Dr. Carol Friedman is a Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University and Director of the Department’s Graduate Training Program. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Courant Institute of Mathematics at New York University, where her research focused on the natural language processing (NLP) of complex language structures. After receiving her Ph.D. degree, Dr. Friedman joined the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia as an Assistant Professor.
Dr. Friedman is a recognized pioneer in NLP within the biomedical domain with an established national and international reputation. Her current research is devoted to the use of NLP methodology to obtain executable data and knowledge from clinical reports and biomedical text, to be employed for discovery and patient care, with a special focus on pharmacovigilance and medication safety. Dr. Friedman was one of the first researchers to demonstrate the value of NLP for a broad range of clinical and biomedical applications that include decision support, automated encoding, vocabulary development, clinical research, data mining, discovery, error detection, genomics research, and pharmacovigilance. She also was one of the first to demonstrate that a general NLP system could be used to improve actual patient care. She developed MedLEE, a comprehensive natural language extraction and encoding system for the clinical domain, which has been used at New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) in collaboration with Dr. George Hripcsak and has been shown to produce results similar to medical experts. She adapted MedLEE to develop GENIES in collaboration with Dr. Andrey Rzhetsky and BioMedLEE in collaboration with Dr. Yves Lussier. GENIES extracts biomolecular relations from journal articles, and BioMedLEE extracts a broad range of genotypic-phenotypic relations from the literature. In her early work, Dr. Friedman helped design the Clinical Patient Repository, which is still in use at NYP.
Dr. Friedman has more than 120 publications consisting of journal articles, conference proceedings, and book chapters, and also holds several patents associated with NLP technology. She is a fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics and the American Academy of Medicine. She has served on the editorial boards of several journals in the biomedical field, and was a member of the Board of Regents and the Board of Counselors of the National Library of Medicine. In 2010, she received the Donald A. B. Lindbergh Award for Innovation in Biomedical Informatics from the American Medical Informatics Association.