UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Institute of Neurology team at Red Bull F1 with Sir Jackie Stewart - innovation key in fight against dementia

17 February 2017

(Left to right): David Reynolds, Adrian Punaks, Karen Suetterlin, Sebastian Crutch, Jackie Stewart, Christian Horner, Michael Arthur, Adrian Isaacs, Helene Plun-Favreau

UCL Institute of Neurology have recently formed a link with Sir Jackie Stewart and his new charity “Race Against Dementia”

Sir Jackie invited the UCL President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur and four younger science colleagues from the UCL community (with different links to dementia and neurodegeneration) to join him for a half day visit on 16th February 2017 to the world’s most advanced Formula 1 facility.

The facility is a high technology hub supporting the Red Bull F1 team in Milton Keynes, and the visit aimed to demonstrate how they do things and they work in effective high technology teams.

The group were joined by David Reynolds, the Chief Scientific Officer of Alzheimer's Research UK, and Adrian Punaks, Director of Development, in UCL's Office of the Vice-Provost (Development).

"We are very grateful to Sir Jackie and everyone at Red Bull F1. There are clearly important lessons to be learned from F1 in pursuing our mission to develop therapies for dementia and neurological diseases" Professor Michael Hanna, Director of the UCL Institute of Neurology
"I feel very privileged to have visited the Red Bull factory with Sir Jackie Stewart. Observing these hundreds of people, with their own skills, but all working towards one common goal – pushing the boundaries of innovation to win the next Grand Prix together - was very inspiring. It also struck me that airline innovation was inspiring Red Bull. Cross-disciplinary research will be key to defeat dementia". Dr Helene Plun-Favreau, Senior Lecturer,  Department of Molecular Neuroscience,  UCL Institute of Neurology
"I found the team spirit striking. To have such a large and diverse workforce so singularly focussed on their role in achieving a common goal was impressive. I liked that their bonus is never individual, it is always based on where the team finishes and that they attribute their success to making sure they retain the best staff. Finally I loved the fact that amidst all the most spectacular technology I have ever seen, the genius behind the car designs, Adrian Newey, still prefers drawing with pen and paper". Dr Karen Suetterlin, Clinical Research Associate, Department of Molecular Neuroscience,  UCL Institute of Neurology
"The lines of communication and coordination of purpose across many departments were abundantly clear. Every part of the operation was constantly being re-examined to see if it could work better.  Many thanks for inviting us".   Dr Sebastian Crutch, Professorial Research Associate, Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases, UCL Institute of Neurology
"The visit was fascinating, their focus on innovation and constantly pushing the boundaries using the latest technology can absolutely be applied to our research efforts to understand and treat neurodegenerative diseases".  Dr Adrian Isaacs, Reader, Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases, UCL Institute of Neurology

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