The University of Sheffield  

USFD  United Kingdom
  The University of Sheffield
Western Bank
SheffieldSouth Yorkshire
S10 2TN
Principal Investigator(s):
  Prof. Alejandro Frangi

List of researchers and collaborators involved in the project:

  Dr. Matteo De Marco
Dr. Susheel Varma
Dr. Leandro Beltrachini
Dr. Alberto Biancardi
Dr. Luigi Yuri Di Marco
Dr. Deidre McGrath
Dr. Zeike Taylor
Prof. Annalena Venneri
Prof. Iain Wilkinson
Mr. Juan Arenas
Mrs. Aisling Cooling
Prof. Alejandro Frangi
Mr. Milton Hoz de Vila
Dr. Toni Lassila
  WP1 Clinical Study Design. Clinical Verification of Models and Platforms
WP2 Novel imaging disease biomarkers & methods for model personalization
WP3 Data Access & Disease Biomarkers from Large-scale Population Studies
WP5 Multiscale Biophysical & Biochemical Modeling: Brain Substrate and its Evolution
WP7 Biomedical Research Platform for Disease Modelling and Model Personalization
WP9 Technology Assessment, Market Analysis and Exploitation
WP10 Technical Management, Communication and Outreach
Main competencies:

The University of Sheffield (USFD) is the Times Higher Education UK University of the Year in 2011. Official independent research assessments confirm its reputation as a centre for world-class research in many disciplines; in particular, more than two thirds of our technological research has been ranked either “internationally excellent” or “world leading”. It has more than 25,000 students from 128 countries, and over 5,500 staff. The University has recently made ~3M pounds investment in Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) research, with the establishment of the INSIGNEO Institute on Biomedical Imaging & Modelling, a new Institute spanning the Faculties of Engineering and Medicine and the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Among USFD senior members there are today some of the academics that most contributed to the shaping of the VPH initiative: co-authors of 2005 VPH white paper and Editors of the 2007 VPH Research Roadmap, co-coordinators of the STEP support action, of the VPH pillar in the ARGOS observatory, and of the VPH-FET action, core members of the VPH Network of Excellence, and members of the Board of Directors of the VPH Institute. Two University of Sheffield faculties, the Faculty of Engineering (USFD _ENG) and the Faculty of Medicine (USFD _MED), are participating in this project.

Partner USFD Faculty of Engineering (USFD _ENG)
The Computational Imaging and Sensing (CIS) program within INSIGNEO is primarily based within USFD_ENG and it benefits from its location close to one of the major UK Teaching Hospitals Trust involving five academic hospitals. It has a particular engagement with, and focus on, translational research and is focused on algorithmic and applied research in the area of computational imaging, computational modelling and simulation. The group has an extensive expertise in model-based image segmentation, shape analysis and morphometrics, computational atlases, non-rigid image registration of scalar, vector and tensor images, image-based elasticity estimation, computational fluid dynamics and device modelling, which are relevant domains to support the research program in the VPH-DARE@IT project. INSIGNEO’s strong expertise in the cerebrovascular and cardiovascular fields has been selected as one of the key priorities the Virtual Physiological Human domain for the period 2010-2013. INSIGNEO is also involved in euHeart (FP7-ICT-2007-1-224495), MSV (FP7-ICT-2009-4-248032), RICORDO (FP7-ICT-2009-4-248502), VPH-SHARE (FP7-ICT-2009-6-269978), MySpine (FP7-ICT-2009-6- 269909), DISCIPULUS (FP7-ICT-2011-7-288143) EU projects all from the VPH domain. USFD is one of the members of the VPH Network Excellence (VPH NoE) and member of the Pro-tempore Board of the VPH Institute initiative.  

Contributions to the project 
USFD will act as scientific co-ordinator of VPH-DARE@IT and contribute in almost all WPs. In particular USFD_ENG will lead WP1 and WP10. In WP1 USFD_ENG will ensure that the contractual obligations of all the partners are respected, that the objectives and deliverables are given on time, and that exploitation and dissemination of the project will be conducted in an efficient way. In WP2 USFD_ENG will be responsible for developing a number of innovative image analysis and image registration techniques for the characterisation of brain tissue mechanical properties in dementia. Moreover, USFD_ENG will contribute to WP5 by personalising with those properties the biophysical models of the brain. In WP7, USFD_ENG will contribute to the development of the GIMIAS framework. 

Partner USFD Faculty of Medicine (USFD _MED)
This Faculty participates through the Unit of Academic Radiology, engaged in the Experimental and Clinical Imaging Program at INSIGNEO and the Department of Neuroscience, engaged in Clinical Science and Translation Program at INSIGNEO bot at the Medical School and premises of the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust. In particular, the Department of Neuroscience at the USFD_MED has a major research focus on research in neurodegenerative disease with a translational angle. It houses the Sheffield Institute of Translational Neuroscience. Within the department the translation neuropsychology team has a long lasting tradition of successful research in the field of early and differential diagnosis of AD, in the use of neuroimaging markers for early diagnosis and for the evaluation of pharmacological treatment efficacy in AD. Within the department there is also a long tradition of neuropathological studies of AD and the neuropathology group has been influential in delineating the neuropathological features which are shared and distinct between AD and normal ageing via the study of brains donated by participants in the MRC-CFAS study, a population based project for understanding dementia and ageing, funded by the Medical Research Council. Both the neuropathology and the translational neuropsychology teams are active members of the Yorkshire branch of the Alzheimer Research UK. The Academic Unit of Radiology has extensive expertise in MR physics and radiology with research dedicated 1.5T and 3.0T MR scanners

Contributions to the project 
USFD_MED will provide expertise in MR and clinical neuropsychology and ensure that high standards are followed in patient selection so that the highest possible clinical diagnostic accuracy can be achieved and that only patients meeting entry criteria are entering the study. In particular USFD_MED will contribute to the design of the data collection and imaging protocols in WP1 and WP2, respectively. In WP1, USFD_MED and UEF will jointly perform a prospective clinical study using the advanced MR protocols developed in WP2 that will be essential for the development.