Our research spans genetic, molecular and cellular models of neurodegeneration through the characterisation of human pathophysiology of dementia, to early phase clinical trials. Our success is built on the effective integration of clinical and preclinical research programs with major specialist NHS services, and includes strategic partnerships, the UK Dementia Research Institute (hosted within the Department), the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, the Alzheimer’s Research Drug Discovery Institute, the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Departments of Psychiatry and Public Health, and the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre.
Our clinical research programs are built on long term natural history studies, of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment, Frontotemporal Dementia, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Huntington’s disease, Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus and Vascular Dementia. These clinical cohorts support biomarker development and validation, genetics and cognitive neurosciences, and are the foundations for multiple interventional studies. The Department is especially strong in early-phase clinical trials, spanning experimental psychopharmacology, novel cell-based therapies and gene-therapies, in precision cohorts with deep-phenotyping for stratification and endpoint analysis including novel cognitive and imaging biomarkers.
Our preclinical programs have discovered genetics associations of Alzheimer’s disease and Frontotemporal lobar degeneration, and the specificity of molecular misfolding and connectivity-based spread in the brain. The molecular biology and a-synculein and tau, their aggregation and autophagy, and the mechanisms of cellular injury and tolerance through unforlded protein responses (UPR) have led directly to the development of novel therapeutics and clinical trials. Together, the preclinical and clinical research programs are actively engaged with biotech and pharma industries, delivering novel therapeutics to treat and prevent dementia.