Concepts, Relations, and Queries in Biomedicine: The case for Semantic Search

Karin Verspoor - School of Computing and Information Systems - University of Melbourne


Concepts, Relations, and Queries in Biomedicine: The case for Semantic Search

The language of biomedicine is varied and complex, with a plethora of surface variation, synonyms and name overloading occurring in a diversity of text types. In this talk I will explore the interaction between information extraction and information retrieval in the biomedical domain, arguing that normalization of concepts to ontologies and formal representation of relations is key to supporting effective retrieval of relevant texts in response to specific queries. I will further introduce some recent work that we have been doing on applying neural methods for biomedical information extraction tasks.

If you would like to meet the speaker, please contact Elke Teich.



Karin Verspoor is a Professor and Deputy Head (Research) in the School of Computing and Information Systems, and Deputy Director of the Health and Biomedical Informatics Centre, at the University of Melbourne. Trained as a computational linguist, Karin’s research primarily focuses on extracting information from clinical texts and the biomedical literature using machine learning methods to enable biological discovery and clinical decision support. Karin held previous posts as the Scientific Director of Health and Life Sciences at NICTA Victoria Research Laboratory, at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and Los Alamos National Laboratory. She also spent 5 years in start-ups during the US Tech bubble, where she helped design an early artificial intelligence system.