Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

UIC Researchers Leading Expansion of UI NeuroRepository into City-wide Study of Brain Disorders

image from an MRI scan of a human brain

Dr. Jeffrey Loeb, the John S. Garvin Chair in Neurology and head of neurology and rehabilitation in the University of Illinois College of Medicine, is lead investigator on a $5 million NIH grant that will create a Chicago-wide network of brain tissue research at UIC, Northwestern University, Lurie Children’s Hospital, Rush University and University of Chicago. The foundation of the effort is the UI NeuroRepository, which was launched at UIC in 2017 as a “brain bank” housing brain tissue removed from patients as part of treatment for epilepsy or brain cancer. Electrical measurements and 3D images have been gathered from the brain tissue, along with various types of depersonalized patient data, all of which is integrated via INTUITION, a software platform developed by the NeuroRepository team.

Under the new initiative, access to and contribution to the data set will be federated across the partner institutions, with coordination and standardization of tissue collection and data processing at each location. The initial focus of the project will be gathering data on temporal lobe epilepsy and establishing INTUITION at the other sites, then will expand to study brain tumors and to scale the virtual brain bank beyond Chicago. “We often pick one thing to study at a time: an X-ray, or a medical record. But most of the data that we use in clinical practice is multimodal, and all these data are usually siloed from each other. We thought if we develop software that’s actually helpful to physicians caring for patients, we will also have highly curated data for research,” said Dr. Loeb. “In the end, we hope we will have a platform that will be robust and can be used at any epilepsy surgery program in the country or the world.”