Capital award for UK DRI at Cardiff University

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University

Abstract

Alongside significant co-investment from Cardiff University, the expected outcome of this funding is the conclusion of refurbishment of unoccupied office space in the Haydn Ellis Building building. Ground floor and 1st floor spaces have been set aside. The proposed layout is for approximately 60 researchers with short-term flexibility for further space and significant long-term capacity. For occupancy by end of 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 initially, 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 Cardiff University 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 Cardiff University and with scientific and operational leadership provided by its associate director, Professor Julie Williams. The project at Cardiff University will involve refurbishment of unoccupied office space in the Haydn Ellis Building building. Ground floor and 1st floor spaces have been set aside. The proposed layout is for approximately 60 researchers with short-term flexibility for further space and significant long-term capacity. For occupancy by end of May 2018.

The approach of the institute as a whole, of which the UK DRI at Cardiff University 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 Cardiff University plans to look at the synapse loss and cell death in AD; How AD risk genes affect microglial production & activation ; Cross-DRI programmes: novel mathematical and statistical approaches and models to stratify dementia risk and identify patterns in large ‘omics’ datasets.. Funding to these science programmes is provided separately.

Publications

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Ahmad S (2018) Disentangling the biological pathways involved in early features of Alzheimer's disease in the Rotterdam Study. in Alzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association

 
Description "Talented Women for a Successful Wales" report commissioned by the Welsh Government
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL http://gov.wales/docs/det/report/160308-women-in-science-en.pdf
 
Description Academy Medical Sciences Council Member
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Academy Medical Sciences Fellow
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Academy Medical Sciences Wales Ambassador
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Associate Director, UK Dementia Research Institute (UKDRI)
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description COVID advisory group
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Chief Scientific Advisor, Welsh Government
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description EPAD LCS sample access committe
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Medicines Discovery Institute MDI
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description NMHRI management
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description National Core Studies
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact £7million funds for projects related to COVID: prediction, protection and prevention
 
Description The development and implementation of polygenic risk algorithms for stratifying individuals for future cognitive decline due to Alzheimers disease
Amount £298,040 (GBP)
Funding ID 2018/20180222 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2018 
End 03/2020
 
Title AD Genetics Scotland 
Description Blood samples are collected from participants and sent directly from research sites to European Collection of Authenticated Cell Cultures (ECACC), a Culture Collection of Public Health England. Upon arrival, ECACC process the blood and transform into cell lines- peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) and Lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs). Cell lines are frozen and stored at ECACC until they are required by the team at Cardiff. 
Type Of Material Biological samples 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Ongoing collection of samples, no publications to date. 
 
Title DLB Genetics 
Description Blood samples are collected from participants and sent directly from research sites to European Collection of Authenticated Cell Cultures (ECACC), a Culture Collection of Public Health England. Upon arrival, ECACC process the blood and transform into cell lines- peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) and Lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs). Cell lines are frozen and stored at ECACC until they are required by the team at Cardiff 
Type Of Material Biological samples 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Ongoing collection of samples, no publications to date 
 
Title Plcg2 animal models 
Description To establish a functional pipeline for the study of disease associated genes and polymorphism in microglia and MØ in the context of dementia-related disease in vivo. The initial concentration is on the impact of coding mutations of PLCG2. In parallel, studies were initated on SPI1 and ABI3. Large scale 'omic and functional assay data derived from these studies will be used to bioinformatically identify potential causative abnormalities, by association with patient data 
Type Of Material Model of mechanisms or symptoms - mammalian in vivo 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact n/a 
 
Description ADES Collaboration 
Organisation Erasmus MC
Country Netherlands 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution A way to make aware our different institutions and funders of that we are working hard to a better organisation of the AD genetic field worldwide and we need strong support for this.
Collaborator Contribution as above
Impact n/a
Start Year 2016
 
Description ADES Collaboration 
Organisation Hospital de Sant Pau
Country Spain 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution A way to make aware our different institutions and funders of that we are working hard to a better organisation of the AD genetic field worldwide and we need strong support for this.
Collaborator Contribution as above
Impact n/a
Start Year 2016
 
Description ADES Collaboration 
Organisation National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM)
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A way to make aware our different institutions and funders of that we are working hard to a better organisation of the AD genetic field worldwide and we need strong support for this.
Collaborator Contribution as above
Impact n/a
Start Year 2016
 
Description ADES Collaboration 
Organisation Pasteur Institute, Lille
Country France 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution A way to make aware our different institutions and funders of that we are working hard to a better organisation of the AD genetic field worldwide and we need strong support for this.
Collaborator Contribution as above
Impact n/a
Start Year 2016
 
Description ADES Collaboration 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A way to make aware our different institutions and funders of that we are working hard to a better organisation of the AD genetic field worldwide and we need strong support for this.
Collaborator Contribution as above
Impact n/a
Start Year 2016
 
