Anil Shanker


Despite widespread knowledge regarding racial and ethnic health disparities, little has changed over the last decades. A creative, inclusive, and competitive biomedical research workforce is the foundation for turning discovery into health for all. To date, the expertise for advancing data-driven medicine based on artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) approaches has resided in majority-oriented institutions with little demonstrated experience in engaging minority-serving institutions or communities. Lack of diversity of both data and researchers runs the risk of creating and perpetuating harmful biases in the analytical algorithms, practice, and outcomes, thus fostering continued health disparities and inequities. Thus, the National Institutes of Health recently launched an Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Consortium to Advance Health Equity and Researcher Diversity (AIM-AHEAD) program. This two-year planning, assessment and capacity building program will be led by the AIM-AHEAD Coordinating Center comprised of a consortium of institutions and organizations that have a mission to serve minorities and underrepresented or underserved communities impacted by health disparities. This AIM-AHEAD research and development program seeks to illuminate underlying issues in health systems and research endeavors that need to be addressed to improve health for diverse communities.