Conference 2024

Thank you to everyone who attended, both in person and online. See below for summaries, slides, photos and videos from the event. 

Conference summaries

The Celebrating Scottish Research Conference 2024 was a two date event which provided delegates with an overview of ongoing research into brain health, dementia and neurodegenerative disease. It featured speakers from across the UK, including researchers of all disiplines and career stages, charitable organisations, funders and people with lived experience.

As with all Conferences in which the SDRC are involved, there were spotlight opportunities for early career researchers to share their work. During the break, there were poster presentations from researchers across Scotland as well as exhibition stands from relevant organisations such as: Brain Health Scotlland, ENRICH, Alzheimer Scotland, Age Scotland, BGS Scotland and SINAPSE.

Thursday 13 June

The first day of the Celebrating Scottish Research Conference 2024 focussed on brain health and neuroprogressive diseases except dementia. It featured speakers from research institutions, charitable and funding organisations as well as people with lived experience.

This morning’s session at the dementia/brain health conference was opened by Dr. Emma Law of the NRS Neuroprogressive and Dementia Network (NDN). The early presentations provided update from partner organisations at the NDN, SDRC, ENRICH, Partners in Research and the Brain Health ARC.

The next presenations related to the Alzheimer Scotland Student Research Programme, a scheme which funds Masters level research projects where the selection are led by people with lived experience. We heard updates from Kelly Kelly, a current Masters student in the programme and announced next year’s recipients.

The Conference provided a platform for early career researchers to present their work. On this day we heard from five researchers sharing their research, its progress and future plans.

Prof Suvankar Pal then presented on the innovative MND SMART trial, sharing its success so far and where it is going next.

The afternoon’s sessions covered updates on neuroprogressive diseases beyond Alzheimer’s, highlighting research on MND, Parkinson’s, MS, Huntington’s disease, and vascular disease. All these presentations highlighted the importance of collaboration not only among researchers but with funding organisations and patient involvement.

Click to here to read summaries of the talks for the day

Friday 14 June

The second day of the Celebrating Scottish Research 2024, on Friday 14 June, had a more specific focus on research related to alzheimer’s and other dementias.

The opening address was from Henry Simmons, Chief Executive of Alzheimer Scotland. The next speakers were from Brain Health Scotland which updated on their activity including the developments of brain health clinics and their work on behaviour change and brain health.

Across the day on Friday, we heard presentations from three researchers outside of Scotland: Dr Maura Malpetti from University of Cambridge, Prof Paresh Malhotra from Imperial College London and Prof Vanessa Raymont from University of Oxford. They shared on their innovative work relating to detection and clincial trial delivery.

Before lunch, Dr Adam Daly updated on the SIGN guidelines and their implications for research. Then, SDRC Chair Prof Terry Quinn led an interactive session where delegates were asked to think of research questions which could potentially influence future funding calls.

Early career researchers had a platform to present their work both on Thursday and Friday. On this day we heard from three speakers who covered diverse topics ranging from arts-based therapy, to EEG to detect Alzheimer’s, to how to involve autistic people in dementia research.

The final session, to close the Conference, were experts with lived experience. These were people either living with a neuroprogressive condition or a current or former carer. We also learned about how best to involve lived experience from an academic perspective.

The Conference concluded with the Celebrating Scottish Research Awards, which recognised the hard work and successes of brain health and dementia researchers based in Scotland, across all disciplines and career stages.

Congratulations to everyone who received an award and thank you to all those who nominated them!

Click here to read summaries of the talks on the day

Celebrating Scottish Research Awards 2024: Winners

We held the Celebrating Scottish Research awards which recognised members of the dementia and brain health research community for outstanding work in their career so far. These were nominated by fellow friends or colleagues and the winners were selected by a judging panel. There were also on the day awards for best poster and speaker presenters. The Award categories and winners are below:

Academic Citizenship

This award recognised those who support the thriving dementia research community in Scotland and contributes in ways beyond their contracted research and teaching. This may have included, but were not limited to, mentorship, outreach, peer review, committee / professional society work and many others.

Winners:  Professor Debbie Tolson & Dr Lucy Stirland

Supporting Early Career Researchers

This awarded the more senior researchers who have helped realise the commitment and passion of people who are newer to dementia research. This includes activities that go beyond supporting people from your host Institution.

Winners: Dr Lisa Davison, Dr Lorraine Work

Rising Star

Rising Star could include anyone that considered themselves early in their research career, and did not have a set time-based restriction. This celebrated people who have potential to be a future leader in dementia and brain health research. 

Winners: Dr Rose Penfold, Dr Cate Pemble

Best Early Career Researcher Presentations

Winners: Suzie Beresford and Dr Connor Dalby

Poster Prizes

Winners: Austin Dibble, Sara Scarfo, Lauren Binning

Conference videos

Conference slides

Conference photos

More about our Events

Past SDRC Conferences

Take a look back at previous years’ SDRC Conferences. We have photos, videos and summaries of the discussions on the day.


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What else have the SDRC have been up to lately?

Visit our news and blogs sections to learn more about SDRC activity and the work of dementia and brain health researchers across Scotland
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