Astrophysics with Biomedical Applications
Dr David Jess
Astrophysicists have long been accustomed to dealing with faint signals that are often embedded within the noise level of their observations.
Dr Jess has long contributed to novel techniques designed to reliably isolate and quantify these challenging sources, resulting in numerous publications in high-impact international journals (Jess et al. 2009, Science, 323, 1582 Jess et al. 2016, Nature Physics, 12, 179).
In the biomedical field, chemiluminescent signals to support the diagnosis of potentially ill patients hinge upon sensitive measurements that uphold precise photometric accuracy, and hence can benefit from the proven techniques built and refined for astrophysical purposes.
Dr Jess was awarded industrially linked research funding from Randox Laboratories Ltd in 2017, allowing him to set up a Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Science within Queen’s University Belfast’s School of Mathematics and Physics. The funding also allowed the hiring of a full-time post-doctoral research fellow, in addition to two PhD students, in order to develop, scientifically benchmark, and refine cutting-edge statistical techniques for use in modern, high-precision analysers being deployed worldwide by Randox.
The close working relationship between academia and industry has already broken considerable ground in the field of interdisciplinary research through his merging of astrophysical image processing, mathematical understanding, and biomedical engineering. This ongoing interdisciplinary research has cemented a working relationship that will continue to grow in strength over the coming years, and it is anticipated that the novel techniques developed within the Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Science will be harnessed by Randox’s global patient care team from 2020 and beyond.
Key personnel: Dr David Jess, Dr Samuel Grant, Mr Chris Dillon, Miss Caitlin Gilchrist-Millar, Dr Lisa McFetridge, Prof Mihalis Mathioudakis
The academic impact of the collaborative work with Randox is evidenced by multiple high-impact publications stemming from the techniques and processes being developed within the Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Science, including: Grant, Jess, et al. 2018, Nature Physics, 14, 480 and Jess et al. 2020, Nature Astronomy, 4, 220. These techniques are now undergoing stringent Software Requirements Specification (SRS) documentation to allow their use and suitability in biomedical devices to be approved prior to worldwide deployment.