Description ADES Collaboration 
Organisation University of Bonn
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A way to make aware our different institutions and funders of that we are working hard to a better organisation of the AD genetic field worldwide and we need strong support for this.
Collaborator Contribution as above
Impact n/a
Start Year 2016
 
Description ADES Collaboration 
Organisation University of Pennsylvania
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A way to make aware our different institutions and funders of that we are working hard to a better organisation of the AD genetic field worldwide and we need strong support for this.
Collaborator Contribution as above
Impact n/a
Start Year 2016
 
Description ADES Collaboration 
Organisation VU University Medical Center
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A way to make aware our different institutions and funders of that we are working hard to a better organisation of the AD genetic field worldwide and we need strong support for this.
Collaborator Contribution as above
Impact n/a
Start Year 2016
 
Description PROTECT / CHARIOT-Pro / Cardiff DPUK 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Genotyping of 1,000 research participants from the PROTECT (KCL & Exeter) and CHARIOT - Pro (Imperial) research studies will be completed by Cardiff Univ as part of a collaboration funded by Dementias Platform UK. Polygenic risk scores will be calculated for these individuals and data made available via DPUK Platform.
Collaborator Contribution DNA samples from 1,000 research participants from the PROTECT (KCL & Exeter) and CHARIOT - Pro (Imperial) research studies will be sent to Cardiff Univ for genotyping
Impact None to date - work in progress. Collaboration is multi-disciplinary - Neurology, Neuroepidemiology & Ageing; Genetics & Genomics; Psychiatry
Start Year 2018
 
Description PROTECT / CHARIOT-Pro / Cardiff DPUK 
Organisation King's College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Genotyping of 1,000 research participants from the PROTECT (KCL & Exeter) and CHARIOT - Pro (Imperial) research studies will be completed by Cardiff Univ as part of a collaboration funded by Dementias Platform UK. Polygenic risk scores will be calculated for these individuals and data made available via DPUK Platform.
Collaborator Contribution DNA samples from 1,000 research participants from the PROTECT (KCL & Exeter) and CHARIOT - Pro (Imperial) research studies will be sent to Cardiff Univ for genotyping
Impact None to date - work in progress. Collaboration is multi-disciplinary - Neurology, Neuroepidemiology & Ageing; Genetics & Genomics; Psychiatry
Start Year 2018
 
Description PROTECT / CHARIOT-Pro / Cardiff DPUK 
Organisation University of Exeter
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Genotyping of 1,000 research participants from the PROTECT (KCL & Exeter) and CHARIOT - Pro (Imperial) research studies will be completed by Cardiff Univ as part of a collaboration funded by Dementias Platform UK. Polygenic risk scores will be calculated for these individuals and data made available via DPUK Platform.
Collaborator Contribution DNA samples from 1,000 research participants from the PROTECT (KCL & Exeter) and CHARIOT - Pro (Imperial) research studies will be sent to Cardiff Univ for genotyping
Impact None to date - work in progress. Collaboration is multi-disciplinary - Neurology, Neuroepidemiology & Ageing; Genetics & Genomics; Psychiatry
Start Year 2018
 
Title genoSCORE 
Description Cytox Ltd, which provides non-invasive, risk assessment and patient stratification tools for Alzheimer's disease and dementia, has signed a license agreement with Cardiff University to access the University's Intellectual Property regarding polygenic risk scoring algorithms for predicting the future onset of Alzheimer's disease. Under the terms of the licence, Cytox will gain exclusive commercialisation rights to intellectual property (IP) and know-how generated under its ongoing collaboration with Cardiff University. Additionally, Cytox will gain non-exclusive rights to further IP from Cardiff University. Cytox is incorporating the technology defined within the licence in the development of genoSCORETM, a genetic risk assessment tool to Identify people at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. genoSCORE improves clinical trial patient recruitment enrichment to Alzheimer's disease clinical studies; it also aids physicians in the management of patients in clinical practice. Cytox expects to launch genoSCORE as a product registered for professional use in the US and Europe, towards the end of 2020. 
IP Reference  
Protection Trade Mark
Year Protection Granted 2020
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact None to date - licence signed Sept 2020
 
