About the DEMON Network

We are the international network for the application of data science and AI to brain health research. The Deep Dementia Phenotyping (DEMON) Network brings together academics, clinicians and other partners from across the world. By connecting these people, we can identify innovative approaches to interdisciplinary collaborative dementia research across multiple institutions.

Our vision is to revolutionize brain health research by bringing innovators together and harnessing the power of data science and AI.

Core Team

Prof David Llewellyn


David is a Professor at the University of Exeter Medical School and a Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute. He founded the DEMON Network in 2019 with the vision of doing things differently, enhancing diversity, and establishing a platform for collaborative innovation. He has overseen the rapid development of the DEMON Network into a large global initiative.

Dr Janice Ranson

Deputy Director

Janice is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Exeter Medical School and Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health. She is Co-Founder of the DEMON Network, oversees strategic partnership development and manages the multidisciplinary research activity. Janice’s scientific expertise includes primary and secondary dementia prevention and diagnostics.

Dr Ilianna Lourida

Research Fellow

Ilianna is a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter Medical School. Her research focuses on modifiable risk factors for dementia, and she uses a combination of data science and evidence synthesis to inform strategies for prevention and dementia care.

Cecilia Golborne

Project Manager

Cecilia manages collaborative activities and leads on delivery of large events. She is responsible for coordinating project meetings across our distributed team, contributing to reporting, budgeting and external liaison with project partners. She has a background in pharmacology, with several years of executive experience in working across a range of business areas.

Steering Committee

Prof Zuzana Walker

University College London

Zuzana is a Professor of Psychiatry of the Elderly in the Division of Psychiatry and lead Consultant at the Essex Neurocognitive Clinic. She is Chair of the Early Detection of Neurodegeneration (EDoN) Clinical Hub and leads the¬†‚Äúthe predictors of COgnitive DECline in attenders of memory clinic‚ÄĚ (CODEC) project.

Prof Richard Everson

University of Exeter

Richard is a Professor of Machine Learning and the Director of the Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at Exeter. His research interests are in machine learning, statistical pattern recognition, and multi-objective optimization. He is Chair of the Alzheimer’s Research UK-funded Early Detection of Neurodegeneration (EDoN) initiative Analytics Hub.

Prof Kenneth Rockwood

Dalhousie University

Kenneth is a professor of medicine (geriatric medicine and community health & epidemiology) at Dalhousie, a Canadian Institutes of Health Research investigator, and an active physician. He is a member of the executive committee of the Canadian Collaboration on Neurodegeneration in Aging, and has published more than 400 articles.


Prof Cornelia van Duijn

University of Oxford

Cornelia is Professor of Epidemiology at Nuffield Department of Public Health, Fellow of St Cross College, and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. She is a leader in genetic-epidemiologic research and her current portfolio includes integrating cross-omics data with state-of-the-art brain imaging and cellular model systems.

Prof Kenneth Langa

University of Michigan

Kenneth is the Cyrus Sturgis Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and Institute for Social Research, a Research Scientist in the Veterans Affairs Center for Clinical Management Research, and an Associate Director of the Institute of Gerontology, all at the University of Michigan. He is also Associate Director of the NIA-funded Health and Retirement Study.

Prof Clive Ballard

University of Exeter

Clive is Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of Medicine, and Professor of Age-Related Diseases at the University of Exeter. His numerous accolades include the Weston Brain Institute International Outstanding Achievement Award 2019.  His main specialisms are drug discovery, dementia prevention, and improving care for people in residential homes.

Prof Malcolm MacLeod

University of Edinburgh

Malcolm is Professor of Neurology and Translational Neuroscience and Academic lead for Research Improvement and Research Integrity at the University of Edinburgh. He co-founded the Collaborative Approach to Meta-analysis and Review of Animal Data from Experimental Studies and champions strategies for research improvement.

Theme Leads

Dr Sara Morsy

Communications Lead

Sara is a Content Developer and Trainer at the University of Bradford with an interdisciplinary research background as a clinician, experimental biologist, computational biologist and data scientist. Currently, her research focus is on translational psychiatry to provide personalized diagnostic and prognostic markers for psychiatric diseases.

Dr Magda Bucholc

Early Career Development Lead

Magda is a Lecturer in Data Analytics at the Intelligent Systems Research Centre at Ulster University. She works on the development and implementation of statistical frameworks and computational methodologies in clinical decision making to improve disease risk prediction models, enable earlier diagnosis and optimize allocation of health care resources.

Dr Eugene Tang

Clinical Lead

Eugene is a NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow at Newcastle University.  Eugene’s research interests are around dementia and earlier diagnosis through risk prediction models in primary care to identify those at highest risk (including at-risk groups e.g. stroke-survivors) in order to receive timely diagnosis and subsequent treatment.

Dr Neil Oxtoby

Data Science Lead

Neil is a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow at UCL.  His current research focusses on developing and applying computer science approaches to determining the progression of degenerative neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. He is a senior member of the POND group in CMIC at UCL, and the Scientific Manager for the EuroPOND consortium.

