Research to improve understanding of the experience of living with dementia and all aspects of dementia care and caring

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Katie Gambier-Ross

Katie Gambier-Ross is a final year PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. Her current research is funded by the Alzheimer's Society UK and focuses on the everyday lives of people with dementia and the decision-making they (and others) go through when 'going out' and during the potential or actual experiences of being missing. Through discussion groups and walking interviews with people with dementia, she explores how these experiences affect people's sense of identity, purpose, control over their own lives, independence and safety. The findings will be relevant for a range of stakeholders and specifically intend to inform prevention and response strategies deeply informed by the voice of people affected by dementia. More widely, it aims to support people with dementia to live independently in a safe and supportive environment. 

In addition to her PhD, Katie tutors on undergraduate and postgraduate courses covering research methods and theoretical underpinnings of health and social science research. She has worked as a research assistant on a range of projects and is heavily involved in research and science communication communities. In 2019, she was a postgraduate representative for Scottish Institute for Policing Research, has been on the organising committee for several conferences and co-founded the International Consortium for Dementia and Wayfinding.

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Dr Lucy Stirland

Lucy is a psychiatrist undertaking specialist training in the care of older people. She is also a researcher, having completed a PhD in epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh in 2020.


Lucy's research focuses on people who have many co-existing illnesses, particularly those with a mental illness or dementia. She studies the relationships between these conditions using data both from research studies and from the NHS. In her clinical work, Lucy assesses and treats older people with dementia and mental illnesses in the community and in hospital.





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Linda Nicholson

Linda is a lecturer in applied life sciences at the University of the Highlands and Islands,


Linda is studying a PhD in Nursing at the University of Dundee investigating person-centred care for older people with dementia. She is currently looking at the formal care of people with dementia living at home to understand how far current practices align with person-centred care principles.




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Dr Norman Alm

Norman is an Honorary Research Fellow in Computing at Dundee University. His most recent research areas are computer-based communication support for people with dementia and their carers and computer-based games usable by people with dementia.


Norman was part of a multidisciplinary group that developed CIRCA, a system for supported reminiscence conversations for people with dementia. The same group also developed the Living in the Moment (LIM) games, which were playable without the need for working memory.  CIRCA and LIM were taken to the market through a spin-out company. 


The BBC RemArc (Reminiscence Archive) system was inspired by CIRCA. 


Currently Norman is advising on a project to explore the use of ambient everyday sounds to stimulate reminiscence conversations in people with dementia.

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Dr Martin Quirke

Martin is a chartered architect and researcher who specialises in design for age-related health, physical and cognitive impairment.

Based within the University of Stirling's internationally renowned Dementia Services Development Centre, Martin is part of the multi-disciplinary design team that provides research informed professional design consultancy and design review services. He is an approved building assessor for the University of Stirling Dementia Design Accreditation scheme (aka the 'Stirling Gold Award')

Martin is environment lead for 'Our Connected Neighbourhoods', a pilot dementia friendly neighbourhoods research project funded by Life Changes Trust. The project focusses on supporting local people living with dementia to undertake assessments and share their experiences of local places in the Stirling North and Forth Valley areas.

Martin is a founding co-developer, along with DSDC Chief Architect Lesley Palmer, of the IRIDIS project, a revolutionary suite of publicly available digital technologies, to support research evidence based design that improves the independence and wellbeing of people with dementia, sight loss, and other age related impairments.

Martin's doctoral research project, carried out through the University of Newcastle, Australia, rated the suitability of building layouts in Australian and international care settings for supporting the independence and wellbeing of people living with dementia.

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Professor John Swinton

John is Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care and Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen.


For more than a decade John worked as a registered mental health nurse. He also worked for a number of years as a hospital and community mental health chaplain. In 2004, he founded the University of Aberdeen’s Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability.


John’s particular area of research is in spirituality and dementia. He has published widely in this area including his award winning book Dementia: Living in the memories of God. 







Research to discover or improve methods to allow neurodegenerative diseases to be detected earlier and more accurately.



The foundation for the development of 

effective treatments for neurodegenerative diseases

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Focussing on the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases and their progression to develop symptoms as observed in dementia



Coordinated approach to integrate neurodegenerative diseases data from all real world clinical and research sources  across Scotland