CDS Prof. Ye awarded $500K grant to develop AI technologies to reduce opioid overdose risks

Yanfang (Fanny) Ye, associate professor of computer and data sciences at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation in support of her work to develop novel artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to reduce opioid overdose risks. The award comes with about $500,000 dollars in funding over a three-year period.

As opioid overdose deaths have continued to increase over the past decade across the country, it is critical to understand the drugs involved in those deaths and the potential role of polypharmacy (i.e., the concurrent use of multiple medications) in opioid overdose deaths. However, due to the formidable complexity of drug-drug interactions (DDIs) arising from polypharmacy, it is challenging if not impossible to count them all manually. Therefore, there is an urgent need for developing novel computational methodologies and models for early detection of risky DDI patterns when opioids are combined with other drugs.

“Since relying on a single data source for biomedical knowledge discovery often results in unsatisfactory performance,” said Ye. “The goal of this project is to design and develop a novel and integrated framework (algorithms, models, and techniques) to construct a heterogeneous network built from multiple data sources and extract useful information from the constructed network to reduce the risk of opioid overdoses resulting from polypharmacy.” Ye will focus her efforts on the development of new AI technologies to automate the analysis of the large volume of data generated from multiple data sources for the detection of DDI patterns to reduce opioid overdose risks.   

Ye’s research areas mainly include Data MiningMachine Learning, Cybersecurity, and Health Intelligence. Before joining CWRU, she was an assistant professor and then associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering at West Virginia University; formerly she was the Principal Scientist in Comodo Security Solutions, Inc. and the R&D Deputy Director at Kingsoft Internet Security Corporation. She recently received the prestigious NSF Career Award (2019), the IJCAI Early Career Spotlights (2019), the AICS 2019 Challenge Problem Winner, the ACM SIGKDD 2017 Best Paper Award and ACM SIGKDD 2017 Best Student Paper Award (Applied Data Science Track), the IEEE EISIC 2017 Best Paper Award. Her research has been significantly supported by multiple federal agencies.