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Dr Kevin Bryson
Dr Kevin Bryson profile picture
  • Honorary Associate Professor
  • Dept of Computer Science
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

I received a BSc (1st class honours) degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from Heriot-Watt University in 1991 and a DPhil in Physics from the University of York in 1996. My doctoral studies were followed by a period in industry at Oxford Molecular Ltd. developing bioinformatics and molecular dynamics software. This was followed by three postdoctoral positions: a BBSRC Fellowship at the University of Warwick, an Individual EU Marie Curie Fellowship at INRA in France and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at University College London. I became a Lecturer in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology at University College London in 2005, followed by a Senior Lecturer in 2014 and Associate Professor in 2018.

Research Summary

Our Computational Medicine Lab uses machine learning and data science to tackle challenges from a number of areas of medicine, focusing on cancer. We are extremely grateful to a number of clinical colleagues that  make these interdisciplinary projects possible.

We work with -omics data including gene expression, genomic methylation, proteomics and metabolics data. We employ supervised and unsupervised machine learning approaches to make predictions and reveal patterns in the data. We use biological network information to integrate data and gain holistic understanding of biological mechanisms. We also analyze image data including fluorescent labelled images of E. coli and H&E microscope slide images of cancer tissues sections. The long-term goal is to integrate molecular information, imaging data and clinical data to gain holistic understanding of diseases, particularly targeted at cancer.

Projects involving clinical prediction from -omics data have included:
  • Breast cancer subtypes.
  • Psychiatric conditions such as depression and autism.

We have also developed a number of machine learning tools to:

  • Find patterns within large heterogeneous gene expression data collections (MCbiclust based on R).
  • Create realistic synthetic gene expression datasets (GANs using TensorFlow).

We have recently started projects doing traditional image analysis (scikit-image) and CNN image prediction (PyTorch/Tensorflow) including:

  • Phenotype analysis of fluorescent C. elegans worms.
  • Nucleus image analysis using PCA, t-SNE and TensorFlow.
  • Classification between liposarcoma and lipoma using H&E whole slide images.
  • Classification between synovial sarcoma and singular fibrous tumour using H&E images.

We also analyze protein sequences using machine learning approaches to predict both structural and functional aspects of proteins including:

  • Secondary structure.
  • Protein disorder.
  • Amyloid propensity.
  • B-cell epitopes.

Teaching Summary

I am currently the Undergraduate Programme Director for the BSc/MEng degrees in Computer Science, the 1st year coordinator for the BSc/MEng degrees and Deputy Director / Exam Board Chair for the MSc in Computer Science.

Previously, I was the Director for the MSc in Computer Science for 7 years, the Admissions Tutor for the MSc in Computer Science for 4 years and Director of the Introduction to Bioinformatics (I2B) Graduate School Course taken by UCL/Birkbeck PhD students, Research Fellows and academic staff.

I currently teach:
  • COMP0008 (2nd year Computer Architecture and Concurrency)
  • COMP0082 (Bioinformatics module as part of the MSc in Machine Learning)
  • BIOC0016 (3rd year Computational and Systems Biology within the Department of Structural and Molecular Biology)

Previously I have taught:
  • COMP1001 (1st year Computer Architecture) using assembly language programming to explain the underlying working of the MIPS processor (and processors in general).
  • COMP2007 (2nd year Networking and Concurrency) teaching Java Concurrent Programming and introduces the concepts of computer networking by developing concurrent Java simulators demonstrating the key principles.
  • COMP3006 (Advanced Mathematics) where I taught advanced linear algebra and vector calculus.
  • WIBRG001 (MSc Drug Design within the Wolfson Institute of Medical Research) teaching introductory bioinformatics.
  • CPLXG001 (MRes Advanced Biological Modelling and Bioinformatics within CoMPLEX) teaching bioinformatics.
  • CPLXG003 (MRes Transferrable Skills Module within CoMPLEX) teaching the application of SQL relational databases within bioinformatics.
  • Birkbeck MSc in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology teaching biological networks and mathematical modelling.
  • INFN3004 (MSc and Intercalating Medical BSc in Immunology and Cell Pathology and Infection) taught introductory bioinformatics to medical students.

Academic Background
2007   Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education University College London
1996   Doctor of Philosophy University of York
1991   Bachelor of Science (Honours) Heriot-Watt University
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