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UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Artificial Inteligence for Medical Diagnosis and Care

The CDT AI for Medical Diagnosis and Care is now in its second 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 second intake of 11 highly talented students in October 2020, bringing the total so far to 20 people. These students have a variety of mainly STEM backgrounds, from computer science to biochemistry. The application rate increased by a total of 68% from the first intake in 2019 to this present round.

The CDT students were involved in a number of activities over the year, both within LIDA, Computing and the wider University such as for instance the University’s Be Curious Festival, which, like so many other events, went online this year. The CDT is engaged in outreach under the banner of AI for All, as devised by the students.

In January 2020, we were honoured to receive a visit from Baroness Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who spoke with staff, students and industry partners about the activities and research of the CDT.

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. The CDT received 31 such proposed projects from potential supervisors within the university and the medical community. After having successfully completed their PhD related MSc projects at the beginning of September with their supervisors, all cohort one students made a very successful start with their PhD work. Project titles vary from “explainable AI in Digital Pathology: the role of visualising deep neural networks in supporting the augmented pathologist” to “predicted long term outcomes following Cancer from early self-evaluated Quality of Survival”.

Despite the difficult circumstances in 2020, the students on the CDT have successfully made the transition to home working. Cohort one have connected up with their supervisors and research groups, and cohort two have started the teaching programme. During induction week all CDT AI students met online, both with each other and with students from the CDT in Data Analytics and Society and the Internship Programme, both based in LIDA.

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