​CoSTREAM partners from the United Kingdom

The project includes two partners from the United Kingdom, contributing to various aspects of the project including the metabolomics and brain imaging, and leading work package 6 on therapeutics.

King's College London

King's College London

The newly formed Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience is a research driven faculty of King’s College London, one of the top 20 universities in the world (2014/15 QS international world rankings) and the fourth oldest university in England. The university is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings with an overall annual income of nearly £587 million. King’s has been involved in over 300 European Commission projects. King’s is now perfectly positioned for the translation of neuroscience research to improve human health through the entity of King’s Health Partners – a partnership between the university and three major heathcare providers in London that collectively have 4.2 million interactions with patients every year, employ 36 000 staff and have an annual turnover of approximately €4.5 billion. The partnership is particularly strong for disorders of the brain and nervous system, underpinned by the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute, which opens on June 2015 and brings together 250 clinicians and scientists in a new 6500 square metre Instute adjacent to King’s College Hospital. Major areas of focus and concentration of expertise include dementia, neurodegeneration and psychiatry. King’s Health Partners also provides 21% of all stroke capacity in London and is one of seven centres designated a Hyperacute Stroke Research Centre. King’s Health Partners sees over 1500 patients with stroke per year and is also a major hub for dementia, one of four flagship centres supported by the National Institute for Heath Research. King’s has contributed to other major European projects in dementia, including the AddNeuroMed study part of the Innovative Medicines Initiative.

Role in CoSTREAM

The particular expertise of the KCL group is co-morbidity; the interplay between brain injury (stroke) and neurodegeneration, including ageing. KCL investigates this using brain imaging and cognitive research methods. Therefore, expertise in these methods and their use to investigate co-morbid effects specifically is available at KCL.

Another specific area of expertise is in mechanisms of resilience to injury. This area could contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms by which comorbidity produces an effect.

KCL will be contributing this expertise to WPs 2 – 4 within this proposal, which are strongly related to KCL’s particular expertise.

In addition, KCL is closely aligned with clinical care through King’s Health Partners, an umbrella organisation of university and healthcare providers. Therefore, KCL will focus on clinical research and potentially on the delivery and evaluation of any intervention to arise from the project.

Key staff

Dr. Michael O’Sullivan, PhD is a senior Lecturer, King’s College London and Consultant Neurologist, King’s Health Partners. Michael O’Sullivan is a clinician scientist, senior lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience and consultant neurologist at King’s College Hospital. He trained as an undergraduate in Cambridge, did his PhD and specialist neurology training in London, and also spent two years as a Humboldt Fellow at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. He was a Medical Research Council Clinician Scientist Fellow from 2008-2012. The main clinical challenge of his work is cognitive impairment after stroke. In particular, he is interested in the interaction between focal damage and other processes involved in ageing and early cognitive decline, viewed from a network perspective. This work is based on investigation of structural and functional networks for memory and cognitive control. A major feature is the translation of findings from lesion studies in non-human primates using non-invasive imaging in humans. The main techniques used are advanced diffusion MRI and tractography, functional MRI, neuropsychology and, more recently, PET. Recently, his group has been investigating how neurotransmitter systems influence realignment of structure-function relationships after injury. Other interests include use of graph theoretical approaches to better represent the effect of lesions on brain networks and the application of machine learning approaches in early cognitive decline and cognitive impairment after injury.

University of Cambridge

Universty of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is one of the most renowned Research /Higher Education Institutes and is frequently ranked amongst the top 5 in international academic rankings such as ARWU and Shanghai Ranking. Cambridge University is also participates in FP7 projects and is one of the top recipients of such funding in Europe. Its medical institute (Biomedical campus) is world renowned and has internationally recognized expertise in dementia, stroke and genetics. It has a wide range of specialist research resources as well as other comprehensive common facilities, such as the University Library.

The University of Cambridge is presently involved in 370 FP7 projects. This total includes over 110 Marie Curie and 115 ERC projects. In addition Cambridge has also just been awarded 10 Marie Sklodowkska-Curie Actions grants under Horizon 2020.

The research program of the Stroke Research Unit at University of Cambridge focuses on applying imaging techniques (predominantly MRI) and molecular genetic techniques to investigate the pathogenesis of cerebral small vessel disease and vascular cognitive impairment. There is a particular focus on taking findings through to develop new therapeutic approaches, and use surrogate markers based on MRI to evaluate these. The Stroke Research Group has a very extensive record of publications and previous grant funding in these areas. These areas map directly onto the work packages looking at genetics, brain imaging and therapeutics. In addition the research group has worked with Alzheimer’s disease consortiums to look at genetic overlap between stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

Role in CoSTREAM

Within CoSTREAM, Cambridge will lead Work Package 6 on Therapeutics and will contribute to a number of work packages in the project, including those looking at genetics, metabolomics, brain imaging, clinical prediction and therapeutics.

Additionally Cambrige will contribute datasets, and expertise and analysis, in the areas of genetics of stroke and dementia, brain imaging of small vessel disease and dementia and use of genetic techniques to address therapeutic questions.

Key staff

Prof. Hugh Markus is Professor of Stroke Medicine and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at University of Cambridge.He leads the Stroke Research Group within the Department of Clinical Neurosciences.He trained as a clinical doctor and has a research interest in stroke, spending approximately half his time on clinical care and half on research.Prior to the current post which he took up in 2013 he was Foundation Professor of Neurology at St George’s University of London (since 2000).He has an International reputation in stroke research, with a particular focus on genetics, brain imaging and clinical trials (primarily phase 2).He is a past European Editor of Stroke journal and is on the Editorial Board of a number of other journals, past Chair of the UK Stroke Forum and past Chair of METASTROKE.

Matthew Traylor, PhD is an early career researcher within the Stroke Research Group in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge. His undergraduate degree was in mathematics, and after an MSc he carried out a PhD on statistical genetics applied to stroke at St George’s University of London. He is currently in the second year of his first post-doctoral job in which he is applying statistical genetic techniques, and developing new approaches, to patients with cerebral small vessel disease. He has worked on the overlap between genetics risk factors for stroke and AD in collaboration with the GERAD group.