Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 2 - HUMAN PFC FUNCTION (Human frontal lobe contributions to executive function and executive dysfunction)

The research supported by the CIG has been highly successful. I highlight the following areas.
Research publications. While being supported by the CIG, I have published ~40 new peer reviewed research articles on the topic of my original application: human frontal lobe function and cognitive training. These include first an senior authorships in Nature Communications, Neuron, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Journal of Neuroscience, Brain and Annals of Neurology, all of which are journals with an IF of >10. Dozens other articles are in preparation at present. My placement as a senior or first author on many of these highlights my ongoing transition from being a key team player to a productive research leader, whilst the large number of middle authorships highlights how my core research continues to have impact by translating directly to clinical trials and experimental medicine research projects of other groups.
Securing other research funding. A primary aims of my project was to build on my previous research into remote cognitive testing technologies in order to begin developing tools for assessing and training cognitive function in patients who have suffered from traumatic brain injury, the lead cause of death and injury for people under 40 in the UK. As per my mid-way report my RA, supported by the CIG, collected a large amount of longitudinal behavioural data from TBI patients. The initial pilot data have been reported at multiple conferences, and use of these tests is reported in a clinical trial, currently under submission at the New England Journal of Medicine in collaboration with Professor Sharp, who is a consultant neurologist specializing in TBI. We also have been successful in securing funding from the NIHR (£520K) to further develop this technology and apply it in two of London’s major trauma centres, along with BRC ITMAT funds (~70K GBP) to complement the tests with real-world tracking data. We, and our funders, believe that the technology will reduce health care costs whilst improving long term patient outcomes.
I secured seed funding from the NIHR ITMAT scheme (£67K) to apply my new neuroimaging paradigms to investigate frontostriatal abnormalities in Parkinson’s patients. This work builds directly on the imaging analysis studies that have been supported by the CIG.
Additionally, I am the primary sponsor for a Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellow. new are working on better understanding the neural basis of individual differences in cognition.
Finally, I have secured funding from the EPSRC CDT in Neurotechnology, for five MRes/PhD students, who are working on diverse projects all centered around the role of PFC in human cognition.
In collaboration with Professor Robert Leech (PI), I have secured support from MRC (420K) to support two postdoctoral researchers who are focused on using real time machine learning methods to optimize tests that differentiate between PFC networks using both imaging and behavioural measures.
Integration into the UK. I have continued to consolidate my strong collaborative links in the UK, as demonstrated by publications in collaboration with researchers at Imperial, Cambridge, UCL, Exeter and King’s College London over the past two years. Furthermore, I have integrated into my role at Imperial, helping to run the EPSRC Neurotechnology MRes CDT course and directing the new Translational Neuroscience MSc. I am currently on a permeant contract and intend to apply for promotion to Readership later in the year.

Reported by

IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE
United Kingdom

Subjects

Life Sciences
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