Medical Research Council charged with leading national Dementia Research Institute

Professor John Savill

The Medical Research Council (MRC) will lead the UK’s first national Dementia Research Institute, prime minister David Cameron has revealed.

The institute, which will bring together world leading expertise in discovery science in the fight against dementia, is set to receive up to £150m in funding and be fully functional by 2020.

The government has pledged to make the UK the world’s leading country in the world for dementia research, and the best country in the world for treatment of the condition.

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The DRI will place the UK at the centre of a global effort to tackle the disease, aiming to accelerate the pace of research and develop much needed new treatments. It will fill a gap by linking with the investment already made though the Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) and complement other translational activities funded through the NIHR, research charities and industry.

The MRC will open a competitive process in 2016 asking universities to come forward to host the DRI. Alongside this, the MRC will lead the search for a director.

The DRI will have a central UK hub, which will be networked with the UK’s strongest partners in dementia research already operating across the UK.  There is expected to be a strong industry component.

Professor John Savill (pictured above), chief executive of the MRC said: “Dementias research is an extremely high priority for the Medical Research Council. We will work with our partners, and in particular with patients and their families, to build a vision for the UK Dementia Research Institute based on excellence in discovery science.

“We want to attract world-class researchers with new and different perspectives so that we can make real progress in the race to discover the next wave of treatments for dementia.”

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