Research at the UK DRI at UCL covers the journey from the person living with dementia to the laboratory and back again - with improved diagnosis and potential therapies put to the test.
We need to better understand the diversity and complexity of neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's disease, in order to understand the mechanisms involved, and ultimately how we can alter them to improve people's lives.
We must find treatments quicker, and that's why the UK DRI at UCL is taking a novel approach by integrating diverse expertise for efficiency, from genetics to diagnostics.
This work is enhanced by incredible clinical resources. Researchers have access to unique clinical cohorts, where comprehensive data has been collected throughout disease progression including memory assessments and brain tissue. The UK DRI at UCL provides a clinical arm to the whole of the UK DRI.
The strategic aims of UK DRI at UCL are:
- to elucidate mechanisms of disease to understand the pathways from gene to clinical manifestation, in order to identify new therapeutic targets;
- to take full advantage of UCL’s clinical strengths: its cohorts, biomarker capabilities, biological and pathological resources, its access to patients, clinical expertise and translational research facilities - to conduct research from bedside to bench and back;
- to focus on preventing or slowing disease progression as early as possible - when the minimum of neuronal loss has occurred;
- to build on (and link) expertise in genomics; in axonal transport and defects in membrane trafficking and signalling; in the molecular mechanisms of C9orf72; in Huntington’s disease; in Wnt signalling and synapse maintenance;
- to build human research capacity in neurodegeneration through training and mentoring;
- to be opportunistic and responsive to new technological and scientific advances.
Find out more about the research that takes place at UK DRI at UCL here.
Programmes at the UK DRI at UCL
Structure-function relationship in neurodegeneration
Group Leader: Dr Tim Bartels
Understanding and repairing pathological neural circuits in Alzheimer's disease
Group Leader: Dr Marc Aurel Busche
Investigating the cellular reaction to amyloid beta and Tau
Group Leader: Professor Bart de Strooper
The molecular causes and consequences of tauopathy in Alzheimer's Disease and Frontotemporal dementia
Centre Director: Professor Karen Duff
From Patient to Bench and Back: Clinical Resources, Accelerating Therapies
Group Leader: Professor Nick Fox
Analysis of neurodegeneration
Group Leader: Professor John Hardy
Immune mechanisms of synaptic function and pathology
Group Leader: Dr Soyon Hong
Frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease mechanisms
Group Leader: Professor Adrian Isaacs
Restoring axonal transport deficits as a therapeutic strategy for neurodegenerative diseases
Group Leader: Professor Giampietro Schiavo
Exploring the utility of synaptic markers in frontotemporal dementia
Emerging Leader: Dr Aitana Sogorb-Esteve
Mechanism of the DNA damage response in Huntington's disease pathogenesis and relevance for therapeutics
Group Leader: Professor Sarah Tabrizi
Next-generation imaging biomarkers of cortical microstructure for measuring presymptomatic cortical degeneration in Alzheimer's disease and associations with molecular pathology
Emerging Leader: Dr Philip Weston
Mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease development in Down syndrome
Group Leader: Dr Frances Wiseman
Fluid biomarkers for neurogenerative diseases
Group Leader: Professor Henrik Zetterberg
Microscopy at the UK DRI at UCL
Discover more about microscopy at the UK DRI at UCL here.