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Harnessing AI

January 30, 2024

To the YSM Community:

On Jan. 17, 2024, Provost Strobel shared university-wide efforts “to explore and consider strategic opportunities for AI at Yale.” The provost invited deans to convene panels of faculty from diverse disciplines who are engaging in artificial intelligence (AI) to brainstorm on school-specific approaches to develop and harness new AI technologies to have an impact on discovery, education, and practice.

Yale School of Medicine was invited to convene two faculty panels–a clinical research panel and a basic science panel. Deputy Dean for Clinical Affairs and CEO of the YSM/YNHHS Aligned Physician Enterprise, Margaret McGovern, and Yale Health CEO, Jason Fish, are co-chairing a panel on clinical practice. In addition, Assistant Dean for Education, Jaideep Talwalkar, is participating on a university-wide education panel.

Members of the clinical research panel include: Sanjay Aneja, Melissa Davis, Annie Hartley, Rohan Khera, Daniella Meeker, Wade Schulz, Hua Xu. Members of the basic science panel include: Kristen Brennand, Hyunghoon Cho, Peter Gershkovich, Ira Hall, Steve Kleinstein, Yuval Kluger, Smita Krishnaswamy, Xenophon Papademetris, Zeynep Erson Omay, and Steven Reilly.

The two YSM panels have been meeting to identify our strengths and differentiators as a school and university; needs within the school; opportunities for collaboration; transformative questions; risks; and the role for Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, and academia in general in addressing these questions. The panels will provide their initial insights to the Yale Task Force on Artificial Intelligence (YTAI) in February and early March.

The work of these panels and YTAI is just the beginning of the conversation on AI at YSM, the university and in collaboration with our clinical partner, YNHHS. As a premier school of medicine whose mission is to educate and nurture creative leaders in medicine and science, advance discovery and innovation, and care for patients and improve the health of all, we must lead in considering questions such as how do we:

  • Leverage AI to educate future clinicians and scientists while promoting curiosity, critical thinking knowledge, and skill acquisition?
  • Ensure rigor and reproducibility of data and discoveries generated using AI?
  • Guarantee privacy and avoid bias in applications using AI?

In both basic science and clinical research, our faculty bring unique domain knowledge that can inform the appropriate use of AI. We benefit from growing computational expertise in the Section for Biomedical Informatics and across the university in the Departments of Computer Science and Statistics and Data Science, as well as other centers and institutes.

We must also partner with ethicists, legal scholars, patient advocacy groups, and others to define best practices. It will be imperative that we continue to engage our faculty with clinical and basic science domain expertise as we consider the role of AI. We must partner with other academic institutions, foundations, and even commercial entities who bring strengths and resources that complement those in academia.

How can you engage in this conversation? In a recent survey from Deputy Dean for Biomedical Informatics, Lucila Ohno-Machado, many of you expressed interest in learning more about AI. Please watch for announcements of opportunities to participate during the next phase of this work. In addition, consider attending the AI in Medicine Symposium in the Harkness Auditorium on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024. Lastly, the committees will be sharing recommended reading at this link. This site will be updated regularly. We will learn and lead together.


Nancy J. Brown, MD
Jean and David W. Wallace Dean of Medicine
C.N.H. Long Professor of Internal Medicine

Robert Rohrbaugh, MD
Deputy Dean for Professionalism and Leadership
Professor of Psychiatry