the hard work and amazing progress made by researchers in
the earlier stages of their careers.
There were two categories - Rising Star in Dementia Research, for PhD students and early-career postdoctoral researchers and Leader in Dementia Research
for later-career postdoctoral researchers and those at fellowship or
The judges considered the nominees' achievements in
their field respective to their careers as well as aspects such as
mentoring other researchers, dedication to patient and public involvement and potential to improve the lives of people affected by dementia.
Leader in Dementia Research
Winner: Jose Bras, UCL Institute of Neurology
Dr Bras is a Proleptic Lecturer and Alzheimer's Society Fellow and member of the Department of Molecular Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Neurology. His work focuses on understanding the genetics of dementia, particularly dementia with Lewy bodies. Jose has already authored or co-authored over 80 academic papers in the course of his career.
judges were impressed by Jose's innovative and dedicated research activity and
extraordinary publication record. Additionally, they praised Jose for creating
an international collaborative network of researchers in the field of dementia
with Lewy bodies and for his mentorship of undergraduate and postgraduate
students interested in a career in dementia research.
Runner-up: Jon Rohrer, UCL Institute of Neurology
Dr Rohrer is an Honorary Consultant Neurologist and member of the Department for Neurodegenerative Disease at UCL Institute of Neurology. He specialises in understanding more about frontotemporal dementia, particularly the underlying genetic causes.
The panel praised Jon's management of the Genetics of FTD Initiative (GENFI) and the international network he has set up around it in order to further investigate the genetics of this rarer form of dementia. He has also shown a dedication to public engagement via his public-facing blog and his work has great potential to improve the lives of people affected by frontotemporal dementia.
Rising Star in Dementia Research
Winner: Tim Shakespeare, UCL Institute of Neurology
Dr Shakespeare is a Research Fellow at the Dementia Research Centre, UCL Institute of Neurology. His research specialises on a rare form of dementia called posterior cortical atrophy, which affects the back of the brain and often affects the person's vision. Tim works to further understand how to characterise this lesser-known condition, particularly using innovative eye-tracking tests.
judges were particularly impressed with Tim's creative approach to informing
thousands of people about dementia through his online course, The Many Faces of Dementia, which they believed
would have a big impact on the world of care. The panel also felt that Tim has
also made astonishing progress in a relatively short period of time and has a
very bright and promising career ahead of him.
Runner-up: Naaheed Mukadam, UCL Division of Psychiatry
Dr Mukadam is a Clinical Training Fellow at the Division of Psychiatry at University College London. Her research focuses on helping people from South Asian communities to get better access to dementia diagnosis, services and care. She has also won numerous prizes for her writing, explaining her passion and motivation for her work.
The judges commended Naheed's innovative work with different
minority and ethnic groups. They also praised her focus on putting her
research into practice and feel that her work has the real potential to
be of benefit to people affected by dementia.
"I am so honoured to have been named runner up in the “Rising Star in Dementia Research” award, particularly when I have seen the high calibre of the current and previous winners. I would like to thank the Alzheimer’s Society for their recognition of my work and I am also extremely grateful to the NIHR for funding my research and giving me this opportunity to work in a field I am passionate about. I am pleased that the judges recognised the innovative nature of my work, particularly in reaching communities that are generally underserved by mainstream dementia services. I am indebted to all of my research participants for their role in making my work possible and I hope that I can make a difference to patients with dementia by encouraging timely diagnosis for people of all ethnicities". Dr Naaheed Mukadam, UCL Division of Psychiatry.
"As a dementia dinosaur, it is great to see such excellent young researchers gaining their independence doing such great dementia work at UCL. Their recognised talent gives great hope for the future of dementia research at UCL and the UK". Professor John Hardy, Department of Molecular Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Neurology
“It is fantastic to see UCL researchers doing so well at the Alzheimer’s Society Awards ceremony which highlights not only the range of very talented people there are working in dementia research at UCL, but also the commitment of UCL to address the challenge of dementia, and to make dementia research top priority while addressing the full spectrum of challenges from finding a disease modifying therapy or cure, through to improving care and prevention research. One characteristic that all these award winners have in common is not only that they are excellent at what they do, but also that they are extremely collaborative and it is great to see this recognised”. Professor Nick Fox, Director of the Dementia Research Centre, UCL Institute of Neurology
“Our Dementia Research Leaders awards recognise the potential of dementia researchers across the country, and we were delighted to be able to acknowledge the work of five outstanding researchers. The work undertaken by the Institute of Neurology is famed across the world for its innovation and conducting world-class research, a fact that is reflected in the three winners that come from the Institute. Congratulations to all of the winners and we hope that they continue with their important work, helping to improve the lives of people affected by dementia across the UK and beyond.” Doug Brown, Director for Research and Development, Alzheimer's Society
- Full list of Alzheimer's Society Dementia Research Leaders awards
- Dementia Research Leaders programme
- Dementia Research Centre, UCL Institute of Neurology
- The Guerreiro-Bras lab, UCL Institute of Neurology
- Jose Bras' academic profile
- Jon Rohrer's academic profile
- Tim Shakespeare's academic profile
- Naaheed Mukadam's academic profile
- FTD Talk blog
- Many Faces of Dementia - online course
Images credit: Peter Paniccia