New UK MND Research Institute showcased at top science meeting
24 April 2023
24 April 2023
My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, MND Scotland and MND Association have worked together to deliver a scientific symposium showcasing some of the innovative motor neuron disease (MND) research that will be taking place in the new UK MND Research Institute (UK MND RI).
The British Neuroscience Association’s Festival of Neuroscience, which is taking place from 23 – 26 April 2023 in Brighton, brings together 1,000 top UK neuroscience researchers to share their work and exchange ideas.
At the first in-person Festival of Neuroscience since 2019, we were delighted to deliver a session alongside our partner charities. Attended by researchers from across the UK, the session took place on Sunday 23 April and focused on translational MND research - the process of taking potential treatments out of the laboratory and into clinics.
The new UK MND Research Institute is a coordinated national effort, which brings together MND research centres into partnership with people living with MND, charities, government funders and industry, in a collective effort to accelerate drug discovery - by identifying new drug targets, developing new therapies and testing treatments rapidly in people living with MND. This has only been possible because of the successful United to End MND patient-led campaign, which secured £50 million for targeted MND research from the UK Government.
The symposium session, which was co-chaired by researchers from London and Edinburgh, covered research across this translational pipeline. The new Co-Director of UK MND RI, Professor Ammar Al-Chalabi, introduced the session by outlining the challenges facing research into MND and the opportunities now starting to appear.
The other talks focused on the innovative clinical trials being undertaken for MND, how researchers are developing biomarkers that can be used to monitor treatment effectiveness in trials, and the work taking place that is trying to identify early presymptomatic markers for MND. These talks were delivered by researchers from across the UK: Dr Arpan Mehta (University of Edinburgh and University College London) and Dr Alex Thompson (University of Oxford).
“It was a pleasure to host this session at the BNA’s 2023 Festival of Neuroscience and to showcase the work that is going into the UK MND Research Institute. We are grateful to our charity partners and the UK government for helping us to realise our vision for the institute and we truly believe the step-change needed for MND research is within our reach.”
“The UK MND Research Institute is a patient-led vision to accelerate the search for a cure for MND. We have many of the world’s top scientists and clinicians in MND in the UK, and this coordinated research programme will mean we are able to find meaningful and effective therapies more rapidly and using all the strengths of the research community.”