Rochester, Minnesota




Cui Tao, Ph.D., received a doctorate and master's degree in computer science from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She also earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Beijing Normal University, where she majored in biology and minored in computer science.

In 2009, Dr. Tao joined the Division of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics at Mayo Clinic. Her research focuses on ontology generation, conceptual modeling and information extraction over the biomedical domain. She is also interested in the Semantic Web and its application on biomedical and clinical data.

Focus areas

  • Clinical Narrative Temporal Relation Ontology (CNTRO)/TIMER. Dr. Tao is the principal investigator of the CNTRO/TIMER project, in which she leverages ontology and Semantic Web technologies to model, extract and infer temporal relations from clinical data.
  • Semantic Annotator (Semantator). Dr. Tao is the principal investigator of the Semantator project, which aims to develop an environment for users to annotate information of interest from clinical or biomedical documents with respect to domain ontologies.
  • Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP). Dr. Tao is a co-investigator of the SHARPn project — research area four, Secondary Use of Electronic Health Record (EHR) Information.

    She is leading the development of the Clinical Element Model-Web Ontology Language (CEM-OWL) project, which uses Semantic Web technologies to represent EHR data and infer new knowledge for secondary use, such as patient cohort identification (phenotyping).

  • Common Terminology Services 2. Dr. Tao is leading the research effort on representing the Common Terminology Services 2 in the Semantic Web notation.
  • LexEVS. Dr. Tao is one of the key members of the LexEVS project. This project is Mayo Clinic's contribution to the emerging area of standard storage of controlled terminologies and ontologies.

    In particular, she is leading the LexRDF project, where she leverages Semantic Web technologies to design, implement and prototype powerful functionality (such as inferencing and editing) to the International Standards Organization (ISO) standard for terminology services based upon the LexGrid model.

Significance to patient care

Dr. Tao's research focuses on using standard ontologies and terminologies, as well as semantic technologies, for clinical data management and processing.

The tools she is developing can facilitate automatic searching in the clinical domain, from retrieving relevant information from the latest research discoveries to recruiting eligible patients satisfying certain searching criteria.

Her research work will help clinical researchers harvest and make available facts from the wealth of available heterogeneous digital data as well as save critical time and effort in biomedical research. This benefits patients, as they could receive treatments or medications sooner.

Professional highlights

  • Chair, International Workshop on Managing Interoperability and compleXity in Health Systems (MIXHS)
  • Chair, International Workshop on Vaccine and Drug Ontology in the Study of Mechanism and Effect (VDOSME)
  • Guest Editor, Journal of Biomedical Semantics

Recent Publications

See my publications

Professional Details

Primary Appointment

  1. Biostatistics

Academic Rank

  1. Assistant Professor of Medical Informatics


  1. Ph.D. - Computer Science Brigham Young University
  2. MS - Computer Science Brigham Young University
  3. BS - Major: Biology Minor: Computer Science Beijing Normal University

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