Nevenka Dimitrova

Philips Research North America, Cambridge, MA

Nevenka has been with Philips Research since 1995, right after she obtained her Ph.D. in Computer Science at Arizona State University, USA. Her research passion has been in diverse areas of signal processing, information management and bioinformatics, always trying to make sense out of what seems a collection of bits. She started with challenging topics in automatic video/media understanding, computer vision, and multimedia summarization to provide search tools in media streams in a world where we are all time deprived and time impaired. More recently, she moved on to gaining an understanding of the content of the human genome and has become interested in both sides of the coin: what computation can do for modeling in biological systems and what biological systems can do for computation.


Currently she is following her fascination with the inner secrets of the human genome at the “face value” (DNA), epigenomic and functional levels. The ultimate question she is looking at answering is how can this information be used to elucidate the dynamics and complexity of biological systems, and which methods can be used to extract relevant information in the context of cancer and improving healthcare. For her the fascination lies in finding how to revisit the most fundamental assumptions about cancer and how to use the latest genome knowledge along with all available patient data including diagnostic imaging, pathology data, treatment and patient history. She believes that the information fusion from all these various sources is the key to improving disease outcome, fitting back in our evolutionary tracks and environment, advancing quality of life and … survival.


Nevenka has been a visiting scientist at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and at Columbia University. She was at the Bangalore Philips Research Laboratory, India, for two years and experienced this vibrant innovation environment. She strongly believes in the “Medici effect” - that innovation happens readily at the intersection of diverse professional networks. She deems scientific communication in patents and publications to be a vital part of research. She has given a number of keynote presentations, and participates very actively in conferences of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE) and American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). She believes in pro-active listening and serving the professional community having chaired and served on more than 30 program committees.