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Assistant Professor in the Department of EngineeringE109 Christopherson 
Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing  


Please check out my personal webpage for more information.

I received a BSc (2005) followed by an MSc (2008) and a Ph.D. (2014) in Biomedical Engineering from Sahand University of Technology and Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Iran. I obtained my first tenure post as an assistant professor in the Department of Advanced Technologies in Medicine at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in 2014, and remained there for 7 years, during which I obtained valuable experience in teaching and supervision of projects at the undergraduate and graduate levels. My research in Iran was focused on machine learning for biomedical image processing through close collaboration with clinicians. I have led many successful previously-unexplored projects on medical images, including but not limited to classification and segmentation of retinal images with AI; applications of AI in CT-scan and X-ray images; and multi-modality MRI data analysis.

My two stays at Charité university hospital, Germany, and one stay at Sabanci University in Turkey were awarded by competitive research scholarships from the Einstein forum and TUBITAK, respectively. They provided me with the opportunity of face-to-face international collaborations and the invaluable experience of living abroad. At Charité, I designed AI algorithms for ocular images. The research output was highly practical and trustworthy and is currently in operation in clinical research. The work in Sabanci, on the other hand, was mostly focused on mathematical aspects and yielded the introduction of a new image transformation.

I then moved to Newcastle University, where I worked as a Research Associate in an interdisciplinary team at Newcastle University, a position that provided me the great opportunity to conduct in-depth research on the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the detection of neurological diseases from the eye. Since July 2022, I have been with the Department of Engineering at Durham University as an Assistant Professor.

My current research is on medical image processing and I had leadership positions in multiple projects for pre-processing, segmentation, and classification of data from different organs (eye, chest, teeth, brain, heart, breast), from different modalities (OCT, Fundoscopy, CT-scan, X-ray, cone-beam CT, MRI, fMRI, and infrared), facing challenges like high dimensionality, noisiness, and imbalance.

I successfully applied for three international and two national funding bids from granting bodies such as Einstein Forum, National Institute for Medical Research Development (NIMAD), and Iran-Switzerland Research Seed Money Grant. My works yielded publication of articles in top-tier journals including Medical Image Analysis, IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, Information Fusion, American Journal of Ophthalmology, and others. One of the recent collaborative papers entitled “Deep-covid: Predicting covid-19 from chest x-ray images using deep transfer learning” became internationally recognised (580 citations in around 2 years) and was awarded the best paper in the Covid-domain by the Ministry of Health in Iran. Four of the outcomes are being practically used by clinicians and subsequent publications using these tools are made in medical journals. Such works can potentially yield strategic links with the ophthalmologic imaging industry, which necessarily requires generalisable and trustworthy AI.

I am an advocate of bringing research into teaching by delivering cutting-edge findings on the subject. I structure my courses (particularly graduate courses geared towards more technically and scientifically mature audiences) with tangible and state-of-the-art applications and try to address novel modifications to maintain an up-to-date, yet practical classroom. I was fortunate to develop the first run of some new modules based on my research interests.

Honors and Awards

Top Ten Abstract Award for abstract titled "Autoencoder-Based Feature Extraction for Discrimination of Multiple Sclerosis Using Thickness Maps of Retinal Layers" in Collaborative Community on Ophthalmic Imaging (CCOI), 2023.

Article of the Year Award for ‘COVID-19 in Iran: Forecasting Pandemic Using Deep Learning,’ in Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine, 2021.

Best Paper Award in Covid-domain for ‘Deep-COVID: Predicting COVID-19 from chest X-ray images using deep transfer learning’ in Medical image analysis, Ministry of Health, Iran, 2021.

• Best Young USERN Office Award, 2017.

• Voluntary Contribution Award (Student Travel) by IEEE R8 VCF, 2014.

• Best Researcher Award, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 2013.

• Ranked First in National PhD Entrance Exam in Biomedical Engineering, Iran, 2013.

• Best Paper Award from ISCEE07, Isfahan, Iran, 2007.

Research interests

  • Medical Data Analysis
  • Machine learning / Deep Learning
  • Image Processing and Computer Vision
  • Time-frequency methods
  • Data Acquisition and Management
  • Data Quality Assessment

Esteem Indicators

  • 2022: Guest Editor : in Advances in Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (Diagnostics) (2022)
  • 2022: Invited talk in Turing Network Development Award at QUB - AIQ Seminar on Ophthalmic Imaging :
  • 2022: Topic editor: ;in Artificial Intelligence in Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy (2022)
  • 0000: Director of Student Committee in 17th Iranian Biomedical Engineering Conference (ICBME’17) (2010):
  • 0000: Editorial Board Member of the 11 Iranian and the first International Conference on Machine Vision and Image Processing (MVIP) (2020):
  • 0000: Head of Biomedical engineering Section in 10th Iranian Student Conference on EE (ISCEE’07) (2007):
  • 0000: Invited talk in DEMON Network: "Artificial Intelligence in Eye imaging: An easy-to-use mirror of brain-related abnormalities in Dementia"
  • 0000: Invited talk on 'Machine learning in Healthcare' in Institute of Physics (IOP), London:
  • 0000: Section Editor in Journal of Medical Signals and Sensors (JMSS):


Chapter in book

Conference Paper

Edited book

  • Khayyam, Hamid, Madani, Ali, Kafieh, Rahele & Hekmatnia, Ali (2023). Artificial Intelligence in Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy. Basel: MDPI.

Journal Article

Supervision students