Labmate UK & Ireland


New Funding to Untangle Alzheimer’s Disease
Funding from the Wellcome Trust (WT) and Medical Research Council (MRC) has been announced for a £5 million research programme on Alzheimer’s disease to be led by Professor Peter St George-Hyslop in the Cambridge Institute of Medical Research and Department of Clinical Neurosciences. This major collaborative effort involves 15 scientists from seven research departments across Cambridge, scientists from the University of Bristol, the Max Planck Centre for Structural Molecular Biology in Germany and the University of Toronto in Canada, reports Cambridge Horizons.

AD is an increasingly common neurodegenerative disease of the brain that affects individuals in mid-to-late life, impairing intellectual function and memory. The disease, which is incurable, results when certain proteins in the brain become misfolded and form tangled masses that are toxic. The resulting progressive loss of cells in the brain gradually incapacitates patients for up to a decade before death. The incidence of AD is on the increase as populations live longer: in the UK, 700,000 people currently live with dementia, half of whom have AD; in 30 years’ time, the estimates are that this number will have hit 1.4 million and be costing the UK economy £50 billion per year.

“Although AD has been known about for over a century, it’s such a complex disease that attempts to understand the underlying mechanism using conventional tools have yielded confusing and conflicting answers. As a consequence, there is currently no drug that can halt its progression,” said Professor St George-Hyslop.

To plug the gaps in knowledge, the interdisciplinary research programme builds on a collaboration that has been growing for several years in Cambridge, as co-investigator Professor Chris Dobson from the Department of Chemistry explained: “A fascination with how the fundamental molecular events that underlie AD relate to what is happening in living systems has brought together a group of people with interests that range from theory to therapy.” The consortium pulls in expertise from biochemistry, genetics, clinical neuroscience, medical genetics, chemistry, chemical engineering, neurophysiology, physics, biophysics and pathology.

The programme aims to lay the basis for both the development of biological markers to detect disease at an early stage, before widespread damage has occurred, and the creation of effective therapeutics. “Already, the consortium is working well. The atmosphere takes alight as people throw in ideas about novel experimental approaches using tools from both physical and life sciences that would not have been possible until very recently,” said Professor St George-Hyslop.


Technical Articles

  • Chill Out and Scale Up by Michael Bender

Spotlight Features

  • Pumps, Valves and Liquid Handling
  • Environmental Analysis & Electrochemistry

Other Features

  • Research & Events News
  • News & Views
  • New Literature & Products
  • Market Place


View Digital Edition

Digital Edition

Lab Asia December 2021

December 2021

Chromatography - A novel approach to the analysis of alcohols in hydrocarbon streams by gas chromatography - Smart Evaporation Solutions for Academic Labs - Streamlined Solutions for Natural P...

View all digital editions


Medlab Middle East

Jan 24 2022 Dubai, UAE

Arab Health

Jan 24 2022 Dubai, UAE

Nano Tech 2022

Jan 26 2022 Tokyo, Japan


Jan 26 2022 Warsaw, Poland

SLAS 2022

Feb 05 2022 Boston, USA & online

View all events