College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine

UK Dementia Research Institute

The UK Dementia Research Institute at The University of Edinburgh is one of seven centres across the UK, seeking to find new ways to diagnose and treat the condition.

Launched in 2017, the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) is the single biggest investment the UK has ever made in dementia thanks to founding funders the Medical Research Council (MRC), Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer's Research UK.

The UK DRI breaks new ground by bringing together world-leading expertise in biomedical, care and translational dementia research in a national institute currently made up of over 750 researchers and a support team of over 50, all growing rapidly.

The Institute is led by Professor Siddharthan Chandran. It is structured so that our researchers are connected, wherever their labs are based. Having seven Centres located across the UK allows us to bring people together for shared scientific inspiration, whilst making the most of cutting-edge tools and infrastructure locally.

The Centres are hosted at:

  • The University of Edinburgh
  • University College London
  • Cardiff University
  • Imperial College London
  • King’s College London
  • The University of Cambridge
  • Care Research and Technology, Imperial College London.


The UK DRI at the University of Edinburgh

The UK DRI at the University of Edinburgh is primarily based in the Chancellor’s Building, which is part of the BioQuarter, Edinburgh's new multidisciplinary research institute and teaching hospital.

The research Centre, led by Professor Giles Hardingham, is aiming to piece together how all the different brain cells, systems and processes work together to keep our brains healthy over many decades. Unravelling how these finely-tuned interactions are disturbed even before a person has any specific signs or symptoms of dementia will open new avenues for the development of therapies.

Our brain is an incredibly complex organ, made up of 100 billion neurons. It is aided by an intricate network of blood vessels that supply nutrients and oxygen, working together in perfect harmony. Understanding the function of each component and the complex relationships between them helps give us a better picture of what happens when things go wrong in conditions such as dementia.

By understanding the inner workings of our brains, our researchers hope to identify disturbances that can lead to neurodegenerative diseases. A main aim of the Edinburgh research programme is to find new targets for the development of treatments - meaning that more people can live longer, healthier lives.


Our team in Edinburgh

Centre Director

  • Professor Giles Hardingham

Giles' Research Explorer profile

(Professor Hardingham is supported by Dr Beverly Roberts - see contact details below)

Group Leaders

  • Dr Kathryn Bowles

Kathryn's Researcher Explorer profile

  • Professor Siddharthan Chandran (also UK DRI Institute Director) - with Co-I Professor Suvankar Pal (see below)

Siddharthan's Research Explorer profile

  • Dr Blanca Diaz-Castro

Blanca's Research Explorer profile

  • Dr Jian Gan

Jian's Research Explorer profile

  • Dr Philip Hasel

Philip's Research Explorer profile

  • Professor David Hunt

David's Research Explorer profile

  • Dr Barry McColl

Barry's Research Explorer profile

  • Dr Veronique (Veronica) Miron

Veronique's Research Explorer profile

  • Dr Axel Montagne

Axel's Research Explorer profile

  • Dr Patricio (Pato) Opazo

Patricio's Research Explorer profile

  • Professor Josef Priller

Josef's Research Explorer profile

  • Professor Tara Spires-Jones

Tara's Research Explorer profile

  • Professor Joanna Wardlaw - with Co-I Professor Anna Williams (see below)

Joanna's Research Explorer profile


  • Professor Suvankar Pal (with Siddharthan Chandran)

Suvankar's Research Explorer profile

  • Professor Anna Williams (with Professor Joanna Wardlaw)

Anna's Research Explorer profile

Associate Members

  • Professor Dario Alessi (University of Dundee)

Dario's profile

  • Professor Seth Grant

Seth's Research Explorer profile

  • Professor Chris Ponting

Chris' Research Explorer profile

Emerging Leaders

  • Dr Claire Durrant (academic sponsor Professor Tara Spires-Jones)

Claire's Research Explorer profile

  • Dr Bhuvaneish Selvaraj (academic sponsor Professor Siddharthan Chandran)

Bhuvaneish's Research Explorer profile

  • Dr Jing Qiu (academic sponsor Professor Giles Hardingham)

Jing's Research Explorer profile

Core Support Staff

  • Dr Owen Dando (Informatics Platform Manager)

  • Mrs Lynsey Dunsmore (Colony Manager)

  • Dr Xin He (Bioinformatician)

  • Ms Alexa Jury (Laboratory Manager) , Tel:  0131 242 9400

  • Dr Juraj Koudelka (Microscopy Platform Manager), Tel:  0131 242 9494

  • Dr Mosi Li (Postdoctoral Researcher)

  • Ms Mehreen Mohammad (Research Assistant/Colony Management)

  • Dr David Perry (Database Manager)

  • Dr Beverly Roberts (Scientific Administrator/Centre Manger & Executive Assistant to Centre Director)

  • Dr Deepali Vasoya (Bioinformatician)


Related links

UK Dementia Research Institute

Edinburgh BioQuarter