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Researcher | Research Overview

Dr. Ben Reis leads the Predictive Medicine Group in the Computational Health Informatics Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on understanding the essential patterns of human disease, and on developing novel approaches for predicting disease. He has created systems that allow doctors to predict dangerous clinical conditions years in advance, as well as predictive pharmacology systems that allow public health officials to identify life-threatening adverse drug effects years in advance. Dr. Reis has designed predictive health monitoring systems for regional and national settings, and has advised governments worldwide on establishing biodefense and biosurveillance infrastructures. He has been recognized by the White House for his work on harnessing social networks to promote health, and by the US State Department, USAID and NASA for his work in global health innovation.

Dr. Reis’s main research areas include:

  • Intelligent HistoriesDeveloping advanced predictive methods that allow doctors to identify important clinical risks, from diabetes to domestic abuse, years in advance.
  • Predictive Pharmacology: Developing predictive network-based approaches to pharmacovigilance, capable of identifying dangerous drug side effects and interactions years in advance.
  • Social Networks and Health: The HealthySocial project explores how emerging social networks can be used to promote and spread positive health behaviors, such as blood donation and influenza vaccination. HealthySocial apps have been used by tens of thousands of people worldwide.
  • Public Health Surveillance: Designing adaptive public health monitoring systems that allow public health officials to maintain situational awareness during times of increased risk and uncertainty, including pandemics and major public events.
  • Computational Linguistics: The SpeechWars project combines history, politics and language to study and visualize hundreds of years of history. SpeechWars was selected by the United States Library of Congress for inclusion in its official historic collections.

Researcher | Publications