Dementia researcher pulls on running shoes for alzheimer’s charity

Dr Stephen Wren
Dr Stephen Wren

A medicinal chemist from Aylesbury will be pulling on his running shoes to raise hundreds of pounds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Dr Stephen Wren, 45, who is taking on the Surrey Half Marathon on March 12, started running when he turned 40 and has been doing marathons ever since.

Stephen is a dementia researcher at the Alzheimer’s Research UK Oxford Drug Discovery Institute at the University of Oxford. He works to find novel ways of treating dementia by looking at the mechanisms behind the condition.

The institute is part of the wider Drug Discovery Alliance, funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK, which also includes centres at the University of Cambridge and University College London. The co-ordinated effort aims to streamline drug discovery and translate promising research into potential treatments.

Stephen joined the institute in 2015 and after seeing the work that Alzheimer’s Research UK funds and facilitates, was determined to raise as much money for the charity as he could.

He said: “Dementia is an increasing problem throughout the world. It’s important to realise that dementia isn’t caused by growing old – there are scientific mechanisms behind it and, with enough research, we can beat it.

“My grandad had dementia and it was very sad watching him decline. This gives me extra motivation to do all I can to find a treatment for the condition. It affects so many people – not just those who are diagnosed, but also the people around them.

“Dementia research is severely underfunded compared to other major diseases, which is why I’ve decided to fundraise for Alzheimer’s Research UK by running the Surrey Half Marathon. Everyone’s been really supportive and I hope I can do them proud.”

Kenneth Foreman, sporting events manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We want to say a big thank you to Stephen for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK and taking on the challenge of the Surrey Half Marathon. When 47 million people around the world are living with dementia, it’s important we do everything we can to find an effective treatment.

“The Drug Discovery Alliance is just one of the many ways that Alzheimer’s Research UK is fighting against dementia – it currently funds the work of over 1,000 dementia researchers across the country.”

To support Stephen, who has a target of £300, visit

For more information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit