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A team from Population Data Science at Swansea University is part of a UK-wide partnership that has secured £2.2 million in support from the Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative (ADDI) to help bridge the gap between fundamental discoveries in the lab and successful trials of new treatments for dementia. 

Dementias Platform UK (DPUK), the UK-wide partnership that has secured the support, is a public-private partnership bringing together expertise from universities, charities, and pharmaceutical and technology companies to enable crucial breakthroughs in dementia research. 

DPUK has sites at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Swansea, where the program’s data science infrastructure, the DPUK Data Portal, is based.  The DPUK Data Portal is a repository and analysis environment hosting more than 50 varied datasets comprising records for over 3.5 million people.

The Democratising Dementia Data (D3) project delivered by DPUK will support ADDI by democratising access to dementia-relevant data on a global level.  ADDI requires rapid access to large multi-modal datasets across jurisdictions, which is the challenge the D3 project looks to address.

The team at Swansea University have been awarded £1 million in direct funding to provide the infrastructure and develop the interface for federated data analysis between DPUK and other infrastructures to enable global federated access to dementia specific data via the Alzheimer’s disease 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 Simon Thompson, Deputy Associate Director DPUK and CTO of the DPUK Data Portal, said: “It is great to be part of such an innovative global project. As a team, we look forward to developing the infrastructure and interface for D3, increasing the available data sets, and ensuring we grow capacity to meet any increased demand.”

Swansea's 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 DPUK partners on this project which will allow researchers, via the Alzheimer’s disease work Bench, 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.” 


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