Computer Science Seminar - University of Houston
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Computer Science Seminar

Practicing Natural Language Processing (NLP) in Healthcare   

When: Friday, March 6, 2020
Where: PGH 232
Time: 11:00 AM

Speaker: Dr. Hua Xu, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)

Host: Dr. Thamar Solorio

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) contain abundant free text data that are valuable for research and operation in the medical domain. Natural language processing (NLP) technologies have shown great promise in unlocking information in clinical texts; however, many challenges still exist when we apply NLP to practical use cases. This presentation will discuss the challenges when building practical clinical NLP solutions and describe our recent work on addressing such challenges, including the development of user-friendly interfaces for non-NLP experts and new algorithms for reducing annotation cost in building machine learning-based NLP solutions.


Dr. Hua Xu is a Professor at the School of Biomedical Informatics in The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), as well as an elected fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics. He directs the Center for Computational Biomedicine at UTHealth. Dr. Xu received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics from Columbia University. His primary research interests include biomedical natural language processing (NLP) and data mining, as well as their applications in secondary use of electronic health records data for clinical and translational research. His research is funded by multiple agencies (i.e. NLM, NCI, NIGMS, AHA, and CPRIT), and methods/tools developed in his lab have been top-ranked in biomedical NLP shared tasks and widely used to support diverse biomedical applications. He served as the Chair of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) NLP Working Group and now leads the Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI) NLP Working Group.