Short Bio

Joëlle Barral is a Senior Director of Research & Engineering at Google DeepMind (GDM). Based in Paris, she has a diverse portfolio of foundational research efforts, which includes theoretical and empirical aspects of frontier models as well as early-stage research in artificial intelligence and the life sciences. She is also in charge of GDM’s efforts in healthcare. She leads a team of researchers and engineers spread across Europe and North America.

Joëlle Barral was previously software lead at Verily, Google’s sister life sciences company, and the head of Verily Surgical. She joined Verily in 2014 and was part of the team who started Verb Surgical, Verily’s joint venture with Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon, pioneering a vision for the future of robotic surgery that leverages machine learning and digital tools to enhance the surgeon’s judgment, improve decision making, and positively impact clinical outcomes. Before joining Verily, she was with HeartVista, a spin-off from Stanford University, where she developed an MR software package for the comprehensive evaluation of ischemic and valvular heart diseases. Joëlle Barral has authored numerous patents on topics ranging from maternal health, digital pathology, surgical robotics, and medical imaging. She holds a B.S. degree in Math and Physics from Ecole Polytechnique, France, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering, in the field of high-resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging, from Stanford University, where she was also a Simon Stertzer Biodesign Innovation Fellow. She is the 2019 recipient of the Pierre Faurre Prize.