James Cole
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Personal profile

Research interests

My research uses neuroimaging to understand the relationship between ageing and diseases in the brain. I have taken a trans-diagnostic approach across my career and I am interested in how measures of brain structure and function can help us understand how ageing and brain diseases affect people differently.

Particular interests include the application of machine-learning techniques to neuroimaging data and the integration of neuroimaging with other biological data sources, such as genetics, epigenetics and fluid biomarkers. Diseases I've worked on include major depressive disorder, Huntington's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, traumatic brain injury, HIV, Down syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome and multiple sclerosis. My research has often used multiple neuroimaging modalities in longitudinal studies to better understand trajectories of brain health in these diseases and help health outcomes for individual patients.

Alongside improving understanding of the ageing brain and related diseases, I am focusing on translating neuroimaging into clinical practice. I firmly believe that integrating quantitative analysis of neuroimaging data into clinical protocols for diagnosis, treatment and long-term care planning can be beneficial for people suffereing with neurological or psychiatric diseases, and I am working with researchers, clinicians and industrial partners towards that goal.

Biographical details

I currently hold a UKRI Innovation Fellowship and have been based at the Department of Neuroimaging, King's College London since November 2017. In 2019, I started my own group, the Machine Learning for Translational Neuroimaging Laboratory, comprising post-doctoral researchers and PhD students who focus on brain ageing, brain health and neurodegeneration.

Prior to joining KCL, I spent 4 years working in the Computational, Cognitive & Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory (C3NL) at Imperial College London, particularly focusing on HIV and traumatic brain injury research.

I also worked at the UCL Institute of Neurology, as part of the Huntington's Disease research group, from 2011-2013.

My PhD was completed at the Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre, King's College London, where I focused on genetic influences on brain structure (measured using neuroimaging) in people with major depressive disorder.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Education/Academic qualification

Neuroscience, Doctor of Philosophy, Genetic influences on neuroimaging phenotypes in major depressive disorder, King's College London

Award Date: 25 Nov 2010

External positions

Research Associate, Imperial College London

2 Jul 201314 Nov 2017

Research Associate, UCL University College London

11 Aug 201130 Jun 2013


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