QUB awarded grant to work with Dublin Bioinformatics startup

  • QUB’s Centre for Data Science and Scalable Computing (DSSC) along with Dublin based Nuritas have been awarded funding from the InterTrade Ireland Fusion programme.

    The FUSION programme is a cross-border initiative that promotes innovation through collaboration.

    Founded in 2014 by mathematician and bioinformatician Dr Nora Khaldi, Nuritas combines the power of artificial intelligence (AI) with deep learning and ‘omics’ analysis to discover novel food-derived peptide therapeutics.

    By integrating a proprietary AI predictive platform with in-house laboratories, Nuritas can rapidly discover and preclinically validate peptide therapeutics within months rather than years.

    To date, Nuritas has received backing from the European Investment Bank and from some of the most successful investors in the world including Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, VisVires New Protein, early Facebook and Dropbox investor Ali Partovi, U2’s Bono and The Edge, and Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff.

    This innovation support will allow for a high calibre graduate to join Nuritas for an 18 month project in a research partnership with Dr Barry Devereux, Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics at Queen’s University Belfast.

    His research involves building computational models from linguistic data to represent the semantic content of words and documents, including medical documents.

    The graduate will work directly within the business, along with Dr Devereux’s supervision, to deliver a solution to extract structured information from large volumes of unstructured academic literature.

    They will do this by using cutting edge Artificial Intelligence techniques such as Information Retrieval and Natural Language Processing.

    Alessandro Adelfio, Bioinformatician at Nuritas said: "This programme offers an excellent way for Nuritas to engage with talented researchers to enhance our capabilities in automated knowledge extraction, which will not only impact the predictive models for our peptide therapeutics, but will contribute to the understanding of our in vitro experiments."

    "We are always looking to take onboard world leading talent and this programme will help us maintain our position as a global leader in applying AI for innovative healthcare solutions.”

    Dr Barry Devereux added: "Maximising the impact of academic research through collaborations with industrial partners is central to the mission of QUB’s Centre for Data Science and Scalable Computing, and this project will allow us to apply state-of-the-art natural language processing and knowledge extraction methods to the important domain of peptide therapeutics research."

    "Adapting natural language processing technologies to this task gives us an exciting opportunity to develop our research in a direction that solves real-world, large scale, data analytics challenges."

    Find more information about the role and how to apply here. 

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    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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