Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Psychiatry


Modern methods for visualising the human brain have revolutionised the treatment of neurological illnesses. Developments in the methods of brain scanning will make similar advances possible in other neuropsychiatric disorders including dementia and psychosis. There are several problems that need to be overcome before these advances can take place. The main challenges are: how to make research studies large enough to identify brain changes reliably; and how to make sure that methods of scanning and analysis are done in compatible ways in all the clinical sites.

New developments in information technology ? called e-Science ? provide the means for overcoming these problems by connecting large numbers of research sites, ensuring the data collected is compatible and combined and permitting analysis of the data from remote sites. e-Science also helps multiple researchers in different clinical and methodological areas work collaboratively.

The NeuroGrid consortium will use e-Science to create a network of neuroimaging centres and a tool-kit for analysing neuroimaging data. This will allow data, experience and expertise to be shared across multiple research sites and will make possible the large-scale clinical studies that are urgently required.

Technical Summary

Advances in neuroimaging have already led to breakthroughs in the clinical management of neurological disorders and current developments hold comparable promise for neuropsychiatric disorders. e-Science and Grid technologies can help overcome these problems by the integration of image acquisition, storage and analysis, and by enhancing collaborative working within and between sites.

The NeuroGrid consortium will enhance collaboration between clinical, imaging and e-scientists to create a grid-based network of neuroimaging centres and a neuroimaging tool-kit. Sharing data, experience and expertise will facilitate the archiving, curation, retrieval and analysis of imaging data from multiple sites and enable large-scale clinical studies.

NeuroGrid will be developed by simultaneous activity at three discrete, but integrated levels. The first level will establish the Grid connectivity and utilise the experience of e-Diamond. The second is the development of the Grid-enabled toolkit and image normalisation capabilities, and will build on the services developed within the IXI project. The third level is the 3 exemplars: each aiming to solve a set of specific, but generalisable problems. The clinical exemplars provide the data and the real world clinical applications and problems that NeuroGrid is designed to solve. For users, NeuroGrid is intended to appear as an integrated capability consisting of services, both database and analysis, accessed through simple portals.


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Description MRC Research Grant (HSPHRB)
Amount £418,829 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2007 
End 02/2009
Description NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research
Amount £1,580,921 (GBP)
Organisation National Institute for Health Research 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2009 
End 06/2015
Description Strategic Awards
Amount £1,470,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 102616/Z/13/Z 
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2014 
End 04/2016
Title NeuroGrid Portal 
Description Allows data retrieval and analysis of federated datasets 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2008 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact NK 
Title Quality Assurance Box 
Description Allows real-time remote quality assurance of MRI data 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact NK 
Description ENBREC 
Organisation European Commission
Department Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
Country European Union (EU) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I am a member of ENBREC and facilitated link with NeuroGrid
Collaborator Contribution Neurogrid outputs, infrastructure and multidisciplinary team used for the neuroimaging component of ENBREC project and plan is to deploy the interoperability and database-federation experience to create European network
Impact None so far - NeuroGrid contributed to mid-term report to EU
Start Year 2009
Description Lifelong Health and Wellbeing application 
Organisation University College London
Department Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Identification of potential for partnership
Collaborator Contribution We have collaborated on developing the Whitehall 2 cohort. The next phase of this collaboration is an application for a large-scale neuroimaging study of the cohort - which will use some of the NeuroGrid experience and expertise on quality assurance in multisite neuroimaging
Impact MRC grant application G1001354 Multidisciplinary: Psychiatry Psychology Epidemiology Neuroimaging
Start Year 2009
Description NeuroPsyGrid 
Organisation University of Manchester
Department School of Medicine Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The NeuroPsyGrid collaboration seeks to enhance the two existing MRC-funded Grid projects by working together on areas of mutual interest, and thus to helping develop national and international e-Science collaborations in psychosis research. We aim to harmonise our joint work towards an essential database, common metadata and a simple ontology for psychosis; to use these integrated clinical, behavioural and image data to answer clinically relevant questions; to study structural and functional brain imaging reproducibility within and between three centres from PsyGrid and two centres from NeuroGrid; and to ensure that these data acquisition, storage and access arrangements are compatible with other major national and international initiatives. In particular, by adopting a novel focus on changes in clinical and biological variables over time, we will be able to develop a simple ontology that explicitly incorporates the temporal domain. We hope that developing this infrastructure and piloting these processes will put us and other mental health researchers in a better position to conduct large multi-centre clinical and neuro-imaging studies of earlier detection methods, more effective treatments and finally even preventative interventions in people at high risk of or in the early stages of psychosis.
Collaborator Contribution Partner in research
Impact (G0300623) - please add: 19717283 Tomelleri, Luisa; (Dec, 2009) Brain structural changes associated with chronicity and antipsychotic treatment in schizophrenia., European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 19, 12, 835-40 Arising from the coallaboration between NPG and the ECNP neuroimgaing network Power calculations for multicenter imaging studies controlled by the false discovery rate. Suckling J, Barnes A, Job D, Brenan D, Lymer K, Dazzan P, Marques TR, Mackay C, McKie S, Williams SR, Williams SC, Lawrie S, Deakin B. Hum Brain Mapp. 2010 Jan 8. [Epub ahead of print]
Start Year 2006
Description Prof Joanna Wardlaw feature in Health Matters magazine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A feature in Health Matters magazine, Winter 2018-2019 issue, P 24-25. Wardlaw, JM. "MRI scans of the brain".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
Description Prof Joanna Wardlaw lecture "Brain Health: a small matter of the blood vessels" in Edinburgh, UK. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Edinburgh Neuroscience Public Christmas Lecture 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
Description Royal College of Physicians 'Women in medicine: a celebration' project 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Royal College of Physicians (RCP)'s 'Women in medicine: a celebration' project is a free exhibition of specially commissioned photographic portraits to honour contemporary and historical women in medicine. The project showcased a number of today's leading female clinicians and the women from the history of medicine who have inspired them. Prof Joanna Wardlaw is featured in the project alongside someone who inspired her, Marie Sklodowska Curie:
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017