Increased life expectancy is one of the most notable human consequences of advances in health and wealth during the last century. We are living longer and our enduring quality of life depends on healthy ageing. Today Newcastle has the largest interdisciplinary centre for ageing research in Europe and is one of the most important global contributors to the field.
Our Institute for Ageing and Health (IAH) is unique in bringing together biological, clinical and social scientists with NHS services for old age medicine, neurology and psychiatry. We have made an international impact on the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies, on the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in ageing and age-related disease, and on the underlying biology of the ageing process.
In partnership with Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, we recently had our Department of Health Biomedical Research Centre status in Ageing renewed and in addition were awarded a new Biomedical Research Unit in Dementia. We also have a Centre for Brain Ageing and Vitality, supported by BBSRC, LPSRC, ESRC and MRC. The quality of our work on ageing was recognised by the award of a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2009.
We are developing a Campus for Ageing and Vitality as a centre for excellence in ageing research. Elements include: the Newcastle Biomedical Research Building, bringing together research teams of clinical academics and basic scientists, and housing the NIHR DeNDRoN Co-ordinating Centre; the Henry Wellcome Laboratories for Biogerontology with its excellent facilities for molecular cellular/systems biology research on ageing, human nutrition and health ageing; the Edwardson Building, which houses the Newcastle Brain Tissue Resource and other tissue collections; the Magnetic Resonance Centre for Clinical Research, which interfaces with provision of other imaging techniques (SPECT and PET) for multi-modality imaging research on age-related diseases and brain injury; and the Clinical Ageing Research Unit, which provides an innovative clinical research facility, generating and exploiting powerful synergy between clinical and basic research for early-stage assessment and intervention in age-related disease.
In addition to the groupings already located on the Campus for Ageing and Vitality, the IAH has a major presence on the main Medical School site (home to the mitochondrial research and stroke research groups) and in the Centre for Life (home to the NIHR Stroke Research Network and the IAH laboratory for reproductive cell biology).
We have a core of around 280 staff and students and an average annual grant income in excess of £6.5 million, much of it from competitive awards granted by national research councils. We can provide supervision for PhD and MD students in a wide range of investigative areas.