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  • Data Science and Medical Image Analysis Training for Improved Health Care Delivery in Nigeria (DATICAN)


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    Other PIs:
    • Abiodun Adewuya
    • Christian Happi
    • Samson Arekete
    • Nike Sofoluwe
    • Godwin Ogbole
    • Alexander Pearson
    • Steffen Sammet
    • Olufunmilayo Olopade


    Contact PI

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    Benjamin Aribisala
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    Project type

    Research Education

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    Medical imaging allows visualisation and understanding of human tissue and internal organs, thereby providing useful information for diagnosis, treatment and patient management. There is a gross shortage of medical image analysts and data scientists in Nigeria. This negatively affects health care delivery. DATa Science and Medical Image Analysis Training for Improved Health CAre Delivery in Nigeria (DATICAN) is a collaborative effort among Lagos State University (LASU), University of Ibadan, and Redeemer University in Nigeria and the University of Chicago (UChicago) in the USA. DATICAN will leverage existing collaborative relationships between UChicago and LASU to provide early-career Nigerian physicians and scientists with a variety of mentored training and experiential learning opportunities. Our research education program focuses on (1) computer science and informatics (2) statistics and mathematics and (c) medical image analysis and public health, thus building capacity in Nigeria for data science and medical image analysis. LASU, ranked among the topmost universities in Nigeria due to its cross-cutting research programs and quality of research output, will be the coordinating center. UChicago, a world-class university known for its emphasis on interdisciplinary research and expertise in translational medicine and data science, will provide access to experienced faculty mentors and training resources. DATICAN will enroll 72 participants, comprising MSc (36), PhD (12), postdocs (12) and junior faculty (12). These graduate students and faculty will each design, develop, and implement a data science project. The projects will concern analysis and information extraction from medical imaging data (e.g., mammogram, ultrasound, MRI and X-ray images) particularly with reference to non-communicable and infectious diseases that are high-priority public health concerns in Nigeria, including cancer, stroke, brain tumor and epilepsy, chronic lung diseases, malaria and tuberculosis. DATICAN will provide support (school fees, stipend, research funds and grants for conference attendance) for program participants, for one to three years, depending on their needs. Participation will center on compulsory, two week-long "hackathons" to be held three times a year, but also include monthly webinar trainings focused on the latest technologies in data science, medical image analysis, image processing, current research in data science and health care related topics; also, funding opportunities, writing grant proposals and scientific articles, grants management, presentation skills, and career development. UChicago will lead the webinar trainings, providing faculty as well as access to technologies and cloud-based resources. We are confident that DATICAN will contribute to sustainable growth of the community of data science experts in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa, as the program's participants branch out and mentor others in their own research communities. Thus, substantial and productive benefits will accrue from our effort, manifesting as increasing numbers of Africans with the knowledge and skills to conduct data-intensive research that will improve the health of vulnerable populations in low resource regions around the globe.

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