Imperial College London

Global data competition won by Imperial’s chemical engineers

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DNA helix with computer code written in it

Four Imperial College London researchers are among winners of GSK and NineSigma’s Bio-Manufacturing Omics Data Challenge.

Imperial PhD students James Morrissey, Ben Strain and Thanasis Antonakoudis, supervised by Professor Cleo Kontoravdi, have been named one of three winning teams of  the Bio-Manufacturing Omics Data Challenge, organised by GSK and NineSigma.

“We are very impressed by the detailed workplan and experience of the group. This approach is highly likely to generate useful insights for GSK as it relies on creating a customised model for our strain, which can be used for future analyses as well.” Julia Pence Digital Transformation Portfolio Manager, GSK

To address important problems in bio-manufacturing, GSK opened up their data to world class researchers to gain new insights into it. In partnership with NineSigma, they engaged with the global technology community, identifying world-class experts in data analysis, machine learning and AI, and invited them to propose new analytical approaches. They received 39 proposals from companies, universities and research institutes in 19 different countries.

The winning proposal from Imperial involved a state-of-the-art hybrid Genome scale-machine learning approach to predict and improve product quality attributes. The team won a cash prize of €7000 and will be collaborating with GSK in the future.

Reflecting on their proposal, GSK’s Digital Transformation Portfolio Manager Julia Pence said: “We are very impressed by the detailed workplan and experience of the group. This approach is highly likely to generate useful insights for GSK as it relies on creating a customised model for our strain, which can be used for future analyses as well.”

Ben Strain commented on the group’s win saying: “It is a privilege being able to work with James and Thanasis as we each bring different complementary skills to the table. It’s great that our modelling work has been recognised for its real-world applicability by industry leaders”.

Thanasis added: “The competition hosted by GSK was an amazing opportunity for our team to try and solve a real-life problem. We are looking forward to applying our expertise in GSK’s dataset and making our proposal a reality.”

The group was supervised by Professor Cleo Kontoravdi who concluded: “This proposal was conceived by three very talented early-career researchers and showcases the power of interdisciplinary research. I look forward to working with them to deliver a high-impact outcome for the biomanufacturing sector.”

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This article is based on a press release published by NineSigma

Image: Shutterstock

 

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Gemma Ralton

Gemma Ralton
Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication