Through the Years


BMIR has a long history at Stanford.  We began in 1979 as the Medical Computer Science (MCS) group of the Stanford Knowledge Systems Laboratory (KSL).  Work in the 1970s on computer systems such as MYCIN and other expert systems provided strong evidence that biomedical knowledge could be modeled computationally and processed to inform clinical decision making.  MCS was the unit in the School of Medicine where such work would be continued.


During the 1980s, Ted Shortliffe’s work on ONCOCIN, an intelligent system to provide decision support to clinicians caring for patients who had breast cancer and lymphoma, provided the centerpiece for a number of well known projects.  The problem of building knowledge bases for ONCOCIN to encode the procedures for applying cancer chemotherapy protocols led to Mark Musen’s early work on the Protégé system.  The challenge of reasoning about the temporal relationships among patient data values and therapeutic interventions led to Michael Kahn’s work on a system known as TOPAZ.