UF Nursing Welcomes AI Pioneer Lisiane Pruinelli

The University of Florida College of Nursing recently welcomed its newest artificial intelligence expert, Lisiane Pruinelli, PhD, RN, FAMIA, as an associate professor in the Family Health and Community Science Department. Before coming to UF, Pruinelli was part of the University of Minnesota faculty, where she most recently served as an associate professor and clinical informatics researcher.

Pruinelli joins a distinguished cohort of six college faculty with world-renowned experience in nursing informatics and AI applications in health care. She is a hire through the UF AI initiative, which aims to make UF a national leader in AI. Through the UF AI initiative, researchers have unique opportunities for affiliate appointments with other colleges and departments throughout the university in the AI space.

According to Pruinelli, artificial intelligence was on her mind before it even had a name. Her interest in the topic began in the early 2000s while working with hospital information systems as a nurse practitioner in Brazil. Designing virtual dashboards and other smart solutions for clinical work eventually convinced her to earn her PhD in the field to learn new ways to transform patient care.

“AI is a fascinating field,” she said. “I cannot think of something I would rather be researching.”

Throughout her career, Pruinelli has led and collaborated on several projects focusing on the intersection of nursing, data and computational solutions. Her extensive body of research includes more than 70 peer-reviewed papers covering various topics, most notably using cutting-edge data science tools to investigate serious conditions and procedures, such as organ transplantation, diabetes and sepsis.

Pruinelli’s work in this field has led to many innovative discoveries, including a process to estimate the length of time between when clinicians first suspect sepsis in patients and deliver treatment, as well as the point when this delay harms health outcomes. Currently, she is creating the first-ever, data-driven guidelines for managing and caring for patients who are awaiting liver transplants and expanding her informatics research to kidney transplants to determine which patient management guidelines are more likely to prevent kidney failure.

UF aims to transform the university into a national AI leader by preparing the state workforce to use technology to solve pressing challenges across every industry. In her new role, and as the first from UF’s AI search initiative to be hired at the College of Nursing, Pruinelli is eager to help make this goal a reality through collaborating with faculty both within the college and across the university to develop new AI-fueled ways to improve health care for all.   

Mentorship is another one of her passions — Pruinelli hopes to be an educational resource for PhD students, post-doctoral trainees and early-stage research faculty to challenge and inspire the next generation of AI nursing scholars.

“I feel honored for the opportunity to bring and share my expertise in informatics, data science and machine learning to foster AI inside the College of Nursing and across UF,” she said. “Together with the help of my new colleagues, I hope to continuously advance the current state of knowledge in the AI space and push to improve every individual’s quality of life.”

Anna McDaniel, PhD, RN, FAAN, the College of Nursing’s dean and the Linda Harman Aiken Chair, said Pruinelli’s arrival marks another example of how the college continues to lead in nursing informatics research.

“Dr. Pruinelli is a wonderful addition to our growing body of AI researchers at the UF College of Nursing,” she said. “We are excited to have her play a key role in the university’s AI initiative, building upon her exciting discoveries that have already influenced health care outcomes. Through the power of AI and her commitment to mentorship, I have no doubt Dr. Pruinelli will continue to solve some of the world’s most formidable health care challenges.”