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Last month, our Post doc researcher, Gaurav Vivek Bhalerao , attended the Human Brain Mapping 29th Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada (22-26 July 2023). We sit down with Gaurav to chat about his journey and story and what insights he'd like to share with us.

Last month, our Post doc researcher, Gaurav Vivek Bhalerao, attended the Human Brain Mapping 29th Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada (22-26 July 2023). We sit down with Gaurav to chat about his journey and story and what insights he'd like to share with us. 


What's your research focus and how will it help our understanding/treatment of brain/mental health conditions/disorders?

I'm all about analysing brain MRI images in psychiatric groups. Currently, I'm teaming up with Oxford and Swansea to craft a remote analysis platform for DPUK. Through my work, this platform will provide readily executable neuroimaging analysis environment for researchers across the world to implement multicohort analyses. Collaborative research and common platform for researchers will help in finding predictive biomarkers for early detection of dementia.

Tell us about your experience at OHBM 2023:

The keynote and other sessions at the conference provided detailed idea on how brain research has evolved in multiple disciplines (imaging, genomics, translational research) over time and how the interdisciplinary approaches have contributed to our understanding of human brain. It was a great opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate interdisciplinary research to address the challenges of science, technology, and society.

What would you say about takeaways from the conference?

I got an opportunity to discuss ideas, concepts and imaging software with researchers and
experts from other prestigious institutions and industries. I got an opportunity to discuss my methods and results with other researchers who showed great interest in implementing my tools on their datasets during my presentation. The feedback and suggestions from them are really helpful and they helped me gain further insights and improve my work.

Why do you think funding support like this is important?

Attending national and international conferences is seen as an essential part of academic development, but sometimes Early Career Researchers do not have the budget for attending big international conference. This kind of funding gives ECRs like me the opportunity to present my work, meeting other researchers, and learn from the best. Such support is very encouraging and help to boost visibility, keep up with the current advancement in the field and get feedback on our research work from the larger community.  

Any final thoughts?

Major thanks to DPUK for backing me up and smoothing the way to OHBM 2023.  I would like to thank all my co-authors, DPUK technical and admin team, my supervisors and Psychiatry department for their continued help and support to carry out this workI look forward to making the most out of the learnings and contacts made from this opportunity to push the dementia research a step forward.