Automated Image Recognition: Precision Medicine in Psoriatic Arthritis

The students at SAMBa were engaging and motivated, above all interested in solving real world problems with their skills. As a result of SAMBa we have taken huge strides forward in a new technique in the assessment of arthritis related to psoriasis and the effect of treatment.

Dr William Tillett, Consultant Rheumatologist, Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases

The city of Bath has long been famous for its healing water, and as time has gone on, a world-leading rheumatology treatment group has been established as part of the NHS (the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD)). In 2016, this group joined us for ITT4, along with academics from the Department of Computer Science. During the week the participants worked on a variety of challenges and one of them resulted in a PhD project for a SAMBa postgraduate, Adwaye Rambojun, supervised between Computer Science, Maths and the RNHRD, exploring image recognition for the automatic diagnosis and monitoring for psoriatic arthritis.  

On completion of his PhD, Adwaye moved on to a short-term postdoc, funded by the NHS and is now a Mathematical Innovation Research Associate based in the University’s Institute for Mathematical Innovation (IMI) (Institute for Mathematical Innovation (, leading his own research initiative in this area. Due to Adwaye’s success in his early post-doctoral career he has successfully applied for funding from EPSRC’s Acceleration Account and then the NHS to develop the impact of the work. He has also been successful in winning an EPSRC small grant to develop the research area. The group have developed collaborative links with Industry partners (Pfizer) to test their novel method for assessing arthritis damage in clinical trial data and with the University of Oxford (Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences and Big Data Institute) in an ambitious project to understand the underlying disease mechanisms in Psoriatic Arthritis precision medicine.

The RNHRD returned to ITT14 in 2021, with Adwaye as one of the partner leads, where they developed some of their research ideas more widely and built links into the School of Management. The research has now been picked up by another SAMBa PhD student, Allen Paul, and has expanded into an IMI theme within the institute, bringing in new collaborators from across the University and the RNHRD.

Partner case studies

Networking with BT Group

“We have a great track record of successful collaboration with SAMBa, as we share a common aim – applying the latest thinking in mathematics and statistics to solve real-world problems."

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Flying high with Rolls-Royce

"We found participating in the ITT to be an unique and engaging environment for exchanging ideas and it was also good fun. Above all it produced some truly innovative thinking."

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Flying high with GKN and Airbus

"Working with SAMBa students to relay how our industry understands the daily challenges in aerospace design and manufacture and for them to translate them into statistical/mathematical models and methods was a refreshing and rewarding concept."

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Formulating data-driven understanding for health treatments with Novartis

There were a couple of ongoing personal research collaborations with Novartis in the Department of Mathematical Sciences that were brought together to develop a set of challenges for Novartis’s participation in ITT12. These consisted of questions exploring modelling and data integration in pharmacokinetics models, and finding effective routes to drug development for liver disease.

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Internationalising the ITT model

"The collaboration between SAMBa, UNAM and CIMAT has strengthened us in tools and techniques to visualize new perspectives of development and collaboration with a focus on generating value for other institutions."

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Flood and coastal risk management with the Environment Agency

“Alongside the specific potential benefits to applied flood and coastal risk management, I have seen first-hand that the SAMBa CDT produces high calibre doctoral graduates with excellent skills in problem formulation and collaborative problem solving...”

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Analysing usage data and optimising treatment choice with Mayden

"For a small company like ours, this research is vital in delivering our vision to create digital technologies that change what’s possible for clinicians and patients."

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Analysing risk with DNV GL

"We are working with SAMBa to develop new tools for managing risk by combining deterministic and probabilistic methods."

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