The “Healthy ML” group at MIT, led by Dr. Marzyeh Ghassemi, focuses on creating and applying machine learning to understand and improve health in ways that are robust, private and fair. Health is important, and improvements in health improve lives. However, we still don’t fundamentally understand what it means to be healthy, and the same patient may receive different treatments across different hospitals or clinicians as new evidence is discovered, or individual illness is interpreted.

Unlike many problems in machine learning - games like Go, self-driving cars, object recognition - disease management does not have well-defined rewards that can be used to learn rules. Models must also be “healthy”, in that they should not learn biased rules or recommendations that harm minorities or minoritized populations. The Healthy ML group tackles the many novel technical opportunities for machine learning in health, and works to make important progress with careful application to this domain.

Read more about our Research Directions and Publications.


  • Nov 2022 - Congratulations to Hammaad and Aparna on their new Communications Medicine paper examining the impact of biased AI recommendations on emergency decisions.
  • Sept 2022 - Marzyeh Ghassemi co-authored a new article in Nature Medicine on bias in AI healthcare datasets, and was interviewed by the Healthcare Strategies podcast.
  • Aug 2022 - Congratulations to Hammaad on his AIES 2022 paper, receiving coverage in STAT and MIT News.
  • May 2022 - Congratulations to Aparna on her FAccT 2022 paper, receiving coverage in MIT News!
  • May 2022 - Our paper on how AI is unreasonably effective in predicting race from medical images is now published in The Lancet Digital Health, receiving press coverage from the Boston Globe and MIT News.
  • Apr 2022 - Congratulations to Taylor, Haoran, and Hyewon, who presented their papers at CHIL 2022!
    • Counterfactually Guided Off-policy Transfer in Clinical Settings [Paper] [Code]
      Taylor W. Killian, Marzyeh Ghassemi, Shalmali Joshi
    • Improving the Fairness of Chest X-ray Classifiers [Paper] [Code]
      Haoran Zhang, Natalie Dullerud, Karsten Roth, Lauren Oakden-Rayner, Stephen Robert Pfohl, Marzyeh Ghassemi
    • Real-Time Seizure Detection using EEG: A Comprehensive Comparison of Recent Approaches under a Realistic Setting [Paper] [Code]
      Kwanhyung Lee*, Hyewon Jeong*, Seyun Kim, Donghwa Yang, Hoon-Chul Kang, Edward Choi

Joining the Lab

As an MIT undergrad interested in an UROP: Contact Fern Keniston (fern@csail.mit.edu) to determine if there are research slots available for the semester, and schedule a 30 minute session with Dr. Ghassemi.

As an MIT MEng: Contact Fern Keniston (fern@csail.mit.edu) with a topic and research plan that is relevant to the group.

As an external student: Apply for the MIT EECS or IMES PhD programs, select Marzyeh Ghassemi as a PI you are interested in working with.