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ageing dementia research

New research to better understand ageing and dementia-related diseases

Published on: 12 February 2024

Newcastle University is collaborating with national experts to understand ageing and dementia-related diseases better in the hope of improving future treatments.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has awarded an additional £3 million of funding to take the total investment to an excess of £25 million for scientists to improve age-related diseases in the UK.

Research, led by scientists at the Universities of Newcastle and Cambridge, will lead the new Ageing Cluster, which will unveil new mechanisms driving age-related diseases and accelerate national understanding of how we can promote healthy ageing.  

Newcastle University’s research will include contributing to new mouse models for the National Mouse Genetics Network, expanding on the existing programmes to enhance the UK’s position as a leading centre of excellence.

Professor David Burn
Professor David Burn

Better ageing, health and wellbeing

Professor David Burn, Pro Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, said: "I am delighted that Newcastle University is playing an important part of the UKRI Mouse Genetics Network Ageing Cluster. 

“This cluster will offer researchers the opportunity to develop new animal models so that we will better understand ageing. This will allow us to translate this research into extending healthy lifespan in humans in the future."

The results generated by Newcastle University will be made available to the scientific community to improve the nation’s understanding of the ageing process, and to provide resources for prevention and intervention.

It is expected that research conducted on mice, carried out in collaboration with the MRC, will enhance understanding of disease causes to the point that it will propose new treatments in the future.

The need to improve how people age has become a major requirement of modern societies with increases in life expectancy resulting in older populations, thus making healthy ageing essential to reducing the burden on health and social services.

‘Ambitious project’

Dr Laura Greaves, Senior Lecturer Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research, Biosciences Institute, Newcastle University, said: “I am delighted to be co-leading the Ageing Cluster from Newcastle University, alongside our team of expert scientists. 

“This ambitious project will unveil new methods driving ageing and age-related diseases and accelerate our understanding of how Newcastle University can promote healthy ageing.  

“Joining the MRC National Mouse Genetics Network is an incredible opportunity to link Newcastle University’s efforts with fellow researchers, and to move towards a future with a healthier, more resilient ageing population.”

The MRC considers the use of animals to be necessary in many areas of biomedical research in order to better understand the living body and what goes wrong in disease. Animal research is essential in the development of safe and effective ways of preventing or treating diseases.

All animal research is conducted in accordance with UK law and ethically approved by an independent review board. Researchers are expected to follow the highest standards of animal welfare.


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