International Day of Women & Girls in Science (February 11th) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality across STEM (science, technology, engineering & mathematics) all over the world.
Occurring since 2015,  11th February was established as the International Day of Women & Girls in Science by the United Nations General Assembly, in a resolution to increase participation in all levels of scientific discipline for women and girls of all ages, in recognition that this is imperative for achieving gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.

For International Day of Women and Girls in Science today, Feb 11th, we are celebrating the many amazing women working & collaborating within and in partnership on iCAIRD. We are proud to have women contributing their expertise & experience across a broad scope of roles in every area of the programmes’ delivery. Click the profiles below to read more about the inspiring ladies on our teams!

Alison Murray

Project Founder / Governance Board Member

Roland Sutton Professor of Radiology University of Aberdeen until 31 May 2020, now Professor Emerita of Radiology, I was the lead Radiology applicant for this Scotland-wide Innovate UK bid and part of the 5-member team that was interviewed in September 2018, before being awarded £15M (£10M from Innovate UK and 2.5M each from lead industry partners, Canon and Philips). My role has been to work with Aberdeen lead Prof Corri Black during set up of iCAIRD in Aberdeen, establishing roles and responsibilities in the University of Aberdeen and NHS Grampian. The main project activity here has been a replication of Glasgow activity but in a different NHS setting (establishing the Safe Haven Artificial Intelligence Platform, pulling NHS Radiology data at scale and ensuring anonymisation) and initially WP5 (breast screening mammography) with Kheiron. Then COVID happened and Prof Black was requisitioned to a key public health role and has now been replaced by Prof Lesley Anderson. This coincided with my retirement and my role has been formally taken over by Prof Roger Staff. I have however remained involved, initially to ensure some continuity - it additionally is a great community to work with and I am committed to seeing this succeed. Having brought in imaging staff in Aberdeen (not all Radiologists), I now want to see WP4 (acute stroke) from Glasgow replicated in Aberdeen, led by Dr Mary Joan Macleod, to demonstrate federated learning. iCAIRD is the only Innovate UK AI Centre that addresses both Radiology and Pathology and new exemplars in prostate and rectal cancer have the potential to demonstrate the role of AI in both specialties, focussed on delivering patient benefit.
I sit on the iCAIRD Governance Board. I should add that the other reasons to stay involved is to keep supporting the other brilliant women involved!

Michelle Davies

Senior Principal Engineer

I head up the cockpits development team at Canon as part of the iCAIRD programme. Our team has built an AI Evaluation Cockpit that allow researchers to view clinical data and AI results within a web application so it can be evaluated easily by clinicians. Our team is also working the NHS GG&C on an exciting Acute Stroke Cockpit building an application that will display relevant clinical data and AI to support acute stroke decisions quickly to reduce door to needle time for Stroke outcomes. It’s been an exciting and innovative programme to be a part of.

Angela van der Veer

Clinical consultant / Interim Project Manager

My role as interim project manager and clinical consultant working with iCAIRD, is to support the implementation of our Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution and the change move a pathology department from an analogue to a digital workflow. In the past 5 years of working for Philips Digital Pathology, I have supported quite a number of customers throughout Europe in the transition from analogue to a digital workflow and seen the many challenges that come with this.
Having worked in a clinical environment I understand the importance of providing evidence-based reports for patients to determine the right clinical treatment pathway and I believe AI can highly contribute to this. It is admirable to see the drive, passion and enthusiasm that all members of iCAIRD have, in order to become successful in the goal to improve pathology (and radiology) through AI. I am proud to be able to contribute a small part to this and glad to be part of this exiting path to improving pathology to eventually improve patient outcomes.

Samantha Colosimo

Research Fellow

I recently have joined iCAIRD as part of the MIA Breast Screening Project. I am looking forward to contributing to this project, which will enhance mammography studies with AI. I am also currently the Teaching and Research Coordinator for Biomedical Physics MSc programmes (NHS Grampian / University of Aberdeen). I am originally from Canada and have a degree in Astrophysics from Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I moved to the UK to study for my PhD in nuclear instrumentation (University of Liverpool). Upon completing my PhD in 2013, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher, developing novel medical physics detectors where my interested in medical physics began. I also have experience working in industry as a researcher and project manager.

