Professor Ali Khurram is the Head (and founder) of the NEOPATH research group. He is a Professor at the School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield, UK actively involved in undergraduate, postgraduate and clinical teaching and training. In his clinical role he works as a Consultant Pathologist with the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & is the Clinical Lead for the Diagnostic Service. He is the Secretary for the British Society for Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology and Digital Advisor for The Pathological Society of GB & Ireland. He is also a Patron for The Swallows Head and Neck Cancer Charity and is working with investigators across the world on numerous clinically relevant research challenges to aid patient care. He is particularly interested in application of Digital Pathology and Artificial Intelligence for patient diagnosis and stratification, early detection of head and neck cancer and pre-cancers, salivary gland pathobiology and the role of tumour microenvironment in cancer progression.
Hanya graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2012. Following her Dental Foundation Training and multiple Dental Core Training posts in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery/Medicine/ Pathology and Radiology she was appointed as an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow/Specialist Registrar in Oral Surgery at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals in 2018. As a clinical-academic and budding Oral Surgeon, she has a keen interest in undergraduate/postgraduate teaching and translational research and is a Fellow of the HEA. As part of her ACF training, she has undertaken a Masters in Research and was awarded a grant from Sheffield Hospitals Charity to support her preliminary work. Recently, she has been awarded a prestigious NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship to support a three-year PhD study in improving oral pre-cancer diagnosis using Artificial Intelligence. She has presented her work at numerous publications and presentations and won numerous accolades for the quality of her work.
Paul is an an Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF) in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology with a strong interest in research especially in the area of head and neck potentially malignant lesions. Paul undertook an intercalated BMedSci degree during his undergraduate degree, learning and using a range of cell culture, molecular biology and histology techniques. He presented his research at the British Society of Oral and Dental Research (BSODR) meeting in 2015 winning the Junior Colgate prize. As a foundation trainee, Paul obtained experience in motivational techniques to improve patient oral hygiene, patient recruitment, gaining consent and collecting data. Whilst working as a Dental Core Trainee in Maxillofacial surgery, he got involved in multiple publications and projects enhancing his understanding of how to approach, summarize and interpret the literature and publish findings. In his current role, Paul is involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and is working towards a PGCert in Medical Education and PGCert in Medical Research. He is interested in molecular profiling and better understanding of pre-cancerous head and neck lesions to facilitate early detection and predict malignant transformation.
AMIR ZAKI ABDULLAH ZUBIR
Zaki's first degree was in BSc Chemical Engineering Technology (Hons.) in Bioprocess (2012). He received sponsorship by the Malaysian government to pursue his MSc IN Biological and Bioprocess Engineering (2013) and eventually his PhD at the University of Sheffield (2018). After completion of his PhD, Zaki worked as a Research Assisstant with Dr Ali Khurram. He has also been awarded research and travel grants and published his collaborative research articles presented his work nationally and internationally. His interest encompasses tumour microenvironment, diagnostic and therapeutic intervention, drug discovery, omics research, bioinformatics, and protein engineering. Zaki is joining the team to tackle clinical problems in head and neck cancer by utilising genomics and bioinformatics tools with Dr Ali Khurram and Professor Daniel Lambert. The project is part of the International Collaborative Research Grant (ICRG) funded by the British Council Pakistan.
SYED AHMED TAQI
Taqi started his Ph.D. in October 2021 under the supervision of Dr. Ali Khurram. He completed his Master’s program in Oral Pathology at Government Dental College and Hospital (Mumbai, India) in 2008. Between 2008 and 2013, he worked as an academician and clinician at Government Dental College & Hospital and Bharati Vidyapeeth Dental College and Hospital in India. This was followed by a role in the same position at King Khaled University Faculty of Dentistry and Najran University Faculty of Dentistry (Saudi Arabia) till 2021. He has published numerous scientific articles including original studies, case reports, and reviews and has presented scientific papers and posters at various conferences. He is also a member of the Indian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologists. His doctoral research includes digital markers of diagnosis and prognosis to predict head and neck cancer behavior.
