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Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence


Health Theme Lead: Professor David Llewellyn, Dr Eilis Hannon 

There are two strands of research within Health theme

Biomedical (lead: Dr Eilis Hannon)

Advances in biomedical technologies such as genomic sequencing and medical imaging have led to the proliferation of data posed to address some fundamental questions on the mechanisms that lead to the development of human diseases. The challenge is how to efficiently and effectively process these data into meaningful representations that capture the complexity of the underlying system. As technologies continue to evolve the dimensionality of the data continues to increase, and models can be built at finer resolution. Solutions will involve the input of an interdisciplinary team of molecular biologists, mathematicians and computer scientists to ensure the data are modelled in a statistically rigorous way and that the outputs can be translated into biological insights. At IDSAI we are interested in developing and applying computationally robust approaches that maximise the information gain from the data. To facilitate this we offer training on relevant statistical methodologies to enable better dialogue within interdisciplinary teams and we promote and educate on the implementation of sustainable software practices.

Clinical (lead: Prof David Llewllyn)

Medicine and health have the potential to be transformed by the insights gained from high-dimensional data, contemporary analytic techniques, and artificial intelligence. However, considerable challenges remain which hamper attempts to enhance healthcare. Issues of bias, reproducibility and trustworthiness remain a concern. Despite these valid concerns we believe that tremendous progress can be made by innovators and entrepreneurs who are willing to step beyond traditional academic boundaries. Developing powerful and genuinely useful technologies and insights can only be the product of multidisciplinary research which is designed to have impact from the outset. At IDSAI we are particularly keen to support ambitious translational research which harnesses data science and AI to tackle common conditions of public health importance and rarer neglected diseases. As our understanding of the genetic and environmental determinants of disease improve it has the potential to inform a new era of precision medicine.

The European Centre for Environment and Human Health conducts world-class research into the complex links between the environment and human health. Part of the University of Exeter Medical School and supported by funding from the European Union, we are analysing both the risks and benefits the environment poses to health, and ensuring our findings have relevance to the UK’s business community.

The Centre is Directed by Professor Lora Fleming

The Centre for Biomedical Modelling and Analysis (CBMA) is based in the £52million LSI Building and is funded by the Wellcome Trust's ISSF scheme in 2015. Following the initial grant in 2015, our research is funded by a further Wellcome ISSF award lasting until 2021, which set up our newer focus TREE, with an emphasis on translation and impact. Funding is provided for a number of Research Fellows and secondment opportunities, as well as grants to support interdisciplinary projects within the University, and with external organisations and institutions. The Centre focuses on continued engagement with the public as well as other partners such as clinicians, charities and industry.

CBMA supports and develops interdisciplinary research from across the three STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine) colleges at the University of Exeter. It aims to understand the fundamental physiological processes that facilitate health and the perturbations that can lead to disease. This knowledge is applied in innovative ways to improve treatment and quality of life. To do this the Centre bridges traditional divides between disciplines, and provides the funding and networks to initiate collaborative projects.

The Centre is directed by Professor John Terry.

The Wellcome Wolfson Medical Research Centre and the EPSRC Centre for Biomedical Modelling and Analysis are foci of translational data intensive research.