UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL


Research at the UK DRI at UCL

Research from UK DRI at UCL will cover the journey from the patient to the laboratory and back to the patient with improved diagnosis, biomarkers and candidate therapies to put to the test.

The UCL team will address the key unanswered mechanistic questions that link genetic and lifecourse factors to dysfunction in molecular pathways, in cells and in neural systems during the progression of the dementias. This work will be enhanced by clinical resource to link lab work to the clinic.

UK DRI at UCL will examine changes in gene expression and biological pathways in single cells to get a detailed picture of the changes happening during the initiation and development of Alzheimer’s disease. The UCL team will also develop new biomarkers to monitor disease progression. Programmes of work will look specifically at deficits in axonal transport as a very early step in neurodegeneration and at the role of the Wnt signaling pathway in the maintenance and function of synapses to see whether it is a promising target for future dementia therapies.

Find out more about the research that takes place at UK DRI at UCL here.

Specialisms at the UK DRI at UCL

  • Mechanistic understanding of dysfunction in cells and neural systems
  • Gene expression and biological pathways in single cells related to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease
  • New biomarkers to monitor disease progression
  • Deficits in axonal transport in early neurodegeneration
  • Wnt signalling in synapses to discover new targets for future dementia therapies

Microscopy at the UK DRI at UCL

Discover more about microscopy at the UK DRI at UCL here.

Programmes at the UK DRI at UCL

Structure-function relationship in neurodegeneration

Group Leader: Dr Tim Bartels

The inter-relationship of somatic CAG instability, incomplete HTT splicing and huntingtin aggregation as pathogenic mechanisms underlying Huntington’s disease

Group Leader: Professor Gillian Bates

Understanding and repairing pathological neural circuits in Alzheimer's disease

Group Leader: Dr Marc Aurel Busche

Investigating relationships between genes, pathologies, and neurodegeneration in dementia

Emerging Leader: Dr Cara Croft

Investigating the cellular reaction to amyloid beta and Tau

Group Leader: Professor Bart de Strooper

The molecular causes of clinical diversity in the tauopathies

Group Leader: 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

Mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease development in Down syndrome

Group Leader: Dr Frances Wiseman

Fluid biomarkers for neurogenerative diseases 

Group Leader: Professor Henrik Zetterberg

New Hub for the UK DRI at UCL

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The future iconic home of the UK DRI at UCL will be alongside UCL's Queen Square Institute of Neurology in a new building on Grays Inn Road.  The site will house over 500 researchers from the UK Dementia Research Institute and UCL’s Queen Square Institute of Neurology, all working towards the Government’s 2020 Challenge on Dementia.