Dundee unveils institute

June 30, 1995

Five teams of researchers at Dundee University are to investigate the causes of stroke and Alzheimer's disease in a new Pounds 1 million research institute.

The university, Scottish Enterprise Tayside and Drug Development Scotland are committed to setting up the Dundee neurosciences research institute and supporting its running costs over the next five years.

About 50 researchers and technicians, currently working in the departments of biological sciences, biochemistry, pharmacology and clinical pharmacology, will transfer to the institute to examine the causes of a wide range of neurological conditions.

David Nicholls, professor of neurochemistry, who initiated the project with Jeremy Lambert, professor of neuropharmacology, said: "As the average age of the population is increasing, more people are becoming victims of brain disorders such as Alzheimer's and stroke."

Scientists were beginning to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying many of these disorders, and as fundamental knowledge grew, they hoped they would be able to find a cure.

Professor Lambert said the work also had close links with drug development, and much of his research with colleague John Peters was looking at the influence of steroids on the brain.

"This work is giving new insights, particularly into anxiety and the mechanisms of epilepsy, and we are working with a pharmaceutical company on new and safer anaesthetic drugs."

The university is looking abroad for more research groups for the institute, which is expected to open in September and attract an estimated extra Pounds 600,000 research funding annually.

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