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Friday, 18 March 2022 11:34

Senior Researcher and Associate Professor Tim Dyrby has been awarded the prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant

Tim Dyrby has been awarded the ERC Consolidator Grant of the amount of 2 mill € over the next five years to realize his Conduction Velocity Mapping in Brain Networks (CoM-BraiN) project idea.

Tim aims at basically making a virtual map of the traffic jams on the brain network which affect the communication speed. Many neurological diseases can attack different key components of the brain network responsible for the communication speed. When these are disrupted, it can have broad impact on the timing of the signals within the brain network and result in a changed cognitive and functional outcome of the patients. Such a virtual map can be a new diagnostic tool to get new insights into how a disease may disturb the brain communication, which today is only seen in a microscope.

In the ERC project, Tim will mainly focus on two key components responsible for the communication speed and which can be measured with an MRI scanner. The first is the fatty myelin wrapped around the axons which boosts the conduction speed many times. The second is the axons themselves (i.e. the actual cables) that can be attacked and destroyed so they cannot transfer any signals. It is a challenging task, but Tim and his team are already experienced within the field. One thing is to make a mathematical biophysical model of the brain communication from MRI scans, but another is to validate the models. Therefore, the project will be highly cross-disciplinary, combining computer science and neuroscience, as well as using preclinical research on animal models which is translated into a clinical applicant on ALS patients.

Tim Dyrby holds a shared position between Hvidovre Hospital and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). The project is carried out at the Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance (DRCMR) and at DTU COMPUTE in the section for Visual Computing. Hvidovre Hospital is the host institution and DTU is the co-host. The clinical experiments will be carried out in collaboration with Neurological department at Bispebjerg Hospital.

You can read more about the project (in Danish) on the hospital homepage or by clicking HERE.