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March 10, 2020

Female scientists dominating AI development in medical research

7 research projects (investigating cancer, neurodegenerative, and liver diseases) spanning 4 countries (Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, and the US) are all currently underway in the aiForward program. Created and run by Aiforia, the aiForward program aims to bring AI directly to the hands of researchers. The cloud-based Aiforia software enables the whole program, including the training provided by Aiforia scientists, to be run remotely. 

The program is designed for any discipline or field of study that involves histopathological or microscopic image analysis.  Applicants are trained by Aiforia’s scientists on how to use the Aiforia Create tool to build their own AI model for their particular image analysis task. No coding, dedicated hardware, or data scientists are needed to use Aiforia. 

“I can just focus on what I want to focus on: the biology”

“The Aiforia software does all the hard work, I don’t need to think about any algorithms. All I need to do is see my slides and look for my feature and annotate it and then the program is going to do the rest. That’s the amazing thing. I myself am not so into digital, technical stuff. I am very much biology focused. So, thanks to Aiforia, I can just focus on what I want to focus on: the biology,” described Reidun Edelmann MD PhD, one of the aiForward participants studying the role of blood vessels in cancer. You can learn more about her project here.

The most recent successful aiForward applicants are two pathologists from Columbia University in New York: Dr. Helen Remotti and Dr. Ladan Fazlollahi. AiForward now has 9 participants spanning 7 projects therefore the addition of Dr. Remotti and Dr. Fazlollahi now tips the scales. More than half of the aiForward participants are female scientists and medical professionals. 

This is unique when considering that according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics less than 30% of the world’s researchers are women, a staggering disparity within the field. Aiforia is therefore excited to help foster this community of female scientists. Even Aiforia’s in house science team is mainly women. In fact the majority of AI models are built by women at Aiforia. 

“A more inclusive future for women in science”

Lindsey Smith PhD, Field Application Scientist at Aiforia and experienced neuroscience researcher, is one of the scientists supporting the program’s participants. Lindsey explains: “As a female scientist, it is incredibly rewarding for me to support women in STEM. I am constantly inspired by my predecessors and colleagues and hope to continue building a more inclusive future for women in science.”

The aiForward program welcomes applicants from all backgrounds and disciplines and is excited to continue to support all medical scientists in accelerating and enhancing their research with the latest technology in deep learning AI. Applications are accepted from a wide range of disciplines as the Aiforia Platform is image-agnostic. You can find out more about the current projects here and find out how to apply now. 

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