Researchers swap lab coats for running gear as they get set to take on Chariots of Fire in their fight against dementia

08 September 2017

A team of scientists are ready to take the baton in this year’s Chariots of Fire to continue their fight back against dementia.

Prof Michael Coleman, who leads a team of dementia researchers based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, will lead the same team in Cambridge’s famous relay race to fund more local research into Alzheimer’s disease.

Chariots of Fire research team

The Cambridge scientist is no stranger to supporting the UK’s leading dementia research charity in both a professional and personal capacity; having helped at fundraising events while also sitting on the Charity’s Grant Review Board, which decides which research projects the charity should invest in.

He said:

“I have personally done a lot of work with Alzheimer’s Research UK over the years as it is driving such an important cause. We have seen how hard the charity works to obtain the money needed to fund research like ours so we have signed up with the aim of raising at least £500 between us.”

His team is made up of a mixture of researchers including Dr Romina Vuono whose research is funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK.

She said:

“We wanted to not only fight dementia at the lab bench but in other ways so when we heard about Chariots of Fire we knew we wanted to enter a team and raise money.”

The team, which includes a cyclist, mountaineer, power lifter and a martial artist, have admitted to being a bit competitive and are already in training for the race on Sunday 17 September.

The researchers, along with hundreds of other race runners, are raising money for a pioneering brain imaging project at the University of Cambridge. It will provide scientists with a better understanding of the links between Alzheimer’s and Down’s syndrome to identify the windows of opportunity for future preventative treatments that could benefit everyone affected by Alzheimer’s.

Kenneth Foreman, Senior Sporting Events & Partnerships Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“It is great to have the backing of Michael’s team, who are committed to helping us tackle the diseases that cause dementia, not only in the lab but also by raising money through Chariots of Fire.

“It is also impressive to see such a line-up of sportsmen and women in one team and we can’t wait to cheer them on the day.

“It is only with the help of teams like Michael’s that we can bring about the first life-changing dementia treatment by 2025 so we hope many more teams sign up to support us before the big day!”

Chariots of Fire is organised by Hewitsons Charitable Trust, the charity established and supported by Solicitors Hewitsons LLP, and backed by the Cambridge News.

Charles Hewitson, Race Director, said “Charles Hewitson, Race Director, said

“This is an event that many of us look forward to every year, seeing it as a good reason to try and get fit, and also knowing that we will be raising money for an important local charity is always the best possible incentive. Chariots of Fire is a perfect opportunity to enter a team with your colleagues or friends, it really encourages camaraderie and team spirit, which is always evident on the day.”

The race starts and finishes on Queens’ Green. Team registrations close on Wednesday 13 September at 5pm unless all 400 teams have registered before that date.

To enter a team, visit or to find out more about Alzheimer’s Research UK and their research please visit