Catherine Blake

Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

PhD, Information and Computer Science, University of California, Irvine

Other professional appointments

  • Health Innovation Professor, Carle Illinois College of Medicine
  • Faculty Affiliate, Department of Computer Science
  • Faculty Affiliate, National Center for Supercomputing Applications
  • Faculty Affiliate, Personalized Nutrition Initiative
  • Faculty Affiliate, Informatics
  • Faculty Affiliate, Center for Health Informatics

Research focus

Biomedical informatics, natural language processing, evidence-based discovery, learning health systems, socio-technical systems, data analytics, literature-based discovery.


Catherine Blake is a professor in the School of Information Sciences and Health Innovation Professor in the Carle Illinois College of Medicine at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Computer Science and is affiliated with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), Informatics, Center for Health Informatics, and the Personalized Nutrition Initiative (PNI). She currently serves as the principal investigator for the NSF's Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub (MBDH, NSF abstract) and is leading a study to assess the use of Artificial Intelligence for targeted search (CSL/Behring). She is co-PI for projects to develop a cadre of health data literacy ambassadors (a collaborative effort with UIUC extension to reach teens (data literacy project); extend text mining methods to identify critical facets of privacy statements (CISCO) and estimate risk as part of a big data-theoretic approach to quantify organizational failure mechanisms in probabilistic risk assessment (NSF abstract). She served as program director for the iSchool's master’s degree in information management (MS/IM) and the campus-wide MS in bioinformatics programs (2019-2022) and as associate director for the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (2011-2021).

Blake's research explores both human and automated methods to synthesize evidence from text. She brings industrial experience as a software developer, formal training in information and computer science, and almost two decades of research experience in text mining and natural language processing, primarily in biomedicine. Much of her work centers around the Claim Framework that provides both a conceptual framework along with a set of automated methods that extract key findings from empirical studies in medicine, toxicology, and epidemiology that was developed as part of a grant on evidence-based discovery (NSF abstract). She has also explored text mining in humanities to detect authorship from movie reviews, and in news stories to recognize textual entailment in news stories and create multiple document summaries.

Blake earned master's and doctoral degrees in information and computer science at the University of California, Irvine and bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science at the University of Wollongong.

Office hours

By appointment, please contact professor.