Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Dementia Grand Challenge

The Dementia Grand Challenge brings together researchers to study dementia from labs to hospitals and explore new potential treatment pathways.

Elderly woman

A new case of dementia is diagnosed every four seconds

Dementia is a disease which is affecting greater proportions of the population worldwide and has global implications for health and social care.

Our laboratory-based researchers aim to develop innovative methods to investigate the cellular and molecular causes of dementia. These methods should lead to the development of new medicines.

Our clinical researchers have the expertise to test potential new medicines through clinical trials. Feedback from patients, carers and patients’ families is central to our activity and allows us to identify relevant and measurable disease outcomes.

Our researchers in population health analyse population databases to investigate the safety of medicines. This information is used to develop safer prescribing guidance for people with dementia.

Our research

We carry out long-term population database studies to establish efficacy and safety of medicines and prescribing.
Meet our researchers: Anita McGrogan, Neil McHugh, Denise Taylor

We explore the vascular and associated ischaemic changes that occur in dementia.
Meet our researchers: Giordano Pula, Sergey Smirnov

There is strong evidence linking decreased brain oxygen levels with the pathology of Alzheimer’s Disease. Our Advanced Hypoxic Facility includes state-of-the-art equipment that will advance our understanding of cellular function under different oxygen conditions.
Meet our researchers: Amanda MacKenzie, Giordano Pula, Sergey Smirnov

We research medicines design and develop testing to develop potential new medicines in combating dementia.
Meet our researchers: Chris Bailey, Lorenzo Caggiano

We investigate patient and carer perspectives of disease and treatment to ensure human perspective is included in all our research.
Meet our researchers: Denise Taylor

People we work with

People we work with at the Department of Biology & Biochemistry:

We are identifying new molecules for treating dementia.
Meet our colleague: Robert Williams

We explore the role of proteins in dementia to greater understand the reasons why symptoms of dementia occur.
Meet our colleagues: Robert Williams, David Brown, Jody Mason

We investigate cellular reprogramming and stem cells to understand how cells function within dementia.
Meet our colleagues: Jean van den Elsen, Vasanta Subramanian, David Tosh

People we work with near Bath:

People we work with further afield:

Learn, develop and network

Each semester we welcome a Dementia Grand Challenge speaker as part of our Departmental seminar series and aligned workshops.

GW4 is an alliance which combines the intellectual capacity and physical resources of the four leading research-intensive universities in the South West of England and Wales: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter.

We are active in the following GW4 projects:

Research into teaching

In our undergraduate Pharmacy courses we have developed an Interprofessional Dementia Friends learning experience in collaboration with the Forget Me Not Centre in Swindon. Students learn first hand what it is like to live with dementia and how it is to support someone with dementia.

Public engagement

We involve patients and the general public in the review and development of our patient-focussed dementia research by actively seeking their feedback.

We were involved in the Art of the Brain initiative to engage members of the public in discussion about brain research.

As part of the GW4 Dying with Reduced Agency project, we held a public event to raise awareness of people with dementia, frailty and acquired brain injury making decisions about their own death.

Contact us

Contact Denise Taylor if you would like to find out more about our dementia research in general.

Contact Giordano Pula if you would like to find out more about the cell/molecular biology aspect of our dementia research.