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Sydney Dementia Network

A co-operative effort to accelerate dementia research and care

A network of dementia researchers, clinicians and carers collaboratively working towards reducing the burden of dementia within NSW.

The Sydney Dementia Network, launched in 2018, seeks to unite dementia researchers, clinicians, carers and patients to accelerate the focus on dementia research within NSW. Led by Professors Glenda HallidaySharon Naismith, Clement Loy and Dr Fiona Kumfor, the Network has progressed to ensure improved outcomes for patients while providing opportunities and resources from researchers and clinicians across NSW in prevention, treatment and care of dementia.

Our work includes collaborations with key researchers, clinicians, health organisations and government bodies to discuss current research efforts, the future of dementia in NSW and workshop how to improve outcomes. Below are some of our collaborations, events and initiatives from the Network so far. 

SDN activities and events

The SDN will again host an EMCR Grant workshop whereby participating EMCR’s can pitch their Investigator Grant application for the upcoming submission round to a panel of senior researchers within the Network for feedback. We urge all submitting to take advantage of this opportunity to receive constructive assistance in optimising your application for success. Details of this session are below:

Details of Sydney Dementia Network Grant Workshop

  • What: A 5-10 minute grant proposal pitch to a panel of senior academics with NHMRC panel experience and feedback on a condensed 1-page proposal.
  • When: 1-5 PM, Wednesday 9th October 
  • Where: Room 301, Level 3, Building F, Brain and Mind Centre, 94 Mallett Street, Camperdown, 2050

Also, please be aware of the additional opportunities afforded by the MRFF Funded Investigator Grant Round, details below:

  • Applications made through NHMRC Investigator Grant process
  • EMCR only, 10 years post-PhD or equivalent (EL1 or EL2)
  • Research must contribute to one of the 11 MRFF Priority areas including; Million Minds Mission, Ageing, Aged Care and Dementia Mission, Brain Cancer Mission and Traumatic Brain Injury Mission.

The full guidelines are available on GrantConnect.

  • The SDN launched on November 9th 2018, with discussions surrounding current research efforts within dementia across the translational research spectrum. Speakers included Janice Besch from the NNIDR, a keynote address from Prof Lee-Fay Low, presentations from dementia-focused EMCRs and a public lecture from Prof John Hodges to close. The second meeting was held 13 November 2019. 
  • The Sydney Dementia Network and Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) recently met to discuss future ways to better collaborate and pool resources to capitalise on research synergies and ensure patients receive the best care, both in the health system and within clinical trials. 
  • A mapping exercise has been completed of all dementia researchers at the University, with a mapping exercise of clinicians in dementia care within SLHD currently progressing and a follow-up roundtable with the SLHD planned for the coming months.
  • In ensuring reach across the various Local Health Districts within NSW, the SDN is looking at opportunities within Westmead to develop a cohesive dementia strategy. The SDN is planning to hold a roundtable at the Westmead Hospital precinct in August 2019. This will be a great opportunity to meet with Westmead-based clinicians, with the aim to develop new lines to collaboration and extend the presence of the SDN as a whole.

A breakfast, in honour of Prof. Carol Brayne's visit, was held at NeuRA in which researchers from the Sydney Dementia Network attended. Topics of discussion on the day were varied but included the following:

  • Latest research on global prevalence of dementia with special notes smaller countries that stigmatise dementia, with a preference to deny the condition.
  • Risk and protective factors of dementia during the life course and how lifestyle factors, i.e. social engagement, can help in prevention.
  • The significance of Neuropathology and how diagnosis criteria remains a moving field.
  • The importance of strategic funding towards large cohort studies in multicultural Australia to improve dementia research.
  • The Sydney Dementia Network are making available travel grants to offset costs related to attendance of dementia-related conferences such as NNIDR and AAIC. 
  • Each grant is valued up to $500 and will be made available to all EMCR's (up to 10 years postdoctoral) currently within the Sydney Dementia Network membership and who have previously not been awarded funds towards attendance. 
  • Dr Cynthia Forlini was successful in her application for a $500 travel grant from the SDN, going towards her attendance at the NNIDR Australia Dementia Forum in Hobart.
  • "Thanks to the generous travel grant from the Sydney Dementia Network I attended the NNIDR Australian Dementia Forum 2019 in Hobart and delivered an invited talk during the Dementia Ethics Symposium at The University of Tasmania. I showcased brand new research on dementia consumer perspectives and had the opportunity to learn about cutting edge ideas in the fields of dementia detection, treatment and care from colleagues across Australia," Dr Cynthia Forlini.
  • To be short-listed, please send an abstract, employing institution and conference details, as well as any additional enquiries to the SDN mailbox.

Upcoming events

  • 26-28 August 2019: Australian Biology of Ageing Conference, Camperdown, 9am 
  • 25-27 September 2019: Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) satellite meeting, Sydney
  • September 2019: SDN EMCR Grant/Fellowship Workshop, Brain and Mind Centre, Time TBC
  • 15 October 2019: Westmead Roundtable, 10am-12pm 
  • 13 November 2019: SDN Annual Conference, University of Sydney Camperdown, 12pm - 5pm 
  • 14-15 October 2019: The International Research Network on Dementia Prevention (IRNDP) Forum, Sydney
  • 22 November 2019: Brain and Mind Centre Symposium, Abercrombie Business School, Sydney, 8am

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