Today we look at the profiles of two researchers involved in ‘Join dementia research’.

Dr Jo Rodda

Dr Rodda is a Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist at the North-East London Foundation NHS Trust (NELFT), and was involved in the trialling of ‘Join dementia research’ at NEFLT.

Jo RoddaShe believes her own personal interest in research makes her eminently qualified to be involved in breaking new ground on this initiative.

“I’ve been interested in research since medical student days and before becoming a Consultant I worked as a Clinical Research Fellow with UCL, actively engaged in dementia research, designing and contributing to several different studies and publishing the work in peer reviewed journals.”

“One thing I’ve been responsible for since joining the Trust is setting up the Memory Service in Havering. I’m really interested in ways of helping people who are interested to get involved in research, so before ‘Join dementia research’ was around we started a dementia register locally. It was essentially a register of people with dementia who were interested in research, so that at the touch of a button we could see a list of people who might be interested in a particular study – and I guess ‘Join dementia research’ is that on a massive scale.”

Dr. Rodda is also the fastest woman to complete the Arch to Arc triathlon from London to Paris with a finish time of 78 hours & 39 minutes!

Dr Melanie Dani

Dr Dani is a clinical research fellow for the neuroinflammation study on ‘Join dementia research’, which is based at Imperial College London.

MelanieHow did you get involved in dementia research?

“I approached a group of academic clinicians who were leading the field in an area that I was interested in clinically. I am currently undertaking dementia research as part of a PhD.”

Why did you get involved in dementia research?

“I have several reasons. My grandmother had dementia and at that time very little was known about it. As a family we were not well informed or well equipped to deal with her needs. I have always felt that more needs to be done. I also worked as a carer in a nursing home for dementia residents, where I became aware of the devastation that dementia can cause. Subsequently, my clinical interests have developed in the field of cognition and memory. So for me, dementia research is very fulfilling on all levels.”

Why is dementia research important now?

“Dementia is commoner than ever before, and the prevalence is expected to rise. Unlike other major diseases, there is no cure and only a handful of symptomatic treatments. So research is essential in many aspects – finding answers to the underlying risks and causes, finding effective drug treatments, and finding ways to make life easier for those affected.”


Researchers can use ‘Join dementia research’ to check if there are enough people who could take part in a future study. Could one of these people be you? Please consider signing up today!

The ‘Join dementia research’ service is part of the government’s ambitious strategy to tackle dementia head-on.

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It allows volunteers – the young and old, male and female, healthy and those with a diagnosis of dementia – to be quickly and easily put in contact with research studies around the nation. Dementia research is important. It can help people living with the condition now, as well as helping to prevent people from developing dementia in the future.

Visit the ‘Your stories‘ page to hear about people’s experiences.