Robert A Greenes, MD, PhD

Professor, Biomedical Informatics, ASU
Email Address: 
Phone Number: 
(602) 827-2548
Professional Bio: 

Dr. Greenes joined ASU in September, 2007 to lead the new Department of Biomedical Informatics (BMI).  This unit, originally in the School of Computing and Informatics, in the Fulton School of Engineering, and for 3 years reporting directly to the Provost's Office, became part of the new College of Health Solutions in July, 2012. 

After 6 years leading the Department, Dr. Greenes took a sabbatical for the 2013-14 year, to work on creating a collaboration initiative for interoperable healthcare apps, and returned in mid-2014 to ASU as Professor in BMI and to continue to pursue this initiative. He is also Professor of BMI at Mayo Clinic.

Before coming to ASU, Dr. Greenes spent many years at Harvard, in the field of BMI, first at Massachusetts General Hospital, then at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he established the Decision Systems Group in 1980, and developed it into a leading BMI research and development program. Dr. Greenes was professor of radiology and of health sciences and technology (HST), at Harvard Medical School, where HST is a joint division of Harvard and MIT. He was also professor of health policy and management at Harvard School of Public Health. For over 20 years, he directed the Biomedical Informatics Research Training (BIRT) program, with support from the National Library of Medicine and other sources, with co-directors that, when he left Boston, represented 10 hospital and university-based informatics groups throughout the Boston area.

One of Dr. Greenes' earliest contributions was in the 1960's while a medical student and PhD student at Harvard, when he was co-developer of the MUMPS language and system, which has gone on to become one of the most widely used computer platforms in health information technology throughout the world to this day.  Dr. Greenes has been a practicing radiologist, and also had brief interludes in industry and at Stanford. Dr. Greenes’ research has been in the areas of clinical decision support, in terms of models and approaches for decision making, the knowledge representation to support it, and its clinical application and validation. He has also been active in the promulgation of standards and fostering of group collaborative work, particularly in knowledge management. A related research interest is human-computer interaction, and workflow optimization, particularly with respect to the use of clinical information systems by providers and patients, the improved capture of clinical data and the incorporation of individualized, context-specific decision support. Another interest is in personal biosensors for monitoring of patients at risk in a variety of settings. He also directs a new initiative focused on establishing a platform for interoperable apps to foster health care systems innovation.  Having authored over 250 peer-reviewed publications, he is also author of the leading textbook on computer-based clinical decision support, now in its second edition.

Research Information

Research Program: 
Therapeutic Development
Research Focus: 
  • Modeling of clinical decision making
  • Knowledge representation
  • Knowledge management
  • Clinical decision support
  • Personal monitoring
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Workflow optimization
  • App interoperability and component-based architectures
Selected Publications: 

Academic Information

PhD, Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Harvard University (1970)
Medical School: 
MD, Harvard Medical School (1966)
Undergraduate School: 
BA, Zoology, University of Michigan (1962)