Josh Smith, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Biomedical Informatics
2525 West End Avenue

Joshua C. Smith, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. His primary research interests are at the intersection of data science and patient safety – specifically, in utilizing natural language processing (NLP), data mining, and machine learning for pharmacovigilance, knowledge discovery, and decision support to improve patient safety. 

Dr. Smith is a faculty member in the Center for Improving the Public's Health through Informatics (CIPHI), the Center for Precision Medicine (CPM), and Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy (CPPA)  at VUMC. He also serves as a member of the Master Plan Workgroup and co-lead of the Signal Detection Analytics Core for the FDA Sentinel Innovation Center. 

Dr. Smith holds an MS and PhD in Biomedical Informatics from Vanderbilt University and an MS in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His MS and PhD research at Vanderbilt included the development of the Drug Evidence Base (DEB), a knowledgebase containing medication indications and adverse drug effects (ADEs) mined from publicly-available sources, and the Adverse Drug Effect Recognizer (ADER), an NLP-based clinical decision support system to alert physicians about potential ADEs in recently-admitted inpatients.

As a workgroup lead on multiple projects for the FDA Sentinel Innovation Center, his current research is focused on automated phenotyping, feature engineering, and adverse drug effect signal identification. As a member of the CPPA, Dr. Smith's efforts are devoted to the development of NLP and machine learning solutions to analyze patient complaints, promote professionalism in healthcare, and improve patient safety.