What is your current role in EPAD?
I am the resident Data Scientist based at the University of Edinburgh and I work closely with the International Coordinator for EPAD work package 4. The work package 4 includes the Longitudinal Cohort Study, which involves collecting and managing all the datasets that are collected from different sources in collaboration with EPAD industry partners such as IQVIA and Aridhia. I am responsible for providing the needed technical support to ensure high quality data is obtained. I am also a Fellow at the EPAD Academy.
What did you do prior to joining EPAD?
Prior to joining EPAD, I worked on several projects. I have over 18 years of experience developing systems to facilitate large-scale clinical and epidemiological studies whilst working for various research institutions including the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The immediate past project I worked on prior to joining EPAD is the APPROACH (A Public-Private Research enabling Osteoarthritis Clinical Headway) project – when I joined Newcastle University in the United Kingdom as an Associate Researcher and led the data harmonisation activities of the project. Like EPAD, APPROACH is a cross-disciplinary and multi-centre involving study participants, researchers and professionals from academia and industry across Europe and also funded by the European Innovative Medicines Initiative.
Tell us a bit about the institution/company/organisation you work for.
The University of Edinburgh is a unique place to work as a Researcher and Data Scientist interested in applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) to dementia research. I am based at the Centre for Dementia Prevention, which is part of University of Edinburgh Medical School – one of the oldest and leading medical schools in the world. The University also has the biggest Informatics School in Europe where innovative data science and AI research are being carried out. The combined effect is that one gets the opportunity to meet and work with top professors and researchers in both fields – AI and medicine, specifically dementia.
What are your expectations from the EPAD project?
The current failure rate of clinical drug trails for Alzheimer’s disease is very alarming. This is partly due to the lack of suitable data available to carry out proof of concept trials. EPAD provides a unique opportunity to creating trial-ready cohorts using data driven approaches to facilitate biomarker discovery and clinical trials, which should hopefully lead to drug development and treatments of Alzheimer’s disease, which is currently a global burden.