Opportunity:                   AI Research Scientist
Organization:                  Optina Diagnostics
Location:                          Montreal, QC, Canada

About Optina Diagnostics:

Optina Diagnostics specializes in the development of technology for early, non-invasive detection of disease via Retinal Deep PhenotypingTM. With a primary focus on the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, Optina addresses the pressing need of millions of patients worldwide suffering from memory loss.

In Feb 2020, Optina received the 510(k) clearance for its ophthalmic camera by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Optina also obtained Breakthrough Device Designation from the FDA for its first diagnostic test for the detection of the likely cerebral amyloid status.

Currently, there’s no single diagnostic test for patients who are experiencing symptoms of cognitive decline. Instead, physicians use a process of elimination, ruling out other health concerns via cognitive assessments, medical and family history. This process may take years, and eventually requires invasive and costly tests.

Optina aims to establish a New Paradigm and transform detection and understanding of memory loss by bringing cutting-edge eye imagery and artificial intelligence to your local eye clinic.

The Opportunity:

Reporting directly to the CIO, the AI Research Scientist’s ultimate goal is to design, test and deliver an AI algorithm that is capable of detecting the presence of specific biomarkers in the brain using retinal hyperspectral images as input, and to a desired level of performance. She/He leads or collaborates in all aspects of the ML/DL pipeline, from preparing the data, to tuning models, performing experiments and analyses as well as selecting and testing models. One key aspect of his/her role is to research state-of-the-art algorithms and techniques that will contribute to improving the predictive performance, while being able to communicate these innovative ideas effectively to the rest of the team.  In his/her daily work, the AI Research Scientist aims at asking relevant scientific questions that can be answered using a systematic approach to confirm whether they contribute to improving a detection algorithm’s performance.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Identify and integrate novel information, strategies, and AI classification methodologies that can be used within Optina Diagnostics’ product roadmap.
  • Perform data and error analysis to improve models as well as organize and validate data handling for consistency, accuracy, and reproducibility.
  • Concisely communicate analytical solutions, results, and experimental interpretations to stakeholders and implement necessary improvements to operational systems.
  • Collaborate with internal and external AI research team members, actively working with them on knowledge and technology transfers.
  • Coordinate the DL/ML logistical aspects for the team, such as computational resources, databases and virtual environments.
  • Systematically maintain official database and produce statistics on distribution of specific characteristics.
  • Work hand-to-hand with other teams to expand domain knowledge, understand the detection algorithm needs in the regulatory context for medical devices.
  • Monitor scientific literature for novel advances and developments in AI research for potential implementation and/or revision of internal methodologies and strategies
  • Systematically perform analytical experiments to identify and address challenges and clearly document results for future reference.
  • Develop and integrate clean and maintainable code using CD/CI tools (Jira and Bitbucket)


  • PhD/Master’s degree in Statistics, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering Physics, Biomedical Engineering, or a related relevant discipline.
  • Minimum 3 years of machine learning and/or computer vision experience in medical imaging
  • Strong Python programming skills, development skills with machine learning frameworks such as Scikit-learn, Tensorflow, Keras, PyTorch and matlab
  • Working knowledge of Linux OS
  • Eagerness to contribute in a team-oriented environment, getting things done attitude
  • Autonomy (self-starter)
  • Ability to work creatively and analytically in a problem-solving environment
  • Excellent communication skills – both oral and written
  • Proficiency in English and French.

About Pender & Howe:

Optina Diagnostics has engaged Pender & Howe to lead the recruitment initiative for the AI Research Scientist position.

This search is led by Céline Chabée. For consideration, please email a copy of your CV in confidence to Céline Chabée at [email protected].