UKSPINE and Hebrew University of Jerusalem Workshop

Connecting Cutting Edge Capabilities in Ageing Research and Computational Medicine

Thursday 11 February 2021, 13:00 – 16:00 GMT

Due to success of modern evidence-based medicine, the aged population in the developed world is rising rapidly, and although more people live longer – a large part of these extra years are spent in poor health. Ageing is in and of itself not classified as a disease, but the underlying biological changes result in the increased risk of developing a complex plethora of morbidities. The advances in computational medicine have provided valuable tools to interrogate long-term biological events in novel areas such the influences of the microbiome and effects of ageing on neurodegeneration. Ageing is a multisystem disorder that cannot be studied in a vacuum as highlighted by an ever-increasing focus on the multimorbidities of ageing, underscoring the need for a ‘systems approach’ to find innovative solutions.

The UK SPINE (a UK-based consortium which aims to accelerate drug discovery for healthy ageing) and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel (HUJI) recognise that no single institution is at the capacity to deliver solutions for these complex, multidisciplinary problems on our own. Therefore, we have decided to organise an international session to promote long-term collaborations. This session aims to introduce selected international institutions to each other with the aim of forming stable long-term collaborations with well-developed capabilities in the fields of geroscience and computational biology.

The goal of this first session is to introduce key players within the UK SPINE and HUJI with an interest in ageing in various technological areas and scientific fields. We will set out the primary challenges that our combined capabilities can address and form new potential partnerships to apply for funding to progress these solutions.

Format: The session will be opened by the UK SPINE programme lead Professor Chas Bountra, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Innovation), University of Oxford and Vice-President for R&D Professor Reem Sari, Hebrew University, who will introduce their respective institutes.

Dr Beverley Vaughan, UK SPINE programme director will then introduce the topics and organization of the session.

Collaborators will be sent to (virtual) breakout rooms to present their research and ideas. The aim of these sessions is to define challenges that the meeting participants believe they can solve within a defined timeline by using their combined capabilities. At the end of the day, each unit will be asked to present their most impactful idea in a plenary session.

UKSPINE and HUJI have agreed to jointly fund a call for new collaborative partnerships as a result of the workshop.  Further details will follow on the application process.


International Session Overview (Thursday, 11 February 2021, 13.00-16.00 GMT, 15.00-18.00 Israel time)

Time Session Speaker
13:00 – 13:10 GMT

15:00 – 15.10 Israel time

Introduction to HUJI Professor Reem Sari
13:10 – 13:20 GMT

15:10 – 15:20 Israel time

Introduction to UK SPINE Professor Chas Bountra
13:20 – 13:30 GMT

15:20 – 15:30 Israel time

Introduction to BIRAX Jonathan Mandelbaum-Shor, Director, British Council
13:30– 13:35 GMT

15:30 – 15:35 Israel time

Overview and goal setting of the day Dr Beverley Vaughan
13:35 – 14:15 GMT

15:35 – 16:15 Israel time

Breakout Sessions Individual Groups
14:15 – 14:35 GMT

16:15 – 16:35 Israel time

20 minutes away from screen/ tea break at home.
14:35 – 15:20 GMT

16:35 – 17:20 Israel time

Breakout Sessions (continuation of session 1) Individual Groups
15:20 – 15:55 GMT

17:20 – 17:55 Israel time

Feedback to group One person per group
15:55 – 16:00 GMT

17:55 – 18.00 Israel time

Closing Statement Professor Dina Ben-Yehuda


Breakout session themes

  • Theme 1: Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Theme 2: The microbiome in healthy Ageing
  • Theme 3: Computational medicine challenges in Ageing
  • Theme 4: The Biology of Ageing


Details for participants

If you would like to take part, please provide us with research summary (~150 words), link to your lab’s website, and a profile picture in JPEG format, a twitter handle (if applicable) and up to 5 selected publications from your research before Thursday 04 February 2020. We would ask you to also register via Eventbrite.

Registration closes 1 week before the event takes place.

Please send these materials to Bryan Adriaanse and Alma Lessing