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Health Informatics Student Awarded Second Place for Presentation at AMIA Doctoral Consortium

November 21, 2013

Saeed Mehrabi, PhD Student in Health Informatics, was recently awarded second place for his thesis proposal presentation titled, “Temporal Pattern Discovery and Risk Stratification for Patients with Cancer,” at the Association of Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Natural Language Processing (NLP) Working Group Pre-symposium Doctoral Consortium.

Saeed Mehrabi

Saeed Mehrabi

Saeed, who has his undergraduate and graduate degrees in biomedical engineering, is focusing his postgraduate studies on clinical NLP and predictive analytics.

His thesis proposal under supervision of Dr. Mathew Palakal, with collaboration of Dr. C. Max Schmidt at IU School of Medicine and Regenstrief Institute, outlines early identification of pancreatic cancer using NLP algorithms and risk stratification of patients with pancreatic cysts using machine learning techniques.

Using longitudinal records of patients, they identified two subpopulations of patients that are most susceptible to getting the disease – those with hereditary factors or those that had pancreatic cysts, and then proposed a methodology to identify temporal phenotypic patterns in those who develop pancreatic cancer and risk stratify them based on various clinical features extracted from their clinical records.

While pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. it is the deadliest. Despite advances in surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, 90% of patients die. Although there is no cure at this time, it can be prevented in patients with a hereditary predisposition as well as those with pre-cancerous cysts. With the implementation of this proposed system, physicians will be able to make an earlier diagnosis and treatment.

The development and implementation of the system will be conducted by the Regenstrief Institute in conjunction with local hospitals.

The criteria used for presentations were 15 minutes to present, followed by 15 minutes of structured comments by the panel of experts and discussions. Presenters were evaluated by their presentation, significance, innovation, approach, and environment.

AMIA aims to lead the way in transforming health care through trusted science, education, and the practice of informatics and connects a broad community of professionals and students interested in informatics. AMIA is the bridge for knowledge and collaboration across a continuum, from basic and applied research to the consumer and public health arenas.

This year’s annual AMIA Conference was held November 16-20 in Washington, D.C.

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