Sir Jackie Stewart’s Race Against Dementia fuels 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 the inaugural recipients of the ‘Race Against Dementia – Dementia Australia Research Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship’ programme.

Dr Adekunle Bademosi from The University of Queensland and Dr Andrew McKinnon from The University of Sydney will each receive an award valued at $405,000 AUD in total, over three years, which will cover salary and project expenses. 

Dr Bademosi’s research will explore how and why frontotemporal dementia begins by using advanced imaging tools that have resolutions up to ten million times that of a standard digital camera. The results obtained will help scientists to produce drugs that target frontotemporal dementia.

Dr McKinnon’s research will comprehensively characterise sleep problems in older adults with early dementia or those at risk for dementia. This will include developing tools for clinicians to guide strategies for dementia management and prevention for individual patients.

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

“Congratulations to Dr Bademosi and Dr McKinnon on being chosen from more than 40 high quality applications,” Sir Jackie said.

“Race Against Dementia is building an international team of dementia scientists, who not only have their research funded, but also benefit from developmental opportunities, inspired by best practice in Formula 1 technology from both McLaren F1 and Red Bull Racing as well as other high tech commercial enterprises. My wife, Helen, was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2014, and ever since then I have devoted my efforts globally to raise funds and stimulate breakthroughs and innovations in dementia research.

“I hope this award assists the recipients, and the research community more broadly, to apply a ‘Formula 1 attitude’ to work faster and smarter and continue to make breakthroughs in the prevention and treatment of dementia.” 

The Chair of the Dementia Australia Research Foundation, Professor Graeme Samuel AC, congratulated the recipients for their commitment to 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,” Professor Samuel said.

“We are delighted to launch this joint fellowship with Race Against Dementia, powered by Sir Jackie’s vision and commitment to dementia research.

“These fellowships form part of the Dementia Australia Research Foundation’s 2020 grant round, with more than $1.7 million in funding on offer for early-career researchers.

“This is an incredibly valuable initiative, and we are excited to be joining Race Against Dementia’s international network of early-career researchers. I look forward to seeing the outcomes of the research.”

The Post-doctoral Fellowships in Australia will become the third major Race Against Dementia fellowship programme alongside Alzheimer’s Research UK and The Mayo Clinic, USA.

More information can be found here.

The Dementia Australia Research Foundation is the research arm of Dementia Australia, which provides funding to support new and emerging dementia researchers. In 2020, $1.7 million in funding was allocated to support Post-doctoral Fellowships and Project Grants (outcomes yet to be announced). Details of funding opportunities are available at www.dementia.org.au/research/grants.

Race Against Dementia is a registered charity in England and Wales (1165559), founded by Sir Jackie Stewart, OBE. The Race Against Dementia Fellowship Programme provides both funding and outstanding development opportunities for early career dementia scientists. 

You can find out more about all the current RAD Fellows here: https://www.raceagainstdementia.com/fellowship/

In the Memories series, Race Against Dementia brings you interviews with Sir Jackie and his illustrious friends sharing their memories . For latest updates follow us @racingdementia

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Media contacts: Gabrielle Prabhu Media & Communications Manager 0447 253 583 [email protected]   

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