Leading chair in big data appointed

A new Chair appointment through the Lions Eye Institute and Curtin University will greatly enhance Western Australia’s international competitiveness in artificial intelligence, image analysis and computation involving large medical datasets.

Professor Andrew Turpin has been appointed as the inaugural Lions Curtin Chair in Ophthalmic Big Data.

Professor Turpin is a global leader in data science and analytics and is currently Director of the Melbourne Data Analytics Platform (MDAP) and Senior Academic Convenor of the Petascale Campus Initiative, at the University of Melbourne. He will commence in his new role in Perth in November this year.

The Lions Curtin Chair in Ophthalmic Big Data has been established by the Lions Eye Institute and Curtin University with support from the Lions Save-Sight Foundation WA Inc (LSSFWA), to enhance leadership and research in ophthalmic big data. The Chair will build on experience in computer science, image analysis and computation involving large datasets, including data interpretation assisted by artificial intelligence methods. The position is jointly funded by Curtin and LSSFWA.

Professor Bill Morgan, Managing Director of the Lions Eye Institute, said the appointment would contribute to Western Australia’s burgeoning reputation as a centre for research excellence in ocular disease.

"Professor Turpin will bring deep expertise that will further develop the Institute’s and Curtin’s work in artificial intelligence, image analysis, Indigenous, rural and remote eye health, and data linkage," Professor Morgan said. "He will help to drive the research agenda and facilitate the translation of research knowledge into policy and practice."

Professor Turpin’s research interests include computational problems in human vision, in particular developing new techniques for diagnosing and monitoring glaucoma. Through his new Chair role, he will undertake internationally competitive research, build new capacity in analytics across optometry and ophthalmology, support research and eye care systems development involving large and continuous related datasets.

Curtin University Faculty of Health Sciences Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Archie Clements said he was delighted to welcome Professor Turpin to Curtin University and Western Australia.

"Professor Turpin’s extensive academic leadership experience will be critical for lifting data science research in the State, with a focus on eye health, an area of significant need here in WA. Our partnership with the Lions Eye Institute has been incredibly exciting and we look forward to Professor Turpin building on the momentum we have created in eye health research," Professor Clements said.

Professor Turpin said: "I am looking forward to the opportunities that the combined resources of the Lions Eye Institute, Curtin and Western Australia will bring to improve patient outcomes using data and computational techniques."

The Lions Eye Institute and The University of Western Australia recently announced the appointment of the Lions Eye Institute UWA Chair in Optometry Research, Professor Allison McKendrick, while an international search is under way to fill the Ian Constable Chair in Discovery and Translational Ophthalmic Science.

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Curtin University would like to pay our respect to the indigenous members of our community by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which the Perth campus is located, the Wadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation; and on our Kalgoorlie campus, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields.

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