DPUK is one of a growing number of international cohort-based data-sharing initiatives as research scientists and organisations around the world recognise the value of cohort study data. DPUK exists alongside these platforms, and provides a complete identify-access-analyse model for the research community.
DPUK is a data repository, enabling centralised data storage, curation and access management. The DPUK model is exclusively bringing researchers to data.
Several cohort discovery and metadata platforms exist to describe the data that are available from a wide range of cohorts. GAAIN (the Global Alzheimer’s Association International Network), IALSA (the Integrative Analysis of Longitudinal Studies of Aging), CLOSER and JPND, the global cohort portal (the EU joint programme in neurodegenerative research database) are all online resources which allow researchers to find out what data is available. Individual researchers are then provided with contact details to make data access requests for each cohort they are interested in. EMIF-AD, an Alzheimer’s disease-specific research programme of the European Medical Information Framework, focuses on Alzheimer’s disease cohorts. Like the non disease-specific databases, EMIF-AD allows researchers to search and find out what type of data is available to them, and additionally helps researchers coordinate access requests.
Bringing researchers to data
DPUK, by contrast, provides a new model of fast, easy and secure access to data. DPUK focuses on population cohorts and operates exclusively a ‘bringing researchers to data’ model. Data are held within a single secure environment enabling centralised data storage, curation and access management. A range of metadata discovery tools is provided, in addition to standard and bespoke statistical analysis tools. From discovering what data are available through to the integration and analysis of those data securely online, DPUK is a one-stop shop for dementia researchers looking to work with a wide range of cohort data.
Resource for drug development
DPUK is one of several UK initiatives which contribute to drug development. The Dementia Research Institute, ARUK’s Drug Development Alliances, the Translational Research Centres for Dementia and the Join Dementia Research initiative operate in different stages of the drug development pipeline – from looking at the biology of the disease through to the identification of molecules with the potential to modify disease progression, and the trialling of new treatments in people. DPUK contributes at all of these stages.