Dept. of Biomedical Informatics - The University of Utah School of Medicine

The Department of Biomedical Informatics was established in 1964 at the University of Utah. Located in Salt Lake City, the department is internationally recognized as a leader in biomedical informatics research and education. The department has a National Library of Medicine (NLM) training grant to support its educational programs. Master of Science (MS), Non-Thesis Master of Science, Certificate and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree programs are offered along with short-term traineeships for students and visiting fellows. Research affiliations include the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Intermountain Health Care facilities, the Veterans Administration Medical Center, HealthInsight (the Peer Review Organization for Utah and Nevada), and the Utah Department of Health. As one of the largest biomedical informatics training programs in the world, the department's faculty and students are a diverse group with a wide range of experience and interests.

Mission: The mission of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Utah is to improve health outcomes through information systems (including health, economic, and satisfaction results for consumers and providers) in both the private and public sectors of the healthcare and public health systems. To accomplish this mission, the Department assumes three major responsibilities: To educate biomedical and public health professionals, biomedical informaticists, and the healthcare and public health communities in the field of biomedical informatics. To promote and conduct research to broaden biomedical informatics knowledge. To serve health informatics professionals and consumers by participating in relevant professional societies, editorial boards, and continuing education programs, while maintaining biomedical informatics leadership in the community. These responsibilities involve the active collaboration of faculty and students at the University of Utah, with the School of Medicine, University of Utah Medical Center, Intermountain Health Care, LDS Hospital and other Intermountain Health Care related hospitals and clinics, the Department of Veterans Affairs Salt Lake VA Medical Center (VAMC), Utah Department of Health, and HealthInsight the PRO for Utah and Nevada.

University of Utah Interdisciplinary T32 Training Program in Computational Approaches to Diabetes and Metabolism Researc...
07/10/2019

University of Utah Interdisciplinary T32 Training Program in Computational Approaches to Diabetes and Metabolism Research is requesting applications for one post-doctoral trainee position.

This grant will cross-train a cadre of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees in the computational and mathematical sciences and in the biological basis of diabetes and obesity.

Attached is the application information.

Submission Deadline: August 2, 2019

If you have any questions or would like to receive the full word document of the application please contact Barbara Saffell ([email protected]).

The Biomedical Informatics Department would like to extend a warm welcome to 5 international visitors from Buenos Aires ...
07/09/2019

The Biomedical Informatics Department would like to extend a warm welcome to 5 international visitors from Buenos Aires Argentina. Dr. Manuel Rodríguez Tablado, Dr. Manuel Rodríguez Tablado, Mr. Franco Scagnetti, Mr. Gastón Quintana and Dr. Camila Volij will be participating in the DeCART summer course. Additionally several of our visitors will be working our department's collaboration with the Government of Buenos Aires City in Argentina.

#internationalinformatics #uofu #DeCART #DBMI

June has been a busy travel month for our faculty and students. Mid-June several of our faculty were able to travel to A...
07/03/2019

June has been a busy travel month for our faculty and students. Mid-June several of our faculty were able to travel to AMIA's Informatics Educators Forum. At IEF our faculty were able to work with other educators from across the country on developing better education practices. We are excited about the upcoming year for our students.

Additionally, our NLM grant students were able to go to the annual NLM Informatics Training Conference June 23rd-25th. Our students have produced exceptional research and presentations over the past year. The NLM conference highlighted some of their many achievements this past year.

Congratulations to Dr. Ken Kawamoto on being awarded an R18 from AHRQ. This award allows Dr. Kawamoto and his team to st...
07/02/2019

Congratulations to Dr. Ken Kawamoto on being awarded an R18 from AHRQ. This award allows Dr. Kawamoto and his team to start researching decision support and decision making for lung cancer screening. .

#Biomedicalinformatics #uofu

#throwbackthursdayInstead of honoring one of our past professor's or chairs, we have decided to honor Dr. Julio Facelli....
06/27/2019

#throwbackthursday

Instead of honoring one of our past professor's or chairs, we have decided to honor Dr. Julio Facelli. Dr. Julio Facelli will be receiving the Reed Gardner Award for Faculty Excellence today. Please join us at 3pm in the DBMI breakroom in celebration.

