About the Seminar Series

A truly collaborative effort is in the works to host a free to the public, year-long seminar series on artificial intelligence and health. UNCW’s College of Health and Human Services Associate Dean for Research and Innovation Dr. Justine Reel and Computer Science Professor and Director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Identity Sciences (I3S Institute) Dr. Karl Ricanek have been awarded a $10,000 grant to implement this project.

The purpose of the project entitled, “Interdisciplinary Innovation Café and Seminar Series: Artificial Intelligence and Health” is to prepare UNCW to be recognized as a hub of excellence in artificial intelligence (AI) and health by creating a platform to promote interdisciplinary collaboration around healthcare innovation in education, research and product development. The formal presentation series will allow for speakers to be brought to campus and to explore establishing an emerging center focused on AI and health. There has been immense excitement and trepidation about how technology and AI might be used in healthcare. AI mimics human cognitive function to increase accessibility of healthcare, detect disease earlier, provide treatment, and make better use of healthcare data through analytic techniques.

The seminar series will highlight aspects of healthcare innovation, including AI techniques, virtual reality, machine learning, precision medicine, technology such as mobile applications, and augmented reality, as well as cyber security (e.g., protected health data). It would allow cultivation of interdisciplinary collaboration and ultimately lead to submitting for and receiving future extramural funding of projects focused on AI and health.

New Hanover Regional Medical Center, as well as Randall Johnson from NC Biotech’s Southeastern Office, will be collaborators in the program. The organizing committee consists of faculty from across the university, including Dr. Julian Keith, Psychology, Dr. Ray Pastore, Education, Dr. Jess Boersma, E-Teal, Institute for Interdisciplinary Identity Sciences (I3S), CAS; Dr. Crystal (Chrissy) Dodson, School of Nursing, CHHS; Dr. Elham (Ellie) Ebrahimi, Computer Science, CAS; Dr. Kris Hohn, School of Social Work, CHHS; Amy Ostrom, Office of e-Learning; Dr. Toni Pence, Computer Science, CAS; Dr. Eric Richardson, School of Health and Applied Human Sciences (Healthcare Administration), CHHS; Althea Lewis, CHHS; and Dr. Ashley Wells, assistant dean of community engagement, CHHS.

The seminar series will last the duration of the 2019-2020 academic year. The strategy is to bring faculty, staff and students together from across campus to focus on AI and health.