Rebecca S. Jacobson, MD, MS

Research Interests: 
  • Medical decision making and decision support
  • Clinical Natural Language Processing and Information Extraction
  • Multi-institution data and tissue sharing
  • Personalized Medicine
Appointments and Positions: 

Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Associate Professor of Intelligent Systems
Associate Professor of Pathology
Chief Information Officer, Institute for Personalized Medicine
Director of the University of Pittsburgh Biomedical Informatics Training Program

Dr. Rebecca Jacobson has been teaching University of Pittsburgh post-graduate classes since 2001 and has served as Director of the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) Training Program since 2008.  Established in 1987, the DBMI Training Program prepares individuals for research and development careers emphasizing the application of modern information technology to healthcare, basic biological and clinical research, and the education of health professionals. As Director, Dr. Jacobson oversees more than 28 core faculty, over 50 affiliated faculty from a total of 25 University departments and centers, and approximately 40 students pursuing masters degrees, doctoral degrees, non-degree postdoctoral fellowships and certificates. Funding for the DBMI Training Program is primarily provided by the National Library of Medicine and Dr. Jacobson was recently awarded two American Recovery and Reinvestment Act supplements to support new students, faculty and course offerings.


Cooper GF, Bahar I, Becich MJ, Benos PV, Berg J, Espino JU, Jacobson RC, Kienholz M, Lee AV, Lu X, Scheines R, Center for Causal Discovery team. The Center for causal discovery of biomedical knowledge from Big Data. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 2015 Jul 2. pii: ocv059. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocv059. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 26138794

Liu K, Mitchell KJ, Chapman WW, Savova GK, Sioutos N, Ruben DL, Crowley RS. Formative Evaluation of Ontology Learning Methods by Using Existing Ontologies as Reference Standards. Methods of Information in Medicine, 2013 May 13;52(4). PMID: 23666409 [PubMed - in process]

Kuqi K, Eveleigh T, Holzer T, Sarkani S, Crowley RS. Redesigning Electronic Medical Record User Interfaces: A Matrix-Based Framework for Improving Usability J Healthc Eng. 2013;4(3):427-52. doi: 10.1260/2040-2295.4.3.427 PMID: 23965597 [PubMed in process]

Zheng J, Chapman WW, Miller TA, Chen L, Crowley RS, Savova GK. A system for coreference resolution for the clinical narrative. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2012 Jul 1;19(4):660-7. Epub 2012 Jan 31. PMCID: PMC3384116 [Available on 2013/7/1]

Crowley RS, Legowski E, Medvedeva O, Reitmeyer K, Tseytlin E, Castine M, Jukic D, Mello-Thoms C. Automated detection of heuristics and biases among pathologists in a computer-based system. Adv in Health Sci Educ, Theory and Practice, Epub ahead of print, May 29, 2012. PMID:22618855

Landis Lewis Z, Mello-Thoms C, Gadabu OJ, Gillespie M, Douglas GP, Crowley RS. The Feasibility of Automating Audit and Feedback for ART Guideline Adherence in Malawi. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2011 Nov-Dec;18(6):868-74. Epub 2011 May 12. PMCID: PMC3197989

Chapman WW, Savova GK, Zheng J, Castine M, Crowley RS. Anaphoric Reference in Clinical Reports: Characteristics of an Annotated Corpus. J Biomed Inform. 2011 Jul-Aug;18(4):459-65. Epub 2011 Apr 1.

Lui K, Hogan WR, Crowley RS. Natural Language Processing Methods and Systems for Biomedical Ontology Learning. J Biomed Inform. 2010 Jul 17. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 20647054 [PubMed—in process]

Crowley RS, Gryzbicki D, Legowski E, Wagner L, Castine M, Medvedeva O, Tseytlin E, Jukic D, Raab S.  Use of a Medical ITS Improves Reporting Performance among Community Pathologists. Tenth International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems: Bridges to Learning (ITS 2010), Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh PA, June 14-18, 2010.

Crowley RS, Castine M, Mitchell KJ, Chavan G, McSherry T, Feldman M.  caTIES - A Grid Based System for Coding and Retrieval of Surgical Pathology Reports and Tissue Specimens In Support Of Translational Research. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2010 May 1;17(3):253-64  PMID: 20442142 [PubMed—in process]

Bartos CE, Butler BS, Crowley RS, Ranked Levels of Influence Model: Selecting Influence Techniques to Minimize IT Resistance. J Biomed Inform. 2010 Apr. [Epub ahead of print].PMID: 20176135

Landis Lewis Z, Douglas G, Monaco V, Crowley RS, Touchscreen Task Efficiency and Learnability in an Electronic Medical Record at the Point-of-Care. 13th World Congress on Medical and Health Informatics Medinfo 2010, Cape Town, South Africa, 12-15th September 2010 (Accepted February 2010, Nominated for Best Student Paper, June 2010).  PMID: 20841658