DAIM student Kuniko Azuma with lecturer


University of Hull PhD student wins prestigious Alan Turing Institute-Roche award

Kuniko Paxton, a doctoral candidate at the University of Hull, has been recognised by the Alan Turing Institute-Roche Strategic Partnership for her ground-breaking research in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Her exceptional work has earned her a coveted award.

Kuniko has been chosen as one of ten distinguished PhD students to join the ranks of Turing-Roche Community Scholars. In recognition of her outstanding contributions, she will receive a stipend of £3,000 to immerse herself in the partnership's community, attend a relevant conference, and embark on a community-focused project aligned with the partnership's objectives.

The Turing-Roche partnership, established in June 2021 for a five-year term, is dedicated to the field of personalised healthcare. Its primary focus is on generating insights and developing methodologies to address the variations in patient conditions and disease manifestations. For example, it seeks to understand why diseases may present differently in various individuals and why medical treatments can yield different outcomes for different people.

Kuniko Paxton
Kuniko Paxton

Kuniko's research aligns closely with the partnership's mission. Her PhD work revolves around pioneering techniques aimed at ensuring fairness in Artificial Intelligence, thereby preventing discrimination and bias from the potentially erroneous reasoning of Machine Learning algorithms. Her practical goal is to eliminate discrimination based on any sensitive attributes when AI is applied in the medical sector, ultimately making fair AI-assisted healthcare accessible to all. She is employing skin cancer detection as an important case study and aims to explore potential biases arising from skin colour while developing methods to detect and eliminate them.

Kuniko is supervised by Dr Koorosh Aslansefat within the Dependable Intelligent Systems Research Group in the School of Computer Science and the DAIM Institute, where she serves as a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant. Dr Aslansefat is a leading figure in the field of Safety Machine Learning, and the DEIS research group holds a significant global influence in academia and industry due to their pioneering techniques and commercial tools that enhance the reliability and safety of intelligent systems. DAIM serves as the University's Centre of Excellence in Data Science and AI Modelling.

Kuniko's award and her role as a community scholar will further empower her to advance her research in the pursuit of fairness in personalised healthcare, thus strengthening her association with the ATN-Roche partnership.

In expressing her gratitude, Kuniko said: "I am absolutely thrilled to have received this award and the associated opportunities. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to my supervisor, Dr Koorosh Aslansefat, for his unwavering inspiration, innovative ideas, and continuous support. It has been an honour to collaborate with the DEIS research group, contribute to the DAIM's initiatives, and be a part of research that holds significant ethical significance."

Dr Aslansefat, who supervises Kuniko, praised her achievements, saying: "Kuniko's success is a testament to her intelligence and dedication. It underscores her potential to drive important advancements in the field of Medical AI. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Kuniko and express my gratitude for her remarkable contributions to the University of Hull.”

Professor Yiannis Papadopoulos, leader of DEIS, said: “Kuniko's experience includes managing an IT company in Japan and developing computing applications for an international clientele. She stands as an inspiration for women aspiring to build careers in technology, science, and industry, and we are proud to have her as a student and colleague.

Last updated