About me and current projects

I am an Adjunct Research Scientist at the National Research Council in Argentina (CONICET). I work at the Instituto de Calculo, FCEN, UBA where I coordinate a multidisciplinary artificial intelligence and data science research group.

The group includes researchers at different stages in their careers and interactions with other research groups encompassing backgrounds such as biostatistics, math, computer sciences, biology, physics, medicine, and chemistry. Recently, we started to interact with philosophers, too! The projects that are currently in development include generation of natural language processing for writting medical imaging reports, artificial intelligence interpretability and fairness, assessment of automatized machine learning, extraction of knowledge from electronic medical records, using machine learning for nanoparticle design, and various other projects related to addiction.

My goal in this part of my career is to switch from paid-walled science to open reproducible science. Thus, the group is working to implement open and reproducible workflows.

Teaching is another passion of mine. Most of my teaching has been for graduate courses in introductory applied statistics for a health science audience. I am an instructor and a trainer for The Carpentries. In the wake of Covid19, in mid March 2020 I co-founded MetaDocencia, a volunteer-led organization and community inspired in The Carpentries. Through MetaDocencia we are teaching to teach online using evidence-based techniques in Spanish.

I am active in the academic publishing world, where I am the founding Associate Editor of AJDAA’s Methods for Addiction Research Section. Other ways I collaborate in research are by being a member of the Data Safety Monitoring Board at NIMH.

I am also a community builder. Thus, I helped grow the R community in Latin America. I started by co-founding R-Ladies Buenos Aires and ended up becoming the first non-founder to be promoted to the R-Ladies Global Leaderhsip Team. I also co-founded LatinR <- Latin American Conference for the Use of R in Research + Development and participate in the organization of useR!

I try to be involved and help as much as possible in any project that adds transparency and openness to research. I am passionate about ways to improve data analysis teaching, too. One of the roles I enjoy most is to help and mentor others. My passions are potentiated when they can flourish in Latin America.

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Laura Acion
Adjunct Researcher