Professor Andrew Turpin appointed inaugural Curtin Chair in Big Data

Professor Andrew Turpin, Lions Curtin Chair in Ophthalmic Big Data

A new Chair appointment through the Lions Eye Institute and Curtin University will significantly enhance Western Australia’s international competitiveness in artificial intelligence (AI), image analysis and computation involving large medical datasets. Curated industry expert, Professor Andrew Turpin has been appointed as the inaugural Lions Curtin Chair in Ophthalmic Big Data.

What does Professor Turpin bring in his new role?

Professor Turpin is a leader in data science and analytics and 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 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 AI methods. The position is jointly funded by Curtin and LSSFWA.

What were the executives’ thoughts on the appointment?

Commenting on the appointment, Prof Bill Morgan, Managing Director of the Lions Eye Institute, said the hire 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 and facilitate the translation of research knowledge into policy and practice.” Prof 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.

“Prof Turpin’s 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 exciting and we look forward to Professor Turpin building on the momentum we have created in eye health research,” Prof Clements said.

Commenting on his appointment, 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 announced the hire of the Lions Eye Institute UWA Chair in Optometry Research, Prof Allison McKendrick, while a search is under way to fill the Ian Constable Chair in Discovery and Translational Ophthalmic Science.