My goal is to help build good knowledge-based systems that support knowledge sharing
for applications in Biomedical & Health Informatics
(One might ask :What is Biomedical & Health
My research focus has been to support knowledge sharing. I use this term broadly, and associated research questions cover issues such as knowledge representation, ontology alignment, and interoperation of on-line resources, and even human-human communication in support of knowledge sharing. I have research interests in areas such as:
- Knowledge reuse, mappings, and alignments among differing models (or ontologies)
- Ontology building, and use of semantic web methods for effective use of knowledge bases
- Knowledge representation and knowledge sharing for Synthetic Biology (see SBOL).
- Knowledge representation for anatomy (see FMA), physiology (see OPB), and cell-signaling pathways
Knowledge representation and tools for clinical trial protocols and health-care guidelines
Matching these research interests, I regularly attend AMIA,
the annual American Medical Informatics Association
symposium. I also have attended the Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing, and K-Cap,
the Knowledge Capture Conferences. (I was co-chair of
My current research focuses on knowledge based systems that help with knowledge sharing. This broad goal can be applied in a variety of ways to a variety of BHI domains. Here is a list of current projects; for past projects, see my publication list.
- Together with Dan Cook, I co-lead a Semantics for Biological Processes research group that studies how improved semantics (via good ontology building) can improve bio-simulation models. In particular, we are trying support the construction of re-usable libraries of bio-simulation models. This research leverages both the Foundational Model of Anatomy, (FMA)and an Ontology of Physics for Biology (the OPB, authored by Dan Cook). This work is part of a broader collaboration with Jim Brinkley.
There are several thrusts of the SPB group:
- In collaboration with Herb Sauro, and Clark & Parsia, LLC, we are carrying out work to standardize parts and create a parts library for synthetic biology. Along the way, we developed SBOL (together with many others).
- As part of the Ricordo project, we collaborated with the European Virtual Physiological Human project to work towared the Physiome vision, where researchers build multi-scale, multi-domain models that capture the complexity of physiology and pathology.
- In collaboration with the Virtual Physiological Rat project, we aim to demonstrate how our approach and a library of biosimulation models can accelerate research.
- In collaboration with Professor Mark Phillips of Radiation Oncology, I am exploring decision support technologies. Currently, with my graduate studies, we are looking at two (very) different approaches. One is to apply a Bayes Net to assess the quality of radiation treatment plans, based on prior knowledge of "good" plans. The other approach is to elicit patient symptoms to better track progression and enable quality follow-up decisions after radiation treatment.
- With Neil Abernethy, I am exploring network analysis of large bio-informatics resources, notably microarray gene expression results, pathway knowledge bases, and protein-protein interaction networks.
- Working with Wynona Black, we applied data mining methods to a very large, longitudinal database of EMR records of patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome (aka heart attack patients). The idea is to look at actual patterns of care (including temporal patterns) versus healthcare guideline recommendations.
Here are my most recent syllabi and course information for Biomedical and Health Informatics (BHI):
Fall, '13: MEBI 550: Knowledge representation and biomedical applications
Spring, '13: Honors 222C: Transformational technologies for biology, medicine & health
Fall, '09: MEBI 537: BHI Research Methods
Winter, '05: MEBI 550: Knowledge representation and (biomedical) applications
I hold some strong opinions about what makes a good oral presentation--and I have a teaching presentation about how to avoid common problems and pitfalls when giving a scientific oral presentation. One type of presentation common for learning about research in BHI is a "Journal Club" presentation. Wanda Pratt has a good presentation specifically on how to do a journal club presentation.
I also taught an odd database course in Fall of '02 called "Databases and applications in the health sciences". At my previous job (UC, Irvine) I taught "Introduction to Artificial Intelligence"
(see old web pages for graduate
level version and undergraduate
Mentoring (an important subclass of teaching!):
I've been a student, and received diplomas from Colgate
University, University of Wisconsin -
Madison, and at the University of CA -
Irvine. My Ph.D. from UC-Irvine (1990) was in the area of machine learning.
Strangely enough, I returned to UW-Madison as a visiting assistant professor
for one year ('91-'92), and to UC-Irvine as an adjunct assistant professor for
three years ('98-'01). In between, I received my biomedical informatics
training by being a research scientist at Stanford
Medical Informatics, where I helped develop the Protégé
I also spent one year teaching Computer Science at Keio
University in Japan. It was more than 20 yrs ago, but ask me about it; I still love to talk about Nihon.
Below is a list of my current
favorite (recent or best) publications.
- Galdzicki, M., a host of SBOL-Developers, Gennari JH, Myers CJ, and Sauro, HM (in press). SBOL: A community standard for communicating designs in synthetic biology. Nature Biotechnology.
