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UAB Launches AI in Medicine Master's Degree Program

The University of Alabama at Birmingham's new Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence in Medicine program will involve practical applications of new technology combining data science, machine learning and medicine.

UAB Recreation Center
The UAB Campus Recreation Center will serve as the competition venue for squash and racquetball at the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Ala. The university will also provide venues for the tug-of-war and lacrosse competitions and host the athletes' village in its residence halls.
Dennis Pillion/TNS
(TNS) — Students interested in studying artificial intelligence can apply for the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s new AI in medicine master’s degree next year.

The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees recently approved a Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence in Medicine for the University of Alabama at Birmingham. This new program begins enrollment in spring 2025 and is part of UAB’s larger efforts to incorporate AI in health care.

“The big picture is by 2025, the UAB School of Medicine will have the largest and most comprehensive program in AI in medicine, not just in the southeast or nationally, but globally,” said Dr. Rubin Pillay, assistant dean in the School of Medicine and executive director in the Heersink Institute for Biomedical Innovation.

The programs include a current graduate certificate in artificial intelligence in medicine. The MS program, which took two years to develop, will build on the graduate certificate.

Pillay said AI’s impact on health care will be “transformative.” Different applications can assist with workforce retention, health care costs and service quality. He hopes artificial intelligence will help health care professionals with “deep medicine.”

He said imaging software using AI can more effectively and accurately diagnose issues the human eye can’t see.

“We can actually just from a chest X-ray, diagnose diabetes, diagnose cardiovascular risk and diagnose a host of other medical conditions,” Pillay said. He said AI will improve the work of health care practitioners such as radiologists and nurses.

According to a news release, the master’s program involves practical experience and real-world applications using the “intersection of data science, machine learning and medicine, from the foundations of AI in health care to emerging trends.”

Pillay anticipates a new graduate certificate in AI for nurses, and a doctoral program is in development. Students enrolled in the executive doctorate in health leadership will learn about AI within that program.

Academic institutions are responsible for training people ethically and responsibly in AI, Pillay said. This is especially important when examining sensitive patient data.

“There is no irresponsible or untrustworthy AI,” Pillay said. “There’s only irresponsible and untrustworthy designers and developers.” He said AI had always been the biomedical innovation institute’s “foundational pillar” before ChatGPT made artificial intelligence a household name.

The programs target people inside and outside the health care industry. Pillay said the certificate program is for health care practitioners. The new master’s degree trains data researchers with a STEM background, while the doctorate is for health care executives and C-suite professionals.

“If there are individuals who are keen to pursue this path, who lacked that kind of technical prerequisite, we could work with them to acquire the necessary skill set to make them successful in the master’s degree,” Pillay said.

For more information, visit UAB’s website or email AI in medicine program director Dr. Sandeep Bodduluri at

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