Happy holidays to everyone in our McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics Community. I am so pleased to send this year’s greeting under our new moniker thanks to the pioneering generosity of Mr. D. Bradley McWilliams. 2023 marked my tenth year as Dean of the school and I cannot think of a more celebratory way to honor that anniversary than with the unveiling of our new school name.
This was a landmark year not only because of our school’s naming, but for a host of other reasons as well. From August to October, faculty at McWilliams earned over $31 million in medical AI grant funds. In November, Susan Fenton, PhD was appointed the school’s first Vice Dean for Education. Our school named two inaugural chairs in August as Xiaoqian Jiang, PhD became the Chair of the Department of Health Data Science and Artificial Intelligence and Muhammad Walji, PhD, ‘06 became Chair of the Department of Clinical and Health Informatics. Beyond these highlights, many of you earned professional accolades like new fellowships, industry honors, or published new findings. These all serve as beacons for the accomplishments teeming from this school.
Everyone within McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics continues to inspire me with your unwavering passion for advancing the field and enhancing the health care industry. Our faculty strive for outstanding achievements in both research and teaching. Students are learning and innovating to further the future of informatics. The school’s staff juggle countless tasks all to help us grow and thrive. Our alumni are scattered across the map applying the skills they acquired at our school to improve the quality of health in their communities. I am perpetually in awe of the zeal we all possess for improving the lives of millions with the work that we do.
As always, I hope your holiday season is filled with happiness as you celebrate with your friends and family. This time of year passes by so quickly so please remember to embrace the small moments of bliss as you prepare for 2024.
Wishing you joy,
Dean Jiajie Zhang, Ph.D.
The Glassell Family Foundation Distinguished Chair in Informatics Excellence
McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston