UMD’s Resnik and UMB’s Kelly Working on Project to Identify and Monitor Mental Illness

Tue Oct 25, 2016

A University of Maryland, College Park expert in computational linguistics is collaborating with a University of Maryland, Baltimore mental health expert to develop computational models that identify symptom changes in schizophrenia and depression.

Philip Resnik (left in photo), a professor of linguistics with an appointment in UMIACS, and Deanna Kelly (right in photo), a professor of psychiatry with expertise in the treatment and monitoring of severe mental illness, will collect a unique new dataset including clinical variables, within-clinic prompted language responses, and naturally occurring social media interaction. Using this dataset, they will develop new computational techniques for predictive modeling, with a focus on symptom changes within clinically relevant symptom domains.

Their project will be beneficial because identifying and monitoring mental illness is an enormous societal challenge: in addition to high costs, continued access to care and regular treatment and monitoring is fragmented, and more than 89 million Americans do not have ready access to a clinician qualified to perform psychiatric or psychological evaluations.

The collaborative project between Resnik and Kelly was one of the 2016 Research and Innovation Seed Grants announced last week at the 9th Annual Joint Seed Grant Program and Reception.

The seed grant program, part of the MPowering the State initiative, is intended to foster collaboration between disciplines and between the University of Maryland College Park and Baltimore campuses. It focuses on projects in areas such as personalized medicine, bioinformatics, bioengineering, complex therapeutics, health care optimization, public health informatics, health information technology, and health science research.