Skip to content

Published: 26 February 2024

Dr Samira Saadoun has been awarded a Horizon Europe Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions grant as part of an international collaboration that aims to develop neuromonitoring for patients with spinal cord injury.

The grant of over €2.7 million was awarded to leading researchers and clinicians in central nervous system injury, biotechnology, biostatistics and data sciences at St George’s and six other research institutions across the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Austria.

Known as the SOPRANI network, their goal is to develop new and dynamic technologies that better monitor patients with central nervous system injury in the neuro-intensive care units.

The grant will be used to support ten individual PhD research projects across the seven research institutes, one of which will be led by Dr Samira Saadoun at St George’s.

“After injury, the brain and spinal cord act as a ‘black box’. Clinicians are unsure of what is happening inside the sedated patient, how to make sense of the different signals displayed on the monitor and what therapeutic action to take or not take. We want to develop personalised treatment and care for these highly vulnerable people so they have better outcomes. But to achieve this, we need improved data-driven technology.”

- Dr Samira Saadoun, Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience at St George's, University of London -

Dr Saadoun has previously shown that the damaged spinal cord swells and compresses against the surrounding tough membrane, called the dura, which can be surgically opened to relieve the pressure on the cord and prevent tissue from dying. Since, she has also developed breakthrough techniques to monitor pressure, metabolic changes and inflammation at the sight of injury in real-time, which has culminated in a vast amount of data.

The PhD project at St George’s will analyse this extensive dataset to see the patterns that emerge to give an overall picture of what is happening to patients after spinal cord injury. The goal is that Dr Saadoun and her team will then use the data to drive the development of new and improved patient monitoring systems and decision-making support tools so healthcare professionals can give their patients individualised care.

Dr Saadoun added: “As part of the SOPRANI network, the PhD student will gain high-level training in all relevant competences to help advance neuromonitoring and support them in being part of the next generation of world-class researchers in the field.”

Learn more about research at St George's

Find a profileSearch by A-Z