Chris graduated from the University of Sheffield with a BMedSci (2015) and BDS (2018), and currently works as a Speciality Registrar in Oral Medicine. In 2016, Chris was awarded the Junior Colgate Prize for his early work exploring the role of Hox genes in oral cancer and pre-cancer. Chris continued to engage with research and teaching alongside his postgraduate clinical training at Guy’s Hospital in London, where he completed an NIHR-funded Academic Clinical Fellowship (2020-23), PGCert in Applied Research Methods (2023), PGCert in Medical Education (2021) and became Fellow of HEA (2021). During this time, Chris became interested in clinical artificial intelligence and was awarded first prize at his Directorate's annual quality improvement meeting for his work developing a tool to automatically detect dental radiographs that show cysts or tumours. More recently, Chris was awarded the joint RCS England and BISOM pump-priming research grant to explore the role of computational pathology in the diagnosis and prognosis of pre-cancerous oral verrucous lesions. Chris is actively involved in national societies, including as Treasurer for the Oral Medicine & Pathology Group of BSODR and as previous Member’s Representative for BISOM.
Dr. Kirsch is a Clinical Professor of Radiology at Yale University and previous Neuroradiology Division Chief at Northwell Health Zucker Hofstra School. She specialises in neuroradiology and H&N imaging with a focus on developing innovative methodologies to enhance patient care. Her PhD explores Viral mediated disease utilising high resolution MRI imaging with Dr Khurram, Professor Daniel Lambert (Sheffield) and Professor Priti Balchandani (Mount Sinai Medical Center). Dr. Kirsch is the recipient of the American Society of Neuroimaging Oldendorf award, and additional awards for new MRI techniques in assessing spinal cord trauma, numerous teaching awards, and international accolades for development of award-winning interactive 3-D H&N anatomy software. She has numerous peer-reviewed publications. She has served and continues to serve on numerous committees including the Current Chair of the American Society of H&N Radiology Research Committee, Educational, Program & Research Committees of the American Society of H&N Imaging, Radiological Society of North America, North American Skull Base Society, American Society of Functional Imaging, American Association of Woman Radiologists, Association of University Radiologists, and is Past President of the Eastern Neuroradiological Society. Her Prior grants and research have led to national and international presentations, including a TEDx talk on imaging how cancer “hitchhikes” via perineural invasion through the skull base.
Randeep joined NEOPATH in October 2021 for a PhD jointly funded by the University of Sheffield and The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore, where he will spend 2 out of the 4 years of his PhD. He is supervised by Dr Khurram and Dr Pavitra Krishnaswammy (I2R, A*STAR). He holds a BSc in Mathematics and Philosophy and an MSc in Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Logic - both from the University of Manchester - graduating in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Thereafter he worked in various jobs in technology before returning to academia to work as a research assistant at the University of Edinburgh, where he used machine learning to advance phenotypic drug discovery, gaining an MRes in the process. The aims of his PhD involve using machine learning and whole slide imaging to develop methods to aid the analysis of head and neck cancer cells, including automatic detection of lymph node metastases.
In 2023, Anza Shakeel graduated with a Ph.D. from Durham University. Her doctoral work focused on utilising unsupervised machine learning to automatically detect transient phenomena (earthquakes, volcanoes etc) in InSAR time-series (satellite radar data). Anza holds an MS in Computer Science in addition to a BS in Electrical Engineering. Her research interests include the areas of unsupervised machine learning and its various multidisciplinary applications, such as healthcare and remote sensing, that face difficulties with high-dimensional, noisy and imbalanced data. Anza is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate with Dr. Ali Khurram on a project funded by CR UK. Her project involves designing and developing AI models for early detection of head and neck cancer.
Nabeela Kausar joined the group in 2023 after winning a highly competitive Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from the Higher education Commission of Pakistan. She has previously received a scholarship for a Masters leading to PhD and completed her PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences Islamabad, in 2016. She has a strong interest in application of Artificial Intelligence to medical applications. Her research interests also include Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and Medical Image Analysis.
John is a Research Associate working on detection and understanding of salivary gland tumours. He graduated with a Masters from the University of Manchester in 2016 studying Theoretical Physics. In 2023 John completed his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Sheffield, where he focused on studying Agent Based Modelling and Pedestrian Simulations. He has been a named researcher in studying and modelling people at train station platforms, where he helped develop the RateSetter software over three years.
John is joining the team under Professor Ali Khurram for a project funded by the Life Arc Rare Disease (Pathfinder) Scheme. The project will develop novel and bespoke Artificial Intelligence Algorithms for profiling of a multicentre salivary gland cancer dataset.