School of Computer Science

£1.6m BBSRC funding for Artificial Intelligence in the Biosciences Network

Abstract blue image of skeleton and DNA strand

Professor Andy French, of the School of Computer Science and School of Biosciences, has been awarded £1.6m funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) for the Artificial Intelligence in the Biosciences Network.

The network features the University of Nottingham, Quadram Institute Bioscience, the University of Manchester, University of Bristol, University of Aberdeen, Kings College London and Aberystwyth University.  

Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems are used in wide-ranging applications, from self-driving cars to language translation. Recent AI applications to the biosciences have been promising (e.g. deep learning systems for the prediction of protein structure), but efforts have been sparse and uncoordinated, and limited to groups/companies with specific expertise. 

The network aims to:

  • Create a stronger community profile for AI in the biosciences in the UK
  • Facilitate networking, knowledge exchange and the formation of new collaborations
  • Support greater awareness, education and training relating to AI within the bioscience community

Professor French said: "Our vision is to bring together AI and core bioscience researchers to unravel biological fundamentals and tackle societal challenges. The network will be the 'go-to' place for resources at the interface between AI and the biosciences. 

"We are planning a series of community-created events over the next five years, to help raise awareness across the UK biosciences community of exciting, cutting-edge AI development, the opportunities it presents  for research collaboration, as well as its challenges."

Professor French and members of the network from Nottingham will also be reaching out to the university's researchers and PhD students and sharing information about how to get involved.

Email Professor Andy French

Posted on Sunday 8th October 2023

School of Computer Science

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