Congratulations to Dr Li Su, Senior Research Associate at the Department, for winning a Junior Investigator Award in recognition of his accomplishments in and commitment to the field of geriatric psychoneuropharmacology!
Dr Su received this award from the International College of Geriatric Psychoneuropharmacology (ICGP) at their fifteenth annual meeting earlier this month at Stanford University. The ICGP is the leading organisation in its’ field.
Trained as a theoretical computer scientist, Dr Su converted to cognitive neuroscience and now leads the stream of the Old Age Psychiatry group working on neuroimaging biomarker research. This entails using multimodal imaging techniques such as functional and structural MRI, PET and MEG/EEG to identify biological markers of age-related disease. An example of this is changes in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. For this work he recently received two grants, one from the Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust and one from the Lewy Body Society, to support his research and a PhD student in the next three years.
At the ICGP conference, Dr Su was invited to give a plenary talk about his work. His talk (and his current work) focussed on two specific types of dementia: Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Both these disorders are associated with pathological changes at cellular and molecular levels, which are only imperfectly captured by conventional MRI techniques.
Dr Su and colleagues are therefore pioneering several novel multimodal-imaging methods, and found they were sensitive in highlighting changes in brain areas that were expected to have pathological abnormalities. In addition, he is evaluating the clinical utility of these new methods for picking up and analysing brain signals, and showed their advantages over existing methods. His work is in collaboration with scientists in the Department, Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre and MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit.
We spoke to Dr Su, who highlighted that:
“With new technological advances in neuroimaging, it provides a growingly powerful and safe tool for research and clinical diagnosis and screening. Both of these are important for improving detection of disease, a better understanding of the neurobiology of disease, and ultimately more targeted therapeutics.”
Congratulations, Dr Su!
Written by Hannah Jongsma.