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Attendees at the annual Scholarships and Bursaries Reception in February.


The Sackler Trust is funding a new Chair in the UCL Institute of Mental Health, which aims to improve prevention, intervention and treatment for mental health patients. Its work will encourage academic partners and NHS Trusts to work together to provide innovative clinical services for patients. The gift will allow UCL to combine its strengths in neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry to establish a major force in European and global mental health research.


A UCL graduate who founded a €25m venture capital fund supporting new technologies being developed in Turkish universities has won the 2016 Education UK Alumni Award (Entrepreneurial) for Turkey. Okan Kara said he was inspired by his time at UCL and the entrepreneurial atmosphere of London. Other UCL alumni winners included Tamara Talal Tayeb, Saudi Arabia’s UK Alumni Ambassador for 2016, and Barbara Oliveira, who won the Social Impact award for Brazil.


Thanks to nearly 50 years of support from The Reta Lila Weston Trust for Medical Research, the Reta Lila Weston Institute of Neurological Studies at UCL continues to identify preventative strategies and develop novel therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases, with an emphasis on Parkinson’s disease, dementia and stroke. In the last 10 years the Trust has contributed millions of pounds to help further understand the causes of these conditions, through clinical, molecular, cell biological and pathological (at the Queen Square Brain Bank) research.


UCL is launching two new Grand Challenges following a review of its first five years. The new Challenges will focus on transformative technologies and justice and equality.

Transformative technologies will include how innovations, whether hi- or low-tech, can be conceived, developed and applied in order to benefit humanity and the planet. Justice and Equality will take in how to overcome societal structures that limit access to just solutions or sustain persistent inequalities.

Meanwhile, the activities around existing Grand Challenges – Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Intercultural Interaction and Human Wellbeing – will be refined.

“UCL Grand Challenges has tapped into our research community’s appetite to engage with the world’s problems,” said Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research). “We are convinced that our collective expertise and impact can be made greater than the sum of its parts. In order to maximise UCL’s benefit to the world, the programme has provoked new and intense collaborations across the breadth of our disciplines and stimulated productive interactions with policymakers, practitioners and community groups.”

He added: “These developments will strengthen our capacity to address global challenges through our disciplinary excellence and distinctive cross-disciplinary approach. And the collaborative teams we bring together in the coming years will further enhance UCL’s ability to generate novel responses to global problems through disruptive thinking.”

To find out more about UCL Grand Challenges, visit www.ucl.ac.uk/grand-challenges


Illustration Janne Iivonen

  • Contents 2016/17Contents 2016/17
  • DeconstructedDeconstructed
  • InboxInbox
  • Two new grand challengesTwo new grand challenges
  • Free RadicalFree Radical
  • UCL a “global university”UCL a “global university”
  • Jeremy Bentham SpeaksJeremy Bentham Speaks
  • Extra CurricularExtra Curricular
  • The Strong RoomThe Strong Room
  • CloisteredCloistered
  • Follow the CrowdFollow the Crowd
  • A Time to GiveA Time to Give
  • How to Build a BrainHow to Build a Brain
  • Next MachinaNext Machina
  • Social AnimalsSocial Animals
  • What Janani, Sarah and Adam did nextWhat Janani, Sarah and Adam did next
  • The power of philanthropyThe power of philanthropy
  • This idea must dieThis idea must die
  • London  vs  WorldLondon vs World
Portico Issue 3. 2016/17