We are pleased to announce that King’s College London (King’s) is now an official Academic Partner of the MRC-funded Dementias Platform UK (DPUK). King’s joins ten academic and six industry partners who are working together on person-focused dementias research. By joining this large and growing collaboration, King’s will support the achievement of DPUK’s goals: fast-tracking scientific understanding, treatments and prevention of the disease.
King’s College London’s active contribution to DPUK and the global fight against dementia
DPUK Director John Gallacher, in recommending that they join, said “King’s College London adds value to the Platform through its important contribution to the imaging and clinical governance work streams and with the support of a team of esteemed researchers.”
King’s has been an active contributor to our scientific activities and are committed to continuing their significant involvement. To date they have received over £300K through DPUK and are set to receive further funds for their role in the Deep and frequent Phenotyping (DfP) study and an Experimental Medicine project. In return King’s commits to recruiting 30-40 participants for the DfP study, completing longitudinal assessments and sharing results from detailed clinical and neuropsychological assessment, neuro imaging and molecular biomarkers.
Cohort studies provide an invaluable source of research data
Cohort or population studies – used to investigate the causes of disease, establishing links between risk factors and health outcomes – are a core component of DPUK’s research strengths. King’s contributes to this important area by providing access to their Provider Responses, Treatment, and Care for Trafficked People (PROTECT) Cohort and CHARIOT register, which have already shared their meta data to include in the DPUK Cohort Tools.
King’s researchers contribute expertise in brain donation, DfP and imaging
Professor Paul Francis and colleagues have completed one of DPUK’s core initiatives in collaboration with the University of Cambridge to develop and test Brain Donation protocol and documentation that can be utilised across all UK Cohorts.
Professor Alexander Hammers and Professor Clive Ballard have been strong supporters of the DfP study. Professor Ballard has assisted with both the implementation of the feasibility study and development of the funding proposal for the full study. Professor Hammers has contributed experience with the setting up of two PET-MR centres.
Professor Alexander Hammers, Professor of Imaging and Neuroscience at King’s College London said: ‘We are delighted to join Dementias Platform UK as an official partner to help further important research into the dementias. Collaboration is key to investigating these diseases – we need to pull together the data from many patients to understand the different forms. We also look forward to harnessing the power of brain imaging for research into causes, treatment and prevention of the dementias – as part of this official partnership, we are helping by making seven latest-generation brain scanners work together.’
Within the DPUK Imaging Network, Professor Antony Gee has been instrumental in planning for shared radiotracer distribution and his team are actively engaged in dementia-related novel radiotracer development. They are keen to disseminate their work for the wider benefit of the UK dementia imaging community. Professor Paul Marsden has been advising on the installation and implementation of the new scanners provided to DPUK through its Capital Research Infrastructure award the DPUK Imaging Network are clearly benefitting from the experience gained from hosting the National Cancer Research Initiative core laboratory.
Researchers from King’s contributing to DPUK include Principal Investigators Prof Alexander Hammers and Prof Clive Ballard, and Co-Investigators Prof Steve Williams, Prof Paul Francis, Prof Paul Marsden, Prof Michael O’Sullivan, Prof Antony Gee and Prof Sally Barrington.