2020: Virtual Event

In 2019, the Neuronet Sessions introduced the projects of the IMI neurodegeneration portfolio to a broad audience composed of patients, caregivers, patient associations, researchers and clinicians.

In 2020, we expanded the focus of the event, titled "Working together to address common challenges for European neurodegeneration research".  Over the course of four parallel sessions, we showcased the work of IMI neurodegeneration projects on data sharing, ethics and regulatory/HTA interactions, and hosted presentations from early-career investigators working on these projects. In addition we held a roundtable discussion, during which project leaders discussed the challenges experienced by public-private partnerships during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how research will evolve in the critical post-COVID period.

We are pleased to provide you here with the 2020 Neuronet Sessions, which were held as part of the 30th Alzheimer Europe Virtual Annual Conference between 20-22 October, under the banner “Dementia in a Changing World”. Click here to see the presentations of our Early-Career Researchers.

For further details, please check out the Neuronet Sessions brochure; if you have additional questions, please contact us via info@imi-neuronet.org.

Session 1

Efficient data sharing: a must for science to respond to societal need

The first session, chaired by Neuronet’s Coordinator Carlos Díaz, was entitled “Efficient data sharing: a must for science to respond to societal needs”. During this session, Nigel Hughes, Rodrigo Barnes and Colin Veal from the EHDEN and EPAD IMI projects discussed technical solutions that are being developed by IMI projects to overcome key obstacles to effective sharing of health data, including data harmonisation, federated networks, digital data discovery tools and research environments.



Nigel Hughes (EMIF & EHDEN)

Janssen Research & Development


Rodrigo Barnes (EPAD)


Colin Veal (EPAD)

University of Leicester

Manuela Rinaldi (Neuronet)

MODIS Life Sciences


Session 2

Ensuring ethics and patient privacy whilst boosting research

The second Neuronet session, entitled “Ensuring ethics and patient privacy whilst boosting research”, was chaired by Jean Georges and included presentations from Nathan Lea, Pilar Cañabate and Sébastien Libert of the EMIF, MOPEAD and RADAR-AD projects, showcasing how they have addressed ethical and legal concerns around the use of remote monitoring technologies, autonomy and information governance for big data research.



Nathan Lea (EMIF)

University College London

Pilar Cañabaté (MOPEAD)

Fundació ACE


Sebastien Libert (RADAR-AD)

University College London

Angela Bradshaw (Neuronet)

Alzheimer Europe



Session 3

Regulatory & HTA assessment: a critical step in delivering innovation for patient benefit

The next topic to be addressed was Regulatory & HTA assessment, in a session chaired by Diana O’Rourke of NICE. Presentations from Gill Farrar, Jacoline Bouvy and Marco Viceconti illustrated how the AMYPAD, ROADMAP and Mobilise-D IMI projects are actively engaging with European regulators, to identify pathways for approval of neuroimaging and digital biomarkers.



Diana O’Rourke (Neuronet)

The National Institute for

Health and Care Excellence


Jacoline Bouvy (ROADMAP)

dr_0007_Dr Jacoline Bouvy (Senior Scientific Adviser, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)

The National Institute for

Health and Care Excellence


Gill Farrar (AMYPAD)

GE Healthcare

Marco Viceconti (MOBILISE-D)

Alma Mater Studiorum

Università di Bologna


Session 4

Public-Private Partnerships in the post-COVID era

Neuronet project leader Lennert Steukers closed off the 2020 Neuronet Sessions, moderating a discussion on how COVID-19 has affected large public-private partnership projects. In this roundtable session, IMI project leaders who are experts on mobility disorders, digital biomarkers, stratified medicine and dementia prevention discussed the research challenges caused by the ongoing pandemic, and how to ensure that neurodegenerative disease research remains a priority in the post-COVID period.



Andrew Owens King's College

King's College London


Martin Hofmann-Apitius Fraunhofer

Martin Hofmann-Apitius

Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms
and Scientific Computing

Walter Maetzler University Hospital

University Hospital Tuebingen


Jochen Prehn Royal College of Surgeons

Jochen Prehn, PD-MitoQUANT Project Coordinator

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Lynn Rochester Newcastle University

Newcastle University

Pieter Jelle Visser Maastricht University

VISSER Pieter Jelle Maastricht University, Amsterdam UMC, Netherlands

Maastricht University,
Amsterdam UMC

The neurodegeneration portfolio of the Innovative Medicines Initiative – from project results to sustainable assets


Carlos Díaz, CEO of Synapse Research Management Partners and Coordinator of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) Neuronet project, was the final speaker in plenary four. He argued for a systems leadership approach in science in order to overcome fragmentation, and how Neuronet was an example of such an approach applied to the neurodegeneration portfolio of the IMI.

Carlos Díaz

SYNAPSE Research
Management Partners

Early-Career Researcher presentations

Neuronet invited Early Career Researchers (defined as graduate students or researchers within 10 years of completing their graduate studies) working on the IMI neurodegeneration portfolio to submit abstracts in order to showcase the breadth and depth of IMI-funded neurodegeneration research as well as the diversity of project collaborators involved.

Natassia Brenman (EPAD)






University of Cambridge


Filipa Landeiro (ROADMAP)

Filipa Landeiro





University of Oxford

Marthe Smedinga (AMYPAD)

Marthe Smedinga





Radboud UMC

Marijn Muurling (RADAR-AD)

Marijn Muurling





Amsterdam UMC