Rumana Newlands

Research Fellow

On iCAIRD I am leading a research project that will develop a systematic approach to assist the evaluation of an artificial intelligence (AI) assisted system to detect breast cancer in real-world settings. This project aims to conduct a user-focused approach for exploring what stakeholders’ (such as service users, healthcare service providers and policy makers) want and need from an AI-assisted breast cancer detection system if it was to be deployed in clinical practice.

Maxine Kennedy

Health & Life Sciences Manager (Nvidia)

As Health & Life Sciences Manager for iCAIRD industry partner Nvidia, I have been working with the ICAIRD team over the last year to help democratize and raise the awareness of artificial intelligence within healthcare in Scotland. Nvidia’s technology is at the centre of ICAIRD’s projects which have led to some exciting developments for Breast screening, Chest X-Ray triage and Acute Stroke. These new advancements will ultimately help move technology closer to the point of care and assist healthcare professionals to deliver the best outcomes for patients in Scotland.

Barbara Gorgoni

Public Engagement & Training Officer

My role at the University of Aberdeen is to support researchers to engage and involve appropriate stakeholders and audiences in their research. I have recently started working with iCAIRD to bring their innovative research and significant achievements to a wider audience and to involve patients and members of the public in different projects. Some team members took part in a successful online event at Explorathon /European Researchers’ Night at the end of November 2020, discussing how artificial intelligence can be used for breast cancer screening and diagnosis (recording available). We also have an exciting project with Station House Media Unit (SHMU), a charity that supports residents in the most disadvantaged areas of Aberdeen. We’re working with their Youth Media Group (10-17 year olds) to gather views from their local community on the use of artificial intelligence for diagnostics and more in general the use of personal data for research. iCAIRD researchers will also involve the University’s PPI group on similar topics. Our aim is to include a wide diversity of voices in the shaping and implementation of our research.

Sarah Bell

Pathology co-lead

Dr Sarah Bell is an NHS pathologist with interests in digital and molecular pathology. Sarah is co-leading an exemplar project in gynaecological pathology developing artificial intelligence tools for diagnosis and automated reporting in collaboration with the University of St Andrews, the Glasgow Biorepository and industry partners. As part of iCAIRD digitisation of NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Pathology, Dr Bell has also permanently switched her microscope in favour of a digital platform for diagnostic reporting.

Rosalind Mitchell-Hay

Consultant Radiologist / PhD Researcher

Dr Rosalind Mitchell-Hay is involved in development and preparatory work for future iCAIRD projects that have an oncological focus specifically in rectal cancer. She is aiming to use MRI within the Safe Have Artificial Intelligence Platform for the first time and integrate both radiological and pathological data in her research. The results will form part of her ongoing PhD hopefully enabling a future academic career within radiology.

Dee Dinneen

Senior Partnerships Manager (Kheiron)

Project lead for Kheiron for the breast screening exemplar within iCAIRD in Grampian, we've demonstrated that SHAIP can be used for a large-scale evaluation of AI on breast screening cases from North East Scotland. Highlights include working with the fabulous iCAIRD teams and visits to the North East in pre-Covid times.

Michelle Cumming

Superintendent Radiographer/Advanced Practitioner

Hello, I’m Michelle and I have worked with the Breast Screening Programme in Aberdeen for over 15 years. I came into the service from a General Radiographer background and had a keen interest in Women’s Health and Health Promotion. The opportunity to further my academic career by undertaking the Post Graduate certificate in mammography at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh appealed to me.
In 2016, I was successful in a promotion to become an Advanced Practitioner specialising in Stereotactic Breast biopsy and localisation, this again was a Masters module offered by Queen Margaret University. The course was extremely tough, especially working full-time, with a husband and two small children but looking back now, it was the most rewarding thing I have done to date in my career. Pictured here with the new biopsy machine within our department, it is this part of my job, being integral in the diagnosis of Breast Cancer that has given me the most job satisfaction.
In May last year, I took up post as Superintendent Radiographer of the North East Breast Screening programme and our symptomatic service within Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. I now split my full-time post between clinical and management. It has been a tough start to the job, entering the role at the same time as the pandemic but I only have my fantastic team to thank who have adapted, remained resilient throughout and been hugely supportive to me.
Mammography is a brilliant career, it has allowed me to progress academically and the technology is always changing, the advancements in AI with iCAIRD are extremely exciting and as a team we are looking forward to what the future holds for Mammography and the diagnosis of breast cancer.

