November 20, 2023

NIH Grant Expands UIC Brain Bank into Citywide Effort to Study Epilepsy, Brain Cancer

Article published by UIC Today

A new virtual brain bank spanning five Chicago academic medical centers and led by University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) will create a powerful new resource for clinical care and research on epilepsy, brain tumors and neurological disorders. The institutions will utilize a data platform developed at UIC called INTUITION that combines tissue data with clinical, functional, genetic and 3D imaging information to assist clinicians in treating patients and help researchers better understand the mechanisms of brain disorders. To integrate all this data into a single system, researchers created INTUITION, a software platform that automatically gathers disparate data types and combines them into user-friendly interfaces for clinicians and researchers. Neurologists can use the platform to make decisions about surgical treatment for patients, and UIC scientists use its database to gain insights into how seizures start and how to prevent them. Today, the tissue and data repository contain tissue samples and information from over 200 patients, which enables researchers to look for common factors across individuals that cause epilepsy and could be targets for new treatment approaches. Bringing INTUITION to other medical centers will dramatically increase that number, enabling larger-scale studies in a more diverse patient population including both adult and pediatric cases.