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Neuroscience research at UCL bolstered by £29m grant

A team led by BRC supported Professor Michael Hanna has won a £28,850,000 award to support the improvement of UCL’s research facilities, enabling UCL to deliver on its aim to create the world’s leading translational neuroscience environment.

The infrastructure award, from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), will bring together the UCL Institute of Neurology and the UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL; providing new integrated spaces for laboratories, drug discovery and experimental neurology to find better ways to diagnose and treat patients with neurological disorders such as dementia, stroke and epilepsy.

The project is also benefiting from the generosity of numerous philanthropists. The largest matching contribution came from the partnership UCL has developed with a consortium of retailers who are donating the levy on plastic carrier bags to the UCL Dementia research initiative, namely Iceland, ASDA, HSS Hire, Morrisons, and Waitrose. UCL has also formed partnerships with medical charities and industry partners that include the National Brain Appeal, the Brain Research Trust, Muscular Dystrophy UK, the Epilepsy Society, the MS Society, the Stroke Association, the Wolfson Foundation, Alzheimer’s Research UK, the Reta Lila Weston Trust for Medical Research, Eisai Co., Ltd and GSK.

Professor Hanna, Director of the UCL Institute of Neurology, said: “This major award significantly advances progress towards our vision to create the world’s leading centre for translational neuroscience which will enable us to find treatments, train the next generation and work in close partnerships with industry, funders and patients.”

Professor Alan Thompson, Dean of the Faculty of Brain Sciences, said: “I am delighted with this substantial award which is critical for our plans to develop a brand new state of the art facility at UCL to house the headquarters of the UK Dementia Research Institute and the UCL Institute of Neurology. It underlines UCL’s commitment to leading the fight to find therapies for dementia and neurological diseases.”

Professor David Lomas (UCL Vice-Provost, Health) said: “This is a fantastic boost for our plans to develop the world’s leading centre for translational neuroscience and to lead internationally in tackling dementia.”

UCL President & Provost, Professor Michael Arthur said: “I am thrilled with this major infrastructure award from HEFCE which recognises the power of UCL Neuroscience. I want to thank all the donors who have supported this important work and made this award possible. This clearly demonstrates the combined power of philanthropy from individuals, trusts and foundations, charities and the corporate sector. Philanthropy founded UCL in 1826 and has helped us ever since to break down traditional barriers of thought to produce new knowledge that transforms lives and society.”