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An international group of scientists from universities and industry is logging into the first virtual DPUK datathon which starts today.

Two people sitting beside each other working on laptops.
24 participants join the first virtual DPUK datathon

Redesigned so it’s now entirely online, the virtual DPUK datathon brings together data scientists from many different backgrounds, with DPUK's experts in dementia. The idea is to stimulate new thinking, support innovative studies in the Data Portal and bring forth creative approaches to some of the most intractable difficulties in dementia research today. Despite advances in understanding since Alzheimer's was first discovered in a patient over 100 years ago, there is still no treatment or effective means to prevent or delay the onset and progression of the diseases which cause dementia.

There is an urgent need to understand the elusive early stages as this where scientists’ best hope for effective treatment lies. DPUK’s cohort data places data experts in a unique position to join the fight to find the first treatment. By analysing data from six of DPUK’s longterm health studies (known as ‘cohorts’), the data scientists at the DPUK datathon will be looking back in time in detailed datasets from studies including the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and Generation Scotland. They will be using a range of statistical and machine learning techniques in the Data Portal to search for patterns which give clues for prevention and treatment.

The participants will be learning to use DPUK’s Data Portal in the datathon. This globally unique online portal brings together cohort data from over 40 health studies. Bona fide researchers from any institution in the world are able to apply for data access and work with those data using DPUK’s free remote access software in its ‘virtual desktop’ environment. The Data Portal was developed by an expert team in Swansea University and is built to international data security standards.

Dr Sarah Bauermeister, established DPUK’s datathon series.

Bringing our DPUK datathon series online means that researchers still have an opportunity to try out the Data Portal in a collaborative environment, albeit a virtual one – I am excited that we still have this great opportunity for new discoveries in dementia research - Dr Sarah Bauermeister, Senior Researcher at Dementias Platform UK

DPUK’s datathon are a joint initiative with Alzheimers Research UK and the DEMON Network.

Applications for this DPUK datathon are now closed but bona fide researchers can register their interest in applying for new DPUK datathons here.