Elaine Cassie

Screening service patient

I was diagnosed after my first ever routine mammogram in March 2017. I had a call back after presenting at the mobile unit in Banff, Aberdeenshire for a mammogram. I had the result by post approx. 3 weeks afterwards saying the mammogram was unclear. It was a bit of a shock, as I felt so well and I'd no idea anything was wrong. I tried not to worry though, and decided they were just being extra cautious and it was unlikely to be cancer. I was given an appointment at the Breast Screening clinic in Aberdeen with Dr Gerald Lip.

Dr Lip went over my mammogram with me and showed me the area of concern. I then had an ultrasound where he detected two lumps in my armpits & I had biopsies done that same afternoon. (I remember Michelle Cumming did one). I must say that all the staff were extra special - the whole team were fantastic! They answered all questions without giving false hope (I kept asking if it was cancer before they even had a chance to biopsy), a very honest and compassionate caring team .I'll never forget their kindness .
I had my diagnosis two weeks later. Breast cancer.

I went on to have a lumpectomy, with all lymph nodes removed at armpit. 1225 contained cancer.
I had surgery, chemotherapy then radiotherapy and now continue on oral meds (Tamoxifen)

I'm still here four years on, just celebrated my 56th birthday. Enjoying life and feeling fit and well!

Moragh Boyle

Grampian Project Manager

It is a real privilege for me to be part of the iCAIRD team delivering technology which will genuinely help people and I am especially excited by the femtech focus up here in Grampian. Bringing artificial intelligence to support Radiologists in the breast screening workflow has the potential to speed up cancer diagnosis and presents an opportunity to positively impact the lives of many women and their families. With no background in either healthcare or industrial research, this programme is also a fantastic opportunity for me to continue to challenge myself and continue to grow.
It is inspiring to have so many women involved in iCAIRD, all of us bringing a wide variety of specialties and playing a part in the success of a cutting-edge innovation programme. iCAIRD is an example to young women and girls that you can be a Programmer or Data Scientist but also that you don’t have to be. All of us can bring the skillset we have and play a valuable role in technology and innovation. Despite spending most of my career working in Information Technology, primarily in the Energy sector, my background is in arts and I am not technical. Typically, my role has been as a “translator” between technical experts and real-world deployment.
What you need is a passion for technology and its application. Mine started with an Amiga and Sid Meier’s “Civilization” when I realised I could conquer the world from my keyboard. I still like nothing better than a game of Minecraft Realms with my 11-year-old. I guess I have always had more than a passing interest in artificial intelligence. My undergraduate thesis was a feminist analysis of “Blade Runner” and “The Terminator”. It’s great to now be working on a less dystopian application of artificial intelligence which allows my humanities background and love of technology to converge into the art of AI. But would I pass a Voight-Kampff test…..?

Claire Butterly

Project Administrator

Claire Butterly graduated from the University of Glasgow with an MSc in Quantitative Methods in Biodiversity, Conservation Biology and Epidemiology. In her role as administrator she is responsible for supporting project management team activity across the iCAIRD sites in Scotland, including HR, finance & purchasing, in addition to managing & updating iCAIRD website & social media content & assisting in processing /preparation of project-related research passport applications.

Tracy Ibbotson

Patient Public Involvement Lead

Tracy works closely with the University of Glasgow staff, students and collaborators, supporting them to engage and involve people with their work. She is helping the iCAIRD team to connect with patients and other relevant groups to share perspectives, learn from each other and ultimately increase the impact of iCAIRD’s work.

Corri Black

Clinical Lead, Grampian Safe Haven

Professor Corri Black trained at the University of Glasgow graduating in 1996 and spent 5 years working in hospital medicine in Glasgow. She spent a year at the Boston Collaborative Drug Surveillance Programme, University of Boston, USA on a Research Scholarship studying Clinical and Pharmacoepidemiology. On return to the UK, she joined the University of Aberdeen as a Clinical Lecturer in 2002 and completed specialist training in Public Health Medicine before being appointed as a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Public Health and Honorary NHS Consultant in 2007. She was awarded a personal Chair in 2015 and was instrumental in the iCAIRD programme's application for funding.

Professor Corri Black is a Co-Director of the Aberdeen Centre for Health Data Science, Deputy Director of Farr Institute@Scotland, Associate Director of HDRUK@Scotland and has 18 years experience of harnessing electronic health record data for research. As a Consultant in Public Health, she works for NHS Grampian supporting the use of data to drive quality improvement and in population health surveillance. She is the Clinical Lead for the Grampian Data Safe Haven. Working with colleagues, her research has included real world data pharmaceutical research and now focuses on understanding complexity in health in long term conditions and across the life course.

