Casimir A. Kulikowski, Rutgers University Board of Governors Professor of Computer Science, last week received a Distinguished Fellowship Award from the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI), the national scholarly society for the field of medical, nursing and health informatics. He was one of four recipients of the Award, which was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Medical Informatics (AMIA), the premier national scientific and technological association for biomedical and health informatics. The other recipients were Alexa McCray of Harvard University, Christopher Chute of Johns Hopkins University, and Charles Friedman of the University of Michigan.
Dr. Kulikowski is a pioneer in medical informatics who headed the NIH-funded Rutgers AI in Medicine Research Resource during the decade 1980-1990. This resource brought together collaborators in biomedicine from across the nation and the world to work on novel AI and Machine Learning approaches to clinical consultation, decision support and biomedical theory formation, and computational modeling. His first Rutgers doctoral student, Sholom Weiss, developed the earliest application of powerful and efficient algorithms over Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAGs) to computationally model the causal effects of disease processes in the prize-winning CASNET (Causal-Associational Network) AI system. CASNET was used for diagnosing and advising on treatments for the blindness-inducing glaucoma spectrum of eye diseases. This was carried out in collaboration with the first-ever network of expert biomedical researchers and clinical investigators in ophthalmology, led by led by Dr. Aran Safir of the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in NYC, with collaborators from Washington University (St Louis), Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Miami. Weiss and Kulikowski went on the develop the first Expert System framework for rule-based modeling of diseases using DAGS, which was later applied in geophysical exploration, technological electronic and mechanical systems diagnostics as well as many biomedical applications. These included the first expert system embedded in a commercial automated medical-screening instrument (Helena Laboratories’ scanning protein density electrophoresis device) in collaboration with researchers at Overlook Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, as well as the first hand-held expert device for automated screening results from infectious eye disease in North Africa in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and physicians from the University of California–San Francisco.
At Rutgers, Kulikowski was Chair of the Department of Computer Science from 1984 to 1990, and Director of the Laboratory for Computer Science Research from 1985 to 1991. He has had a long-standing collaboration with Dr. Frank Sonnenberg, Professor of Medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, resulting in innovative computational methods for representing and learning clinical guidelines and for the visual knowledge representation of the time-course of illnesses. After five decades of research covering many novel investigations in bioinformatics, biomedical imaging and clinical informatics, Professor Kulikowski recently completed editing the book, International Medical Informatics and the Transformation of Healthcare, published by IMIA, 2021. He also heads the ACMI Committee of Historians in the USA. Kulikowski is a Fellow of the AAAI, AAAS, ACMI, AIMBE, IAHSI, IEEE, and IMIA (Hon), and a member of the National Academy of Medicine of the United States.