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Illustration of man (with exposed brain)

UK DRI Director Professor Bart De Strooper has set an ambitious vision for the institute, identifying the gap in our knowledge of how the healthy brain functions and what leads to its degeneration.

The UK DRI will achieve this by focusing on the biological mechanisms underpinning dementia. Researchers at the UK DRI will embrace novel technologies and interdisciplinary approaches in order to build new knowledge and understanding that will lead to new treatments.

Research will initially focus on developing better models of disease and translating research findings into new diagnostics and treatments and, in the longer term, cures. A care research strand will be incorporated as the institute develops, as will research seeking to develop new approaches to prevention.

UK DRI centres and research groups will naturally specialise in certain research areas, but the institute is designed to be opportunistic and grasp all good ideas that could take us further in fighting the biggest health challenge of our generation.

Creativity and collaboration

The UK DRI will help build the next generation of dementia researchers, by attracting new researchers into the field and providing access to interdisciplinary training and cutting-edge resources. The institute will set a dynamic pace to establish a vibrant, ambitious and interactive neuroscience community of initially 400 scientists. It will build on the strong dementias research base that already exists in the UK. Top talent and rising stars from all over the world will come to the institute, from different fields across biomedical and translational research. Together this diverse range of expertise will fill and enrich knowledge gaps in dementias.

At the heart of the UK DRI is innovation. A creative ethos will run throughout the institute. A significant part of the budget will be used to expand and implement the new ideas generated by everyone working at the UK DRI, taking account of future partnership opportunities.

The institute will also promote collaborative working, both across the institute and also plugging into dementia initiatives across the UK and beyond. The institute is looking to foster strong industry connections so that discoveries made in the laboratory can lead to new treatments for people with dementia as swiftly as possible.