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James Hendler Named to Health Data Research UK International Advisory Board

James Hendler Named to Health Data Research UK International Advisory Board

By Mary L. Martialay

June 25, 2020

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Professor James Hendler has been named to the International Advisory Board of Health Data Research UK, the national institute for health data science, which includes England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Hendler, an expert on artificial intelligence and director of the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications, is the principal investigator of the joint IBM-RPI Health Empowerment and Analytics, Learning, and Semantics project.  The International Advisory Board, chaired by Amy Abernathy, the principal deputy commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is comprised of leading health data researchers from around the world.

Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) was founded to unite the United Kingdom’s health data for large-scale data and advanced analytics that will benefit clinical trials, biomedical discovery, and patient interactions, and will enhance public health. It is an independent, nonprofit organization supported by 10 funders from government and foundations that bring together universities, NHS organizations, industry partners, patient groups, and research institutes across the United Kingdom. 

Since March, HDR UK has diverted much of its attention to focus on medical science and treatment for the COVID-19 pandemic. Many members are playing key national roles, and the organization as a whole has supported the United Kingdom’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies. 

“The HDR UK effort is making great progress. They are exploring work that not just funds groups ranging from the Oxford group working on the COVID vaccine to groups in hospitals that are testing new approaches to improving patient outputs, but also linking that work together,” said Hendler, the Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web, and Cognitive Sciences. “This connectivity from biomedical research through to patient treatments is an impressive model that we hope will become an international exemplar for health research.”

Hendler is a former member of the U.S. Air Force Science Advisory Board, the former chief scientist of the Information Systems Office at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and a recipient of the U.S. Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Medal. In addition to numerous other policymakers and government agencies, including the Department of Defense, Hendler has worked with the White House on the development of, the U.S. government’s open data site, as an “Internet Web Expert.” He is a fellow of the U.S. National Academy for Public Administration and was recently named to the newly formed Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Technology Policy Council.


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