Alison Caldecott

Public Engagement Officer

Alison works closely with the University of Glasgow staff, students and collaborators, supporting them to engage and involve people with their work. She is helping the iCAIRD team to connect with patients and other relevant groups to share perspectives, learn from each other and ultimately increase the impact of iCAIRD’s work.

Katie Wilde

ACHDS Technical Director/Safe Haven Technical Lead

Responsible for all things Safe Haven, from the set-up, design, and implementation of the iCAIRD infrastructure, to the processes and implementation of running the Grampian SHAIP platform under the Safe Haven banner. I've been involved in iCAIRD from the start when we wrote the grant and am still heavily involved now, it's so inspiring to work with so many different people from many areas to produce a platform that will really benefit Patients in the long term.

Becky Hothersall

Public Engagement Officer

Becky works closely with the University of Glasgow staff, students and collaborators, supporting them to engage and involve people with their work. She is helping the iCAIRD team to connect with patients and other relevant groups to share perspectives, learn from each other and ultimately increase the impact of iCAIRD’s work.

Lesley Anderson

Academic Lead, Grampian Safe Haven

Professor Lesley Anderson joined the Aberdeen Centre for Health Data Science in March 2020. She trained at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) graduating with a PhD in cancer epidemiology in 2004 and an undergraduate degree (first class Honours) in Biomedical Science in 2001. She has a Masters in Population Health-based Evidence obtained by distance learning from the University of Manchester (distinction level) in 2006. Professor Anderson joined QUB as an academic in 2010 after completing two highly respected fellowships: an Academic Fellowship (funded by the UK Medical Research Council) and a Cancer Prevention Fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health, Maryland, United States of America. Professor Anderson then joined the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR) part-time in 2017 as Deputy Director overseeing the production of Official Statistics for Northern Ireland and developing the NICR Research Advisory Group.

Professor Lesley Anderson has over 19 years experience in research utilising healthcare data from the United Kingdom, Ireland, USA and Europe. She has established international partnerships within the USA, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia to facilitate research in the fields of health data science and public health with a focus on cancer research. Global Health Research Partnerships with researchers in Angola, Mongolia and Vietnam are seeking to identify ways to improve public knowledge and reduce the burden of cancer. Professor Anderson is working to improve health care through Health Data Science research.

Roma Armstrong

Senior Manager – Research & Innovation

iCAIRD was a baptism of fire for me! I was covering as lead for the GGC Safe Haven following the death of my good friend Marion Flood, Safe Haven Manager. This forced me into both an operational and strategic role with iCAIRD. The Data Protection Officer (Isobel Brown) went with me to meet Maureen Falconer (Information Commissioner’s Office) to seek advice about data governance. Maureen handed me a pen, pointed to the white board and asked me to draw our plans for the Safe Haven AI Platform SHAIP, data flows etc. It was really heartening to see how supportive the ICO was! We were all looking for practical governance arrangements to help the development of AI solutions to meet NHS needs. Nonetheless contracting for all the work packages, Data Sharing agreements, Data Processing Agreements, Data Protection impact Assessments – was a struggle!

As with all programmes of work it is key that the different work packages coalesce at the correct time. An early challenge was to support the smaller companies (SME) to develop new processes to de-identify text at scale and to provide different text sources for natural language processing (GP referral, discharge, radiology reports). We had a good relationship with these SME to develop new governance processes to support this work prior to the SHAIP platform being developed. Claire MacDonald (Safe Haven Project Manager) manually checked thousands of output files to QC check when de-identification worked/failed to develop a de-identification algorithm. Providing all these different text files in the correct format was a further challenge for the Safe Haven.

Fortunately, with the appointment of James Blackwood as iCAIRD Programme Manager and Charlie Mayor as GGC Safe Haven Manager iCAIRD is in safer hands.

Melissa Linkert

Software Developer

As a software developer for Glencoe Software, I primarily focus on creating tools to streamline the process of extracting images and acquisition metadata from numerous life sciences image file formats.
For iCAIRD specifically, this includes work on the popular bioformats2raw, isyntax2raw, and raw2ometiff command line tools which are used to translate whole slide images into common open formats.
I am also a long-time contributor to the Open Microscopy Environment's Bio-Formats project, which standardizes access to microscopy data and underpins many of the image analysis and data management applications being used by iCAIRD today.

Further resources and details are available here