Dr. Julio Facelli has been instrumental to the growth and sustainability of the Biomedical Informatics Department. Dr. Facelli was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and attended the University of Buenos Aires where he got his Ph.D. in physics in 1982. In 1983 he did post-doctoral research at the University of Arizona and the following year he joined the University of Utah. While here at the University of Utah he has been the Director of the Center for High Performance Computing from 1995 to 2013 and he is currently, Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics, Associate Director for Biomedical Informatics at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Adjunct Professor of Chemistry and Physics and member of the Utah Nano Science Institute. In 2012 he received the Reed Gardener Award on Faculty Excellence from the Department of Biomedical Informatics. He was elected as a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) in 2014 and elected a Fellow of the Academy of Science Health Educators in 2017.

Dr. Facelli, we would like to say a sincere thank you for all the work you have done and continue to do. This department would not be the same without you.

06/26/2019
Overlooked roles of DNA damage and maternal age in generating human germline mutations

#Writingwednesday!

We would like to spotlight the publications of our faculty and students every Wednesday! This week we would like to spotlight Aaron Quinlan on his co-authored article "Overlooked roles of DNA damage and maternal age in generating human germline mutations" Check out the article below!

Abstract: "The textbook view that most germline mutations in mammals arise from replication errors is indirectly supported by the fact that there are both more mutations and more cell divisions in the male than in the female germline. When analyzing large de novo mutation datasets in humans, we find multiple lines of evidence that call that view into question. Notably, despite the drastic increase in the ratio of male to female germ cell divisions after the onset of spermatogenesis, even young fathers contribute three times more mutations than young mothers, and this ratio barely increases with parental age. This surprising finding points to a substantial contribution of damage-induced mutations. Indeed, C-to-G transversions and CpG transitions, which together constitute over one-fourth of all base substitution mutations, show genomic distributions and sex-specific age dependencies indicative of double-strand break repair and methylation-associated damage, respectively. Moreover, we find evidence that maternal age at conception influences the mutation rate both because of the accumulation of damage in oocytes and potentially through an influence on the number of postzygotic mutations in the embryo. These findings reveal underappreciated roles of DNA damage and maternal age in the genesis of human germline mutations." (Amster et al, 2019, p. 1)

http://bit.ly/2QPdHC3

More than three-fourths of human germline mutations are paternal in origin and their total number increases with the father’s age at conception. These observations are thought to support the textbook view that germline point mutations stem mostly from DNA replication errors. Analyzing large germli...

We had our first weekly walk on June 20th. Even though it was slightly raining it was still beautiful. Please join us on...
06/25/2019

We had our first weekly walk on June 20th. Even though it was slightly raining it was still beautiful. Please join us on Thursday's at 3:00pm for the DBMI weekly walks.

#UofUhealth #DBMI

#throwbackthursdayThis week we would like to recognize Dr. Joyce Mitchell. Dr. Mitchel obtained her Ph.D. in Population ...
06/20/2019

#throwbackthursday

This week we would like to recognize Dr. Joyce Mitchell. Dr. Mitchel obtained her Ph.D. in Population Genetics from the University of Wisconsin with postdoctoral training in clinical genetics and in medical informatics sciences. Dr. Mitchell came to the University of Utah in 2005 to serve as the department chair for Biomedical Informatics.

While at the University, Dr. Mitchell was instrumental in creating a robust program in which she has hired 18 faculty members across all ranks and tracks of medicine and biomedical informatics. Some additional accomplishments of Dr. Mitchell while she was Department Chair included: She revamped the curriculum across all biomedical informatics courses; created an inter-professional education/research program in conjunction with the Nursing Informatics Program and College of Nursing; developed a curriculum thread in the revised School of Medicine curriculum focusing on biomedical informatics and information concepts and competencies; and developed a program for inclusion, mentoring, and funding for the Biomedical Informatics graduate program, which included a partnership with the University of Texas, Brownsville.

We would like to thank Dr. Joyce Mitchell for the dedication and hard work for the department.

