Imperial’s DigiFAB founder Professor Sophia Yaliraki appointed as Co-Director of I-X.
Professor Sophia Yaliraki has joined Imperial’s exciting flagship AI initiative, I-X, as Co-Director for Engagement. As Deputy Head in the Department of Chemistry and Professor of Theoretical Chemistry, Professor Yaliraki has also led on the development of the interdisciplinary MSc in Digital Chemistry. She is the founder of Imperial’s institute dedicated to digital molecular design and fabrication, DigiFAB, bringing with her a wealth of experience in the creation of interdisciplinary initiatives.
Professor Yaliraki’s own research focuses on developing multiscale techniques based on graph learning with applications in allosteric drug design, precision healthcare, digital chemistry and online learning analytics. Professor Yaliraki will be succeeding Co-Director, Professor Nick Jones, who will continue to be a vital member of the I-X executive board and the director of the I-X Centre for AI in Science.
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“Sophia brings a great combination of technical talent with an ability to get things done: we are very lucky to have her. With her role as leading on engagement I think she will have a key role in helping Imperial exploit the strengths of I-X and reciprocally." Professor Nick Jones
Speaking about her new appointment, Professor Yaliraki said: “I very much look forward to joining such a vibrant community at I-X and contributing to its ongoing development. I am looking forward to drawing from my own experience of founding DigiFAB and enriching new ways of working that such an initiative requires, where not only research, but training and engagement is interdisciplinary and constantly changing.”
Touching upon the impact of the previous Co-Director, Professor Nick Jones, Professor Yaliraki said: “I feel particularly privileged to be taking over from Nick who has made an enormous impact in getting I-X established. He will continue running the I-X Centre for AI in Science and providing ongoing support for our prestigious Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellows which is fundamental to I-X. As we continue to develop and grow I-X, I hope to build on the fantastic foundations he has already laid.”
With its official launch in early 2023, I-X is Imperial’s flagship initiative brings AI, industry and interdisciplinarity together. Based at Imperial’s White City Campus, I-X has a thriving research community focusing on both foundational AI and AI applications extending across healthcare, sustainability, economics, and defence. Through a suite of educational programmes and the start of its industry club, I-X have created an entrepreneurial environment to break down institutional barriers with the goal of delivering real benefits to scientific exploration within the next five to ten years.
As a keen advocate for engaging the local community and speaking of I-X’s strategic location at Imperial’s White City Campus, Professor Yaliraki said: “I see myself as a thoughtful listener across both I-X and the College to better facilitate key opportunities across the White City ecosystem. To amplify our societal impact, it is crucial we encourage international partnerships as well as local interactions with our neighbours here.”
Speaking of Professor Yaliraki’s new appointment, Professor Nick Jones said: “Sophia brings a great combination of technical talent with an ability to get things done: we are very lucky to have her. With her role as leading on engagement I think she will have a key role in helping Imperial exploit the strengths of I-X and reciprocally. I-X now contains an impressive focus of talent, in a growing space at White City, with nearly 50 new faculty members and independent fellows and their associated teams. I'm very pleased to have been a part of making that happen.”
Chair of the Board for I-X, Professor Eric Yeatman said: “I’m delighted to have Sophia joining us. Her wide experience, including DigiFAB, will be invaluable to us, and her energy and commitment are already abundantly evident. We are hugely fortunate to have her."
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