Dr Peter Bagshaw

Clinical Advisory Group Lead

Peter is a General Practitioner partner in Minehead and Mental Health and Dementia clinical lead for the NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group. He is Section Editor for the journal Chronic Disease and co-author of ‘Mental Health in Older People: a Practice Primer’. He is regularly seen at conferences and in the media discussing dementia-related topics.


Working Group Leads

Dr Sara Bandres-Ciga

Genetics and Omics Co-Lead

Sara is a molecular geneticist at the Centre for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (CARD) whose research interests are primarily focused in understanding how genetic variation affects neurodegenerative diseases spanning the etiological risk spectrum, from monogenic to more complicated sporadic forms.

Dr Conceição Bettencourt

Genetics and Omics Co-Lead

Conceição Bettencourt is a Senior Research Fellow at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology. She is interested in using multi-omics data, including epigenomics, transcriptomics and proteomics, to obtain a deeper understanding of dysrupted molecular pathways underlying neurodegenerative diseases, such as frontotemporal dementia.

Dr Petra Proitsi

Biomarkers Co-Lead

Petra is an ARUK Senior Research Fellow at King’s College London. Her current work focusses on identifying biomarkers associated with Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline and understanding whether they are on the causal pathway and how they are influenced by environmental and clinical risk factors.

Dr Laura Winchester

Biomarkers Co-Lead

Laura is an Alzheimer’s Research UK Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University.¬† She is interested in the application of large scale multi-omics data to develop new biomarkers and understand dementia mechanisms by applying integrative and machine learning methodologies.

Dr Timothy Rittman

Imaging Lead

Tim is a Senior Clinical Research Associate at the University of Cambridge and a Consultant Neurologist. His main interest is in understanding how neurodegnerative diseases progresses through the brain, and why neurodegenerative diseases affect the brain in predictable patterns.

Dr Isabelle Foote

Prevention Co-Lead

Isabelle’s research focuses on identifying the biological mechanisms that link modifiable risk factors to dementia and how targeting these pathways might prevent cognitive decline. She is especially interested in using multivariate methods to model synergistic interactions between multiple risk factors and how these vary across diverse populations.

Dr Xin You Tai

Prevention Co-Lead

Xin is a Wellcome Trust funded clinical academic fellow at the University of Oxford. His interests include examining the interplay between Epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease, including the effect of brain network and electrical disruption causing cognitive difficulties. He is also interested in investigating modifiable risk factors for dementia as we grow older.

Dr Danielle Newby

Prevention Co-Lead (on sabbatical)

Danielle is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry. Her research focuses on the analysis of real-world data such as medical electronic health records using traditional statistical approaches and machine learning to understand more about what causes dementia and what can be done to intervene.

Dr Donald Lyall

Applied Models and Digital Health Co-Lead

Donald is a lecturer in Public Health at the University of Glasgow. He is an epidemiologist, and his research aims to understand how genes, environment and their interaction (GxE) influence human brain health.

Dr Andrey Kormilitzin

Applied Models and Digital Health Co-Lead

Andrey Kormilitzin is a Senior Researcher in machine learning and artificial intelligence at the Department of Psychiatry and a member of the Mathematical Institute, both at the University of Oxford. His research is centred around the translation of abstract mathematics and algorithmic tools to maximise the use of rich, multimodal and complex biomedical data.

Dr Zhi Yao

Drug Discovery and Trials Optimization Co-Lead

Zhi is a senior scientist at LifeArc. She is interested in developing and utilization of physiologically relevant models for neurogenerative disease research as well as translation of early lab-based discoveries through to development and patient benefit.

Dr Ahmad Al Khleifat

Drug Discovery and Trials Optimization Co-Lead

Al is a clinician and scientist in Complex Disease Genetics at King’s College London. His research focuses on multiomics comparative analysis using big data to develop methods and diagnostic tools for gene identification and biomarkers in affected individuals to help improve diagnostic testing, mapping disease progression and personalised healthcare.

Dr Sarah Marzi

Experimental Models Lead

Sarah Marzi is an Edmond and Lily Safra Research Fellow and UK DRI Emerging Leader at Imperial College’s Dementia Research Institute. She is interested in epigenetic regulation in neurodegenerative disease, focussing specifically on the molecular drivers of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Special Interest Group Chairs

Dr Nemanja Vaci

Natural Language Processing Chair

Nemanja is a lecturer at the Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield. He is a psychologist and applied statistician using novel statistical and machine learning methods to investigate age-related changes across the lifespan using patient’s electronic health records and real-life performance data, such as chess and sports.

Dr Maura Malpetti

Inflammation Chair

Maura is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Cambridge, where she earned a PhD in Clinical Neurosciences. She focuses on multimodal neuroimaging to investigate the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases, and uses multivariate prognostic modelling approaches.

Hampton Leonard

Reproducibility and Open Science Chair

Hampton has a background in data science and machine learning, which she applies to large multi-omic datasets in the neurodegenerative disease space. She is passionate about investigating differences on both clinical and omic levels and how these differences can affect clinical trial outcomes. She is involved in various open science initiatives.

Global Regional Leads

Dr Lokendra Thakur

North America

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Dr Michelle Lupton


QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute


We have over 1,500 members from six continents who are clinicians, academics, charities and industry representatives.