Inaugural Neuroimaging Symposium Sponsorship and the DPUK Data Portal

SeRP proudly sponsored the inaugural Neuroimaging Symposium 2023, held at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on 24th October 2023.  SeRP Director, Professor Ronan Lyons welcomed speakers and delegates, from across the UK, to the Welsh capital. The programme’s sessions focused on the value of using neuroimaging data at scale, its value in clinical applications, and the importance of AI in its use for research purposes.

SeRP, alongside the British Neuroscience Association (BNA) and Dementias Platform UK (DPUK), came together to fund the event. Its key ambition is supporting and developing early career researchers and the advancement of scientific discovery and innovation in this field. The event brought together research leaders and early career researchers to promote peer learning and foster collaborative research networks.

Organisers said, ‘Neuroimaging, an area of Neuroscience, has the potential to generate greater insights into cognition, emotion and neurological disorders, revolutionising our understanding of the mind and paving the way for personalised treatments and interventions.’

SeRP enables DPUK to bring complex data from multiple cohorts into a single, secure environment – The DPUK Data Portal – a free-to-use resource containing neuroimaging data from over 3000 participants across 20 cohort studies and genomic data from over 140,000 participants across 16 cohort studies.

In his opening address, SeRP Director, Professor Ronan Lyons, introduced the neuroimaging research achievements of the DPUK/SeRP collaboration to foster ‘team science’ amongst the neuroscience community. In his welcome remarks, Professor Lyons, highlighted the robust infrastructure and computational strengths of the SeRP-powered DPUK Data Portal that gives this research community the ability to advance our understanding of dementia treatment.

Professor Lyons said, “Our team has tirelessly worked to secure an extensive array of rich phenotypic, imaging, and genomic datasets, offering researchers optimal access to multimodal research possibilities”.

SeRPs Chief Technical Officer, Professor Simon Thompson, delivered a session, entitled ‘Neuroimaging in a Trusted Research Environment’, expanding on the ‘5 safes’ capabilities of a SeRP-powered Trusted Research Environment (TRE) to bring large scale data, voluminous data users, and robust governance protocols for its safe use. Professor Thompson gave a detailed overview of the DPUK Data Portal functionality to effectively manage multimodal, multi-cohort datasets through a user-friendly research interface highlighting the utility of synthetic data for training purposes within the portal. Professor Thompson concluded the session with a case study overview of selected projects investigating Alzheimer’s Disease, traumatic brain injuries, and Motor Neurone Disease.

Within his session remarks, Professor Thompson said, “Our innovative storage and provisioning solutions effectively reduce the financial burdens associated with imaging and genomic research, enabling greater opportunities and broader access for all. We remain committed to advancing scientific explorations while providing a greener environment in which to undertake research”.