Message from the Dean

Jiajie Zhang, PhD

The School of Biomedical Informatics at Houston (SBMI), an academic component of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) is the only academic program of biomedical informatics in the State of Texas and the only free-standing school of biomedical informatics in the nation. The mission of SBMI is to educate and train future scientists and professionals in biomedical informatics and health information technology, to conduct informatics research to improve healthcare and advance biomedical discovery, and to develop and use advanced informatics tools to solve practical problems in healthcare. The health informatics field has many job openings and continues to expand with careers ranging from electronic health record implementation to information governance to data analytics and more. The average salary for SBMI alumni is $88,000, with 20% making more than $150,000.

The school’s vision is to become a biomedical informatics innovator serving Texas, leading the nation, and impacting the world. The varied and talented faculty represent expertise both in the theory and practice of informatics applied to biomedical science and health care, and the pursuit of cutting edge research with a focus on translational informatics moving research from the lab to the bedside, to the community, and to the market. Students find the school's performance-based, highly interdisciplinary, team-oriented education and research programs stimulating, challenging and career enhancing.

Both master’s and doctoral degree programs are offered in the unique environment of the Texas Medical Center, the most concentrated area of biomedical and healthcare expertise, knowledge and skills in the world. There are outstanding opportunities for students to be involved in informatics applied to health care and biomedical research in the many UTHealth clinical and research components and the more than fifty other healthcare related entities in the surrounding Texas Medical Center. Students interact with highly qualified and experienced faculty active in research and developing solutions for a wide array of biomedical informatics problems. Through research consortia and centers, such as the National Center for Cognitive Informatics and Decision-Making in Healthcare, Gulf Coast Regional Extension Center for Health IT, Gulf Coast Consortia for Quantitative Biomedical Sciences, Center for Computational Biomedicine, Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences and the Institute for Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases, students will interact with the best and brightest on the frontiers of human experience. As a master’s degree student, the student will learn to apply the most advanced understanding of biomedical informatics and health information technology to improve biomedical discovery and the delivery of healthcare. Doctoral students will work with leading researchers in a broad array of biomedical informatics areas to create new knowledge, advance the discipline, and open up new areas such as translational informatics and big health data analytics for future generations.

Students and faculty in our programs come from numerous health professions, basic sciences, biomedical sciences, computer science, engineering, biomedical engineering, healthcare management, cognitive science, and social sciences. The “transdisciplinary” nature of the School's educational and research programs makes them unique and rewarding, and results in breakthrough discoveries. School faculty and students are involved in making groundbreaking contributions to healthcare delivery and biomedical discovery. This includes inventing and evaluating new ways to capture, store, integrate, access, display, utilize, and evaluate healthcare and biomedical data, information, and knowledge. SBMI is exploring the relationships between genomics and clinical practice, developing big health data analytics for healthcare quality and safety and pioneering futuristic functions and modules for electronic health records systems. Our faculty and students are discovering new functions for existing drugs while also monitoring and detecting potentially adverse events of drug interactions through data mining of electronic health records and medical literature. While using health data to improve healthcare management, students and faculty in the SBMI community can develop mobile platforms to deliver health information to remote areas. The research preformed at our school aids in the discovery of new methods and tools of social interaction to promote health prevention and public health. SBMI is also innovative in the use of educational research and technology, revolutionizing how to design and implement online educational and learning environments for both biomedical scientists and healthcare professionals.

If this is the kind of challenge and learning environment you are looking for, then join us and become part of the informatics leaders of tomorrow. Help us invent the future of health care and biomedical discovery.

Jiajie Zhang, PhD