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Principal Investigator



Short Biography

Dr. Zhiyong Lu is Senior Investigator with tenure at the NIH Intramural Research Program, leading research in biomedical text and image processing, information retrieval, and AI/machine learning. In his role as Deputy Director for Literature Search at National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Dr. Lu oversees the overall R&D efforts to improve literature search and information access in resources like PubMed and LitCovid that are used by millions worldwide on a daily basis. Additionally, Dr. Lu holds an Adjunct Professor position with the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

Dr. Lu is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) and the International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics (IAHSI). Dr. Lu currently serves on the US federal AI R&D inter-agency committee and NIH/IRP AI task force. Over the years, Dr. Lu has mentored over 70 trainees and is a highly cited author with over 350 peer-review articles in leading scientific journals such as Nature, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Genetics, PLoS Biology, etc. According to Google Scholar, he has an h-index of 75 with over 35,000 citations. His many recent publications and invited talks generally have a focus on the following topics:

  • Biomedial Literature Search (e.g. PubMed Best Match, LitCovid)
  • AI & LLMs (e.g. GeneGPT, TrialGPT)
  • NLP & Text Mining (e.g. PubTator, BioCreative, LitVar)
  • Medical image processing (e.g. NIH Chest X-ray Dataset, DeepSeeNet)

Honors and Awards (selected)

  • NIH Director’s Challenge Innovation Award 2024
  • The International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics (IAHSI) Fellow 2023
  • The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) Fellow 2019
  • NIH Clinical Center CEO Award 2017
  • NLM Special Act/Service Awards
  • Highly Cited Researcher, Clarivate Analytics
  • Challenge Awards: BioCreative, BioASQ, n2c2, OHNLP, CLEF, etc.

Awards by Our Trainees

  • NSF CISE Graduate Fellowship 2023 - Ashley Shin
  • AMIA 2022 High School Scholar - Lilly Xu (Harvard, Class of 2027)
  • K99/R00 award 2022 - Qingyu Chen (joined faculty at Yale)
  • K99/R00 award 2019 - Yifan Peng (joined faculty at Cornell)
  • NIH Summer Mentor Award - Arm Elsawy, Qingyu Chen, Yifan Peng
  • NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence - R. Khare, Y. Mao, C. Wei, etc.

Professional Services (selected)

  • Associate Editor: Bioinformatics (OUP), JHIR
  • Editorial Board: Database, JAMIA
  • Conference Co-Chair: ICHI 2019, BioCreative, etc.
  • PC/AREA Co-Chair: ISMB, PSB
  • Committee: ISCB EDI
  • Committee (NIH): NIH Equity, NITRD AI, NLM Tenure, etc.
  • Reviewer (grant proposal): NIH, NSF, MRC, NSERC, NWO, etc.
  • Reviewer (journal): JAMA, Nature Methods/Medicine, Lancet DH, etc.
  • Reviewer (conference): ISMB, PSB, AMIA, ACL, WWW, etc.

Invited/Keynote Talks (selected)

  • The 12th IEEE International Conference on Healthcare Informatics (ICHI)
  • NIH ODSS Data Sharing and Reuse Seminar
  • The 20th ISCB Rocky Mountain Bioinformatics Conference
  • SciNLP - Natural Language Processing for Scientific Text
  • AstraZeneca, Roche, Amazon, Microsoft, etc.
  • Harvard, Mayo Clinic, UChicago, Penn, etc