Monday 16 January 2017

Newcastle dementia lead announced as Chair of the Translational Research Collaboration

Professor David Burn, newly appointed Pro-Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle University has been named Chair of the NIHR Dementia Translational Research Collaboration (TRC).

The Dementia TRC brings together world-class scientists and clinicians from NIHR Biomedical Research Centres with dementia related research themes. The purpose of the collaboration is to drive the translation of discoveries from basic science into the clinic, with real benefits for patients.

Out of the 20 NIHR Biomedical Research Centres across the country, those with a specific research focus on dementia and neurodegenerative conditions come together to provide a platform for scientific discoveries to be translated into clinical benefits.

Bringing together leaders from each NIHR Biomedical Research Centre enables a multi-disciplinary approach to Dementia research with the TRC benefitting from significant strengths across these debilitating conditions, ranging from; late on-set dementias, early on-set dementias, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s, neuroinflammtion and Huntington’s disease. It also provides an excellent platform from which to coordinate work with industry to develop new methods of early, accurate diagnosis and innovative approaches to therapy and disease management.

Need for collaborative work on dementia

The NIHR Dementia TRC was created in direct response to the Prime Minister’s 2012 call for improved research in dementia. Following on from this, the new collective will meet the objectives set out in the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020, by building on the excellent work done so far.

Speaking of his appointment, NIHR Newcastle dementia lead for the BRC, Professor David Burn commented: “It is a great privilege to be working alongside a group of esteemed leaders from some fantastic Biomedical Research Centres across the country as the NIHR Dementia TRC Chair. I am positive that we can make some excellent steps to bring our combined scientific discoveries in dementia to patients and the public.”

Professor Avan Aihie Sayer, Director of the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre praised the appointment; “Professor Burn is a highly regarded expert in his field and an asset to the Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre.

As dementia lead, his leadership, knowledge and experience make him a great link for us, ensuring the fantastic research we carry out as part of our BRC goes a long way to improving the lives of many people living with dementia.”

Professor Burn will begin his duties as the NIHR Dementia TRC Chair in April 2017.