Leading Chair in big data appointed

Professor Andrew Turpin

A new Chair appointment through the Lions Eye Institute and Curtin University (Curtin) will greatly enhance Western Australia’s international competitiveness in artificial intelligence, image analysis and computation involving large medical datasets.

Professor Andrew Turpin has been appointed as the inaugural Lions Curtin Chair in Ophthalmic Big Data.

Professor Turpin is a global leader in data science and analytics and is currently Director of the Melbourne Data Analytics Platform (MDAP) and Senior Academic Convenor of the Petascale Campus Initiative, at the University of Melbourne. He will commence in his new role in Perth in November this year.

The Lions Curtin Chair in Ophthalmic Big Data has been established by the Lions Eye Institute and Curtin, with support from the Lions Save-Sight Foundation WA Inc (LSSFWA), to enhance leadership and research in ophthalmic big data. The Chair will build on experience in computer science, image analysis and computation involving large datasets, including data interpretation assisted by artificial intelligence methods. The position is jointly funded by Curtin and LSSFWA.

Professor Bill Morgan, Managing Director of the Lions Eye Institute, said the appointment would contribute to Western Australia’s burgeoning reputation as a centre for research excellence in ocular disease.

“Professor Turpin will bring deep expertise that will further develop the Institute’s and Curtin’s work in artificial intelligence, image analysis, Indigenous, rural and remote eye health, and data linkage,” Professor Morgan said. “He will help to drive the research agenda and facilitate the translation of research knowledge into policy and practice.”

Professor Turpin’s research interests include computational problems in human vision, in particular developing new techniques for diagnosing and monitoring glaucoma. Through his new Chair role, he will undertake internationally competitive research, build new capacity in analytics across optometry and ophthalmology, support research and eye care systems development involving large and continuous related datasets.

Professor Archie Clements, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Health Sciences at Curtin, said he was delighted to welcome Professor Turpin to Curtin University and Western Australia. “Professor Turpin’s extensive academic leadership experience will be critical for lifting data science research in the State, with a focus on eye health, an area of significant need here in WA. Our partnership with the Lions Eye Institute has been incredibly exciting and we look forward to Professor Turpin building on the momentum we have created in eye health research,” Professor Clements said.

Professor Turpin said “I am looking forward to the opportunities that the combined resources of the Lions Eye Institute, Curtin and Western Australia will bring to improve patient outcomes using data and computational techniques.”

The Lions Eye Institute and The University of Western Australia recently announced the appointment of the Lions Eye Institute UWA Chair in Optometry Research, Professor Allison McKendrick, while an international search is under way to fill the Ian Constable Chair in Discovery and Translational Ophthalmic Science.


About Curtin University

Curtin University is Western Australia’s largest university, with close to 60,000 students. In addition to the University’s main campus in Perth, Curtin also has a major regional campus in Kalgoorlie, and a campus in Midland, as well as four global campuses in Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai and Mauritius. Curtin staff and students come from Australia and over 120 other countries around the world, with half our international students studying at Curtin’s offshore campuses.

Curtin is ranked in the top one per cent of universities worldwide, with the University placed 9th in Australia according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2021 and has achieved a QS Five Stars Plus rating, the highest available for a tertiary institution, and one of only five to do so in Australia.

The University has built a reputation around innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit, being at the forefront of many high-profile research projects in astronomy, biosciences, economics, mining and information technology. It is also recognised globally for its strong connections with industry, and for its commitment to preparing students for the jobs of the future.

For further information, visit curtin.edu.au.


About the Lions Eye Institute

At the Lions Eye Institute, we make a difference to people’s lives through excellent patient care and by pushing the frontiers of science to discover new treatments and cures for eye disease.

The Lions Eye Institute spans the dual complementary pathways of research and clinical care, bringing together a globally recognised team of researchers and clinicians who continually build on each other’s discoveries, knowledge and expertise, to deliver sight-saving treatment and care around the world.

The quest for knowledge and its life-changing applications for patients is what drives our work.


For any media enquiries please contact:

Yasmine Phillips, Curtin University Media Relations Manager

Caroline Cousins, Lions Eye Institute Communications Manager

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