Mental health research receives £2.2 million funding

Mental health research receives £2.2 million funding

 

Tuesday, 3 April, 2018

Prof Andrew McIntosh (Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences - Psychiatry  and  Centre for Cognitive Ageing & Cognitive Epidemiology) has been awarded a prestigious Medical Research Council Data Pathfinder Award to create secure facilities for health data research, which will form a vital resource for Scottish researchers working to understand mental health conditions such as depression.  Just under half the £2.2 million funding for this project has been provided by the University of Edinburgh.

One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health issue in a given year.  Scientists will pool data from several sources including anonymised health records, genetics and psychological studies to build a picture of the development of disease.  This sort of big data approach is an emerging area of research that draws meaningful insights from vast amounts of information. The project builds on Scotland’s expertise in health data science and ties in with the city of Edinburgh’s ambition to become the data capital of Europe.

Andrew McIntosh, Professor of Biological Psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh, who leads the project, said: “Our vision is tomake meaningful links between ongoing research studies spanning the whole lifespan and anonymised health records to better understand the causes and consequences of mental health conditions. We hope that this will enable more effective treatments and ultimately pave the way for improving resilience to common mental health disordersThis combination of resources means Edinburgh is poised to make significant advances in mental health research based upon rapidly developing resources for data science that are unparalleled in the UK.”