Professor Paul Francis
Professor of Neurochemistry
Paul was recently appointed on a fixed-term contract of one year in the first instance at 20% FTE. He will work with staff at Exeter to support extending their work to include human translational research in the field of neurodegeneration, particularly related to dementia. Paul also has a number of existing collaborations with colleagues in Exeter that will hopefully develop further during the period of his appointment. Paul maintains a further 20% FTE at King’s College London.
Paul’s primary research interest is the neurochemistry of dementia and in particular the contributions of brain chemistry to cognitive and non-cognitive symptoms.
For 10 years between 2008 and 2018 Paul was the director of a major initiative in the area of brain donation by people with and without dementia. Brains for Dementia Research was (and is) funded by the leading dementia charities, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK. This project has around 3,200 participants and there have been ~800 deaths, including over 180 who were cognitively normal at death. The standardized assessment of cognition mood and behavior, along with medical history and lifestyle information, provides an unrivalled source for studies of dementia. Collaboration with colleagues at the University of Exeter is adding value to this massive dataset (~10,000 assessments collected at regular intervals from the cohort, extensive genotypic data and research-level neuropathological data from the deceased) through epigenetic analysis of the deceased.
All data from this study is available to researchers through the MRC UK Brain Bank website and the DPUK platform.