The PICTURES Team
I am the PI on the PICTURES programme. I was born in England but my family is from Scotland and I have lived much of my adult life here. I have worked in both industry and academia. One of the most formative years of my life was solo cycling from New Zealand to the UK over the course of a year raising money for Oxfam.
For me PICTURES is a really exciting programme. There is a huge potental to make a real difference to patient care through the use of data (#datasaveslives). However, as patient data is highly sentitive, this needs to be done in ways that protect confidentially and maintain trust. Access to data for research and development also needs to be timely along with appropriate tools and computing power for data analysis and algorithm development. The PICTURES programme is developing novel methodologies which provide secure access to data at scale whilst maintaining data confidentially.
Originally from Australia, I now live and work in Dundee. My role as project manager for PICTURES is to provide direction and means for the project team to meet their goals. Despite (or because of?) a diverse set of skills, I’ve found myself returning to project management type positions over many years through various private and public sector organisations in Australia, Europe and now the UK. The biggest challenge for me on this project is the number of stakeholders and external dependencies, which makes planning and delivery hard but at the same time is one of the most interesting aspects of the role! My dream job would be landscape gardener – plants are so peaceful and accommodating.
Having grown up in Scotland, my first jobs at Dundee University were Windows NT 4, NetWare 3 and Solaris/Apache administration, back when home Internet access was all dialup – for the few who had it at all! I left for Cambridge to do my first degree, then returned to a software development job in the UoD School of Engineering, with some medical imaging work on endoscopic video enhancement, left to do a PhD in security at Abertay then returned once again to the UoD in January 2020 to work on PICTURES. The biggest challenges I find are resources: finite time with urgent project requests, and finite computing resources to handle petabytes of images.
I am French, lived in Africa, Europe and Asia. Before joining PICTURES, I completed a PhD in Artificial Intelligence at the University of St Andrews.
Prior to that, I worked for 5 years in the Neuroscience of Language Lab , New York University, as a research data scientist and software developer. I also spent more than 10 years working in different industries in the UK and France.
At PICTURES I am a research and imaging data expert working on different interesting projects.
The most exciting part in working with PICTURES is the freedom in directing my research and sharing my ideas. My dream job is to combine neuroscience and AI in meaningful projects.
I was born in Edinburgh and studied at Dundee University before joining HIC as a software developer. I am responsible for writing and maintaining the open source software components used in PICTURES for loading and anonymising image metadata (study descriptions, dates etc) – mainly RDMP and the microservices wrapper. My first job in HIC was to review the legacy data loading applications and scripts used by data analysts to provide research extracts. Over the next 5 years I developed RDMP as a scalable application for loading, linking (cohort building), anonymisation and extraction tool. Communication and publicity are key challenges. We have written a lot of awesome code, people need to be told! Every software developer wants to write code that is robust, elegant, widely used and long lasting. These are the things that excite me.
My dream job would be Starship Captain!
A native Romanian, now I “come from” Aberdeen and work in Edinburgh. My role in the PICTURES team is to analyse data and define data-driven processes. Despite artistic inclinations, I decided to study software development and ended up loving it. In my short work experience as a software developer, I have worked for a start-up and then joined EPCC where I have so far had an amazing two years. The biggest challenge with analysing PICTURES data is the sheer volume of rich information and complex processing requirements to ensure data privacy and security but also visibility and usability of data. This aspect of the PICTURES project is what excites me the most because it provides a multitude of learning opportunities and a feeling of contribution to something useful by enabling research. So far, I would say I don’t see myself doing any other job but in the future I think I would settle down with art.
Having lived in Asia and Europe, and now I live in Scotland. After completing my PhD in Computer Science (Information Security) from University Technology Malaysia (UTM), I worked in the industry for almost two years and then joined Abertay University as a Lecturer in Cybersecurity. As part of my job, I am a part-time researcher in PICTURES. My role in the PICTURES team is to analyse the cybersecurity aspects of the programme. PICTURES is an interesting programme as its main focus is to provide a trusted research environment in which health data is accessible for researchers to perform various analyses that can result in public health improvements and benefits.
The most challenging part of the PICTURES programme is the sensitivity of health data that requires secure mechanisms in place to mitigate and prevent critical risks to the patient’s privacy, the possibility of re-identification, and information leakage. The most exciting part of the PICTURES program is its vast requirements which need various research and investigation for different security controls from diverse domains. Those security controls can be adopted for developing feasible technologies for secure access to health data, facilitate and accelerate research while protecting patients’ data privacy.
Born and bred in Tayside, I joined Abertay University 15 years ago in a post-doc position, before getting a permanent lectureship in cybersecurity. I lead the cybersecurity component of the PICTURES project. Most of the projects that I’ve worked on to date have been with industry: I’m passionate about cybersecurity and how we can improve cybersecurity practices to better protect systems. From my perspective, the PICTURES project gives us a really valuable opportunity to look beyond simply protecting the systems, to how this can improve cybersecurity practices to help protect patients. One of the biggest challenges for me has undoubtably been the impact of COVID-19, and having to conduct all of our project meetings remotely. I’ve recently taking up sailing after spending many a childhood summer sailing around the west-coast of Scotland, so I think my dream job at the moment would be as part of the crew on a yacht – it doesn’t have to be somewhere warm, but I’d just be happy to be out on the open waters with some waves.