Centres and Institutes

The Drug Discovery Alliance and Alzheimer’s Research UK Stem Cell Research Centre are two of the major collaborations we have announced this year.

The Drug Discovery Alliance

In February 2015, we launched a £30 million Alliance of academic Drug Discovery Institutes – one of the largest coordinated dementia drug discovery efforts in the world. The three Institutes at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and University College London will work with the academic research community to identify and validate novel targets for neurodegeneration. Our Chief Scientific Officers seek out approaches previously unexplored by the pharmaceutical industry, to build new drug discovery projects. We encourage dialogue at any stage about potential collaborations; please visit the websites to find out more about how the Alliance will interact with the research community.

I have a potential drug target, which Institute should I contact?

Dr John Skidmore at the Cambridge DDI, Dr John Davis at the Oxford DDI and Prof Paul Whiting at the UCL DDI are keen to engage in informal discussions about the disease mechanisms you are investigating and potential targets you have identified. The CSOs anticipate that many partnerships will arise through existing collaborations you may have at the host institutions or based on the research portfolios existing at the individual Institutes. However, existing contacts are not a pre-requisite to start partnerships and we want to form ties with academics across the UK and globally. If you would like to approach the Alliance as a whole, please contact DDAenquiries@alzheimersresearchuk.org to kick-start discussions with all three CSOs. Alternatively, you can fill out a pro-forma for submission to the Alliance.

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The Alzheimer’s Research UK Stem Cell Research Centre

With support from The Alborada Trust, Alzheimer’s Research UK is investing in a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and University College London. The Stem Cell Research Centre, housed at the University of Cambridge, will use patient-derived skin cells to generate a neuronal drug screening platform. The use of stem cells derived from patients with genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease will also provide a model to investigate the functional consequences of genetic variations in the initiation and progression of the disease. The Centre also forms an arm of the Medical Research Council’s Dementia Platform UK Stem Cell Network.