- Cook, DL, Neal, ML, Bookstein, FL, and Gennari, JH (2013). Ontology of Physics for Biology: representing physical dependencies as a basis for biological processes, Journal of Biomedical Semantics
- Neal, M.L., Cook, D.L. and Gennari, JH (2013). An OWL knowledge base for classifying and querying collections of physiological models: A prototype human physiome. Proceedings of the International Conference on Biomedical Ontology.
- Cook, D.L., Neal, ML, Hoehndorf, R, Gkoutos, GV, and Gennari, JH. (2013). Representing physiological processes and their participants with PhysioMaps, Journal of Biomedical Semantics.
- Cook, D.L., Bookstein, F.L., Gennari, J.H. Physical Properties of Biological Entities: An Introduction to the Ontology of Physics for Biology. PLoS ONE, 2011. 6(12): e28708
- Cook, DL, Galdzicki, M, Neal, ML, Mejino, JLV, and Gennari, JH (2011). HeartCyc, a cardiac cycle process ontology based in the Ontology of Physics for Biology. Proceedings of the International Conference on Biomedical Ontology.
- Galdzicki, M., Rodriguez, C., Chandran, D., Sauro, H.M., and Gennari, J.H. (2011) Standard Biological Parts Knowledgebase. PLoS ONE.
- Ching-Ping Lin and John H. Gennari (2011). Understanding the Work of Pediatric Inpatient Medicine Teams: Implications for Information System Requirements. Proceedings of the AMIA Annual Symposium, Washington, DC.
- Gennari, JH, Neal, ML, Galdzicki, M, Cook, DL. (2011) Multiple Ontologies in Action: Composite Annotations for Biosimulation Models. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, pp. 146-154.
- Lin, C., Payne, TH, Nichol, WP, Hoey, PJ, Anderson, CL, and Gennari, J.H. (2008). Evaluating Clinical Decision Support Systems: Monitoring CPOE Order Check Override Rates. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 15(5), 620-626.
- Gennari, J.H.,
Neal, M.L., Carlson, B. and Cook, D.L. (2008). Integration Of Multi-Scale Biosimulation Models Via Light-Weight Semantics. Proceedings of the Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing, 2008, pp. 414 – 425 .
- Cook, D.L, Wiley, J.C., and Gennari, J.H. (2007). Chalkboard: Ontology-based pathway modeling and qualitative inference of disease mechanisms. Proceedings of the Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing 2007, pp. 16-27 .
- Gennari, J.H., Weng, C., Benedetti, J. and McDonald, D.W. (2005) Asynchronous communication among clinical researchers: A study for systems design. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 74(10), 797-807.
- Gennari, J.H., Silberfein, A., and Wiley, J.C. (2005). Integrating genomic knowledge sources through an anatomy ontology. Proceedings of the
Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing 2005, pp. 115 - 126.
- Weng, C., McDonald, D.W., and Gennari, J.H. (2004). A collaborative
clinical trial protocol writing system. Proceedings of MedInfo 2004,
San Francisco, CA. pp. 1481-1485.
- J.H. Gennari, M.A. Musen, R. Fergerson, & a bunch of other Protégé geeks. (2003) The
Evolution of Protégé: An environment for knowledge-based systems development.
International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, vol 58 (1): 89-123.
- J. H. Gennari, D. Sklar, & J. Silva, (2001). Cross-tool
communication: From protocol authoring to eligibility determination. Proceedings
of the AMIA Annual Fall Symposium, pp. 199-203. Washington, DC.
- L. Ohno-Machado, J.H. Gennari & a cast of thousands.(1998) The
GuideLine Interchange Format: A Model for Sharing Guidelines. Journal
of the American Medical Informatics Association, 5(4), pp. 357-372.
- J. H. Gennari, R. B. Altman, & M.A Musen. (1995) Reuse
with Protégé-II: From Elevators to Ribosomes. Proceedings of the Symposium
on Software Reuse, pp. 72-80. Seattle, WA.
I am an Associate Professor in the Division
of Biomedical & Health Informatics, in the Department
of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education , in the School of Medicine,
University of Washington. (Whew!)
Dep't of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education
University of Washington
1959 NE Pacific Street, Box 357240
Seattle, WA 98195-7240
Office location: I-264C Health Sciences Center
Obviously, the best way to contact me is via
email, and secondarily via my office phone (616-6641). I do not recommend
trying to find the room I-264C unless you are a frequent visitor to the Health
Sciences Center, and even then, it could be a challenge...
Last updated Jan, 2013
Photo: Eastsound, on Orcas Isand. July, 2012