My Topol fellowship problem / project:

Sports concussion diagnosis and management remain a challenge for clinicians, players and coaches in contact sports at different professional levels. It is a common cause of traumatic brain injury, and accounts for 10-25% of all recorded head injuries, worldwide. At present, we still have limited knowledge of the exact underlying pathophysiology of concussion and limited availability of objective diagnostic assessments/ biomarkers that can accurately guide concussion management decisions.

During the Topol Digital Fellowship; I am planning to use our concussion biomarker datasets to develop a predictive deep learning model for concussion diagnosis and prognosis. The new concussion diagnostic model could have wide-reaching use and potential to reduce the risk of missing concussions not only in contact sport – from grassroots to professional levels – but also in wider settings such as military and healthcare. This will prevent further complications and long-term sequelae particularly in injuries without significant visible symptoms.

During my current role as neurotrauma clinical research fellow at the University of Birmingham; I focus on investigating concussion biomarkers which can be reliably used for diagnosis and follow up in certain groups of patients such as athletes, soldiers and children who are at greater risk of repetitive brain injury and long-term sequelae. My long term research goals are to better understand the complex pathophysiology of concussion and to help in developing novel diagnostic/therapeutic interventions that can improve the lives of people affected by head injuries.