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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L016737/1
Title: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Neurotechnology for Life and Health
Principal Investigator: Schultz, Professor SR
Other Investigators:
Matthews, Professor P Wisden, Professor W
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BioRobots LLC Cortexica Vision Systems Ltd e(ye)BRAIN
Elekta GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies
Integra Life Sciences Johnson & Johnson Medfield Diagnostics AB
Neural Signals Inc Ossur Parkinson's UK
Sapiens Steering Brain Stimulation BV Scientifica Limited Stryker Neurovascular
The Francis Crick Institute The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkins US Navy
Vertex Pharmaceuticals
Department: Bioengineering
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 April 2014 Ends: 30 June 2023 Value (£): 4,233,458
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomaterials Biomechanics & Rehabilitation
Biomedical neuroscience Medical Imaging
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Oct 2013 EPSRC CDT 2013 Interviews Panel H Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Neurotechnology is the use of insights and tools from mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and engineering to investigate neural function and treat dysfunction; and additionally, the development of novel technology inspired by neuroscience. Brain-related illnesses affect more than two billion people worldwide, and add an annual burden which has been estimated to exceed $US 2.2 trillion. This is exacerbated by the aging societal demographic in most industrialized nations, including the UK: many brain disorders, such as dementia, are closely linked to age. There is a real need to solve this problem before it becomes an impossible burden for the economy to carry. The Centre for Doctoral Training in Neurotechnology for Life and Health will train a unique cadre of multidisciplinary researchers, who will combine an understanding of their neuroscience problem with skills in technology development, to make groundbreaking advances in our ability to treat brain disorders and to improve the quality of life and health in the UK.

There is a strong need for such a pool of researchers in the UK now. Advances in treatments for brain disorders have to date relied largely upon a purely pharmaceutical approach, however the development of completely new drugs has slowed to a trickle as we have run into the "wall of complexity" where the cost of finding new drugs which do not have intolerable side effects becomes insurmountable. "High throughput" approaches have only pushed this wall back a year or two - as Peter Mueller of Vertex commented to us, "we need to shift our thinking from high throughput to high content". Our industry partners have emphasized to us that a new, engineering-driven approach is needed, to develop new solutions for uncovering that content.

A key driver behind the development of this CDT bid has been the need for PhD level graduates with a multidisciplinary training, who bring with them both a detailed understanding of a translational neuroscience question, and the strong background in technology development needed to develop solutions. Our industry partners have all emphasized that the lack of availability of such researchers is currently a major limiting factor in their development prospects. By addressing this skills shortage, the CDT will have a major long-term impact on our ability to intervene in brain disorders, enhancing both academic and industrial research efforts to find solutions.

"There is an unmet requirement for PhD graduates with a combined expertise in engineering and neuroscience and the proposed CDT in Neurotechnology will help to address this shortage" Jonas Gårding, Research & Physics Director Neuroscience, Elekta Instrument AB

"The program that you propose to develop at the interface of neuroscience and engineering will produce PhD graduates with the potential to make major contributions to our research objectives" Kris Famm, PhD, VP Bioelectronics R&D, GlaxoSmithKline

"We believe that the research conducted at the centre will have the potential to have a significant impact on the Parkinson's research field and ultimately on the lives of Parkinson's patients" Dr Kieran Breen, Director of Research and Innovation, Parkinson's UK.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk