Five minutes with Professor Mike Brady, Founder of Mirada Medical

Founding director of Mirada Medical, Mike Brady came to Oxford in 1985 to take up the newly-created post of Professor of Information Engineering and is still Emeritus Professor of Oncological Imaging at Oxford. Prior to that he was Senior Research Scientist in the Artificial Intelligence lab at MIT. He founded the MIT Robotics Lab at a time when most people thought robots were fictional and only part of storylines in comic books or Doctor Who.

It was here, in Oxford, that Mike first came into contact with Sir Martin and Lady Audrey Wood, The Oxford Trust, and the STEP Centre on Osney Island where they ran meetings to encourage university-industry collaborations. At that time, there wasn’t a science park or innovation incubator in sight but the Trust was starting to support young entrepreneurs by providing business essentials such as affordable office space, mentoring schemes and networking opportunities. Young entrepreneurs like Mike snapped at the chance to get involved.

Mirada was founded in 1999 as a spin out from the University of Oxford, which had 10 per cent equity in the business. The company developed the software to combine PET scans and CT scans to give doctors a more accurate way of analysing diseases and assess response to treatments. Mirada Medical is now a world leader in innovative medical imaging software products that help doctors to diagnose and treat cancer. Its products are used across diagnostic radiology, molecular imaging, radiation oncology, and medical oncology.

As Mike says himself: “All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the catalytic effect of The Oxford Trust over the past thirty years. The Trust’s tireless work has led to the emergence of Oxford as a world-class science and tech centre. Behind that are the twin pillars of Martin and Audrey Wood whose influence has just been massive.”

In tandem with his first-class career as an academic, author and entrepreneur, Mike has been elected a Fellow of numerous institutions including the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Academy of Medical Sciences. He was knighted in the New Year’s honours list in 2003 and won the Trust’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.

Mirada Medical continues to develop and is now collaborating with another OCFI business, Optellum, to accelerate “deep learning” – based lung cancer diagnosis. The aim is to address the huge problem in lung cancer diagnosis. We are pleased that this collaboration is happening under our roof at OCFI, right in the heart of Oxford.