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2013

van Geest Foundation to fund Alzheimer's research

van Geest Foundation gives gift to KingsImage: Mrs Hilary Marlowe, Mr Stuart Coltman and Mrs Brenda Ruysen represented the Foundation at a commemorative event with the King's Principal and President Professor Sir Richard Trainor in April.

The John and Lucille van Geest Foundation has generously supported Alzheimer’s research at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry over a number of years. The Foundation is now closing its operations and the College has been fortunate enough to receive a final gift of close to £8 million.

This final transformative donation will support the ground-breaking work being done in the field of Alzheimer’s and related areas of neurodegeneration at King’s, and stands to have a direct effect on the health of many, now and well into the future.

The cheque for the funds was received by King’s Principal and President Professor Sir Richard Trainor at a commemorative event held on 29 April. Mrs Hilary Marlowe, Mr Stuart Coltman and Mrs Brenda Ruysen represented the Foundation and a number of academics gave talks on the areas of King’s research the gift will support.

Mrs Marlow says: 'My late father, John van Geest, would have been immensely proud to be associated with the valuable research being done at King's College London. The Foundation is very happy to be able to support this work, which will ultimately benefit all mankind.'

Previous gifts from the Foundation have had a significant impact on the College’s research, funding exciting work to develop a blood test for Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have found a blood based protein that could be used as a ‘biomarker’ to diagnose the disease. This biomarker is currently being tested in a clinical investigation with the hope it can be used in a procedure for widespread hospital use. It is thought the procedure will be over 70% accurate for early diagnosis.

The College is home to some of the world’s foremost experts in the dementia field, including Simon Lovestone, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry and Director of Research, King's Health Partners, and Clive Ballard, Professor of Age Related Diseases, amongst others.

On the subject of King’s neuroscience and mental health research, Professor Lovestone says: ‘The ground-breaking research we’re doing at King’s is significantly increasing the understanding of how the brain functions in health and disease, new knowledge which will help us combat conditions like Alzheimer’s, Autism, Motor Neurone Disease, and Parkinson’s.’

The College is extremely grateful to the John and Lucille van Geest Foundation for their support. Donations such as this help us develop the answers to some of the world’s most pressing questions, as part of the university’s World questions|King’s answers fundraising campaign.

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The John and Lucille van Geest Foundation has played a vital role in funding medical research since it was established in 1976. 

To find out more about how the World questions |King’s answers campaign is tackling long-term neurodegenerative diseases visit our Neuroscience & mental health pages.

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