Technologies and competencies to support cognitive early diagnosis in premature newborn

Title of the research project

PARENT - PremAtuRe nEwborn motor and cogNitive impairmenTs: Early diagnosis

Scientific area 

Artificial Intelligence, Neuroscience, Personalized Medicine


PARENT will use a multidisciplinary approach to challenge early diagnosis of newborn motor/cognitive impairments. PARENT will combine the efforts of a multidisciplinary and inter-sectorial network of several leading European research groups, industry partners, pediatric hospitals and associations to develop an innovative training context for 15 young researchers.

Description of the research project 

Preterm birth (before 37 completed weeks of gestation) is the main cause of neurodevelopmental disabilities. Early diagnosis of brain injury/dysmaturation as well as early detection of impairments are crucial to improve the well-being of children and their families, allowing for developmental monitoring and optimization of therapeutics options.

PARENT project is dedicated to enhancing technologies for detection and rationalization of clinical data from premature infants and follow-ups of newborn at risk for neurological injury. A highly multidisciplinary work will be developed through the individual projects of 15 young researchers related to clinical data analysis, images collection and processing, biomarkers detection, data fusion, machine learning, statistical mechanics, enhanced sampling, mechanistic and network modelling, prediction algorithms.

To succeed in this challenging action, the project will rely on a large consortium of leading European research groups, industry partners, pediatric hospitals and parent’s associations contributing to train young researchers in multiple fields such as clinical analysis, machine learning, artificial intelligence, data management in health care, ethical questions connected to the project. PARENT will thus develop a new paradigm for evidence-based medicine, precision medicine and patient center-care, as well as decision support systems in the neuroscience technologies clinical field.

Impact on researcher’s career and on society 

A new cohort of researchers will be ready for challenging multidisciplinary projects requiring cross dialogue capabilities between medical doctors, engineers, data scientists and biologists.

By implementing a European, inter-discipline, inter-sector training network in the field of neuroscience technologies, computer science and developing applications to clinical diagnosis and decision support systems for healthcare, PARENT will create new cross-discipline research expertise and hands-on clinical-oriented and industrial experience with the final objective of understanding and enhancing the quality of life of premature children and their families.

Working group @Polito 

Marco Agostino Deriu, Project coordinator, Associate professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering - DIMEAS

Jacek Adam Tuszynski, Full Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering - DIMEAS

Umberto Morbiducci, Full Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering - DIMEAS

Michela Sperti, Ph.D. student, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering - DIMEAS

Marcello Miceli, Ph.D. student, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering - DIMEAS

List of beneficiary organizations

Fundación para la Gestión de la Investigación Biomédica de Cádiz, Spain

Universidad de Cádiz, Spain

University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

KU Leuven Universiteit, Belgium

Bambino Gesù Hospital , Italy

NEUS Diagnostics, Slovenia

Icometrix, Belgium

7HC srl, Italy

TOELT LLC, Switzerland

GPI, Italy

List of partner organizations 

Nene Foundation, Spain

The Hospital for Sick Children, CANADA

SUPSI, Switzerland

Advanced Neuro Strategies, LLC, USA

Intelligent System Biology, Greece

Città della Salute e della Scienza, Italy

PARENT project has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, Grant Agreement No.956394

  • Budget: 3.800.000 euro
  • Start date: 1/11/2020
  • End date: 31/10/2024