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Defying Dementia

Raising funds and awareness of Lancaster University's research into Alzheimer's Disease

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In Memory of Professor David Allsop

It is with great sadness that Defying Dementia announces the death of Professor David Allsop, who died on 8th March 2021.

David’s research was in the field of neurodegenerative diseases and he was particularly interested in investigating the pathological consequences of misfolded proteins in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. David made seminal contributions to this field and was a pioneer of the Defying Dementia campaign.

David was enormously popular among those he taught, his enthusiasm and quality of research-led teaching will live long in the memory of those he taught.

We extend sincere condolences to his wife Jane, his children Rachel, Ben and Celia, grandchildren Oliver and Louis and all members of his family.

The Defying Dementia Campaign

The importance of Defying Dementia

This powerful video explains why our Alzheimer's drug MUST be developed. Please look below to find out more about the campaign and the fantastic work that it is doing.

Our Research

Prior to David Allsop’s passing, his research group at Lancaster University had been developing a way of treating Alzheimer’s. The condition is caused by the accumulation of ‘clumps’ of poisonous protein fragments in the brain that kill nerve cells. These clumps are formed mainly from two sticky proteins called ‘amyloid beta’ and ‘tau’. David initially developed a drug that could stop/slow down the formation of amyloid beta clumps and was working on developing it further to stop the formation of tau clumps. Essentially, the drugs work by sticking many copies of another protein fragment, similar to the ones in the poisonous clumps, to the surface of tiny fat droplets called liposomes. The liposomes help get the protein fragments into the brain where the latter insert themselves into the toxic clumps and cause them to dissolve.

As a group of neurodegeneration scientists at Lancaster University, we wish to see David’s research legacy continued and, at the same time, develop it further to incorporate additional aspects of our own research with the overarching aim of developing a drug effective against Alzheimer’s. Neil Dawson worked closely with David and is developing ways of combining his drugs into a single treatment that simultaneously reduces both amyloid beta and tau clumps in the brain. Cheryl Hawkes works on ways of improving communication between nerve cells in the brain and improving blood supply to the organ, both of which are important in the prevention of Alzheimer’s. Finally, Edward Parkin is looking at ways of using gene therapy to increase levels of proteins in the brain that protect against the development of Alzheimer’s and potentially incorporating these drugs into the centre of the fat droplets in David’s drugs in order to develop combination therapies against the disease.

Collectively, we form a strong research team passionate about continuing the development of a drug that has the potential to slow down, or even stop the progression of this devastating disease. With your help, our research will contribute to making this possible!

Defying Dementia Research Team
Top Left: Dr Edward Parkin Top Right: Dr Cheryl Hawkes Bottom Left: Dr Neil Dawson


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