Jesus Caban, MSCS 2006
Inducted in 2022
Jesus Caban met University of Kentucky professor Brent Seales in his home of Puerto Rico, and soon after, was interning for him in Lexington, Kentucky. Caban quickly taught himself English and enrolled in UK’s master’s program with Seales as his faculty advisor. He graduated with his master’s degree in computer science from UK in 2005.
Caban then attended the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where he graduated with his doctorate in 2009. During his graduate studies, he was awarded the IBM Ph.D. Research Fellowship. At IBM, he worked on the initial healthcare-related algorithms for Watson, a world-renowned question-answering computer system.
After earning his doctorate, Caban completed a medical informatics research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, where he led several initiatives focusing on the automatic recognition of pills from images. After his fellowship, Caban joined the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to lead the establishment of a Clinical and Research Informatics team.
As chief of Clinical and Research Informatics, a position he holds to this day, he manages a team of scientists, engineers, researchers and developers that provide enterprise applications, business metrics, machine learning, data and analytical support to the U.S. Department of Defense Health Agency and Intrepid Network for TBI and Brain Health.
Caban is most proud of being able to help wounded military service members. He built and maintained the Department of Defense Traumatic Brain Injury Patient Registry, which is used to monitor the short and long-term effects of concussions sustained during military service. His software design has received the Defense Health Agency Innovation Award, the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States HealthIT Award and the Federal HealthIT Innovation Award.
Since 2010, Caban has been part of the steering committee of the Workshop on Visualization in Healthcare. In 2016, he was selected as the vice chair of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Visualization conference. In 2017, he founded the American Medical Informatics Association Visual Analytics Work Group. In 2018, he was asked to be the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics special issue on Visualization in Healthcare.
Supporting the next generation is important to Caban. In the past eight years, he has been an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University and Uniform Services University, which has allowed him to mentor computer scientists, data scientists and informaticians.
As the father of three girls who love science, he’s also passionate about including minorities in STEM. Within his community, he started a LEGO robotics league for elementary and middle school girls.
Caban lives in Laurel, Maryland with his wife, Kira, and three daughters.