Uri Kartoun  Uri Kartoun photo         

contact information

Research Staff Member & IBM Master Inventor
Cambridge, MA


Professional Associations

Professional Associations:  ACM  |  ACM Distinguished Speaker  |  American Medical Informatics Association  |  IEEE, Senior Member


Couple of facts about myself:

  • I have co-invented more than 45 inventions and was appointed IBM Master Inventor in Oct. 2019.
  • Collaborating with Massachusetts General Hospital I co-created MELD-Plus—a highly accurate risk score in liver disease. The score received the attention of Transplantation in 2020 (a top journal in Transplantation & Surgery).
  • I created EMRBots helping thousands to practice machine-learning algorithms, publish papers, and advance teaching by using simulated electronic medical records. EMRBots were used to publish more than 20 manuscripts by other researchers (including in KDD / IEEE conferences and journals such as Bioinformatics).
  • In 2008 I went through an emergency 3-hour lung surgery and this experience inspired me to identify possible opportunities to improve outcomes—I published that in the European Respiratory Journal and in the Annals of Surgery with a hope to affect future clinical guidelines in lung. It may sound surprising, but this experience helped me also to identify an opportunity to improve performance of prediction mechanisms; clinicians' intuition may be measured and incorporated into machine learning algorithms to improve performance—I published the concept in the Journal of Medical Systems with a hope that the new intuition covariates will indeed improve performance, maybe even significantly.
  • I co-invented and developed a new type of feature selection method with collaborators from MIT—the method (that is based on propensity score matching and sub-population analysis) seems to be working well and may serve as a possible substitute for widely used methods such as Random Forests and adaptive Lasso. 
  • Collaborating with Merck & Co. & Harvard, I co-developed the first algorithm to classify insomnia patients.
  • I co-created a new information extraction method denoted Text Nailing.
  • I created a human-size assemblage called “The Man Who Had Them All” that is permanently exhibited at the IBM building in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I describe the story of that man in an article that appears in ACM Interactions (July 2017).
  • I have had many letters published in Communications of the ACM.
  • I was appointed an IEEE Senior Member in 2018.
  • I was appointed a Distinguished Speaker of the ACM in 2018 and gave seminars focused on medical informatics and inventions (including Princeton and Stanford universities).
  • I joined IBM Research in Sept. 2016.
  • I was a research fellow at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital (2013–2016).
  • I was a software development engineer at Microsoft Health Solutions Group (2008–2012).
  • I was granted an internship at the Washington Hospital Center in 2004 in an unusual way (at that time international internships were rare). Basically, I combined an email web-crawler with a "for loop" program that I created to get there.
  • In September 2019 and as an IBMer, I joined the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard as a visiting scientist (press release).
  • In 2008, I earned my PhD, focused on human–robot collaboration, from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba, Israel. The path between robotics and informatics may not be logical to most but for me it was straight-forward and inevitable. Following my receipt of an IEEE award and a prestigious 6-month internship split between Microsoft Research and the Health Solutions Group, I intended to make a big impact in robotics. However, once I completed my PhD and officially joined the Health Solutions Group at Microsoft (the same group that I interned with) in 2008, I quickly realized that my interest in robotics was waning while my interest in broader medical informatics was growing. As is the case with many others, I could not just leave because I was locked in by immigration restrictions (I was also granted an "Outstanding Researcher" green card in 2010 that basically tied me to Microsoft), so I had to pivot my career. My new target was the medical informatics team at Microsoft Research, but that never happened given my robotics background. It was at this time that I pivoted to get back on track. More specifically, I went back to academia with a position at Harvard Medical School in bioinformatics, which ultimately led me to my current position at IBM Research.