Newsletter May 2020

DEMON Network Newsletter May 2020
DEMON Network editorial

The DEMON Network is developing fast, and there’s lots to update you about in this month’s newsletter. We’d love to hear more about what you’re doing and what the important developments and opportunities are that we can feature in future editions and online. Please get in touch by emailing me at
Dr Janice Ranson, DEMON Network Coordinator

We now have over 240 members, which is both a credit to the DEMON Network team and an indication of how much interest there is in the application of data science and AI to dementia research and healthcare. Given that we now have critical mass, it’s time to focus on refining our strategy to meet your needs. Lots of new activities are planned, including a free monthly lecture series, datathons, virtual meetings and collaborative papers and grant applications. We will be in touch shortly to capture your ideas and views about what we should prioritise next and what you’re keen to contribute to. These are uncertain times for all of us, though dementia remains an enormous burden to our community and as a growing group of interdisciplinary innovators we are perfectly positioned to meet this challenge.
Professor David Llewellyn, DEMON Network Lead

Welcome to the Network team!

Nonye Nwuke is a 2nd year undergraduate Medical Sciences student at the University of Exeter who has joined us to help with development of the Network national strategy. With an Exeter Summer Studentship, she hopes to gain experience of interdisciplinary collaboration in dementia research.
Welcome to the DEMON Network team Nonye!

DEMON Members Featured Research

Dr Timothy Rittman – QMIN-MC study
A new study integrating Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms in to NHS memory clinics has been given the green light in Cambridgeshire. The Quantitative MRI in the NHS – Memory Clinics (QMIN-MC) study aims to recruit all patients needing a brain scan in memory clinics across Cambridgeshire, with plans to expand to other sites in the coming years. Study PI Dr Timothy Rittman (Senior Clinical Research Associate, University of Cambridge) explains: “This will be a real world dataset, with the aim of translating tools from the research world directly in to NHS memory clinics… We would love to hear from anyone who would like to recruit for the study, or would like to use the dataset to develop their algorithms.”
For more information:

Positions available

UCL POND Postdoctoral Positions

If you like the challenge of developing novel computational and mathematical solutions to real-world medical challenges, then you will love working in the UCL Centre for Medical Image Computing in London. UCL’s Progression Of Neurodegenerative Disease (POND) group are looking for two excellent postdoctoral researchers to join the team’s well-established, supportive, expanding team of computational scientists in developing state-of-the-art data-driven solutions for neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. In this field they lead international initiatives such as EuroPONDTADPOLE Challenge, and the new E-DADS consortium. There is also a PhD vacancy.

Closing date: 25th May. Further details and online application
Contact: Neil Oxtoby (

Scientific consultant needed to support the EDoN Initiative

The Early Detection of Neurodegenerative diseases (EDoN) initiative is an innovative global collaboration aiming to develop a digital tool that enables detection of specific dementia-causing diseases 10-15 years before clinical dementia symptoms arise. 

EDoN is currently negotiating the application of digital tools in existing research cohorts and is looking for a senior consultant to support the cohort engagement for 2-3 days a week over the next 6-8 months. Applicants should be experienced in the area of clinical research and should be able to start supporting EDoN within the next few weeks. Salary commensurate with experience. Further information about the EDoN Initiative.
Start date: ASAP
Contact: Rafael Jimenez

UK DRI at Imperial Research Associate positions

The UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) at Imperial is seeking outstanding post-doctoral researchers interested in taking on challenging roles with considerable scope for independent scientific achievement and personal growth. Successful applicants will be ambitious, with the passion to tackle big problems and a readiness to try out high-risk, high-payoff projects. Exceptional prior experience and a background in neurobiology will be assets. Several genomics & molecular neuropathology positions are open with Centre investigators. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Principal Investigator for an informal discussion about the role directly. Further information and job description.
Closing date: 14th June 2020

CPD / Training Courses

University of Edinburgh
Health Data Science Course for Healthcare Professionals

Applications are now being accepted for this new online learning credit-bearing course, which aims to equip healthcare professionals with the key foundations and data skills that are needed for data-driven innovation. No prior experience of coding or data analysis is required. Applicants are expected to have qualifications or work experience in the health industry. Further information and application form.
Start date: 1st June 2020

NIHR Dementia Researcher Webinars

NIHR Dementia Researcher Midday Lecture Webinars are delivered by early career dementia researchers and other career experts presenting their research or providing advice and guidance that could help with your career.

Conducting Systematic Reviews
James Watson, PhD Student at the University of Liverpool will talk about his experiences of the systematic review process, from devising an idea and identifying a gap in the literature, to compiling findings and understanding what the review means for people with dementia and their carers. Useful tips and advise for anyone about to embark on their own review. Register here.
When: 12 – 12.30pm 4th June 2020

Public Engagement Online:
An Impact and Engaged Research Network Event

Are you moving your events online? Are you interested in learning and sharing ideas on how to make online events engaging and innovative? In this online event we will hear from researchers who have successfully conducted online public engagement events. There will be breakout rooms to informally discuss your questions, comments, and queries. The call will be documented, with a living document where people can share useful resources.
Register here for free
When: 1 – 2pm 29th May 2020

Events and Opportunities

Alan Turing Institute Podcasts

The Turing Podcast is an exciting new podcast featuring real-time research taking place at The Institute. Hosted by a rotation of staff from The Institute, each episode begins with AI related news followed by a discussion with a guest from across the Turing community on their work. Latest podcast: Image analysis in neurodegenerative disease.
Listen here.

CompAge 2020

CompAge 2020 Computational approaches for ageing and age-related diseases aims to be a first-of-its-kind forum to communicate recent methodological advances in the field of age-related diseases, such as neurodegenerative diseases, and to foster interactions among researchers from academia, pharmaceutical and technology industries, clinical research, and public health sectors.
For more information, including registration:

When: 1st 3rd September 2020
Where: ICM Paris – Brain and Spine Institute, France (will be virtual if necessary)

Virtual SINAPSE Annual Scientific Meeting

Join the Scottish Imaging Network: A Platform for Scientific Excellence (SINAPSE) virtual meeting for developments in clinical and experimental imaging, and learn about research based around MRI, CT, PET, SPECT, EEG, MEG, ultrasound, and human optical imaging.
The meeting will incude a main stage for plenary sessions, breakout rooms for parallel and poster sessions, and expo area for exhibitors, and time for speed networking sessions paring participants for one-to-one video chats. 

Cost: Free
When: 9am – 5pm June 19th 2020
More info:

Wellcome Genome Campus Society and Ethics Research SPACE Study

Dementia researchers are invited to take part in short, anonymised interviews as part of the SPACE study exploring stakeholder’s perspectives on the ethical aspects of novel, data-driven approaches to the early detection of cognitive decline. The study aims to provide evidence to inform discussions about what questions remain unanswered or problematic and what, if any, additional ethics guidance or support might be valuable for research and technology development.
Contact: Dr Richard Milne, or Dr Alessia Costa,

The Alzheimer’s Disease Prediction Of Longitudinal Evolution
(TADPOLE) Challenge

TADPOLE is a data science challenge for predicting Alzheimer’s disease progression. Brought to you by the EuroPOND consortium in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). The challenge will stay open indefinitely and the leaderboard is live. Submissions continue to be received as people try to climb the leaderboard with refined methods for predicting outcomes.

Further details:

Do you have news, opportunities or events you’d like us to include in the next DEMON Network newsletter? New research that you’d like us to feature?
Please email any content to Network Coordinator Dr Janice Ranson.

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