Emily Hendryx, a fifth-year graduate student in computational and applied mathematics (CAAM) at Rice University, was named presenter of the best plenary talk on the first day of the 2016 National Library of Medicine (NLM) Informatics Training Conference.
Her presentation, “Pediatric ECG Feature Identification,” based on research undertaken at Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) in Houston, was judged the best of 19 talks given on the first day of the program, held June 27-28 at The Ohio State University in Columbus.
Because each part of an electrocardiogram corresponds to a moment in the cardiac cycle, tracking subtle changes over time can help doctors understand a patient’s clinical status. But such detailed analysis is time-consuming. Hendryx’s research seeks to automate the ECG feature-identification process beat by beat, using a library of key pediatric ECG morphologies with data collected from the bedside monitors at TCH.
“Some algorithms for identifying individual ECG features already exist, but they typically rely on specific timing thresholds, and are derived from adult data. We want to better serve the pediatric population, specifically those children with congenital heart disease. We hope to develop predictive models for real-time clinical decision support,” Hendryx said.
Her advisers are Craig Rusin, assistant professor of pediatric cardiology at the Baylor College of Medicine and adjunct assistant professor of CAAM at Rice, and Béatrice Rivière, Noah G. Harding Chair and the department chair of CAAM.
Hendryx earned a B.S. in mathematics from Angelo State University in 2012 and an M.A. in CAAM from Rice in 2015. This summer, Hendryx has a 12-week internship at the NLM’s Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications in Bethesda, Md.
Co-directors of the NLM Training Program in Biomedical Informatics for the Gulf Coast Consortia for Quantitative Biomedical Sciences are Lydia Kavraki, Noah Harding Professor of Computer Science (CS) and Bioengineering, and Tony Gorry, professor emeritus of CS and Friedkin Professor of Management.
"Emily conveyed to the entire audience the importance of the problem she is working on, the hurdles she faces and her approach. She was articulate and poised. Emily and other member of the group shined among the NLM trainees,” Kavraki said.
The NLM, an institute within the National Institutes of Health, is the world's largest medical library. Its immediate precursor, established in 1836, was the Library of the Surgeon General's Office.