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MRC Prion Unit
From fundamental research to prevention and cure



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MRC (Medical Research Council)

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is a publicly-funded organisation dedicated to improving human health. Supporting research across the entire spectrum of medical sciences, in universities and hospitals, in units and institutes in the UK and Africa. [web site].

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UCL (University College London)

UCL (University College London) is London’s leading multidisciplinary university, with 8,000 staff and 22,000 students from over 150 countries.

Based in the heart of London, UCL was the first university in England to welcome students of any class, race or religion, and the first to welcome women on equal terms with men. This same radical spirit thrives today.  

They are now ranked seventh in the world by the Times Higher – QS World University Rankings, and their publications in clinical medicine attract more citations from fellow researchers than any other university outside North America. [web site].

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UCL Institute of Neurology

The Institute of Neurology was established in 1950 as one of the federated Institutes of the British Postgraduate Medical Federation of the University of London. In August 1995, following the recommendations of the Tomlinson Report, the Institute affiliated with University College London, and formally merged with the College in August 1997.

The Institute has retained and developed its close links with the adjacent National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, The Institute of Neurology at Queen Square, and provides teaching and research of the highest quality in neurology and the neurosciences. [web site].

UCL Neuroscience

UCL Neuroscience brings together all UCL neuroscientists to tackle the most important questions about how the nervous system works. Across seven themes, they seek to make fundamental discoveries about brain function and behaviour, to teach and train the next generation of scientists and clinicians, and to transform their ability to diagnose and treat neurological and psychiatric disease. [web site].

Dementia Research Centre

The Dementia Research Centre, based at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, is one of the UK's leading centres for clinical research into dementia, and the hospital is the lead centre for trialling new drugs to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease (which causes the majority of dementia). The Dementia Research Centre is part of the Department of Neurodegenerative Disease at the UCL Institute of Neurology. [web site]

National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery

The NHNN is a leading centre for the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with a wide range of neurological conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, stroke and head injuries. With its neighbour, the Institute of Neurology, it is a major international centre for research and training. The NHNN provides comprehensive neurology and neurosurgery services for our other hospitals, including an acute brain injury unit, the national prion clinic and a neurorehabilitation unit. [web site].

Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research

The primary goal of the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research is to conduct research into the health problems of the people of Papua New Guinea. The ultimate aim of all the Institute's research program is to provide effective interventions, leading to improvements in people's health and the control and prevention of disease. [web site].

National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR)

NIMR is a research institute dedicated to studying important questions about the life processes that are relevant to all aspects of health. [web site].

Department of Health

The Department of Healths Communicable Diseases Branch, with independent advisory committees, develops policies to monitor, prevent and control a wide range of infectious diseases including CJD. [web site]

The National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Unit (NCJDSU)

The incidence of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is monitored in the UK by the National CJD Surveillance Unit (NCJDSU) based at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Unit brings together a team of clinical neurologists, neuropathologists and scientists specialising in the investigation of this disease. [web site]


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D-Gen Ltd is an academic spin-out company launched from Imperial College in May 2000, shortly after the establishment of the MRC Prion Unit. The academic founders (including Professors John Collinge and Tony Clarke and Drs Graham Jackson and Jon Wadsworth) are continuing their research careers within the MRC Prion Unit. D-Gen Ltd’s business strategy is to develop and market preventions, diagnostics and treatments for prion disease. The intellectual property portfolio includes patents that protect recombinant ß-PrP and it various uses. The shareholders include Imperial College, the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and the scientific founders. [web site]

National and international networks in which the Unit participates

Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre - Neurodegeneration theme.

The neurodegeneration theme is focused on the following aims:

  1. Improved early diagnosis in neurodegenerative disease, including pre-clinical detection of disease activity, crucial for effective therapeutic intervention and disease prevention

  2. Molecular classification and rapid differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease

  3. Development and evaluation of symptomatic and disease-modifying therapies

For more information click on the following link. [web site]

The Dementias & Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network (DeNDRoN)

The Dementias & Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network (DeNDRoN) provides a world-class health service infrastructure to support clinical research and remove barriers to its conduct. The aim of the Network is to facilitate  research by bringing about focused, effective investment to enhance NHS research infrastructure, and to increase collaborative working between academics, clinicians, patients, carers and research funders. [web site]


The NeuroPrion website has been especially designed for videos and aims to:

  1. Explain to the general public what are prions and other related diseases.

  2. Present the NeuroPrion Network and its resources.

  3. Facilitate the partnerships with industrials and other research institutes.

For more information click on the following link. [web site]

MRC Prion News