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UK's first Dementia Research Institute to be led by the MRC

24 Nov 2015

The Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that the first national Dementia Research Institute (DRI) in the UK is to be led by the MRC.

The DRI, 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.

There are an estimated 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and this figure is expected to double over the next 20 years. The devastating disease costs the NHS, local authorities and families around £26 billion each year but there are currently no treatments available that can stop or reverse the disease. This is primarily because of our limited understanding of how dementia develops.

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, 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.”


  • Categories: Funding
  • Health categories: Neurological
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  • Type: News article