About Us

The Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh (CCACE) focuses on the reciprocal influnces of cognition and health across the human life course. The Centre is funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Biotechnology and biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

The Director of the Centre is Professor Ian Deary. Our Co-Directors are Professor Jonathan Seckl and Professor John Starr.

Centre for Cognitive Ageing & Cognitive Epidemiology

Professor Ian J. Deary describes the work of the Centre

The Centre aims to:

  • Provide the infrastructure to synergise and support new activities
  • Afford a step-change in research quality, innovation and productivity
  • Enhance the training of young non-clinical and clinical scientists


Mission Statement

The Centre's mission is to elucidate the routes to the vulnerable ageing brain, and thus provide information to prevent or ameliorate cognitive disability and its negative consequences for health and wellbeing; to determine the mechanisms by which lower cognitive ability through the lifecourse renders the body vulnerable to ill health and impaired wellbeing; and to provide an outstanding environment for interdisciplinary research training in cognitive ageing and cognitive epidemiology.


Scientific Objectives

1. Maintain, develop and exploit the unique long-term human cohort studies assembled in Scotland as new national resources to explore lifecourse influences on cognitive ageing and pathways whereby cognitive ability in early life affects later health—cognitive epidemiology.

2. Advance knowledge by research into biological, neurological, genetic, social, economic, and psychological aspects of cognitive ageing in humans and lifecourse mammalian model systems.

3. Develop and evaluate psychological, genetic, other biological, and brain imaging methods to assess, monitor, and prevent or ameliorate decline in mental functions with a view to providing a rational basis for translating this into potential interventions.

4. Build upon MSc courses unique to our Centre, exploiting the university’s resources in innovative methods such as e-learning, to train an essential and novel kind of researcher capable of accessing the best technologies to maximise opportunities for working in multidisciplinary teams in cognitive aging and cognitive epidemiology across clinical and basic science.