The MRC has awarded £3 million to King’s College London for a world-class centre that will aim to transform our understanding of disease mechanisms underlying brain disorders, and translate this knowledge into clinical advances that change people’s lives. The MRC Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders will benefit from the unique convergence of renowned leaders from multiple disciplines, including neonatology, neurology, psychiatry, neuroscience, genetics, stem cells and imaging technology. Drawing on expertise from eight different departments at King’s, the Centre will focus on three large groups of disorders that are thought to be caused by abnormal brain development - epilepsy, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia.
The new Centre had its inaugural launch event on 22 November at the Maughan Library, King’s College London. Principal Ed Byrne welcomed the audience, expressing the exciting achievement for King’s, and emphasised that research into neurodevelopmental disorders is a priority for the university. Professor Oscar Marín gave an overview of the Centre's goals and main objectives, and Sir John Savill, CEO of the MRC, stressed the importance of research on neurodevelopmental disorders. He highlighted how this new Centre embodies the MRC’s strategic plan, noting that the teams were, “going to bring the power of neuroscience to address very important disorders”.
Sir Robert Lechler offered closing remarks, emphasising that the new Centre will enable a closer collaboration between basic and clinical research in neuroscience at the university. He said “I’m particularly excited about bringing the strengths of King’s in this new Centre”.
The event was attended by several researchers from King’s and other Universities, including representatives from the main Autism and Epilepsy charities, such as Autistica, Epilepsy Action and the National Autistic Society, among others.