Surgical Robot Vision Research Group


Sophia Bano

I am an Assistant Professor in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) at the UCL Department of Computer Science and also part of the Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Science (WEISS), Centre for Artificial Intelligence and UCL Robotics Institute at University College London (UCL).

My research interests developing computer vision and AI techniques for context awareness, machine consciousness and navigation in minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgery. Particularly, I am interested in context understanding in endoscopic procedures, surgical workflow analysis, field-of-view expansion, 3D reconstruction, perception and navigation for surgical robotics.

I am the Principal Investigator on the Artificial intelligence innovation to accelerate health research grant titled ‘AI-enabled Decision support in Pituitary Surgery (2023-2025)’. During my previous roles at UCL, I was one of the leading researchers on the ‘Wellcome/EPSRC Guided Instrumentation for Fetal Therapy and Surgery (GIFT-Surg)’ project (2014 - 2022) and named researcher on the ‘EPSRC Context-Aware Augmented Reality for Endonasal Surgery project (2022 - 2025)’.

Before joining UCL in 2018, I worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant at University of Dundee where I contributed to the ‘EPSRC Augmenting Communication using Environmental data to drive Language Prediction (ACE-LP)’ project. I obtained my PhD in Interactive and Cognitive Environments in 2016, under the Erasmus Mundus Fellowship (EMJD-ICE), jointly from Queen Mary University of London (UK) and Technical University of Catalonia (Spain). I completed the MSc in Computer Vision and Robotics (VIBOT) in 2011, under the highly competitive Erasmus Mundus Scholarship programme, jointly from Heriot-Watt University (UK), University of Girona (Spain), and University of Burgundy (France). As part of my MSc project, I contributed to the ‘ERC Soft Tissue Intervention Neurosurgical Guide (STING) at Imperial College London (UK)’. Additionally, I hold a Master’s in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor’s in Mechatronics Engineering degrees from National University of Sciences and Technology (Pakistan).

I have authored over 60 peer-reviewed publications and received several awards, including MICCAI-IJCARS best paper award, IPCAI Audience Choice award and awards from several biomedical imaging challenges. Additionally, I am an active member of the MICCAI society and co-organiser of the Endoscopic Vision Challenges at MICCAI since 2020.