24th June 2024

Research Incubator: Seedcorn Projects 2024

Location: West Midlands
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The Research Incubator 2024 took place on 24th & 25th June at Hogarths Hotel, Solihull.

The N-CODE team hosted this collaborative event across two days for the selected project teams and their assigned research fellows and artists. The purpose of the incubator is to enable teams to transform their current ideas into deliverable project plans, whilst also generating ideas for pilot data, publication models and onward funding applications.

Through-out the meeting, attendees were provided with advice and guidance from our professional services team on: Research Management (strategy and funding), Business Development (industry opportunities), Public Engagement and Finance. During the 6-months timeline, support will be provided to the project teams to help them develop their outputs and applications as their work evolves. The projects were also introduced to our ‘Artist in Residence’ which bring scientists and artists together to co-develop high quality artistic outputs that engage and impact both existing and new audiences. The meeting was also attended by members of our ‘Advisory Members Involvement, Guidance and Outreach’ group, who provided valuable feedback on each project from a PPIE (Patient and public involvement and engagement) perspective, using their skills and experience to advise teams on how their research can benefit patients and society. 

The projects selected for this year are within the N-CODE remit to use technologies to shift the diagnosis and management of neurological, neuropsychiatric or neurodevelopmental conditions out of the hospital and into the community.

You can find out more about the selected projects for 2024 below:

(Left to right: Samuel Johnson, Catherine Drysdale, Maria Dauvermann and Dan Auluk)

 

Principal Investigator: Samuel Johnson

Co-Investigators: Enrico Amico, Andrew Bagshaw, Maria Dauvermann, Gustavo Deco, Morten L. Kringelbach and Wessel Woldman

Centre Fellow: Catherine Drysdale

Artist: Dan Auluk

Lay summary:

Depression is a major mental health disorder which affects about one in twenty people. It can be treated, often through a combination of psychotherapy and medication, but not everyone responds well to every drug, so there is a great need for methods which would help us to guide treatment. 

We have data from a drug trial which compared the effects of a standard antidepressant with a natural hallucinogenic compound, including brain scans using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In previous research we have transformed these images into networks representing the flow of information in the brain, and shown that the effect of each drug can be seen in changes to network structure. We now wish to build on this work by applying mathematical techniques (such as computing the pseudospectra) which can tell us how a system will respond to perturbations – for example, to a medicine.

Our aim is to develop a way of helping clinicians and patients to decide which treatment would be best in each case. We also hope this work will improve our understanding of how different drugs affect our mental states, and open up new avenues of research for brain imaging to inform psychiatry.

(Left to right: Leandro Junges and Amberly Brigden)

 

Principal Investigator: Amberly Brigden

Co-Investigators: Liz Stuart, Phil Tittensor, Aravind Kumar Kamaraj, Peter Kissack, Yasser Qureshi, Rosie Charles, Wessel Woldman, Emily Quilter and Samuel Downes

Centre Fellow: Leandro Junges

Artist: Charlotte Dunn

Lay summary:

Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain, causing repeated seizures. Epilepsy affects around 630,000 people in the UK. Epilepsy can have a big impact on people’s lives. It puts people at greater risk of injury and premature death, and it can affect people’s social life, work life, and mental health. 

People living with epilepsy say that the unpredictability of seizures is one of the biggest problems. We believe that technology can predict when an epileptic seizure is likely to occur. You could think of it as being similar to a weather forecast.

Seizure forecasts could provide people with epilepsy with a forecast about their risk of having a seizure in the near future. This forecasting would rely on us collecting a range of information about people living with epilepsy. Information such as sleep quality, stress levels and what medication they take. These are required as they are well known as ‘triggers’ which increase the likelihood of a seizure happening.

All your data would be used as input to our system. Our system would then crunch the numbers, using advanced mathematics, and output an estimation of how likely you are to have a seizure. Over time, the estimations are likely to get more accurate. As the system gets to know the person living with epilepsy.

Applications for the next round will open in Spring 2025.

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