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NLM Researchers Receive Distinguished Paper Award at AMIA 2019 Annual Symposium

November 26, 2019

A group of researchers including the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM’s) Sameer Antani, PhD, staff scientist and acting branch chief for the Communications Science Branch, Zhiyun (Jaylene) Xue, PhD, staff scientist, and L. Rodney Long, MA, electronics engineer, from NLM’s Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications received the Distinguished Paper Award at the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) 2019 Annual Symposium for its research paper titled, “Comparing Deep Learning Models for Multi-cell Classification in Liquid-based Cervical Cytology Images.”

The paper, one of only a handful selected by the AMIA Awards Committee from hundreds of entries, proposes a method for automatic classification of cervical slide images through generation of labeled cervical patch data and extracting deep hierarchical features by fine-tuning convolution neural networks, as well as a novel graph-based cell detection approach for cellular level evaluation. The paper’s findings show that the proposed pipeline can classify images of both single cell and overlapping cells. The VGG-19 model is found to be the best at classifying the cervical cytology patch data with 95% accuracy under precision-recall curve.

“This award is significant because it recognizes research that contributes to the state of knowledge and practice, is novel, and will impact future work through its dissemination," said NLM Director, Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD.

The full paper will be available in the Proceedings of the 2019 AMIA Annual Symposium and indexed in MEDLINE.


The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is a leader in research in biomedical informatics and data science and the world’s largest biomedical library. NLM conducts and supports research in methods for recording, storing, retrieving, preserving, and communicating health information. NLM creates resources and tools that are used billions of times each year by millions of people to access and analyze molecular biology, biotechnology, toxicology, environmental health, and health services information. Additional information is available at

Last Reviewed: November 26, 2019