Former prime minister David Cameron visits Cambridge to champion dementia battle
PUBLISHED: 10:34 25 January 2017 | UPDATED: 12:40 25 January 2017
The former PM is the new president of Alzheimer’s Research UK
Former Prime Minister David Cameron visited Cambridge today after taking on the role of president of the Alzheimer’s Research UK charity.
Mr Cameron paid a visit to the Cambridge Drug Discovery Institute to kick-start a drive to deliver major improvements in care and research.
The former PM also visited the charity’s offices in Cambridge, and while on a tour of the institute, heard from scientists who are working to fast-track promising research breakthroughs into new treatments for people with dementia.
He said: “Tackling dementia was a major focus while I was Prime Minister, and although improvements in attention and research innovation have been rapid, it remains one of our greatest health challenges.
“So I’m delighted to take up the Presidency of Alzheimer’s Research UK, an ambitious charity driving medical research to fight this devastating condition. As well as being a world-leading research organisation, the charity is also fighting the misconceptions of dementia that persist in society. Dementia is not inevitable and research is our greatest weapon against it.
“I’m committed to helping Alzheimer’s Research UK transform the lives of those affected by this life-shattering condition.”
Welcoming Mr Cameron’s appointment, Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “David Cameron joins Alzheimer’s Research UK as our President to continue a mission he instigated through the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge: to go further and faster in our research to combat the condition. As a world leader, Mr Cameron has done more than any other to put dementia on the global agenda, driving an ambition shared by all G7 nations to find a disease-modifying treatment by 2025.
“Alzheimer’s Research UK is a hugely ambitious and growing charity, uniquely set-up to tackle our greatest medical challenge. We have a clear focus on pioneering research, working with leading scientists across the UK and the world. We are committed to bringing together the brightest minds and most innovative ideas in powerful collaborations that reach breakthroughs faster. David Cameron’s support of our work will help us continue our positive growth and further bolster our research efforts, through which we will end the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.”
Mr Cameron was a big supporter of the battle against dementia while in office, once calling it “one of the biggest challenges we face.”
In 2013, Mr Cameron helped drive dementia further up the agenda on the world stage by using the UK’s presidency of the G8 to shine a light on the condition, precipitating an international ambition to find a disease modifying treatment by 2025. At a G7 legacy event in London in 2014, Mr Cameron launched Alzheimer’s Research UK’s ambitious five-year £100m Defeat Dementia fundraising campaign as part of a showcase of the UK’s lead role in dementia science.
Alzheimer’s Research UK is one of the fastest growing medical research charities in the country, with a current £33m portfolio of projects underway at leading universities in the UK and around the world.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, and with a research legacy of £80m across over 650 projects, the charity is at the forefront of global dementia research efforts.