On the 26-27 May 2022, the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA), the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium, Brain Health Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland hosted world leaders in Life Sciences at a summit at the University of St Andrews.
This two-day event was led by SDRC Executive Committee member Professor Frank Gunn-Moore and Chair Professor Craig Ritchie. The aim was to bring together leading brain health and dementia researchers from across the globe with representatives of the pharmaceutical industry and other organisations, to form a partnership that could see Scotland leading the world in finding a cure for neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s.
Professor Gunn-Moore said: “Scotland is benefitting from a growing reputation in neuroscience, specifically in brain health and dementia research. Recently the Scottish Government made a commitment to the people of Scotland that everyone would have access to a Brain Health Clinic by 2025 with the explicit aim of dramatically reducing the incidence of dementia in our country. This commitment is far ahead of any commitments or actions taken at a national level by any other country or government in the world. This was to be achieved through the creation of Brain Health Scotland – hosted by Alzheimer Scotland.”
Explaining the significance of scientists working in partnership with the commercial sector to find a cure for neurodegenerative diseases, Professor Gunn-Moore added: “The summit had the singular objective of forming a partnership between the various stakeholders invested in curing Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. We believe that Scotland can and should lead the world in this endeavour. Finding cures must be supported by optimal clinical trial delivery as well as clinical practice that can accommodate new tests and treatments rapidly and safely.”
During the event, delegates heard from several well-known experts including Professor David Crossman, Dean of the University of St Andrews School of Medicine and former Chief Scientist for Scotland; Professor Sir Mike Ferguson from the Scottish Drug Discovery Unit based at the University of Dundee, and John Dwyer and George Vradenburg, both of the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative.
Sessions were chaired by Professor Gunn-Moore, Professor Ritchie and Mr McLeish as well as by Dr Jennifer Macfarlane, another SDRC Executive Committee Member and Director of the Scottish Imaging Network: A Platform for Excellence (SINAPSE), Lenny Shawcross, Executive Director of the World Dementia Council, Anna Borthwick, Executive Lead of Brain Health Scotland, Professor Tara Spire Jones of the University of Edinburgh and President of the British Neuroscience Association; and George Davidson of Glaxo Smith Kline.
Meet the rest of the Executive Committee
Our SDRC Executive Committee are researchers and contain representation from different career stages, institutions and research disciplines. They are active in supporting the work of the SDRC and dementia and brain health research more widely