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Centre for Doctoral Training: Artificial Intelligence for Medical Diagnosis and Care

The CDT AI for Medical Diagnosis and Care is now in its third year. The Centre, the grant for which is based in Computing, has found an excellent home in LIDA, where its students benefit from the opportunity to build a truly interdisciplinary network of highly talented researchers. The focus of the CDT is on AI in cancer care. The Centre, which over its lifetime aims to recruit 50 researchers, had a third intake of 12 highly talented students including CDT and associated CDT PhD students, bringing the total so far to 31 students. These students have a variety of mainly STEM backgrounds, from computer science, math, physics, to bioengineering.

In their first year, students complete 12 months of an 18-month MSc programme, and during that year they select their PhD project from a list of proposed projects. In November 2020, the CDT invited over 100 potential supervisors in the University and NHS to submit project proposals for Cohort 2. All Cohort 2 students successfully completed their PhD related MSc projects in September and made a successful start with their PhD work.

During the last 12 months, the CDT AI students have presented their work at the Health Text Analytics Conference (HealTAC 2021), 24th International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI 2021), the International Medical Informatics Association MedInfo21, and the monthly meetings of the National Pathology Imaging Cooperative’s Digital Research Group at St James’s Hospital. In addition, the CDT students have participated in a number of STEM outreach events to convey the importance of AI in healthcare such as Reach for Excellence, the Power of STEM CDT Series, and In2Science UK. During these events, the CDT students have organised a workshop to present AI in healthcare to help Year 12 students start their career pathway into an area of STEM.

The Coronavirus pandemic has remained a challenge for the University in general, although the broader use of digital technologies has created new opportunities for future ways of integrated working. Regular events that bring the students together have greatly helped in maintaining the cohesion of the cohorts. In particular we have organised CDT-led coffee and chat moments, weekly cohort tutorials as well as contact through WhatsApp and Discord.  Our first meeting in person with cohort 2 as a whole was on a walk over Ilkley Moor at the start of June 2021, postponed from induction week. The Cohort 3 entry (September 2021) have met up in person in LIDA during their induction week and our CDT journal club has been running in a hybrid model since October 2021. A joint conference between the four CDTs in AI and Health will take place in Feb 2022. This is an opportunity for the students to showcase their work and make connections outside the University.

Hien Nguyen, CDT in Artificial Intelligence in Medical Diagnosis and Care Manager


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