Race Against Dementia continues to fuel new Australian research

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Racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart OBE’s Race Against Dementia charity and the Dementia Australia Research Foundation have today announced this year’s recipient of the ‘Race Against Dementia – Dementia Australia Research Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship’ programme.

Dr Karissa Barthelson from the University of Adelaide will receive an award valued at $405,000 AUD in total, over three years, which will cover salary and project expenses to explore the similarities between adult and childhood-onset dementias. 

Sir Jackie, a Dementia Australia Patron, said he was delighted to announce the recipient in partnership with the Dementia Australia Research Foundation, as a demonstration of Race Against Dementia’s global commitment to funding early-career dementia researchers.

“I am so delighted that we have been able to appoint another talented Australian scientist to help in our race against dementia,” Sir Jackie said. 

“Karissa’s research is interesting and different. We desperately need innovative ways of looking at dementia – so Race Against Dementia is delighted to support her.  

“I am really looking forward to coming to Australia in April when I hope to meet up with our three Race Against Dementia – Dementia Australia Research Foundation fellows in person.”   

The Chair of the Dementia Australia Research Foundation, Professor Graeme Samuel AC, congratulated Dr Barthelson and all the successful 2021 grant recipients.

“This fellowship forms part of the Dementia Australia Research Foundation 2021 Dementia Grants Program, with more than $4.5 million in fellowship and project grant funding awarded to early and mid-career researchers,” Professor Samuel said.

“The diversity of projects selected points to a very exciting future for dementia research. With dementia affecting almost 50 million people worldwide and someone in the world developing dementia every three seconds, research into dementia is now more urgent than ever. I look forward to seeing the outcomes of this research. 

“We acknowledge Race Against Dementia, the NHMRC Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration and all our partners and donors for their generous support of this research.”

View the full list of grant recipients here.

The Dementia Australia Research Foundation is the research arm of Dementia Australia, which provides funding to support new and emerging dementia researchers. In 2021, $4.5 million in funding was allocated to support Project and Pilot Grants and Post-doctoral and Mid-career Research Fellowships (Dementia Grants Program – Round 1). Details of funding opportunities are available at www.dementia.org.au/research/grants.

Race Against Dementia (RAD) is a registered charity in England and Wales (1165559), founded by Sir Jackie Stewart, OBE. Race Against Dementia raises and allocates monies to research into a prevention or cure for dementia, and currently funds and supports ten post-doctoral early career dementia researchers through the RAD Fellowship Programme. RAD encourages collaboration with forward-thinking teams in Formula One, as well as other innovative organisations, to bring the dynamic attitude, dedication and agility of Grand Prix teamwork to drive results in dementia research. 

The Race Against Dementia Fellowship Programme provides both funding and outstanding development opportunities for early career dementia scientists. 

To find out more about Race Against Dementia or to donate please go to raceagainstdementia.com or follow @racingdementia.

Contact: Bridget Barker, CEO, Race Against Dementia [email protected]


Media contacts: Sarah Richards, Media & Communications Advisor, 0448 341 628, [email protected]

When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia-Friendly Language Guidelines.