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17.09.19

Lancaster University funds scientist for Alzheimer’s drug development

Lancaster University have successfully generated enough funds through donations to fund a scientist to work on Alzheimer’s drug development.

Having launched its Defying Dementia campaign four years ago, the university committed to funding the research and development of a new drug through community fundraising events and similar philanthropic methods – the first university in the UK to support scientific research in this way.

Money has been raised through community fundraisers and donations, in turn allowing the Defying Dementia campaign to contribute to the community by supporting the Bay Dementia Hub and other community initiatives for people with neuro-degenerative brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Neuroscientist Dr Norah Ulzheimer will now work full time in the university’s laboratories to progress the promising new Alzheimer’s drug towards human clinical trials. She is part of a research team led by Professor David Allsop, who is developing the drug to slow the disease’s progression.

Speaking of her appointment, Dr Ulzheimer said: “[I’ve watched] people unable to recognise their own family and it made me understand what impact dementia has on people’s lives, especially the families, and how hard it is.

“This gives me even more motivation to help develop a drug to slow this illness. This is a good way of bridging the gap between scientists and the public and it enables me to see what impact the campaign is having in the community.”

Founder of the Defying Dementia campaign, Dr Penny Foulds, who called Dr Ulzheimer’s recruitment an important milestone, added: “Alzheimer’s is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer, but research here at Defying Dementia may find a way to stop it in its tracks.

“We can now speed up the development of our drug, that will attack both the plaques and the tangles that form in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.

“We thank all our supporters who enable us to continue with this important research.”

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