Kirk Roberts, Ph.D., M.S. joined the UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics on April 16, 2016 as an assistant professor. On September 1, 2021, Dr. Roberts was promoted to Associate Professor. He has previously conducted research in natural language processing (NLP) in academia, government, and industry. His research work includes using NLP to both extract structured information from unstructured free text and create interactive natural language applications, such as question answering systems and search engines. He actively performs research in clinical information extraction, spatial information extraction, question answering, and information retrieval. His research draws inspiration from fields as diverse as medicine, linguistics, data science, and machine learning. Roberts is also the primary organizer of the TREC Clinical Decision Support track and a recipient of a National Library of Medicine Career Development Award.
“There is a tremendous amount of biomedical data generated every day,” said Roberts. “To be useful, that data must be available to researchers, health professionals, and consumers, and biomedical informatics is at the core of this dissemination process. So much of that data is in natural language because this is how we as humans prefer to communicate. Systems that understand medical language are therefore crucial to leverage all this data to advance health and healthcare.”
Conference & Workshop Papers