The Belgian biologist fears for the future of the pioneering UK Dementia Research Institute after Brexit

Bart De Strooper is clear about his decision to accept the post of running Britain’s massive pioneering research project on dementia. “I would have not gone for it had I known what I know now,” the 59-year-old Belgian biologist told the Observer last week.

The cause of his dismay is simple: Brexit has blighted the nation and distorted its attitude to international science, said De Strooper. As a result, his UK Dementia Research Institute, set up in 2016 at a cost of £250m with the aim of turning the UK into a world leader in dementia research, now faces serious funding and recruitment problems.

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