About us

Director: Professor Clive Ballard
Deputy Director: Dr Anne Corbett
Manager:  Samantha Sharp

The NIHR Biomedical Research Unit for Dementia (BRU) brings together scientists and clinicians from different disciplines to identify new ways to diagnose, prevent and treat dementia. We want to speed up the time it takes to get better diagnostic tools, treatments and care from the laboratory into the NHS, to benefit patients and carers.  

We are Europe's most successful dementia clinical trial centre, and an active partner in Dementias Platform UK, a large scale academic / industry collaboration established by the Medical Research Council. We have published 33 clinical trial papers since 2010 and recruited over 35,000 participants, as well as conducting extensive work in discovery science.

Our aims and objectives largely mirror those of the NIHR Maudsley Health Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) benefiting from shared infrastructure and working collaboratively across the following areas:  

  • Building on our bioinformatics theme in which we collect and analyse biological data such as DNA and protein sequences and structures. This helps us to increase our understanding of the pathology of different dementias and the identification of disease specific biomarkers. 
  • Using biomarkers for accurate and early diagnosis, to develop enhanced clinical trials, and for personalised and advanced medications. 
  • Developing innovative treatments including pharmacological, biological and psychological therapies for the treatment of people with dementia.
  • Conducting first-in-man clinical trials of treatments emerging from our research programme.

We have two streams of research in the BRU:  

These programmes explore prospects for developing pathology specific biomarkers and targeted therapeutic approaches in individual disease categories including:

Alzheimer’s disease

Vascular dementia

Synuclein dementias including dementia with Lewy bodies

Frontotemporal dementia with motor neuron disease

These areas provide the infrastructure to drive translational research in the disease specific research programmes and include:

Biological markers and clinical informatics

Dementia in diverse populations

Experimental medicine and clinical trials

Care Home Research Network

More about us

Our achievements 

Promoting equality and diversity 

Growing the next generation of dementia researchers 

Acknowledging the NIHR Maudsley Dementia Biomedical Research Unit