Capital award for UK DRI at University of Cambridge

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge

Abstract

Alongside significant co-investment from the University of Cambridge, the expected outcome of this funding is the concluded refurbishment of labs located on level 2 at the Island Research Building on levels 2 and 4 and finishing touch refurbishment to Level 4 needed. Ultimately to accommodate around 30 researchers with full occupancy expected by May 2018.
Additionally, £2.5m for procurement of capital equipment is being provided to assist the UK DRI in implementing its first scientific programmes (funding provided separately).
Together, the building and equipment will provide the location for, in the initial stages of 3 programmes, and then to grow significantly in number in subsequent years. The UK DRI as a whole will help to cement the UK’s world-leading position by also promoting innovate approaches and forging much closer collaboration and integration of on-going UK research efforts. The new institute has been established to lead the UK’s dementia research effort and forms a core part of achieving the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020.

Technical Summary

The aim of this award is to support the University of Cambridge with capital investment for setting-up of one of six UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) centres; in particular, the capital required for building, refurbishment and the procurement of equipment.

At present, 3 programmes have been selected planned for the UK DRI at the University of Cambridge and with scientific and operational leadership provided by its associate director, Professor Giovanna Malluci. The project at the University of Cambridge will involve refurbishment of labs located on level 2 at the Island Research Building on levels 2 and finishing touch refurbishment to Level 4 needed. Ultimately to accommodate around 30 researchers with full occupancy expected by May 2018.

The approach of the institute as a whole, of which the UK DRI at the University of Cambridge forms a core part, is to amplify and enhance, not replace, current dementia research efforts in the UK. The UK DRI will help to cement the UK’s world-leading position by supplying vital new funding for research, coupled to promoting innovate approaches and forging much closer collaboration and integration of on-going UK research efforts.

There is a gap in our knowledge of how the healthy brain functions and what leads to its degeneration. The UK DRI will fill this crucial gap that exists at the start of the dementia research journey. It will study the healthy brain and neurodegeneration in order to build new knowledge and understanding that will lead to new treatments. It will also proactively connect to existing clinical and population-level dementia initiatives – for example as being undertaken by the MRC Dementias Platform UK and through the NIHR TRC-D – to catalyse a unique national and strategic approach to confronting the dementia challenge.

In particular, the present research at the UK DRI at the University of Cambridge plans to look at the early stages of neurodegeneration; understand tau misfolding, synapse repair, autophagy as a protective cellular response. Funding to these science programmes is provided separately.

Publications

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