Professor Dame Louise Robinson didn’t set out to pursue a career in academic research and couldn’t have imagined the impact she would have globally.
While training as a GP, she identified a patient had dementia but was told by her trainer that if a diagnosis was made there’d be little help available. From then on, Louise wanted to improve the quality of healthcare for people with dementia and has spent her career doing so.
As a professor of primary care and ageing, she is Director of Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing, where academics, clinicians and researchers come together. She was key in the £40m Government bid for Newcastle University to host the National Innovation Centre for Ageing - the first to bring a collaboration of business, academia and the public to develop products and services to improve lives as we get older.
Louise’s research, in over 120 academic papers, focuses on helping people remain independent in old age and facilitating healthy ageing across their lifetime. By Royal appointment, she received the only Regius Professorship of Ageing and was recently made a Dame. Her work to improve the care of those with dementia was recognised with the first NIHR professorship for her ‘Living well with dementia’ programme, and the Alzheimer Society funded £1.7m for her to set up a ‘Centre of Excellence’ at Newcastle University for dementia care research. Louise was twice awarded the National Clinical Champion for Ageing by the Royal College of General Practitioners, she is currently leading a £2m Global Health Research programme.
Fiona Carragher, Chief Policy and Research Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Professor Dame Robinson is working on the frontline of dementia research, bringing real change to the people who need it the most. Her recognition as one of the ‘Nation’s Lifesavers’ reflects her commitment and passion to tackling dementia as a clinician and a researcher, improving the available support for people with dementia at every step, from diagnosis to end of life. We are delighted to be supporting her research through our ground-breaking Centre of Excellence PRI-dem, based at Newcastle University, which aims to end the postcode lottery of dementia care after diagnosis across the UK. It is dedicated researchers like Professor Dame Robinson who will pave the way to breakthroughs that will ensure the 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK receive the care they need and can live well.”