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First Alzheimer's Research UK Dementia Symposium held at the IoPPN

Last month the King’s College London Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) Network Centre held its first Dementia Symposium at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), which brought together King's dementia researchers to share their ideas, learn about opportunities available through the Network Centre and to promote networking, interaction and collaboration.

The event showcased the breadth of innovative and exciting dementia research taking place at King’s and began with a welcome address from Professor Chris Shaw. He outlined the world-class facilities available for dementia research at King’s, most noticeably those available in the newly opened Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute and through the award of a large imaging equipment grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to King’s. Professor Shaw also gave an overview of the increasing prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases, including dementia, and the current lack of effective therapeutic options available to treat these important diseases. The urgent need for further research in this area is reflected by the enormous commitment recently made by the IoPPN and King’s to recruit new neurodegeneration researchers to  the university.

After an introduction to the ARUK Network Centre, delivered by Dr Wendy Noble, several esteemed academic scientists from across King’s presented an overview of ongoing research in their groups. Topics included neurogenetics, biological pathways to dementia, neuroimaging, stem cells and dementia treatments. Lunch was accompanied by a poster session which allowed debate and discussion amongst researchers of all career levels. The afternoon session was organised the ARUK Network Centre’s Early Career Scientist Representatives, Dr Lizzie Glennon and Dr Aleksandra Maruszak, two postdoctoral scientists at the IoPPN who provided a detailed overview of the different funding options offered by ARUK for early career scientists. Then followed a series of talks from PhD students, postdoctoral scientists and research fellows.

The day concluded with awards for the winners of the best poster prize (Tytus Murphy, PhD student with Dr Sandrine Thuret in the department of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience, IoPPN) and best oral presentation prizes: Dr Caterina Giacomini (Postdoctoral Research Associate with Dr Jonathan Morris [Division of Cancer Studies] and Dr Diane Hanger [IoPPN]) and Beatriz Gómez-Pérez Nievas (ARUK fellow in the laboratory of Dr Wendy Noble in the Department of Basic and Clinic Neuroscience, IoPPN).

Among the 80 attendees was Simon Ridley, Head of Research at ARUK. ARUK is the UK’s leading research charity aiming to defeat dementia. They support, fund and take part in dementia research, focusing on the prevention, treatment and cure of this devastating disease. For more information look here.

The symposium was organised by the Network Centre Committee, comprising of Dr Wendy Noble, Dr Diane Hanger, Dr Frank HIrth, Professor Peter Giese and Professor Chris Miller.

The lunchtime poster session offered many opportunities for interactions between dementia researchers at all career levels.

Notes to the editors

For further media information please contact Jack Stonebridge, Press Officer, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London on +44 (0) 20 7848 5377 or

For further information about King's visit our 'King's in Brief' page.