Leadership group

Charlene ronquillo 

PhD, RN 

Charlene Esteban Ronquillo, RN, PhD, is health informatician whose program of research focuses on health informatics, nursing, and health equity, underpinned by critical theory and implementation science. A key aim in their program of work is to ensure meaningful inclusion of non-dominant groups in the discourses, design, development, and implementation of health technologies in health systems.

Charlene has experience using mixed methods, participatory, and co-production research and software design/development methods. Charlene has experience with various aspects of health information technology in health systems and nursing, including nursing informatics competencies, usability research, user-centered design and development, rapid and exploratory prototyping, and technology adoption and usage.

Laura-Maria Peltonen 


Dr. Peltonen is Adjunct Professor working at the Department of Nursing Science at the University of Turku in Finland. Her research focuses on information management to support decision-making on different levels in health service provision. Her interests span from the development of user tailored intuitive solutions to applications of advanced technologies with a particular focus on the implementation process and measurement of the effects of these technologies in practice from the perspectives of organizational and patient outcomes.

Dr. Peltonen earned her PhD in Nursing Science at the Department of Nursing Science at the University of Turku in 2018. She was granted the title of Docent in 2021 at the University of Turku. She is a Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Science and the International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics. She is board member of the Finnish Social and Health Informatics Association and the European Federation for Medical Informatics Nursing Informatics Working Group. She chairs the Governance Advisory Panel of the Nursing Informatics Group of the International Medical Informatics Association. She teaches on bachelor, masters and doctoral levels in topics related to healthcare informatics, leadership and management in national and international uni- and interdisciplinary programs. She leads the transdisciplinary IKITIK -research consortium. She has authored and co-authored more than ninety peer-reviewed scientific articles and more than fifty additional articles intended for the professional community, ten book chapters and over twenty texts targeted at the general public (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5740-6480). Her research has led to several instruments for the assessment of issues related to information management and leadership in healthcare and digital tools to support information use of primary and secondary use of health data.

Lisiane Pruinelli


Dr. Pruinelli is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing with a joint appointment with the College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. At the UF, she is part of the UFHealth AI a multi-college network of investigators harnessing AI to benefit science and health in exciting new ways. Outside the UF, she is affiliated with the Institute for Health Informatics and the School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, MN. She is a Fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association. With more than 10 years of clinical experience in both multi-transplant organ coordination and information systems development and implementation, she is part of a new generation of nursing informaticians focused on applied clinical informatics. Her expertise is on applying innovative nursing informatics tools and cutting-edge data science methods to investigate the trajectory of complex disease conditions suitable for clinical implementations. Her work aims to use data to identify the problems and targeted interventions for better patient outcomes. 

Dr. Pruinelli grew up in Brazil, moved to the USA in 2012, and brings an international and diverse perspective to her everyday work and life. She earned a PhD degree from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing in 2016, and a Master of Sciences (2008), a Teaching Degree in Nursing (2002) and a Bachelor’s of Nursing Sciences (2000) degrees from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil. She is the co-chair of the Nursing Knowledge Big Data Science Initiative, co-chair for the Data Science and Clinical Analytics workgroup, and an advisor board member for the International Medical Informatics Association – Student and Emerging Professional interest group. Previously, she served as the co-chair for the Midwest Nursing Research Society Nursing Informatics workgroup. She is the co-editor of the 4-books series Nursing and Informatics for the 21st Century - Embracing a Digital World 3rd Edition. She has delivered several keynotes, talks, and lectures on AI and Data Science across the world and has published in several journals in the field. For full details of her scholarship, visit her homepage.

Martin Michalowski


Dr. Michalowski is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and a member of the Nursing Informatics Group at the University of Minnesota. He is a Senior Researcher in the Mobile Emergency Triage (MET) Research Group at the University of Ottawa and serves as Director of Machine Learning Research at Treatment.com. His research portfolio includes novel contributions in the areas of information integration, record linkage, heuristic-based planning, constraint satisfaction problems, and leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) methods in nursing informatics research. His interdisciplinary research brings advanced AI methods and models to clinical decision support at the point of care and to personalized medicine. He strives to improve patient outcomes by engaging nurses as leaders in the development and adoption of AI-based technology in health care.

Dr. Michalowski earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California, where he solved automated reasoning problems. In 2018 he was elected Senior Member of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and in 2021 he was named to the Fellows of the American Medical Informatics Association (FAMIA). He authored and co-authored over 75 peer-reviewed articles on a range of AI-related topics and served on the program committees for various informatics and computer science conferences including AAAI, AMIA, IJCAI, ACMGIS, ICAPS, and ISWC. Dr. Michalowski is the organizing chair of the International Workshop on Health Intelligence (W3PHIAI) that is held at the AAAI annual conference. He was co-chair of the 2020 and 2022 International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (AIME) and he serves on the AIME society board. He also serves as the Co-Director for the University of Minnesota Center for Nursing Informatics. His research has received funding from the NSF, NIH, DARPA, DoD, and various private foundations. His work has resulted in two patents and several startup companies. 

Maxim (Max) Topaz


Dr. Topaz is the Elizabeth Standish Gill Associate Professor of Nursing at the Columbia University Medical Center. He is also affiliated with Columbia University Data Science Institute and the Center for Home Care Policy & Research at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. His research focuses on data science and he finds innovative ways to use the most recent technological breakthroughs, like text or data mining, to improve human health. Dr. Topaz’s research motto is “Data for good”. Dr. Topaz is one of the pioneers in applying natural language processing on data generated by nurses. His current work focuses on developing natural language processing solutions to advance clinical decision making.

In the past, Dr. Topaz was involved with health policy (national and international levels), leadership (e.g. Chair of the Emerging Professionals Working Group of the International Medical Informatics Association) and health entrepreneurship. Dr. Topaz's clinical experience is in internal and urgent medicine. He earned his PhD degree as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and his Masters and Bachelors degrees from the University of Haifa, Israel. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard Medical School and Brigham Women's Hospital. He served as a Senior Lecturer at the School of Nursing, University of Haifa (Israel) where he was heading a Health Information Technology Lab. He published more than 100 articles on topics related to health informatics and received numerous prestigious awards for his work.