Maryam Sadeghi (front row, centre in black and white) with her fellow winners of the NSERC 2012 Innovation Challenge Award

Computing Science

Maryam Sahdeghi wins Innovation Challenge Award

October 17, 2012

Maryam Sadeghi, who received her PhD in Computing Science from SFU this year, has been awarded a 2012 NSERC Innovation Challenge Award (Honourable Mention) for her innovative use of artificial intelligence and mobile technologies to improve prevention and early diagnosis of skin cancer.

NSERC created the Innovation Challenge Awards in order to recognize and support graduate students in the natural sciences or engineering who are applying their research to products and processes that benefit Canadians.

Dr. Sadeghi’s work is the epitome of this kind of entrepreneurial spirit. She was part of a team of researchers from SFU, UBC and the BC Cancer Agency that created UV Canada, an iPhone application that gives users daily updates on local UV indexes, weather forecasts and sun safety information.

Dr. Sadeghi completed her doctoral studies in SFU’s Medical Image Analysis lab: she was the Skin Research Training Center CIHR Scholar for three years, and has worked closely with the BC Cancer Agency and Skin Care Center. Her research is focused on developing programs that use computer visioning of dermoscopic images to identify and analyze potentially malignant skin lesions. Her interest in medical image analysis grew out of her undergraduate studies in computer vision applications in intelligent traffic control.

The Innovation Challenge Award is just one of a long list of awards and recognition Dr. Sadeghi has garnered in her time at SFU. In 2011, she won the Silver Medal in the ACM Student Research Competition from Microsoft Research and the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. In the same year, she received the Gold award at the World Congress of Dermatology in Seoul, Korea. Her team’s iPhone application, UV Canada, won the Best Poster award in Population Health and Health Sciences from the BC Cancer Agency. Dr. Sadeghi was the only female researcher awarded the Innovation Challenge Award this year.