Meet The Team

Meet our Defying Dementia team at Lancaster University who are fundraising for, and carrying out this important research into neurodegenerative diseases.

Professor David Allsop was the first scientist to investigate the link between ‘senile plaques’ in the brain and patients with Alzheimer's disease. He has been researching further into how Alzheimer's disease is initiated, developed and progressed in the brain ever since. He has developed a drug that blocks the formation of these 'senile plaques' in the brain which leads to Alzheimer's disease. A North West based Clinical Research Organisation (MAC PLC) have agreed to progress this treatment towards human clinical trials, and although this is good news indeed, there are still a lot of experiments that need completing, for example to determine how to deliver the drug, and to look at its safety profile which is why we are fundraising for this project.

Professor Christian Holscher looks at how we can use existing treatments for brain diseases, such as Liraglutide for patients with Alzheimer's disease. He also conducts research into Parkinson's disease and Motor Neurone disease. Professor Holsher is currently carrying out a clinical trial to test whether a drug that is already on the market for a different use can help people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Ed Parkin focuses on how the small protein fragments that kill nerve cells in the brain are produced in Alzheimer's disease.

Dr Neil Dawson investigates how genetic and environmental risk factors for psychiatric and neurodegenerative disease impact on brain functioning, behaviour and cognition. He also studies how brain imaging can give us a greater insight into brain diseases.


Dr Penny Foulds is the Defying Dementia campaign founder! She completed her first degree at Lancaster and then qualified as a secondary school science teacher. She came back to Lancaster and studied for her PhD with Prof Allsop. She has a personal experience with the effects of neurodegenerative diseases and now works for MAC Clinical Research.

Rachel Binley is the Alumni and Friends Engagement Manager (Fundraising) at Lancaster University. She graduated from Lancaster University with a degree in music in 2003.

Laura Slater manages the Defying Dementia campaign. She graduated from Lancaster University in 2014 with a degree in History and has been a fundraiser for the University ever since.

Leah Derbyshire is a student studying English at Lancaster University. She has a personal experience with dementia (she lost her grandad to the disease) and works as an assistant for the Defying Dementia campaign.