The Centre for Population Neuroscience and Precision Medicine (PONS) aims at establishing and analysing big neuroimaging genetic datasets to precisely identify brain mechanisms underlying behaviour, and their genetic and environmental mediators, thus enabling prediction and stratification of mental disorders.
The generation of well-characterised large scale databases internationally, the advent of deep phenotyping through biological assessments, including neuroimaging and omics technologies, and the development of novel computer science and statistical tools to relate and analyse different data levels enable powerful new solutions to elucidate the biological basis of dysfunctional behaviour and mental disorders in its environmental context on a population-wide and global scale.
To realise this potential, PONS brings together an interdisciplinary group of world-leading clinical and basic researchers. The Centre is led by Gunter Schumann, Chair in Biological Psychiatry at the Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre (MRC). Main researchers involved in the PONS Centre include Gareth Barker, Professor of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Centre for Neuroimaging Science), Ted Barker, Reader in Developmental Psychopathology (Dept. of Psychology), Sylvane Desrivieres, Reader in Genetics (MRC-SGDP Centre), Sukhwinder Shergill, Professor of Psychiatry (Dept. of Psychosis Studies), Ulrike Schmidt, Professor of Eating Disorders and Head of Department of Psychological Medicine), Steve Williams, Professor of Imaging Sciences and Director of the Centre for Neuroimaging Science.
Interdisciplinary collaboration is the PONS centre’s strength, and the Centre of Global Mental led by Professor Ricardo Araya at KCL department of Health Services & Population Research is now working in close collaboration with us. It is an interesting partnership as both bring a wealth of epidemiological expertise, and the Health Services & Population research department bring psychosocial and health services research knowledge to PONS and its wide global links on global mental health research.
To complement the strengths of the research team at IoPPN we have established close links with leading biomathematicians and computer scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology of Brain-like Intelligence (ISTBI) at Fudan University, Shanghai, led by Professor Jianfeng Feng. ISTBI develops new theories of artificial intelligence inspired and developed from neuroscience that will be applied to computer science and medicine.
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