Alexa T. McCray, PhD
Alexa T. McCray is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She conducts research on knowledge representation and discovery, with a special focus on the significant problems that persist in the curation, dissemination, and exchange of scientific and clinical information in biomedicine and health. Dr. McCray joined Harvard Medical School in 2005, where she co-founded the Center for Biomedical Informatics, now the Department of Biomedical Informatics. She currently serves as a Principal Investigator of the US-wide Undiagnosed Diseases Network, an NIH research study that seeks to provide answers for patients and families affected by undiagnosed conditions.
Dr. McCray is the former director of the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, an intramural research division of the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. While at the NIH, she directed the design and development of a number of national information resources, including ClinicalTrials.gov, Genetics Home Reference, and Profiles in Science, and she played a key role in the UMLS project, a large-scale effort that integrates health and biomedical terminologies to enable interoperability among computer systems. Before joining the NIH, she was on the research staff of IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center. She received the PhD from Georgetown University, and for three years was on the faculty there. She conducted pre-doctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. McCray was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2001. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American College of Medical Informatics, and the International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics. She is the immediate past chair of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) Board on Research Data and Information, and she chaired a 2018 NASEM consensus study entitled Open Science by Design: Realizing a Vision for 21st Century Research