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We are set to become the biggest investment that Wales has ever received for scientific study into dementia.

As one of six UK centres, the research centre in Wales will be a significant section of the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) - a £290m initiative, funded by the Medical Research Council, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK, to find new ways to diagnose, treat, prevent and care for people with dementia.

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.

Our strategy is to build onto research strengths in computational analytics, dementia genetics, immunology, cellular and whole system modelling and neuroimaging to identify disease mechanisms and therapies for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease and other dementias.

Bringing together over 700 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.

We have played a pivotal role in the discovery of more than 40 genes which contribute to the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and we will use that knowledge to work on new theories and discoveries. Building on our world-class expertise in genetics and immunology, led by Professor Julie Williams, the team at Cardiff 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.

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Dementia Research Institute