School of Medicine
Researcher using a microscope to study cancer cells

People in Cancer and Stem Cells

Back to Division homepage

Image of Yan Chen

Yan Chen

Associate Professor of Cancer Screening, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences


  • workRoom B64 Clinical Sciences Building
    Nottingham City Hospital
    Hucknall Road
    NG5 1PB
  • work0115 8231895


Dr Yan Chen is Associate Professor of Cancer Screening at School of Medicine, University of Nottingham.

Her research involves exploring novel technologies and techniques that enhance screening programme, whilst minimising risk to the patient. She is recognised as a leader in researching the clinical performance in screening programmes, quality assurance of screening programmes and improving medical imaging perception.

Expertise Summary

Yan was invited to join the University of Nottingham in 2019 and since then has rapidly demonstrated expertise and leadership of multiple research programmes in health screening to increase the quality of cancer detection. She has already secured over £5 million in research funding to increase cancer detection and improve screening performance . She works directly for the National NHS Breast Screening Programme and has obtained several large research grants from WHO, EU, Public Health England, NIHR, Innovate UK and industrial partners, plus a variety of charities.

Her expertise focuses on how to evaluate and improve the medical imaging interpretation. Her research has generated societal impact by changing healthcare practice to improve patient benefit.

She was awarded the prestigious Honorary Membership of the Royal College of Radiologists in 2014 as a result of her notable contributions to clinical radiology in the UK.

Yan is internationally known and has more than 55 high-quality refereed publications in both Computer Science and Medical Sciences journals, conference proceedings and book chapters and has been invited to over 30 national and international conference presentations.

Yan's current research projects are:

  • PERFORMS (Personal Performance in Mammographic Screening): UK National mandated Breast Cancer Screening External Quality Assurance scheme. UK Breast Screening Programme.
  • IMPROVE: a specialist training scheme for radiographers who undergo breast screening training.
  • PERFECTS (PERFormance Evaluation for CT Screening): the first national External Quality Assurance scheme for lung cancer imaging assessment. The scheme is used to ensure appropriate interpretation of lung scans which benefits patient outcome.
  • DART (The Integration and Analysis of Data using Artificial Intelligence to Improve Patient Outcomes with Thoracic Diseases): an AI project aims to develop integrated diagnostics that will enable the earlier diagnosis of lung cancer for increased patient survival and large time and cost savings to the NHS.
  • MyPeBS (My Personal Breast Screening): is a major ambitious European initiative. This unique international clinical study compares a personalised risk-based screening strategy (based on the individual women's risk of developing breast cancer) to standard screening among 85,000 women aged 40 to 70 in 6 countries: Belgium, France, Israel, Italy, United Kingdom and Spain.
  • PROSPECTS (Prospective Randomised Trial of Digital Breast Tomosynthesis): A randomised contrail trial involving 100,000 female volunteers to compare the use of traditional 2D mammograms with the new 3D breast imaging technology. The trial will measure the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the two technologies.

Research Summary

Her research interests chiefly concern human performance evaluations in medical imaging applications in their widest sense using visual search and computer science approaches. This currently… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

Her research interests chiefly concern human performance evaluations in medical imaging applications in their widest sense using visual search and computer science approaches. This currently encompasses the radiological areas of: breast screening (mammography, tomography, MRI, CESM); prostate cancer imaging (mpMRI), lung cancer imaging and chest CT as well as digital pathology and surgical areas of; orthopaedic and laparoscopic surgery, as well as dental surgical imaging.

In these domains she has performed many eye tracking and other investigations. She is also interested in Artificial Intelligence testing and evaluation in radiology and pathology. She currently collaborates externally with the Royal College of Radiologists, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as radiology/pathology and surgery various departments within Nottingham QMC and Nottingham City hospitals, University Hospitals of Leicester, University of Cambridge and University of Birmingham Dental Hospital.

Future Research

She is currently pursuing the development of a spin off company concerning implementing the PERFORMS scheme internationally and is also involved in a major European H2020 precision imaging study (MyPEBS).

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

Contacts: Please see our 'contact us' page for further details