Capital award for UK DRI at University of Edinburgh

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh

Abstract

Alongside significant co-investment from the University of Edinburgh, the expected outcome of this funding is the concluded expansion of facilities on 1st floor of the Chancellor Building at the Edinburgh Bioquarter Campus, to house a larger centre. Full occupancy is expected by October 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 5 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 the University of Edinburgh 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, 5 programmes have been selected planned for the UK DRI at the University of Edinburgh and with scientific and operational leadership provided by its associate director, Professor Giles Hardingham. The project at the University of Edinburgh will involve expansion of facilities on 1st floor of the Chancellor Building at the Edinburgh Bioquarter Campus, to house a larger centre. Full occupancy is expected by October 2018.

The approach of the institute as a whole, of which the UK DRI at the University of Edinburgh 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 Edinburgh plans to look at the interplay between immune, vascular and metabolic factors – the ‘neurogliovascular’ unit. Funding to these science programmes is provided separately.

Publications

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