What is your current role on AMYPAD?
I am co-leading the Work package 2 with Chris Foley from General Electric. We tackle all the technical and logistical operations to support the realization of the two trials in AMYPAD. More specifically, WP2 deals with the setting-up of the clinical imaging network, the tracer supply to the clinical sites, the definition of the imaging protocols, the development of a centralized platform for image transfer and quantification and the definition of the analytical methods to provide with quantitative measurements. In this regard, we will compare different approaches to render quantitative outcomes from the PET scans. Finally, we are also responsible for setting up the infrastructure for sharing AMYPAD’s data with the broader scientific community. To achieve these goals, the count with the fantastic contribution of many wonderful partners from both the academia and the companies. It is my honour and pleasure to collaborate with such brilliant colleagues on a daily basis. I really enjoy the familiarity among investigators and sense of community that has been created around AMYPAD.
What is your overall vision?
We will gain novel knowledge on the natural history of the disease and it will be swiftly applied into an infrastructure to conduct prevention trials of disease modifying therapeutics. What truly motivates me is the opportunity to make a difference for individuals at risk or at initial stages of cognitive impairment. This same notion applies to the diagnostic study aiming to improve the diagnosis and management of patients.
What do you find most challenging about the project?
I think that the project is very ambitious in its aim to generate two multicentre European clinical trials. This is a massive and truly interdisciplinary effort, which requires much coordination among the different stakeholders: the tracer suppliers, the clinical sites, the imaging platform, the PET quantification teams, etc. To make it even more challenging, the prognostic study has to leverage with the ongoing EPAD Longitudinal Cohort Study and data have to be readily available for the Proof-of-Concept trials. These are hard deliverables for a European project. Yet, I feel comfortable in ventures undertaking well-defined and ambitious objectives and I’m confident we will realize our visions.