What is the Multi-‘omics Atlas Project?

Working with Brains for Dementia Research, the UK Brain Banks Network and Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre, our team will develop a tissue resource of carefully selected, well-annotated and centrally managed brains with one hemisphere frozen and the other prepared for microscopic analysis. Material from eight standardised sampling regions will be studied, both at the level of the single cell and by observing multi-cellular characteristics. As we establish the resource, we plan to tackle key, previously unanswered questions about tissue quality that will help refine similar studies in future, including how time between death and freezing of tissue impacts its quality, and what is the best measure of tissue quality. 

All data and spatial information will be compared across different brain regions and at different stages of the disease. By studying tissue at the early stage of illness, we hope to determine the most optimal time to target the disease before widespread neurodegeneration takes place. Efforts to target the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease have thus far proved ineffective, and the field is now focusing efforts on developing therapies to be given as early as possible to alter the course of the illness.

During the initial three-year pilot, we will study 12 brains of people who had Alzheimer’s at different stages of the disease, and six brains of people without the illness. Eventually, we hope to increase the number of brains studied to 48, to further enhance our understanding of the disease process. The project is designed so that it can be extended to include new techniques as they are developed, using the same set of donor brains, and to add new data to the existing dataset. We hope that the study could eventually be expanded to map the pathology of other neurodegenerative diseases.

Team at Imperial

Professor Paul Matthews

Professor Paul Matthews

Professor Paul Matthews
UK DRI Centre Director

Dr Johanna Jackson

Dr Johanna Jackson

Dr Johanna Jackson
Scientific Project Manager

Dr Amy Smith

Dr Amy Smith

Dr Amy Smith
Research Associate

Karen Davey

Karen Davey

Karen Davey
Research Assistant

Dr Nathan Skene

Dr Nathan Skene

Dr Nathan Skene
Lecturer- UK DRI Fellow

Dr Sarah Marzi

Dr Sarah Marzi

Dr Sarah Marzi
Edmond and Lily Safra Research Fellow

Hannah Gowland

Hannah Gowland

Hannah Gowland
Project Officer

Dr Combiz Khozoie

Dr Combiz Khozoie

Dr Combiz Khozoie
Senior Bioinformaticist

Dr Mahdi Moradi Majaneh

Dr Mahdi Moradi Majaneh

Dr Mahdi Moradi Majaneh
Senior Bioinformaticist

Dr Nurun Fancy

Dr Nurun Fancy

Dr Nurun Fancy
Bioinformaticist

Aisling McGarry

Aisling McGarry

Aisling McGarry
Research Technician

Callum Muirhead

Callum Muirhead

Callum Muirhead
Research Technician

Nanet Willumsen

Nanet Willumsen

Nanet Willumsen
Research Technician

Dr Helen Huang

Dr Helen Huang

Dr Helen Huang
Research Associate