Supporting the information management needs of breast cancer patients

Core Team

Wanda Pratt, PhD

Wanda Pratt is the Principal Invistagor on this project. She is an Associate Professor in both the Information School and the Division of Biomedical & Health Informatics in the Medical School at the University of Washington. She received her Ph.D. in Medical Informatics from Stanford University, her M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Texas, and her B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Kansas. Her research is motivated by the problems patients face in finding, using, and managing information. Her research includes studying patients' work to understand their problems, developing new types of technology to address those problems, and evaluating the technology with patients. She is also interested in using technology to improve patient-physician communication and collaboration.

Andrea Civan, PhD

Andrea is a postdoc in the Division of Biomedical and Health Informatics at the University of Washington. Her research goals are to understand and meet the information needs of health consumers. Her current research spans personal health information management and lifestyle change, with a strong focus on facilitating personal health knowledge sharing among health consumers. Andrea completed her PhD thesis, "Understanding and Facilitating Patient Expertise Sharing", in 2009 from the University of Washington.

Meredith Skeels

Meredith is a PhD Candidate in Biomedical and Health Informatics at the University of Washington and has a BS in Informatics from the Information School (also at the University of Washington). Her dissertation research is focused on how people share health information and collaborate with their social networks. One of her larger research goals is to do a better job of creating technology that works for people by understanding users and collaborating with them when designing new technology.

Pedja Klasnja

Pedja is a postdoctoral research scientist in the Information School at the University of Washington. His research interests are in the areas of Human Computer Interaction, Ubiquitous Computing, and Medical Informatics. In particular, he is interested in ways in which mobile technology can be used to help people manage their health by supporting them in making health-promoting lifestyle changes and providing them with ways to easily capture and retrieve information in their health records. He is also interested in the privacy aspects of mobile and other ubiquitous technologies.

Marlee Mukai

Marlee is currently an undergraduate at the University of Washington. She will graduate in Spring 2010 with a B.S. in Informatics from the Information School and a B.S. in Public Health.

Ronald Viernes

Ronald Viernes is an undergraduate at the University of Washington. He plans to graduate in Spring 2010 with a B.F.A in Visual Communication Design from the School of Art. In addition to courses in VCD, he also has taken classes focused on interaction design and user experience. Upon graduation, Ronald hopes to work in the big city at a multidisciplinary design firm that works in a variety of media. Originally from Hawaii, he has come to love the departure from sunny skies everyday to days filled with gray clouds and frequent drizzle. I have come to appreciate where I came from even more as time goes on.

Chris Powell, MS

Chris is an award-winning, professional software developer with over twenty years of experience. He brings to the team his software architecture and development skills, in-the-trenches "dot-com" Network Operations experience, and an earnest desire to create technology that can aid cancer patients and survivors.


Julie Gralow, MD

Julie Gralow majored in biologic sciences at Stanford University before attending medical school at the University of Southern California. She did a residency in internal medicine at Harvard Medical School's Brigham and Women's Hospital, followed by a medical oncology fellowship at the University of Washington School of Medicine and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, two institutions at which she currently holds joint faculty appointments. Specializing in breast cancer, Dr. Gralow is the director of Breast Medical Oncology at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and co-Chair of the Southwest Oncology Group's Breast Cancer Committee. She is the principle investigator on several clinical trials related to breast cancer treatment.

Dr. Gralow is committed to improving quality of life for breast cancer patients through education, exercise and diet, and to promoting breast cancer awareness in the community. Dr. Gralow is the Medical Director and Team Physician for 'Team Survivor Northwest,' a group of female cancer survivors dedicated to improving their health through fitness and exercise. She is board-certified in in medical oncology, and is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Clinical Oncology, National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations, Southwest Oncology Group, and the American Society of Breast Disease.

Raya Fidel, PhD

Dr. Raya Fidel brings expertise in the fields of information seeking behavior, information storage and retrieval, and knowledge organization. She currently teaches in the areas of information behavior, information systems, knowledge representation and thesaurus construction. Her research focuses on information seeking and searching behavior.

Dr. Fidel is the Head of the Center for Human-Information Interaction. Her work appears in various journals and books. Professor Fidel holds an M.L.S. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1972) and a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Maryland (1982).

William Jones, PhD

At the iSchool, I manage the Keeping Found Things Found project (in collaboration with Dr. Harry Bruce; see also I received my doctorate from Carnegie-Mellon University for research in human memory over twenty years ago. I’ve published basic research in cognitive psychology as well as more applied research in personal information management (PIM), information retrieval and human-computer interaction. For a while I left research altogether to work with information management in the business world. I worked as a program manager at Microsoft for nearly six years in the 90’s, where I was involved in the production of information management features for both Microsoft Office and MSN Search. Before that, I worked as an internal consultant at Boeing, where I led an effort to create an information repository for flight deck problems and design rationale. The most unusual patent in my name is for “step indexing” of Japanese text (embodied in a search facility that shipped in the Japanese version of Microsoft Office’97).

John Gennari, PhD

I've been a student, and received diplomas from Colgate University, University of Wisconsin - Madison, and at the University of CA - Irvine. My Ph.D. from UC-Irvine (1990) was in the area of machine learning. Strangely enough, I returned to UW-Madison as a visiting assistant professor for one year ('91-'92), and to UC-Irvine as an adjunct assistant professor for three years ('98-'01). In between, I received all of my medical informatics training by being a research scientist at Stanford Medical Informatics, where I helped develop the Protégé system. I also spent one year teaching Computer Science at Keio University in Japan. Ask me about it.

Patient Advisory Board

The patient advisory board of the Managing Health In Your Life Project is comprised of individuals who have direct experience with cancer diagnosis and treatment. Throughout our research efforts, we turn to the advisory board for guidance, suggestions, and proof-of-concept testing to ensure that our work remains patient-centered. The patient advisory board meets twice a year and reviews material between meetings as issues emerge in our research. We encourage all research projects conducting patient centered research to adopt this model and embed patient advisory boards into their research efforts.

University of Washington - Information School - Biomedical and Health Informatics
(c) 2009 iMed