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Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) has secured £2.2 million from the Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative (ADDI) for its work in bridging the gaps between discoveries in the lab, trials and new treatments for dementia.

The Data Portal has imaging, genomic and device derived datasets

A public-private partnership, DPUK brings together expertise from universities, charities, pharmaceutical and technology companies to enable crucial breakthroughs in dementia research, quickening the translation of these discoveries into viable patient treatments. 

Based at the University of Oxford, DPUK has key parts of its work centred at the University of Cambridge and Population Data Science at Swansea University as well as elsewhere in the UK.

DPUK’s Data Portal, which is hosted at Swansea University, is a world-leading Trusted Research Environment (TRE) available to researchers globally to access data to find new ways of detecting, treating and preventing dementia. It currently has more than 60 datasets and the analysis environment to work on the records on over 3.5 million people.

ADDI is a not-for-profit organisation committed to accelerating advances in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias by supporting greater access to data and the tools required to analyse it. It offers researchers around the world access, at no cost, to resources such as the AD Workbench, its secure, cloud-based data sharing and analysis platform and AD Connect, its online community.

DPUK is delivering ADDI’s Democratising Dementia Data (D3) project which will support them by enabling easier access to dementia-relevant data worldwide. Democratising data is the process of facilitating all researchers to easily work with data. This quickens the pace, and deepens the capability of their work.

On behalf of the dementia research community, ADDI supports rapid access to large multimodal datasets (comprising genomic, imaging and device data) to scientists wherever they work in the world.   

As part of the partnership, the team at Swansea University has been awarded £1 million to provide the infrastructure and develop an interface for federated data analysis between DPUK and other infrastructures to enable global access to dementia specific data using the AD Workbench.

Professor John Gallacher, Director of DPUK, said: “Access to high-quality data is the biggest accelerator of scientific research.  This applies especially to complex conditions like dementia. We are delighted to work with ADDI to make research-ready data globally available for dementia research.” 

Professor Ronan Lyons, Associate Director at DPUK and DPUK Data Portal Lead, said: “Dementia is one of the biggest public health challenges facing us globally.   We are delighted to be working with our ADDI partners on this project which will allow researchers, via the AD Workbench, to get fast access to rich data to help transform our understanding of dementia.”

Dr. Tetsuyuki Maruyama, Executive Director at ADDI, said: “This partnership has the potential to accelerate research for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. By working together on the D3 project, ADDI and DPUK will enable greater data interoperability and make it easier for researchers to collaborate and bring an end to dementia.”