Dr Rosa Sancho
Head of Research
Place of work / study:
Alzheimer’s Research UK
Area of Research:
Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity dedicated to diagnosis, prevention, treatment and cure.
Backed by our passionate scientists and supporters, we’re challenging the way people think about dementia, bringing together the people and organisations who can speed up progress, and investing in research to make life-changing breakthroughs possible.
How is your work funded?
Alzheimer’s Research UK is funded by charitable donations.
Tell us a little about yourself:
I joined the Research team at Alzheimer’s Research UK in 2012. As Head of Research, I am responsible for the implementation of ARUK’s research strategy and funding programmes, and partnerships with other organisations.
Prior to this, I was a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London and a PhD student at The School of Pharmacy, University College London. My research focused on the molecular mechanisms that underlie neurodegenerative diseases.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
When I went into labour with my second child, I couldn’t make it to the car, let alone the hospital. So our baby was born in the living room, delivered by my partner, and kept warm with the kitchen table cloth.
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
My granddad passed away with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. He was a musician, loved dancing with me when I was little, and going to the beach to swim as far as we could. He liked reading and made friends wherever he went. When he died, I was at the end of my undergraduate degree. His last few years were tough for him and for my family, and so I was determined to contribute to research into neurodegenerative diseases, in the hope that one day nobody goes through this.
What single piece of advice would you give to an early career researcher?
Find a support network of colleagues and more senior leaders that can help shape your ideas and navigate the academic environment. Best place to do that? The ARUK Network, and our mentoring scheme!
What book are you reading right now? Would you recommend it?
I recently finished Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels  and I loved them!