National dementia research charity Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) has appointed UCL Professor Jonathan Schott as the charity’s first ever Chief Medical Officer (CMO).
In this new part-time position at the charity, Professor Schott will play a pivotal role supporting and shaping ongoing research, policy, advocacy and strategy work.
He will work closely with ARUK’s Senior Leadership team including the Board of Trustees to help deliver life-changing dementia research.
Professor Schott will continue in his current roles as Professor of Neurology at the UCL Dementia Research Centre, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and as an Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square. His time working within the NHS is spent running a busy cognitive disorders service with an emphasis on young onset and unusual dementias.
Professor Schott’s research focuses on how clinical assessment, brain imaging, and markers of disease can be combined to help spot the early signs of diseases like Alzheimer’s in the brain before dementia symptoms show.
His work leading ARUK’s landmark Insight 46 study using the Medical Research Council’s UCL-based National Survey of Health and Development British 1946 Birth Cohort, will continue alongside his duties as the charity’s new CMO.
Professor Schott will be well positioned to help shape ARUK’s emerging priority areas, developing new tools to improve the very early identification of diseases like Alzheimer’s and ensuring swift access to any new life-changing treatments within the NHS.
With a recent announcement of a potential new Alzheimer’s drug, aducanumab, showing promising results in a phase III clinical trial, there has never been greater urgency to improve how we diagnose diseases like Alzheimer’s early and ensure the NHS is ready to bring new treatment breakthroughs to patients.
Professor Schott said: "In my new role as Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Chief Medical Officer, I will help drive the charity’s excellent research agenda with a focus on making sure findings from basic science are moved forward to benefit patients as quickly as possible.
"I am honoured to take up the position and have the opportunity to work with an inspiring group of people, who are committed, as I am, to undertake research to help those affected by, and at risk of, dementia.
" I hope that my experience as a clinician seeing patients with a range of dementias and as a researcher leading large patient-focussed studies, will allow me to help deliver further success for the charity, its supporters and those affected by dementia."
Ian Wilson, Chief Executive of ARUK said: "We are excited to welcome Prof Jonathan Schott, a leading researcher and neurologist, as Alzheimer’s Research UK’s new Chief Medical Officer. Prof Schott’s expertise in clinical research, patient insight and ongoing policy work is hugely valuable and will be key in ensuring our research strategy has the greatest possible impact on the lives of people living with dementia."