Monthly seminar series launched

We are launching the DEMON Network Monthly Seminar Series in response to huge demand from our members.

Seminars will include live streamed events covering a range of topics related to the application of data science and AI to dementia research and healthcare. All seminars are freely available to Network members and will be advertised in our newsletter. (Join here for free if you’re not already a member of the DEMON Network.) The first event, and each alternate month thereafter, will be hosted jointly with the UK Dementia Research Institute (DRI) with whom we have an official partnership. Many of our members have expressed an interest in giving talks, but we welcome additional speaker suggestions. We’re also interested in mixing up the format, for example holding debates and interactive workshops. Contact us with your ideas.

This Friday 2nd October you are invited to the inaugural seminar featuring talks and Q&A with two outstanding speakers:

Dr Timothy Rittman
Senior Clinical Research Associate, University of Cambridge
Consultant Neurologist, Addenbrookes Hospital
DEMON Network East UK Regional Lead

Understanding tauopathies – from neuroimaging to mechanisms

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.

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

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

Advances in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) are more pressing than ever due to socioeconomic 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.

DPUK datathon at Ulster University Postponed

*** Due to Coronavirus the DPUK datathon at Ulster University has been postponed ***

Hopefully it will be rearranged for later in the year. You can sign up for updates about the DPUK datathon series here.


Innovate in multidisciplinary teams to reveal new insights for dementia treatment

– Free cohort analysis workshop to kick-start new research

– For specialists in statistics or machine learning methods 

– 12-14 May, 2020, Ulster University,
N. Ireland


Why should I join?

The need

Clinical trials for dementia are moving to intervene at a much earlier stage in the disease progression – before the onset of dementia itself. As the amount of data that we have available to us increases rapidly, it is becoming vital to innovate in order to make sense of it and gain new insights.

Your focus

At the Ulster datathon, you will work with others in the DPUK Data Portal. You will experiment with different methodologies to predict dementia risk and likelihood of conversion from mild cognitive impairment to dementia. Research questions will centre around longitudinal modelling of disease and dementias progression.

Your skills

Successful applicants may have a dementia or data science specialism, experience in machine learning or experience in applied classical statistics. Participants will be carefully selected to ensure a complementary interdisciplinary mix of skills.

The result

You will be part of an interdisciplinary research collaboration. Teams will receive ongoing support via DPUK Reach to develop their ideas into full study proposals and published research following the datathon.

What will the Ulster datathon be like?

How should I join?

Complete the application form via the link below. Any questions, please contact us.

Apply now – places are limited

Eligibility criteria

  • Data scientists with some experience of working with complex data.
  • Experience of statistical techniques.
  • Experience of working in dementia or health research will be useful, but is not essential.
  • University or industry-based.
  • UK and further afield.

Key facts

  • The deadline for applications is 9am on Thursday 3 April 2020.
  • Three-day intensive workshop format from 12-14 May 2020. If you can’t make these dates, find out about other future DPUK datathons.
  • The datathon takes place at the Ulster University Magee Campus, Derry~Londonderry.
  • Places are selective and strictly limited.
  • Attendance is free. 
  • Travel bursaries will be available for early career scientists travelling from outside of Ireland. Please indicate on your application form if you would like to be considered for one.

Machine Learning for Dementia Datathon

Are you a data scientist interested in dementia? We’re looking for innovators with expertise in machine learning to take part in an exciting datathon on the 1st-3rd of May 2019 at the University  of Exeter.

The event will bring together scientists to develop new ways of predicting and diagnosing dementia with real-world clinical data. This will be the inaugural meeting of the Deep Dementia Phenotyping (DEMON) Network which will enhance UK capacity for data science and AI applied to dementia.

Travel bursaries will be available to support early career researchers on a competitive basis. The datathon is supported by the Alan Turing Institute, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Dementias Platform UK, and the University of Exeter.

Apply now!