DEMON-UK DRI Joint Seminar Series

The first part in the DEMON-UK DRI joint seminar series, featuring talks from Dr Timothy Rittman and Prof Valentina Escott-Price

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Following the strategic partnership between the UK DRI and the Deep Dementia Phenotyping (DEMON) Network, we are excited to introduce the bi-monthly DEMON-UK DRI Joint Seminar series (part of the monthly DEMON Network Seminar series) that will welcome an exciting line-up of researchers who are experts in applying informatics and data science to biomedical/health research.

Friday 2 October 2020, 12:00 - 13:00 BST

This event is open to UK DRI & DEMON Network. Registration links for the event will be distributed internally by both networks.

Speakers for the first seminar in this series include:

Understanding tauopathies – from neuroimaging to mechanisms

Dr Timothy Rittman, Clinical Research Associate at the University of Cambridge; DEMON Network East UK Regional Lead

Neurodegenerative tauopathies such as Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and Corticobasal Degeneration allow us to investigate how tau and its associated pathologies cause clinical syndromes. Neuroimaging gives us the opportunity to study these diseases in vivo, to understand how pathology links to macroscopic changes in brain structure and functional organisation, and ultimately to clinical syndromes. In this talk I will cover some of the advances we have made to understand the links between tau pathology, brain volume loss and functional brain networks. I will also discuss how these advanced neuroimaging techniques that are shedding light on neuropathology, can become clinically useful biomarkers.


From genes to treatment or how to find a needle in a haystack 

Prof Valentina Escott-Price, Group Leader at UK DRI at Cardiff

Advances in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) are more pressing than ever due to socio-economic needs. The field notably shifted away from a purely neurocentric view, largely since Genome-Wide Association Studies identified several risk genes that are primarily expressed in microglia and not in neurons. The challenge is now to leverage the massive amount of genetic data to decipher disease mechanisms and design effective therapeutic interventions for AD.  In my talk I will provide an overview of the methodologies for reliable detection of individuals at high risk of AD using common genomic variation, outline my current research in incorporating rare variants for disease probability calculation, describe data and methods needed to recover “missing heritability” in AD, and challenges associated with it.