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AIC Seminar Series

Empowering Knowledge-based Public Health Intelligence through Bio-Ontologies

Arash Shaban-NejadFaculty of Medicine, McGill University

Notice:  Hosted by Vinay Chaudhri.

Date:  Tuesday, May 15th 2012 at 4:00pm

Location:  EJ228 (SRI E building)  (Directions)


Public Health Intelligence aims to promote health, prevent/reduce disease and provide appropriate response to critical public health events through intelligent knowledge exchange and real-time surveillance. The amount of effort required for discovery and meaningful integration of relevant public health data from multiple disparate data sources limits the current effectiveness of traditional surveillance methods. Semantic technologies can address the problem of contextualizing data to support integration and reasoning by using ontologies. The increasing success in the application of knowledge modeling to support automated data integration and reasoning has spurred an explosion in biomedical ontology development and a trend towards institutionalizing ontologies and standardizing representation language within information systems serving the biomedical sciences. This talk presents an overview of our research in design and development of ontology-driven architectures, which are intended to enhance information retrieval, analysis, and decision-making related to describing, monitoring, and evaluating different public health interventions in the domains of hospital-acquired infections and childhood obesity prevention.

   Bio for Arash Shaban-Nejad

Dr. Shaban-Nejad is a Postdoctoral Fellow in McGill Clinical & Health Informatics Centre at McGill University, where he conducts research on the knowledge representation and modeling for different applications in healthcare. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Concordia University in 2005 and 2010, respectively. His primary research interest is knowledge representation and semantic web, particularly ontologies and knowledge bases, description logics, category theory, intelligent agents, reasoning and inferencing, with special emphasis on applications from health and biomedical domains. His Ph.D. dissertation focused on change management in distributed biomedical ontologies through a multi-agent based framework, formalized using category theory. Over the past decade, he has designed and implemented several bio-ontologies for different domains such as fungal genomics (awarded 2nd prize in ISWC 2005 in the category of Semantic Web Challenges), hospital-acquired infection surveillance, childhood obesity prevention, population health indicators, and vaccine sentiment analysis. He is an author or coauthor of several scientific papers and technical manuscripts, which have been appeared in various international journals, conference/workshop proceedings, and book chapters. Dr. Shaban-Nejad is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the National Institutes of Health Informatics (NIHI), and the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA).

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