Noor Shaker

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Noor Shaker
نور شاكر
Noor Shaker
NationalitySyrian British
Occupation(s)entrepreneur and computer scientist

Noor Shaker (Arabic: نور شاكر) is a Syrian British entrepreneur and computer scientist who co-founded the AI for drug discovery start-up Glamorous AI. Glamorous AI was acquired by the US-based company X-Chem in Nov 2021.[1] Before Glamorous AI, Noor founded the drug discovery start-up GTN Ltd and was CEO for more than two years. She stepped down as CEO in August 2019. The company entered liquidation in March 2020. In 2018, she received a CogX UK Rising Star Award from Prime Minister Theresa May for "AI technology that will transform drug discovery to treat chronic diseases".[2]


Shaker studied for a bachelor's degree in computer science at the University of Damascus, Syria, specialising early on in artificial intelligence studies. Her work there included the development of Arabic incorporation into the Speech Synthesis Markup Language for speech-to-text software.[3] She moved to Belgium for her master's degree at KU Leuven, specialising in artificial intelligence. In 2009 she moved to Denmark to study a PhD and continue as a postdoc in machine learning at the IT University of Copenhagen.[4] She remained in Copenhagen for several years, being appointed an assistant professor at Aalborg University in 2016.[5] Her research focused on the use of machine learning in affective computing and video games. This extended to co-organising competitions to produce AIs which could tackle video games or generate new levels to fit the user, most notably using Super Mario.[4][6][7] During her professorial career she co-wrote a textbook titled "Procedural Content Generation in Gaming"[8] and authored over thirty academic publications.[9]

In 2017 Shaker co-founded GTN Ltd (Generative Tensorial Networks), a startup aiming to combine quantum computing and AI for drug discovery. Shaker stepped down from her role as CEO of the company in August 2019. The company entered liquidation in March 2020. The company aimed to combine machine learning techniques and quantum physics simulations in order to predict better therapeutics for medical use.[10][11] Combining artificial intelligence with quantum models of published molecular structures may prove a novel and effective method to predict binding partners to disease regulators.[11]

In 2020, she started her third venture, the London based start-up Glamorous AI. The company is a continuation of the journey she started earlier aiming at developing innovative solutions in drug discovery. The company aims at integrating experts chemistry knowledge with advanced ML to enable rapid discovery of new chemical entities of desired properties. Shaker and Glamorous AI have established relationships within academia, such as Cardiff University to discover possible COVID-19 drugs using Glamorous AI's platform, RosalindAI. In Nov 2021, GlamorousAI was acquired by the US company X-Chem for an undisclosed amount to bring AI capabilities to preclinical drug discovery.[1] Shaker is a Senior Vice President and General Manager of X-Chem's London office. Shaker is an advisory panel member for Artificial Intelligence and Informatics in Rosalind Franklin Institute.[12]

She has received several accolades, including being named one of the Top 100 Asian Stars in UK Tech 2021.[13] One of the BBC 100 Women in 2019.[14] A'Rising Star' among BioBeat's 2018 list of 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness.[15] Representing GTN, she was awarded a CogX UK Rising Star Award in 2018 for her innovative AI techniques for drug discovery and success in securing seed funding and prestigious collaborations.[16]

Shaker is often a speaker at AI events (including those aimed at women in the industry) and chairs the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computational Intelligence: Games Technical Committee.[17][18]

Awards and honours[edit]

  • 2013: IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games Outstanding Paper Award for ‘Crowd-sourcing the Aesthetics off Platform Games’.[19][20]
  • 2018: Innovators Under 35 by MIT Technology Review[21]
  • 2018: 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness by BioBeat [15]
  • 2018: Rising Star by CogX [16]
  • 2019: BBC 100 Women[14]
  • 2021: Top 100 Asian Stars in UK Tech 2021 [13]


  1. ^ a b "X‑Chem Acquires Glamorous AI — Immediately Creating a Leader in DEL-Powered AI Solutions". Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  2. ^ CognitionX. "2018 CogX UK Rising Star Awards Presented by Prime Minister Theresa May at Number 10". Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  3. ^ Dakkak, Oumayma Al; Abou-Zleikha, Mohamed; Shaker, Noor (8 September 2008). "SSML for Arabic Language". Text, Speech and Dialogue. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Vol. 5246. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. pp. 657–664. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-87391-4_83. ISBN 9783540873907.
  4. ^ a b Yannakakis, Georgios N.; Karakovskiy, Sergey; Shaker, Noor; Togelius, Julian (15 September 2013). "The Mario AI Championship 2009-2012". AI Magazine. 34 (3): 89–92. doi:10.1609/aimag.v34i3.2492. ISSN 2371-9621.
  5. ^ "Noor Shaker - Research Portal, Aalborg University". Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  6. ^ "PlatformersAI Competition". Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  7. ^ Shaker, N.; Togelius, J.; Yannakakis, G. N.; Weber, B.; Shimizu, T.; Hashiyama, T.; Sorenson, N.; Pasquier, P.; Mawhorter, P. (2011). "The 2010 Mario AI Championship: Level Generation Track". IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games. 3 (4): 332–347. doi:10.1109/TCIAIG.2011.2166267. ISSN 1943-068X. S2CID 10938202.
  8. ^ Shaker, Noor; Togelius, Julian; Nelson, Mark J. (2016). Procedural Content Generation in Games. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-42716-4. ISBN 978-3-319-42714-0. ISSN 2509-6575. S2CID 27742188. {{cite book}}: |journal= ignored (help)
  9. ^ "Computer Science Bibliography: Noor Shaker". Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  10. ^ Heathman, Amelia (12 December 2018). "The women leading the healthcare revolution through tech". Evening Standard. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  11. ^ a b "AI and quantum physics are searching for life-saving drugs". Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Rosalind Franklin Institute, Governance, Theme Advisory Panels". Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  13. ^ a b "2018 Top 100 Asian Stars in UK Tech 2021". Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  14. ^ a b "BBC 100 Women 2019: Who is on the list this year?". BBC News. 16 October 2019.
  15. ^ a b "2018 BioBeat 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness" (PDF). Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  16. ^ a b "2018 CogX UK Rising Star Awards Presented by Prime Minister Theresa May at Number 10". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  17. ^ "RE•WORK | Noor Shaker". Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  18. ^ "Games Technical Committee - IEEE Computational Intelligence Society". Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  19. ^ "Past Recipients - IEEE Computational Intelligence Society". Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  20. ^ Shaker, N.; Yannakakis, G. N.; Togelius, J. (2013). "Crowdsourcing the Aesthetics of Platform Games". IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games. 5 (3): 276–290. doi:10.1109/TCIAIG.2012.2231413. ISSN 1943-068X. S2CID 15169933.
  21. ^ "Biotechnology & medicine: Noor Shaker". Retrieved 20 December 2018.

External links[edit]