Uniting the ecosystem

Uniting the ecosystem

Taking on the global health dementia challenge requires diverse expertise and resources. Fortunately, there is a rich landscape of organisations and networks committed to playing their part, creating a thriving research ecosystem accelerating us towards new treatments. At the UK DRI, we are committed to driving ever closer collaboration, both across the UK and on the international stage.

In 2019, we established the Dementia UK Ecosystem (DUKE), bringing together major dementia research initiatives, funders, industry in a joined-up community – from fundamental discovery science all the way to the clinic. DUKE facilitates collaborations across the pre-clinical and clinical sectors, promoting open dialogue on emerging issues, and creating a unified voice in support of dementia researchers and those living with dementia.

Defeating dementia requires a collective effort. We were proud to set up and drive the Dementia UK Ecosystem to create a cohesive community committed to share knowledge, resources and expertise. This is critical to ensure continuity across research and allows us to embark upon exciting new collaborative projects, bringing us closer to much-needed treatments and improved care.

Dr Giovanna Lalli
UK DRI Director of Scientific Affairs

Leadership on the global stage

50 million people around the world live with dementia. It is a global crisis in need of international solutions.

The UK DRI collaborates with partners across the world to drive progress and represents the UK in international efforts to find treatments. Most recently, we have joined leading research institutes in France, Germany and Belgium to launch CURE-ND. Together, we hope to catalyse the research needed to tackle the dementia crisis.

Below you can see some of our many collaborations across the world.

Image source: Nina Stöberl from Cardiff University (Allen Lab) and Owen Gwydion James from UK DRI at Edinburgh (Chandran Lab)

Creating tools that catalyse research

We are proud of our role in the UK dementia research ecosystem, helping facilitate research in the UK DRI and beyond. We have our doors open to share tools, resources and networks. One example is IPMAR, led by Prof Julie Williams and her team at the UK DRI at Cardiff. IPMAR will be a huge platform of cellular models, allowing researchers to look at millions of data points to understand combinations of risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. And that resource will be available to researchers across our institute and more widely throughout the UK.

These human induced pluripotent stem cells provide a novel means to model the most common form of Alzheimer’s disease which occurs after the age of 65.

Prof Julie Williams
Centre Director (UK DRI at Cardiff)

Building a strong voice for dementia research

Our work depends on a strong and thriving research environment. That’s why we work with policymakers to raise awareness of the issues faced by people with dementia, and how support for dementia research is needed to pave the way to much-needed treatments.

We involve people affected by dementia in our work by seeking their views and ideas through our Lived Experience Group. We share our successes with the public and run events to spread awareness of dementia research and our goals.

Dementia is a societal crisis which demands a united response. The UK DRI represents the interests of dementia research and people affected by dementia, as we work closely with our partners to meet this enormous challenge.

Prof Siddharthan Chandran
UK DRI Director