UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Biomarkers in Neurodegenerative Diseases

The Biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases course is now in its 5th year. We are pleased to announce that the course will be held in 2022 in person at the UCL Queen Square institute of Neurology.

We are pleased to announce that the course will be held in 2022 in person at the UCL Queen Square institute of Neurology, as an exciting UCL/University of Gothenburg (UGot) collaboration. Aimed at PhD level and beyond, this detailed and comprehensive 4 day course will feature leading names in biomarker research (see below).

biomarkers course group photo in Queen Square

Location: UK Dementia Research Institute and National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square 

Dates: 16th May 2022 – 20th May 2022

Biomarkers are increasingly required for effective research into neurodegenerative diseases. They are critical for diagnosis, disease monitoring and will be key for measuring target engagement of disease modifying therapies.
PhD students working in the field of neurodegeneration require a working knowledge of a range of biomarkers to correctly interpret scientific literature and to design and conduct successful and ambitious research studies.  
University College London and University of Gothenburg are leading international centres with complementary expertise in fluid and imaging biomarkers. This collaboration would be expected to strengthen the quality of biomarker training across both institutions and beyond, as well as fostering new research collaborations and providing delegates with outstanding networking opportunities.  

We are pleased to host a truly outstanding selection of world leading speakers:

Ulf Andreasson, University of Gothenburg, Sweden       
Nicholas Ashton, University of Gothenburg, Sweden  
David Berron, DZNE Magdeburg, Germany   
Kaj Blennow, University of Gothenburg, Sweden       
Ann Brinkmalm, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Stephen Carter, University of Cambridge, UK  
Jeffrey Cummings, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA     
Michael Donohue, University of Southern California, USA
Paul Edison, Imperial College London, UK
Nick Fox, University College London, UK       
Johan Gobom, University of Gothenburg, Sweden       
Jörg Hanrieder, University of Gothenburg, Sweden       
John Hardy, University College London, UK        
William Jagust, University of California, Berkeley, USA       
Tammaryn Lashley, University College London, UK  
Mark Lubberink, Uppsala University, Sweden     
Niklas Mattsson-Carlgren, Lund University, Sweden      
Ross Paterson, University College London, UK 
Joana Pereira, Karolinska Institute, Sweden       
Jonathan Schott, University College London, UK      
Kristin Wildsmith, Eisai, Inc. Nutley, New Jersey, USA   
Henrik Zetterberg, University of Gothenburg, Sweden/University College London, UK  

Prof Hardy delivering a lecture

Course direction:
Michael Schöll is Associate Professor at the University of Gothenburg & Principal Research Fellow, UCL. Ross Paterson is Clinical Lecturer at UCL Institute of Neurology.

Previous Feedback:

  • "One of the best courses I have ever participated. Great knowledge, organization, and opportunity to get in touch with highly productive scientists, and state-of-the-art research in neurodegeneration and biomarkers."
  • "I have nothing but praise for this excellent course. The content covered was taught at just the right level, and the speakers were excellent in delivering their sessions. I can honestly say I have learned more this one week than any other week in the duration of my PhD and feel more equipped than ever to tackle the rest of my PhD/career. I would definitely recommend the course to all incoming graduate students in my lab and beyond. Thanks to all the organisers and speakers for curating this course!"
  • "The course was amazing and is something that I feel was perfectly suited to my PhD and research so thank you very much for that. I am already looking forward to the next one! It was a great opportunity to hear so much about the field, meet like-minded people and put some of our learning into practice at the end for the project presentations. It has really motivated me for my own research project."
  • "This was one of the best courses I have ever been on and is a ‘must’ for anyone involved in Alzheimer’s and neurodegeneration. The profile of organisers and speakers was extremely high quality and every single talk was of very high quality. The group work was engaging and interesting. Many many thanks"

Course content:

pipette technique

The aims will be to provide basic and practical knowledge of fluid and brain imaging-based biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases. Participants will be expected to achieve a broad understanding of the following advanced brain imaging and neurochemistry technologies used as research and clinical tools in neurodegenerative diseases:
- Neurochemistry (liquid-based biomarkers):
- Biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid
- Biomarkers in blood
- Structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Positron emission tomography (PET)
- Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)
-Digital biomarkers

Learning outcomes:
After completing the course the student is expected to be able to:

·    Explain basic concepts in image-based and fluid-based biomarker research.
·    Describe how different biomarkers relate to each other in a temporal, pathogenic, and regional (anatomical) context of different neurodegenerative diseases.
·    Conduct the planning of a project within their own research area where the use of the discussed biomarkers is described.
·    Use basic tools to evaluate biomarker data
·    Interpret biomarker profiles in different neurodegenerative diseases.
·    Understand when particular biomarkers/methods can & cannot be applied
·    Analyze the predictive value of the respective biomarkers in different conditions.

No exclusion criteria, but the course is aimed at PhD candidates. Applications will be accepted from any institution.

Cost and booking information:
Students will be expected to contribute £200 to participate. This will be payable through the UCL online store. Accommodation will not be provided but students will be provided with a list of affordable accommodation, some eligible for UCL student discount.


For any queries about the course please contact Course Organiser Dr Aitana Sogorb Esteve  - biomarkerscourse@ucl.ac.uk 

Suggested Accommodation:

We intend to “buddy” non-UK attenders with someone attending the course from London. We hope this will be a great way of dealing with queries and provide a friendly point of contact for all those not familiar with London.