2013 Lifetime Achievement Award - Donald A.B. Lindberg, MD

 

The Association for Pathology Informatics presented its Lifetime Achievement Award for 2013 to Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D. at the Pathology Informatics Summit 2013 annual meeting held in Pittsburgh, PA in May, 2013. The presenter was Dr. Alexis Carter.

Dr. Donald A. B. Lindberg attended medical school at Columbia University and did his residency in pathology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. He joined the faculty in the Department of Pathology at the University of Missouri, where he remained for 24 years, and "was soon engaged in the unprecedented activity of computerizing the clinical pathology laboratory services for the medical center. He developed applications to improve the speed, quality, and consistency of laboratory results reporting. He developed expert systems to assist in pathologic diagnosis and began publishing articles in the field that would become known as Medical Informatics. By the mid-1960s, he had garnered an international reputation as an expert in the use of computers in medicine" (1).

At the University of Missouri Dr. Lindberg was involved in various informatics initiatives including "Automated Patient History Acquisition System" (patients could enter symptoms into computer terminals), "Fast Access to Current Text" (making microfiche data searchable by Medical Subject Headings), "CONSIDER (an expert system algorithm-driven differential diagnostic program). He was ultimately named Professor of Pathology and Director of the Information Science Group at Missouri.  In these roles “(h)e was soon engaged in the unprecedented activity of computerizing the clinical pathology laboratory services for the medical center.  He developed applications to improve the speed, quality, and consistency of laboratory results reporting. He developed expert systems to assist in pathologic diagnosis and began publishing articles in the field that would become known as Medical Informatics. By the mid-1960s, he had garnered an international reputation as an expert in the use of computers in medicine" (1).

Dr. Lindberg has served as Director of the National Library of Medicine since 1984 and has been involved in many advances there including development of Medline, the creation of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), and development of the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS).  In 1991 he was appointed as the first director of the "High Performance Computing and Communications program." He was involved in the formation and was the first President of the American Medical Informatics Association. He is the author of three books (The Computer and Medical Care; Computers in Life Science Research; and The Growth of Medical Information Systems in the United States) and more than 200 articles and reports. He has been the editor and/or a member of the editorial board of nine journals including the Journal of the American Medical Association. He current is appointed as Clinical Professor of Pathology at the University of Virginia and Adjunct Professor of Pathology at the University Of Maryland School of Medicine.

(1) Masys DR. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 5:214, 1998.