About us

The UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) is a joint £250 million investment from the Medical Research Council (MRC), Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The UK DRI will deliver a step-change in the scientific understanding of dementia, generating new targets for drug development, reinvigorating the therapeutic pipeline and helping to transform care.

The new national institute will cover dementia across the research spectrum, spanning Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, Huntington’s disease and beyond.

Bringing together over 400 world-leading scientists in biomedical, care and translational dementia research, the institute will carry out a rich, varied and integrated programme of research. The institute will form a vibrant and interactive community, centred on neuroscience working on around 50 five-year research programmes across the UK in order to:

  • accelerate the pace of discovery research to identify new targets for drug development
  • develop new approaches for delivering effective clinical trials to targeted patient groups
  • attract new partnerships with the biopharmaceutical sector to develop new therapeutics and diagnostics
  • develop and promote strategies for interventions that prevent the development or progression of dementia
  • provide new insights and technology-based approaches to delivering more effective care and support to people with dementia and their carers.

UK DRI at Cardiff University will be located in the Hadyn Ellis building on the Innovation campus, with access to state of the art facilities within the Cardiff University Dementia Research Network.

Centre Director, Professor Julie Williams and colleagues at the University have discovered over 27 risk genes for dementia which implicate the innate immune response in determining a person’s susceptibility to developing Alzheimer’s disease. Building on their world-class expertise in genetics and immunology, the UK DRI at Cardiff University will use these discoveries as the starting point for understanding disease mechanisms and producing new therapies.

Our strength in understanding Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease comes from our collaborative culture.

Key science areas at Cardiff University include: Disease mechanisms building on genetic evidence including; risk profiles; pathways and networks associated with Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington's disease and other dementias; specific focus will be on immunity, lipid processing, endocytosis, the DNA damage response and ApoE.


Dementia Research Institute