“Big Data” and imaging genomics for the development of innovative biomarkers and nanovector drugs to diagnose and treat inflammatory processes in dementia BigImAGING

R&D for the development of innovative biomarkers and nanovector drugs to diagnose and treat inflammatory processes in dementia.



Scientific research in the field of neurodegenerative diseases involving inflammatory processes increasingly requires new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies that rely on signals collection and analysis methods based on neuroimaging and functional genomics.

“Big data” has been recently applied to the human health sector. This strategy uses non-conventional tools, to extract, manage and process a very extensive collection of biological data in terms of volume, speed and variety.
Also, big data management could provide information that is additional to that obtained by analysing data of the same size but organised in small separate series.

Chronic inflammation is a complex process characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases related to the activation of several biochemical mechanisms. These mechanisms can be identified using functional imaging and genomic analysis techniques that provide a large amount of data that is often difficult to interpret.

The correlation between data obtained through “neuroimaging” in patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases involving inflammation and the presence of specific circulating nucleic acids in the peripheral blood of the “liquid biopsies” of such patients, can enable the development of methods and algorithms capable of identifying innovative biomarkers that act as targets for the development of diagnostic and therapeutic probes.

The “BigImAGING” project fits into this context. On the one hand it aims to develop a multiparameter performance system capable of identifying new microglial polarisation biomarkers that can be used for diagnosis and prognosis, to determine the staging/progression of neurodegeneration during dementia and on the other hand it can identify new molecules capable of binding with greater affinity to the molecular targets involved in the microglial polarisation process, to direct the microglial inflammatory response towards neuroprotection.

Exprivia care

  • the definition and fine-tuning of Correlation models between imaging big data and molecular big data related to dementia patients
    - design and development of statistical/mathematical algorithms to analyse the correlation between data from Radiomic Phenotypes and Molecular Genetic Polymorphisms;
    - assessment of the accuracy of the correlation with the support of scientific partners and the consolidation of algorithms by applying them to representative population samples;
    - design and creation of the Knowledge Base with data of Radiomic Phenotypes and Molecular Genetic Polymorphisms. 
  • the creation of an Information Technology Platform to support the interpretation of data in the clinical setting
    - design and development on a Big Data platform of software modules to interpret correlations between the data of Radiomic Phenotypes and Molecular Genetic Polymorphisms;
    - design and creation of a prototype web platform to simplify the management of the diagnosis and follow-up on different experimental cases in support of personalised medicine.


AXIS 1 - National Operational Programme for Enterprise and Competitiveness
2014/2020 ERDF - Investment priorities 1.b Action 1.1.3 LDR

Genetics S.p.A. - Lead Partner
Exprivia S.p.A.
SDN S.p.A.
Genomix4Life S.r.l.