Young J. Juhn, M.D., is a professor of pediatrics, the director of the AI Program Promoting Adolescent and Childhood Health (APPROACH) initiative within the Mayo Clinic Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, and the director of Mayo's Precision Population Science Laboratory. The lab focuses on three main research areas:
- Asthma epidemiology — specifically, asthma-associated infectious and inflammatory multimorbidities
- Artificial intelligence (AI) research on asthma diagnosis, management and prognosis
- Health equity — specifically, social and economic inequality (socioeconomic disparities) in health outcomes
Dr. Juhn's asthma research aims to establish that asthma is a systemic disease that goes beyond mere airway inflammation. Dr. Juhn's research unit studies ways that asthma and other atopic conditions interact with and influence infectious and inflammatory diseases.
Dr. Juhn's team is among the early adopters of AI as it applies to clinical research at Mayo Clinic. They are developing, translating and applying AI tools that enhance asthma care and research by detecting and mitigating socioeconomic bias in AI.
Dr. Juhn's health equity research focuses on the role of socioeconomic status in health. The goal of this research is to understand how biomedical factors, such as the immune system, and macroenvironmental factors, such as socioeconomics, interact. He studies how these interactions can promote or compromise health.
Asthma epidemiology. Dr. Juhn's asthma epidemiology research is aimed at determining how asthma and other atopic conditions, such as allergic rhinitis and eczema, influence the occurrence or recurrence of microbial infections or inflammatory diseases, such as heart disease, at a population level.
Dr. Juhn also works to find reasons why people with asthma have increased risk of infections and inflammatory diseases. His research aims to find treatment options and public health interventions to protect people with asthma or other atopic conditions from serious microbial infections or chronic diseases.
AI. Dr. Juhn is creating and advancing AI tools — such as machine learning, deep learning and natural language processing algorithms — that allow researchers to pull relevant asthma data from electronic health record (EHR) systems. He is developing an innovative AI-assisted clinical decision support system, the Asthma-Guidance and Prediction System, and deploying it for use in EHR systems.
The Asthma-Guidance and Prediction System extracts and provides the most relevant clinical information for asthma management. It uses this information to better predict when patients are at risk of having their asthma get worse. It also guides clinicians in delivering asthma care in personal and social contexts. Additionally, Dr. Juhn's research team is working to find a suitable method for spotting and reducing AI bias by considering characteristics of patients and populations and including individual-level socioeconomic status.
Health equity. Dr. Juhn is working to better understand how people's past and current socioeconomic environments impact their health outcomes. This research includes analyzing health disparities and health differences according to socioeconomic status. Specifically, he studies the ways that socioeconomic status influences health outcomes.
The goal of Dr. Juhn's health equity research is to provide a validated, objective and scalable individual-level socioeconomic measure based on individual housing unit data, using a cloud-based automated system called the Housing-Based Socioeconomic Status (HOUSES) index. This tool for researchers and other stakeholders who are concerned with health equity helps address AI bias and deliver fair and accurate assessments of health care organizations' performances.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Juhn's team has shown that asthma increases the risk of common serious respiratory infections such as pneumonia and whooping cough, nonrespiratory infections such as shingles and appendicitis, and inflammatory diseases such as heart disease. This breakthrough discovery was made possible through Dr. Juhn's application of innovative technologies, including AI, as well as research methods and strategies he has developed over more than 10 years.
Dr. Juhn's team has enhanced asthma care and research by developing an AI-assisted clinical decision support system for clinicians. In addition to improving care for individual patients, the system can efficiently and effectively identify high-risk groups of patients with asthma.
Socioeconomic status is a key element of the social determinants of health. However, accurate ways to measure individual socioeconomic status are rare or unavailable, even though these measures are crucial for high-quality health care delivery and biomedical research. With support from a R21 grant from the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Juhn's lab is addressing this problem. The lab has successfully developed cloud-based software that calculates Housing-Based Socioeconomic Status (HOUSES) indices, making these indices scalable and available to a broad range of stakeholders seeking to achieve health equity.
- Clinical investigator, Mayo Clinic, 2022-present
- Director, AI Program Promoting Adolescent and Childhood Health (APPROACH) initiative, Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 2021-present
- Board certified
- Clinical informatics, American Board of Preventive Medicine, 2019-present
- Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics, 1996-present
- Director, Housing-Based Socioeconomic Status (HOUSES) research program, Mayo Clinic, 2017-present
- Grant reviewer, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), 2012-present
- Ad hoc grant reviewer
- Dutch Arthritis Foundation, 2011-present
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2011-present
- Burroughs Wellcome Fund, 2010-present
- National Institutes of Health, 2009-present
- British Lung Foundation, 2007-present
- Director, Precision Population Science Laboratory, Mayo Clinic, 2005-present
- Inaugural Pediatric Investigator of the Year Award, Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 2013
- Invited reviewer for 20 peer-reviewed journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA and Lancet
- Lyle Weed Healthy Community Award, Olmsted County, Minnesota, 2006 and 2007
- Outstanding Achievement Award, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2005