Edward H. Shortliffe, MD, PhD, FACMI

Year Elected: 
Stanford University
1979 to 2000

Currently:  Arizona State University, Columbia University, Weill Cornell Medical College, and New York Academy of Medicine

Web site: www.shortliffe.net

2006 Morris F. Collen Award: Video Tribute - JAMIA Article

Ted Shortliffe is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and Chief of its Section on Medical Informatics (SMI). A 1970 graduate in applied mathematics from Harvard College, he earned both an MD (1976) and a PhD in Medical Information Sciences (1975) at Stanford. After a pause for internal medicine training at Massachusetts General Hospital (1976-77) and Stanford Hospital (1977-79), he joined the Stanford medical faculty with a courtesy appointment in the Department of Computer Science. Within a few years he had initiated a graduate training program in Medical Information Sciences, which he now directs. He practices on the inpatient service and in the outpatient clinics at Stanford, but spends the majority of his time with research and education in informatics.

During the early 1970s, he was principal developer of the medical expert system known as MYCIN, which served as his doctoral dissertation research. In recognition of this innovative exploration of the role and capabilities of rule-based expert systems, he received the Grace Murray Hopper Award (distinguished computer scientist under age 30) from the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) in 1976. Upon joining the Stanford faculty he received a Research Career Development Award from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and was appointed in 1980 to the NLM’s Biomedical Library Research Committee, which he now chairs. He has also led one of the long-range planning committees (in medical informatics) formed by the new director of the NLM and has been extensively involved with reviews and site visits on behalf of that agency.

In recent years he has been elected to the Board of Directors of both the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM) and the American Association for Medical Systems and Informatics (AAMSI). He founded and was first leader of the Medical Subgroup of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-M) and was recently appointed to the Medical Informatics Subcommittee of the American College of Physicians. Meanwhile, at Stanford, he continues to pursue his interest in expert systems with the development of an advisory tool for cancer chemotherapy (ONCOCIN) and is Co-Principal Investigator of the SUMEX-AIM Computing Resource, which provides time-shared computing support to a nationwide community of researchers involved with the applications of artificial intelligence in medicine. A frequent contributor at SCAMC and other medical computing meetings, he is the author of many well known articles in expert systems, medical computing, and artificial intelligence. The book version of his doctoral dissertation in among the most highly cited works in all of computer science.