Mark Alexander Hayes
Director of eScience, Centre for Scientific Computing, University of Cambridge

TALK TITLE: COMPUTATIONAL RADIOTHERAPY: OR HOW PHYSICISTS AND DATA SCIENTISTS CAN HELP TREAT CANCER

Cancer affects all our lives, either personally or when a friend or family member falls ill. Many common cancers can now be treated with a relatively high success rate. One of the most effective forms of treatment is radiotherapy: the use of high energy x-rays or particle beams. These are very accurately targeted at a tumour with the intention of killing as many tumour cells as possible, whilst sparing the surrounding healthy tissue. Unfortunately, every patient and every tumour is unique. Therefore planning radiotherapy treatment presents a complex data science problem involving image analysis and a statistical simulation of the radiation beam and its interaction with biological matter to calculate dose.  I will describe a programme of work based at Cambridge involving clinicians, high energy physicists, computer scientists, engineers and mathematicians working together to improve the use of radiotherapy. We have addressed a wide range of practical issues in large scale data processing and computational simulation of tumour growth and treatment, with real impacts on patient care and the teaching of medical students. This uniquely interdisciplinary work is set in the context of the wider HPC and scientific computing environment in Cambridge. We host one of the largest academic supercomputers in the UK, pioneered the early development of cloud computing and run an internationally renowned course training the next generation of HPC and data scientists.

BIOGRAPHY

Current position
Director of eScience, Centre for Scientific Computing: September 2008-present previously Technical Director from November 2001

I was hired in 2001 to lead the day-to-day research and IT management at the Cambridge eScience Centre, which was one of the ten regional centres of the UK eScience programme. From its original purpose to support projects in Grid computing, the remit of the Centre expanded – as part of the Centre for Scientific Computing – to support a wide variety of computational science across the University of Cambridge. Its mode of operation has been to form long term collaborations, embedding within academic groups specialized expertise in scientific software engineering that they would otherwise find difficult to access. In recent years we have focused on work with the Department of Oncology in a series of projects based on Computational Radiotherapy. See www.comprt.org for current work and www.escience.cam.ac.uk for previous work.

Grants held
• Co-Investigator on the MRC Agora-RT project, January 2017 – September 2017, £70,000
• Co-Investigator on the HEFCE Zeitgeist project, January 2016 – November 2017, £42,000
• Principal Investigator on the EPSRC DART project, March 2014 – February 2015, £64,000
• Co-Investigator on the STFC AccelRT project, December 2011-June 2015
• Co-Investigator on the NERC SNAQ-Heathrow project, January 2011-December 2013,
£622,000
• Institutional Principal Investigator for the EU IndiaGrid2 project, January 2010-December
2011, £73,0000
• Co-Investigator on the EPSRC eScience Engineering Taskforce network, April 2008-
September 2011, £330,000
• Principal Investigator and Project Director of the JISC GROWL project, January 2005-
December 2006, £150,000

Committee work
• Co-chair, 7th & 8th EuroSciPy – the European Conference on Python in Science 2014-15 Management committee for the Cambridge Advanced Imaging Centre 2011-2016
• CamGrid management committee (chair) 2006-2008
• Programme and steering committees for the UK eScience All Hands conference 2003-2007.
• Member of the management committees for the Cambridge eScience Centre and Cambridge Centre for Scientific Computing 2001-2010
• Programme and steering committees for the UK eScience All Hands conference 2003-2007.

Previous employment and education
• Senior Technical Officer, Systems Group, European Bioinformatics Institute, Hinxton (1998-
2001)
• System Manager, Electronic Share Information Ltd. (now E*Trade UK) (1995-1998)
• BA Hons Mathematics, King’s College Cambridge (1992-1995)