Alzheimer’s Research UK welcomes four new Trustees to help accelerate progress towards a cure for dementia

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By Alzheimer's Research UK | Wednesday 07 February 2024

Alzheimer’s Research UK has today (Wednesday 07 February 2024) announced the appointment of four new Trustees – leading figures from across the charity, technology law and medical sectors – who are determined to help deliver a cure for dementia.

 

The UK’s leading dementia research charity has welcomed to its board:

  • Prof Jeremy Chataway, Professor of Neurology at University College London and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square.
  • Dr Catherine Elliott, Director of Research and Partnerships at Cancer Research UK.
  • Adrian Lovett, Chief Executive Officer at Development Initiatives, an international non-profit organisation working to overcome poverty and inequality through better data and evidence.
  • Clive Gringras, a Partner at the law firm CMS, heading its Technology, Media & Telecoms team. He has a background in working with global technology firms, including Microsoft.

 

The Trustees all bring a breadth of knowledge, skills, and backgrounds to their voluntary roles, which they officially started in January. All of them are driven to support the cause because of their personal experience of the condition, which affects almost one million people in the UK today.

 

The new Trustees join Alzheimer’s Research UK at an exciting time, both for the organisation and for dementia research more generally.

 

For the first time, new treatments are on the horizon that can slow the course of Alzheimer’s disease – the leading cause of dementia – and there have encouraging signs that blood tests could revolutionise its diagnosis. While these are promising steps forward, there is still a long way to transform the lives of people affected by all forms of dementia.

 

That’s why Alzheimer’s Research UK launched its 10-year strategy: Towards A Cure last year. This bold plan sets out how the charity will change lives by revolutionising the way dementia is treated, diagnosed and prevented.

 

Emma Whitcombe, Deputy Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We’re delighted to welcome our four new Trustees to Alzheimer’s Research UK. This is an incredibly exciting time for our charity, as we enter a new era for dementia research, but the job is far from done. We have bold ambitions to ensure we can put a stop to the heartbreak of dementia sooner, it’s an honour to have our new Trustees standing with us. With a wealth of experience and commitment to our cause, we’re confident all four will play a crucial role in accelerating our progress towards a cure.”

 

Prof Jeremy Chataway has over two decades of experience as a consultant neurologist and Professor of Neurology and brings extensive experience in clinical trials, particularly in multiple sclerosis (MS). He has a particular interest in advanced clinical trial design and is Chief Investigator of a number of clinical trial programmes in progressive MS.

 

He said: “It’s a huge privilege to be chosen as a Trustee for Alzheimer’s Research UK and I’m truly excited to get started. This moment really signifies a milestone in a personal journey to mark the memory of my mother Gill, who was affected by young-onset Alzheimer’s disease. As well as my own experience, I regularly see people with dementia in my general neurology clinic and know well, the ravages such a cruel condition can reap to the individual, the family and to society. That’s why I’m keen to support the search for a cure.

 

“My main clinical and research interest is in multiple sclerosis, where I have a passion for trial design and implementation, which continues of a day-to-day basis. I hope to bring to the Alzheimer’s Research UK mission some of this experience, perhaps to encourage and facilitate beneficial cross-talk between these two neurodegenerative areas.”

 

Dr Catherine Elliott has a deep-rooted passion for medical research and is committed to driving impactful research and awareness to improve the lives of those affected by dementia, having experienced the devastating impact of the condition in her own family. During her research funding career, Dr Elliot led the Neurosciences and Mental Health portfolio at the Medical Research Council.

 

She said: “I am passionate about the importance of medical research to improve people’s lives and dementia is one of the greatest heath challenges that we face. I think the current progress towards effective interventions is very exciting and provides real hope that the impacts of different forms of dementia can be reduced.

 

“As a Trustee, I hope to be able to support the ongoing development of research strategies to ensure best use of the funds raised by so many committed supporters. My current role as Director of Research at Cancer Research UK will enable me to highlight opportunities to consider cross-cutting risk factors and opportunities for collaborations.”

 

Adrian Lovett is dedicated to social impact, having previously worked at globally reaching charities such as Save the Children and World Wide Web Foundation.

 

He said: “Dementia affects my own family very directly, as it does so many families across the country. While this condition can be incredibly tough, there are so many reasons to be hopeful, as research uncovers new opportunities to treat, diagnose and prevent dementia. I’m optimistic about the difference we can make, but it’s vital that we keep up the momentum in the search for a cure. As a Trustee, I see it as my job to back the team, keep our eyes firmly on the mission, and challenge us all to do even better.

 

Clive Gringras is eager to continue his contribution to the charity, having previously worked with Alzheimer’s Research UK on an initiative to progress early detection of dementia which ignited his passion for the transformative potential of dementia research.

 

He said: “I wanted to join Alzheimer’s Research UK as a Trustee because Alzheimer’s disease has personally affected my family, taking my wife’s grandmother, mother and recently her auntie. These painful experiences drove me to want to make a meaningful contribution to the charity and help find a cure before others are similarly struck. I can see the great potential of research into dementia, it’s key to unlocking the mysteries of this terrible condition. As a Trustee, Alzheimer’s Research UK will benefit from my expert guidance, my knowledgeable influence, and my inclusive support.”

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