Usher Institute

Congratulations Professors!

Congratulations to Professors Saturnino Luz Filho, Thanasis Tsanas, Karen Fairhurst, Nazir Lone and Susan Shenkin.

We are delighted that Saturnino Luz Filho, Thanasis Tsanas, Karen Fairhurst, Nazir Lone and Susan Shenkin have recently been promoted to become Professors.

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L-R: Professors Saturnino Luz Filho, Thanasis Tsanas, Karen Fairhurst, Nazir Lone and Susan Shenkin

Saturnino Luz Filho – Professor of Digital Biomarkers and Precision Medicine

Saturnino conducts research in medical informatics, employing machine learning, natural language processing, and signal processing methods to the study of behaviour and communication in healthcare contexts. His primary interest is in the use of computational methods in the study of behavioural changes caused by neurodegenerative diseases, with focus on vocalisation and linguistic behaviour. He has also employed these methods in the investigation of interaction in multidisciplinary medical team meetings, doctor-patient consultations, telemedicine and health promotion. His research interests also include visualisation of and inference in high dimensional data sets, and graphical models.

More about Saturnino on his profile

Full details of Saturnino’s research and project outputs

Thanasis Tsanas – Professor of Digital Health and Data Science

Thanasis develops and applies novel time-series, signal processing, pattern recognition, and statistical machine learning algorithms to provide insight into data and address unmet needs (primarily in the healthcare domain). His algorithms are directly driven by and validated on complicated real-world problems, providing insight and facilitating interpretation of the underlying key mechanisms of the modeled system. Thanasis’ work is inherently multi-disciplinary, collaborating with industrial partners and colleagues from diverse backgrounds worldwide.

More about Thanasis on his profile

Full details of Thanasis’ research and project outputs

Karen Fairhurst – Professor of Student Learning in Primary Care

Karen is an academic general practitioner with a focus on medical education. She works clinically as a GP at Mackenzie Medical Centre.  Karen currently holds roles as Deputy Programme Director for the Edinburgh Medical School MBChB, course organiser for the intercalated BMedSci in Primary Care, convener of the Master in Family Medicine exam board, and lead for undergraduate GP teaching within the medical school. Karen is also co-editor of Macleod’s Clinical Examination medical textbook, and external examiner for the ScotGEM programme at St Andrews and Dundee Universities.

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Full details of Karen’s research and project outputs

Nazir Lone – Professor of Critical Care and Epidemiology

Nazir’s programme of research focuses on health services research and health care quality improvement for acutely ill patients. His research aims to directly improve the quality of care for patients before, during and after an episode of acute or critical illness through rigorously conducted research and engagement with key stakeholders. Nazir’s has a particular research interest in epidemiological methods and using linked 'big' data, multimorbidity and end-of-life care in acute and critical care settings.

Nazir’s current programme of work includes NIHR-funded work to apply artificial intelligence (AI) methods in the context of multimorbidity (AIM-CISC) in which he co-leads work to develop AI tools to reduce adverse events. He also leads Innovate UK funded work to improve multimorbidity recognition in emergency care settings using data analytics.

More about Nazir on his profile

Full details of Nazir’s research and project outputs

Susan Shenkin – Professor of Healthcare for Older People

Susan has been working as a clinical academic in geriatric medicine at the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian since 2011, with main interests in cognitive ageing/delirium & dementia, and the health and care of residents and staff of care homes, in particular the role of data and technology. She has skills in data linkage in health and social care, and systematic reviews, and particularly enjoys interdisciplinary working.

Susan is part of the Advanced Care Research Centre (, leads the Lothian Care Home Innovation Partnership, and is co-chair of ENRICH (Scotland), and is Systematic Reviews Editor for Age and Ageing.

More about Susan on her profile

Full details of Susan’s research and project outputs


Congratulations to all staff across the Usher Institute who have recently been promoted or regraded.