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AI research paper wins inflammatory bowel disease award

Southampton researchers have been recognised for studying the use of machine learning for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

IBD is the name of a group conditions that cause the gut to become inflamed.

The most common types of IBD are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. It affects more than half a million people in the UK.

Recent research led in Southampton reviewed computer methods to help combat the disease. Results suggested progress can be made toward personalised medicine for IBD.

Findings published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases have now been named a winning paper in the journal’s annual awards.

Treating complex conditions

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are increasingly being applied to complex conditions.

The winning paper surveyed the use of these methods for IBD between 2001 and 2021.

It found that the most common uses include diagnosis, assessing disease activity and identifying patients more likely to develop complications.

The paper went further to identify how machine learning models could translate into the clinic.

Sarah Ennis, Professor of Genomics at the University of Southampton, led the study. She is driving further research in this area through the NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre’s Data, Health and Society theme.

Prof Ennis said: “We are delighted that our work in collaboration with colleagues at Pfizer has been recognised in this way.

“As always, our driving goal is to impact change for patients with IBD.

“We are hopeful that machine learning applications hold promise to discover cryptic signals from complex data, such as genomics, to advance this goal in the near future.”

Award-winning research

The IBD Journal Awards recognised excellent research published in 2022.

The shortlist consisted of ten top-performing articles: five for basic science and five for clinical research. The Associate Editors selected a winner from each category.

Prof Ennis and her team won the award for basic science.

The winners were announced at the 2023 Crohn's & Colitis Congress held in Denver last month.


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