Professor Lionel Tarassenko CBE FREng FMedSci is the first president of Reuben College, and Theme Lead for the AI & Machine Learning research cluster. He is a world-leading expert in the application of signal processing and machine learning to healthcare, with a strong track record in translation to clinical medicine.
Professor Tarassenko’s work has had a major impact on the identification of deterioration in acute care and on the management of chronic disease. The system which he designed for patient monitoring in critical care was the first machine learning system to gain FDA approval (in 2008). Prior to that, Professor Tarassenko had been closely involved in the development of some of the jet engine monitoring software at the core of the Rolls-Royce TotalCare® package. This won him the Rolls-Royce Chairman's Award for Technical Innovation in 2001 and the Sir Henry Royce High Value Patent Award in 2008.
Professor Tarassenko was born in Paris in 1957. He received the BA in Engineering Science in 1978 and the DPhil in medical electronics in 1985, both from the University of Oxford. After a period in industry working for Racal Electronics, he was appointed University Lecturer and Tutorial Fellow in Oxford (St Hugh’s College) in 1988.
He was elected to the Chair of Electrical Engineering and to a Professorial Fellowship at St John’s College, also at the University of Oxford in 1997. He was the driving force behind the creation of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME) which he directed from its opening in April 2008 to October 2012. Under his leadership, the IBME grew from 110 to 220 academic researchers, and it was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education in 2015 for “new collaborations between engineering and medicine delivering benefit to patients”.
Professor Tarassenko was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2000, and to a Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2013. In 1996, he was awarded the British Computer Society (BCS) Medal for development of neural network analysis of sleep disorders, His work on mobile phones for healthcare was awarded the E-health 2005 Innovation Award for “best device to empower patients”. He received the 2006 Silver Medal of the Royal Academy of Engineering for his contribution to British engineering leading to market exploitation and he won the Institute of Engineering & Technology IT Award, also in 2006. In 2010, he gave the prestigious Vodafone lecture on m-health at the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Centenary Lecture on Biomedical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. He received the 2015 Martin Black Prize from the Institute of Physics for the best paper in Physiological Measurement.
Professor Tarassenko is the author of 250 journal papers, 220 conference papers, 3 books and 32 granted patents. He is a director of the University’s wholly-owned technology transfer company, Oxford University Innovation, and has founded four University spin-out companies. He was the Head of the Department of Engineering Science (Dean of Engineering) from 2014 to 2019, and is now the Founding President of Reuben College, the University of Oxford’s newest college. He is the R&D Director of Sensyne Health, an AIM-listed company whose business model is to apply Clinical AI algorithms to well-curated NHS data for the purpose of making new discoveries and improving patient outcomes. He was the Editor-in-Chief for the Topol Review of NHS Technology and its impact on the workforce. He was made a CBE for services to engineering in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List.