Furthering research into neurodegenerative disease

Furthering research into neurodegenerative disease

  • PhD student and representatives from the Masonic Charitable Foundation

Cambridgeshire freemasons discover how support from the Masonic Charitable Foundation is helping dementia patients

Cambridgeshire freemasons Drs Bharat Khetani and Nigel Williams recently visited the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge to meet PhD students Sarah Shipley and Annabel Curle and observe their research into neurodegenerative disease. This research has benefitted from a donation from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) Cambridge Scholarships, facilitated by the Cambridge Trust, which has provided over £200,000 of funding to bring these talented students to Cambridge.

Bharat and Nigel, both GPs in the north of the county, were especially interested in the technology used in the labs and the potential impact of the work in medical practice. They were accompanied by freemason Mark Shields, who is coordinating Cambridgeshire freemasons’ Festival 2023 which aims to raise nearly £1,000,000 for the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

Sarah, who took up her place at Cambridge in 2019, said “I am enormously grateful to the Foundation for their support. Understanding how and why memory consolidation changes in Alzheimer’s disease, could open the door for future research into targeted treatment of memory-related symptoms. Working in Cambridge offers a unique potential for research in this area.”

"Degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease take a devastating toll on victims and their families, and place a huge economic cost on society. The work taking place in Cambridge, under leading academics including Professor Rik Henson, has the potential to be truly transformative. We’re making great progress, but there remains a great deal to do. Support from donors such as the Masonic Charitable Foundation in helping us to bring the best young scientists here is invaluable."

Professor David Rubinsztein, Deputy Director of the Cambridge Institute of Medical Research

The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) is one of the largest grant-making charities in the country. Funded entirely through the generosity of Freemasons and their families, the MCF awards millions of pounds each year to local and national charities that help vulnerable people, advance medical research and provide opportunities for young people. The MCF also helps to fund vital services such as hospices and air ambulances and regularly contributes to worldwide appeals for disaster relief. MCF support helps to improve the lives of thousands of people every year in England, Wales and internationally.

The Masonic Charitable Foundation gift contributes to the £2 billion Dear World, Yours Cambridge fundraising campaign for the University and Colleges of Cambridge. Cambridge is at the forefront of combating neurodegenerative diseases and is one of the centres for the UK Dementia Institute, established in response to the government’s 2020 Challenge on Dementia.

Adapted from a press release originally published by the Cambridgeshire Freemasons