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The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) is pleased to announce the winners of the Doctoral Dissertation Award. The winners will be recognized at the AMIA 2018 Annual Symposium, taking place Nov. 3 – 7, in San Francisco, and will present their doctoral work in a semi-plenary session at the meeting.

The judging committee received one nomination from each of 19 institutions and selected six finalists. The first prize receives $7,500 and the honorable mention receives $2,500.

First Prize
Bethany Percha, Stanford University
Dissertation: “Biomedical Text Mining From Context

Honorable Mention
Yonatan Halpern, New York University
Dissertation: “Semi-Supervised Learning for Electronic Phenotyping in Support of Precision Medicine"

The two winners will give their presentations on Nov. 5 at 10:30 a.m. at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.

 “AMIA is proud to recognize the next generation of informatics leaders,” said Peter J. Embi, MD, MS, FACP, FACMI, AMIA Board Chair, and President and CEO, Regenstrief Institute. “The world of informatics continues to grow and evolve, and we look forward to the research they will bring to the field."  

“I am delighted with this second year of the AMIA Doctoral Dissertation Award and the quality of submissions received,” said Edward H. Shortliffe, MD, PhD, FACMI, AMIA Dissertation Award Task Force Chair and a former President and CEO of AMIA. “All nominations were excellent and competitive, providing a judging challenge for the selection committee members. I look forward to the future Doctoral Dissertation Award competitions and to shining a light on those advancing the field of informatics.”

The AMIA Doctoral Dissertation Award offers high-value and prestigious recognition for the top doctoral dissertation each year that contributes to the science of informatics in any biomedical application domain or domains. An endowment fund was created to support the Doctoral Dissertation Award in perpetuity. Academic programs are limited to making one nomination annually.  AMIA is grateful to the Charter Donors who offered support for the fund in its formative period (between the AMIA Symposium in 2015 and March 2016).  Dr. Shortliffe also provided a 1:1 match for all donations up to $100,000.  Additional donations can be made at

The AMIA Annual Symposium draws 2,500 attendees for an event featuring 700+ papers, panels and posters. The AMIA Signature Awards program provides an opportunity for AMIA members at different stages of their careers to be recognized for significant contributions to the field of informatics.


AMIA, the leading professional association for informatics professionals, is the center of action for 5,500 informatics professionals from more than 65 countries. As the voice of the nation’s top biomedical and health informatics professionals, AMIA and its members play a leading role in assessing the effect of health innovations on health policy, and advancing the field of informatics. AMIA actively supports five domains in informatics: translational bioinformatics, clinical research informatics, clinical informatics, consumer health informatics, and public health informatics.