06/19/2019
Concept Bag: A New Method for Computing Concept Similarity in Biomedical Data

#Writingwednesday!

We would like to spotlight the publications of our faculty and students every Wednesday! This week we would like to spotlight Rick Bradshaw, Ramkiran Gouripeddi, and Julio Facelli their article "Concept Bag: A New Method for Computing Concept Similarity in Biomedical Data" Check out the article below!

Abstract: "Biomedical data are a rich source of information and knowledge, not only for direct patient care, but also for secondary use in population health, clinical research, and translational research. Biomedical data are typically scattered across multiple systems and syntactic and semantic data integration is necessary to fully utilize the data’s potential. This paper introduces new algorithms that were devised to support automatic and semi-automatic integration of semantically heterogeneous biomedical data. The new algorithms incorporate both data mining and biomedical informatics methods to create “concept bags” in the same way that “word bags” are used in data mining and text retrieval. The methods are highly configurable and were tested in five different ways on different types of biomedical data. The new methods performed well in computing similarity between medical terms and data elements - both critical for semi/automatic data integration operations." (Bradshaw et al, 2019. p. 1)

http://bit.ly/2QRlHT3

Biomedical data are a rich source of information and knowledge, not only for direct patient care, but also for secondary use in population health, clinical research, and translational research....

Congratulations to Aaron Quinlan who has been promoted to Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Huma...
06/18/2019

Congratulations to Aaron Quinlan who has been promoted to Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Human Genetics!

Thank you for your valuable contributions!

Check out the Natural History Museum here at the University of Utah!
06/13/2019

Check out the Natural History Museum here at the University of Utah!

It was 95 years ago when a caravan of dinosaur fossils—60,000 pounds worth—made its way from Dinosaur National Monument across the Green River, over the Wasatch Mountains, to the streets of Salt Lake City and, finally, to the U. Those fossils remain on exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah 🦖🦕

More on the story at https://continuum.utah.edu/departments/dinosaur-caravan/

#ThrowbackThursday Today we would like to recognize Dr. Helmuth F. Orthner! Dr. Orthner became a professor at the Univer...
06/13/2019

#ThrowbackThursday

Today we would like to recognize Dr. Helmuth F. Orthner! Dr. Orthner became a professor at the University of Utah in 1993. In 1998, he became Professor and Director of the Health Informatics Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

Dr. Orthner's research involved developing a communication infrastructure for pre-hospital emergency medical care, which was funded by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) since 1998. Dr. Orthner was the Series Editor for the Springer Verlag-New York Series on "Computers and Medicine" for 10 years. He also served on NLM's Biomedical Library Review Committee, as well as various study sections reviewing grants and contracts for the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Orthner received several awards during his career, including the 2001 President’s Award from AMIA "in gratitude and acknowledgment for outstanding intellectual leadership and education vision to the field of medical informatics”. However, it was the accomplishments of his many students over the years that gave him the greatest pleasure and pride.

Dr. Orthner retired from UAB at the end of 2008 and returned to Utah becoming an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Informatics. He died in March 2009 of a sudden cardiac arrest on a flight to Washington, DC to serve on an NLM review committee.

We would like to honor Dr. Orthner's service to the department.

06/12/2019
The PsyTAR dataset: From patients generated narratives to a corpus of adverse drug events and effectiveness of psychiatric medications

#Writingwednesday!

We would like to spotlight the publications of our faculty and students every Wednesday! This week we would like to spotlight Michael Conway on his co-authored article "The PsyTAR dataset: From patients generated narratives to a corpus of adverse drug events and effectiveness of psychiatric medications." Check out the article below!

http://bit.ly/2WjHK5O

The “Psychiatric Treatment Adverse Reactions” (PsyTAR) dataset contains patients’ expression of effectiveness and adverse drug events associated with …

In Forbes first "America's Best Employers by State," survey the University of Utah and the University of Utah Health wer...
06/11/2019
America's Best Employers By State

In Forbes first "America's Best Employers by State," survey the University of Utah and the University of Utah Health were ranked 1st and 4th.

