View our latest newsletter

December 2021

RAD is delighted to provide this update on a very busy and exciting six-month period. Our thanks to all our supporters in the Race Against Dementia.

Royal Patron

RAD is thrilled that Her Royal Highness, the Countess of Wessex has agreed to be our Royal Patron. You can read the full announcement here.


New RAD Fellows

On 21 September, World Alzheimer’s Day, Sir Jackie announced on Good Morning Britain, that RAD has awarded a further £2 million in grants to appoint four new RAD Fellows. RAD is now funding ten Early Career Researchers based in the UK, Europe, the US and Australia. The new RAD Fellows are pictured below.

Dr Emily Lane-Hill of University of Warwick has been appointed as the Race Against Dementia – Barbara Naylor Charitable Trust Fellow, in recognition of the support given by one of RAD’s funders. Dr Lane-Hill will unpick the molecular effects of tau tangles – knots of protein that build up in Alzheimer’s disease and affect nerve cells in a variety of different ways.

Dr Aitana Sogorb Esteve who is working at University College London will explore how nerve cell connections in the brain change in frontotemporal dementia (FTD). These changes are the direct cause of FTD symptoms such as communication problems and personality shifts. Dr Sogorb Esteve hopes to reveal new insights into these processes and develop blood test techniques to measure damage to nerve cell connections in FTD.

Dr Maura Malpetti of University of Cambridge is focused on clarifying the role of inflammation in FTD. Harmful over-activity of the brain’s own immune system plays an important role in diseases that cause dementia. Dr Malpetti will use blood tests and brain scans to measure inflammation and explore the potential of brain inflammation as a marker that could help improve the diagnosis of FTD.

Dr Wiola Zelek working at Cardiff University will develop and test potential drugs that could prevent the potentially harmful aspect of brain inflammation. As inflammation is usually a protective process in the brain, Dr Zelek will focus on chemicals that only target a specific element of this defence mechanism, while leaving beneficial processes intact.

You can read more about their appointment and their respective research projects here and watch the full Good Morning Britain interview with Sir Jackie and Dr Emily Lane-Hill here.

Injecting F1 Attitude – the RAD Leadership Development Programme

Our new RAD Fellows visited Red Bull Racing  and McLaren, alongside Sir Jackie, to see first-hand how dementia research can benefit from this type of  fast paced, innovative and collaborative environment. As Sir Jackie has previously mentioned, F1 has faster problem-solving than anywhere else in the world.

The RAD Fellows also met, both remotely and in person, to exchange ideas on each other’s research projects as well as to enhance their understanding of self and others through sessions led by Dr Penny Moyle. If you would like to read more about the Leadership Programme, you can read the first year review and find information on some of our training partners here.

Race Against Dementia Update

RAD invited its new Royal Patron, principal supporters, Trustees, Ambassadors and RAD Fellows to RAD’s update, held at the Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall, London on 21st October.


RAD Fellows, Dr Cara Croft, Dr Claire Durrant and Dr Christy Hung alongside Dr Penny Moyle (the RAD Fellows Leadership Programme Consultant) presented updates on their work and explained how they had benefitted from the RAD Leadership Development Programme. The new RAD Fellows were also introduced.

This was followed by RAD’s two Scientific Advisors, Prof Siddharthan Chandran from Edinburgh and Prof Philip Scheltens from Amsterdam, presenting on the future of dementia research and the new RAD initiative planned between the University of Edinburgh and the Alzheimers Center, Amsterdam.

The afternoon was extremely informative and well received by all attendees. RAD was delighted that HRH The Countess of Wessex was able to attend and meet, among others, the trustees, the RAD Fellows and RAD’s Scientific Advisors.

You can read more about the event and watch the full presentations here.

Race Against Dementia Seed Grant

Following the announcement of the RAD Seed Grant at RAD’s Innovation Accelerator earlier this year, RAD was  delighted with the number, creativity and collaborative nature of the applications received.

The recipients of the £20,000 grant, decided on by Prof Siddharthan Chandran and Prof Philip Scheltens, are the members of team TDR led by Dr Michele Veldsman of University of Oxford and Dr Hugo Fernandes of University of Cambridge. The grant will fund the pilot of their social enterprise scheme Transform Dementia Research.

TDR will consult the world leading experts on dementia research, find the most important scientific problems to answer in order to make real breakthroughs and put together cross-discipline, cross-industry teams to find solutions.

Read further information on their venture and keep up to date with their progress here.


In the last six months, RAD’s amazing supporters have raised nearly £250,000 to fund current and future research initiatives.

RAD is delighted to be the charity partner for Goodwood Festival of Speed 2022.

The Sir Jackie Stewart Classic – presented by Rolex, will take place at Thirlestane Castle on 18th and 19th June. This is an event not to be missed for all lovers of Scottish motorsport. Read more here.

Would you like to know more about RAD and its work?

If so, please contact For the latest news, updates or to donate please follow us on our website and on social media @racingdementia.