The Medical Research Council Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders
at King’s College London opened in November 2016, and is directed by Professor Oscar Marín. The Centre brings together world leading researchers across King’s College London with the mission to identify the biological mechanisms underlying developmental brain disorders, with the ultimate goal of translating this knowledge into clinical advances that change the lives of all those affected.
Brain disorders account for one of the greatest burdens of disease in the developed world, yet patients are not receiving appropriate help. In addition, current treatments are based on symptoms, are not disease modifying, and the response rate is 50% at best. This is particularly true for brain disorders with a neurodevelopmental origin, a broad spectrum of neurological and psychiatric diseases that includes epilepsy, ASD and schizophrenia. Fighting developmental brain disorders will require a close integration of advances in clinical psychiatry and fundamental neuroscience.
The MRC Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders operates over King’s College London Guy’s, Denmark Hill and St Thomas’ campuses, bringing together an enormous collection of talent, resources and facilities that will advance our understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders. Our research will focus on epilepsy, ASD and schizophrenia, three large groups of disorders that are essentially caused by abnormal brain development. These are all diseases of high prevalence, which cause a long-term (and often life-long) burden, and are very difficult to treat.
Our scientific strategy is built around five research themes: three pillars that follow conventional clinical definitions (epilepsy, ASD and schizophrenia), and two transversal activities (cross cutting mechanisms and technological platforms) aimed at dissolving the boundaries that currently exist between the clinical entities and prevent a deeper understanding of underlying disease mechanisms. The new Centre will also nurture the next generation of world-leading scientists, able to work at the interface between fundamental science and clinical research. Together, we will create new opportunities for research in areas that are relatively underdeveloped, and coordinate our efforts with other leading Centres across the nation to seek novel solutions for our patients.
An external independent Advisory Board of distinguished scientists will be appointed to oversee the Centre's research strategy and review the Centre’s work.