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Seminar: Consumer Health Information Searching: Interface Design and Personalization Techniques

Seminar Presentation

Javed Mostafa

Javed Mostapha, MA, PhD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Location: HSEB 4100B
Date: Nov. 10, 2011
Time: 4:15 pm


Searching for health information is the third most frequent use of the web according to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Unfortunately, the web typically offers a confusing collection of results when a user attempts to look for health information. Most search engines do not employ vocabularies consistently in their representations of web content -- they aggregate and index whatever is encountered during their crawls. In this talk, I will discuss two projects that are exploring ways to improve health information seeking: 1) An interface that employs visualization to support navigation and retrieval of cancer related information and 2) A more general consumer health information system that learns from interactions with its users and can support personalized delivery of health information. I will also discuss security and privacy protection measures and a new architecture for supporting the underlying transmission of sensitive health information.


Javed is the Director of the Carolina Health Informatics Program ( and the Laboratory of Applied Informatics Research ( His research concentrates on information retrieval problems particularly related to search and user-system interactions in large-scale document/data repositories.  He also serves as the Director of the Biomedical Informatics Core at the NC Translational Clinical Sciences Institute ( and has current research engagements in biomedical data mining, analysis, and visualization. Translating scientific advances into health care improvements is a passion for Javed, and based on support from the TraCS Institute he has recently co-founded a company concentrating on patient-centric decision support (  At Carolina, Javed holds a joint faculty position in information science in the School of Information and Library Science and in the Biomedical Research Imaging Center in the School of Medicine.