The University of Utah University of Utah Health

Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to pinpoint the organizations liked best by employees in our first-ever ranking of America’s best employers by state.

Robert Barber has accepted the Senior Academic Coordinator position. He will begin on June 19th! We are sorry to see Fra...
06/11/2019

Robert Barber has accepted the Senior Academic Coordinator position. He will begin on June 19th!

We are sorry to see Francine go but wish her well.

#BMI #informatics #adminstaff

Throwback Thursday!Today we would like to recognize T. Allan Pryor, PhD. Dr. T. Allan Pryor was one of the giants of the...
06/06/2019

Throwback Thursday!

Today we would like to recognize T. Allan Pryor, PhD. Dr. T. Allan Pryor was one of the giants of the biomedical informatics community. From the beginning of his career, his contributions to medical informatics have been groundbreaking and innovative. While at the University of Utah, Allan (Al) wrote the first computer program to automatically interpret an electrocardiogram. Shortly after he joined the faculty of the then-named Medical Biophysics and Computing department at the U of U (which would evolve into the current Department of Biomedical Informatics). Most of his research was done at the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. There he was the principal architect of the first medical record system that included knowledge-based decision support. In 2001 Al retired as a beloved Professor of Medical Informatics and as the Chief Medical Informatics Officer for Intermountain Health Care.

Dr. T. Allan Pryor passed away in 2009 leaving a legacy of dedicated service, teaching and research to the biomedical informatics community.

Congratulations to Dr. Younghee Lee on being awarded an R03 from the National Institute on Aging. This award will allow ...
06/05/2019

Congratulations to Dr. Younghee Lee on being awarded an R03 from the National Institute on Aging. This award will allow her to continue her research in the analysis of alternative splicing in Alzheimer’s disease. Congratulations and we wish you continued success in your research endeavors.

Throwback Thursday!Today we would like to recognize Dr. Reed Gardner. Dr. Gardner is one of the principal developers and...
05/30/2019

Throwback Thursday!

Today we would like to recognize Dr. Reed Gardner. Dr. Gardner is one of the principal developers and evaluators of the medical expert system known as HELP (Health Evaluation through Logical Processing). He previously served as a co-director of medical computing at LDS, Cottonwood, and Alta View Hospitals in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Dr. Gardner’s primary academic and research interests are in hospital informatics systems, computerized medical decision-making, computerization of critical care, automation of nursing processes, medical informatics education, and public health informatics.

He is author or co-author of more than 350 articles in the fields of Medical Informatics and Bioengineering. Dr. Gardner is currently on the editorial board of Methods of Information in Medicine and has been a journal editor and on editorial boards of Critical Care Medicine and other critical care journals, as well as the Journal of American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA). He also served as editor-in-chief of International Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing.

Thank you, Dr. Gardner, for your groundbreaking work!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAoCgQZ-qbM

Congratulations to Rolando Hernandez for the renewal of his fellowship on our NLM grant. This fellowship provides the st...
05/22/2019

Congratulations to Rolando Hernandez for the renewal of his fellowship on our NLM grant. This fellowship provides the students with a stipend, tuition and research expenses coverage. Future students lookout for upcoming appointment opportunities.

#NLM #informatics #fellowships

Throwback Thursday! We would like to recognize those who helped shape our department and the informatics field. Today we...
05/16/2019

Throwback Thursday!

We would like to recognize those who helped shape our department and the informatics field. Today we would like to recognize Dr. Homer Warner! Dr. Warner was the founder of our Department and a pioneer for Medical Informatics.

"Dr. Warner was a pioneer in a field that has come to be known as medical informatics, which involves the use of computers to make decisions about patient care. In the 1950s, as director of the cardiovascular laboratory at the Latter-day Saints Hospital (now part of Intermountain Health Care) in Salt Lake City, he began thinking of the cardiovascular system not as a doctor would but as an engineer would — considering it in terms of fluid mechanics, in which blood is transferred from the heart to the body through tubes with specific compliance and resistive properties."- New York Times http://tiny.cc/a9lt6y

We are grateful for the work that Dr. Warner did for our department and subsequently the world.

#medicalinformatics #gradschool #tbt

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