Description AAIC Los Angeles Annual Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact MODEL-AD presentation - Alzheimer's Susceptibility Genes Implicate Microglial Activity
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description AMS fellowship workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Organisation of a Academy of Medical Science workshop by J Williams as Wales AMS Champion to encourage applications from young researchers to become AMS fellows
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description ARUK network 2019 Exeter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The event was organised between the ARUK Bristol & Bath, Southwest (Exeter and Plymouth) and Wales networks. The aim was for members to meet, showcase research & build collaborations. J Williams spoke on Research infrastructure and resources: UKDRI as member of Cardiff University and UK Brain Banks Network
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Alzheimer's gene study achieves landmark breakthrough 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Cardiff University publicised publication in Nature Genetics "Genetic meta-analysis of diagnosed Alzheimer's disease identifies novel risk loci and implicates Abeta, Tau, immunity and lipid processing" - aiming to raise public awareness of research being undertaken at UK Dementia Research Institute Cardiff
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description BBC Wales evening news UK DRI Cardiff official opening 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview of Professor Julie Williams to publicise official opening of UK DRI Cardiff. Prof Williams explained the purpose of the DRI, its multi-targeted approach, and the funding that had enabled attraction of world class scientists to Cardiff.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0bp0k0t/bbc-wales-today-evening-news-25102018#
 
Description Brain Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Guarantors of Brain was set up to promote teaching, education and research in neurology and related disciplines. In 2021, we put on our first conference - run as a 2-day online conference, with a focus on clinical neurology and research. The conference was attended by almost 2000 delegates across the globe.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description CURE ND Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Workshop to discuss disease models in the field of neurodegeneration, what are the most advanced models to date, how accurate are they, and what is missing in terms of modelling
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Cheltenham Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Festival theme 2019 was health and wellbeing, considering everything from the food we eat and our exercise regimes to cutting-edge medical research. As part of this theme, the event explored the latest breakthroughs in dementia research. The panel was asked to talk about the broad landscape in this field and its evolution in recent years, key achievements and challenges and an insight into how the diagnosis and treatment of dementia has changed and developed. J Williams talked about cutting-edge research and expertise and the exciting aspects of her own work within this area
As populations have aged, dementia has become the fifth biggest cause of death worldwide. Yet despite its devastating consequences there is currently no cure. What do we know about this group of diseases, and are there things we can do to help reduce our risks and keep our brains fighting fit? Alzheimer's disease specialist Julie Williams and psychiatrist Ivan Koychev discuss the latest breakthroughs and discoveries that are helping to prevent, diagnose and treat dementia more effectively.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2019
 
Description Insurance United Against Dementia 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact Alzheimer's Society Insurance United Against Dementia campaign dinner - aim to formally launch IUAD partners to senior figureheads from the insurance industry Used as an opportunity to thank existing IUAD partners and inspire potential partners to make a contribution.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description MRC CNGG celebration event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact MRC CNGG celebration - presentation and video
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description RCPsych Neuropsychiatry Annual Conference 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk given to conference entitled "Neuropsychiatric Genetics of Dementia and other Neurodegenerative Disorders: Implications for treatment, prevention and personalised psychiatry"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Radio Interview with Alz Res UK Champion 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Radio Gloucester interview with Sue Strachan Alz Res UK Champion
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Taking a new look at the risk factors for Alzheimer's disease 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Media article on publication of Multiplex Model in Nature Neuroscience - providing information on how the genes that have been identified as risk factors impact on other genes to trigger Alzheimer's
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description UK Korea Neuroscience Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact UKorea symposia bridge basic and clinical research within neuroscience. J Williams gave plenary lecture on 1st day 2019 symposium. The statements were shared via the UK-Korea social media channel (twitter @UKorea_Neuro).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Virtual UK DRI showcase event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Virtual UK DRI showcase event aimed at industry and investors - to stimulate partnership and investment
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Visit to DRI laboratories by Sir Venki Ramakrishnan 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, the President of the Royal Society visited DRI laboratories, Cardiff on 23rd October prior to giving a lecture organised by Welsh Government
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Welsh Government AM visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Visit from Suzy Davies AM for tour of DRI offices and laboratories, meeting with all programme leads to discuss work undertaken
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Welsh Government workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The Welsh Government held a UKRI "Strength in Places Fund" and potential for Wales workshop. Strength in Places (SIP) offers a significant funding opportunity and the University is keen to prepare a pipeline of projects for development in this area, in what is anticipated, to be an annual call.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Will members of my family develop Alzheimers disease?' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Rebecca Sims presented "Will members of my family develop Alzheimer's disease?" at CADR Meeting Swansea, 2/8/2018. This reached an audience of 50 persons including general public, medical professionals, researchers and carers. This generated a number of questions and discussion after the talk, and was part of a wider discussion following other presentations focusing on similar topics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Women in Industry 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation to Women in Industry event, providing overview of career, advice for women in STEM careers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Women in Science film 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Women in Science video as one of the interviewees / case studies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description World Dementia Conference - speaker 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This WDC summit meeting was focused on 'Looking to the Future: The Dementia landscape' and followed the series of global dialogues as part of the WDC's dementia landscape project. Discussion took place on the science and research agenda and built on previous conversations of international dementia leaders around innovation and incentives and data sharing. As a guest speaker, asking the question 'are we on track', we explored whether the research and policy landscape facilitating the development of new treatments required global co-ordination, considered whether the right things are being funded and whether new funding models were required.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021