SBMI Academic Update - April 2019 - School of Biomedical Informatics
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Academic Update

Volume 9, Issue 8
April 25, 2019

SBMI Commencement Ceremony on May 15

SBMI invites everyone in the SBMI Community to attend our Commencement Ceremony on May 15.

SBMI Commencement Ceremony

The school will recognize 25 graduates during the ceremony at SBMI’s new building space in the University Center Tower. This year’s speaker is Marie Lynn Miranda, PhD, the Howard R. Hughes Provost and a Professor of Statistics at Rice University.

For more information on the ceremony, please visit our website.

SBMI Scholarship Application is Open

The School of Biomedical Informatics (SBMI) offers scholarship opportunities to students enrolled in the School as funds become available. We are currently accepting applications for summer 2019 scholarships.

Seeking Student Aid?

All SBMI students who are in good academic standing and enrolled for summer 2019 courses in a certificate, masters or doctoral program are eligible to apply.

Consideration for earning a scholarship includes:

  • Pattern of academic achievement
  • Teaching and mentoring experience
  • Leadership experience
  • Community service
  • Success in overcoming adversity
  • Previous and recent publications in the discipline (if any)

Click here to submit the SBMI Scholarship Application. Please note that all submissions must be submitted in Qualtrics and no email submissions will be accepted.

The application deadline is Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at close of business (5 p.m. CDT). If you have questions, please send an email or call 713.500.3591.

SBMI STAR Award Recipients for 2019

Each year, UTHealth celebrates employee leadership and longevity at the STAR Awards. The university hosts an event to recognize individuals celebrating five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 or more years of service to UTHealth. This year, the university celebrated its first employee with 50 years of service.

SBMI would like to recognize our Star Award recipients for 2019.

Five Years
Ruben Applegate
Jeanette Broshears
Tiffany Champagne-Langabeer, PhD
Guocai Chen, PhD
Henry Chen
Susan Fenton, PhD
Swaroop Gantela
Anupama Guruaj
Cui Tao, PhD
Angela Wilkes
Yaoyun Zhang, PhD
Jieyi Zhao, PhD
W. Jim Zheng, PhD
Jun Zhang

Ten Years
Yukiko Bryson
Dean Sittig, PhD

Twenty Years
Cung “David” Ha
Jiajie Zhang, PhD

Student Assistant Positions for Summer 2019

Student Assistant (SA) positions are available to assist with the following courses this summer:

BMI 5313 – Foundations of EHR’s with Dr. Angela Ross
BMI 5317 – Applied Data Management with Dr. Susan Fenton
BMI 6313 – Scientific Writing with Lex Frieden

As an SA, you are expected to assist the course instructor. Duties may include grading, monitoring, leading lab and/or discussion sessions, offering office hour assistance to students, and performing clerical tasks associated with course instruction.

The Student Assistants will be hired on as employees of UTH at an hourly rate of $11.15/hour not to exceed 10 hours per week.

The positions will be filled immediately, and SBMI students are welcome to apply. To become a SA, you must:

  • be a degree-seeking graduate student at UTHealth
  • be in good academic standing and making satisfactory progress toward a graduate degree
  • have previously taken the course in which you are applying to be the SA and have earned a grade of "A”
  • remain registered in courses that count toward the graduate degree for at least three semester hours during the Summer semester
  • familiarity with PC and Mac computers, Canvas, GoToMeeting, TurnItIn, Proctorio and screen recording knowledge is recommended
  • preference is given to Ph.D. students

To apply, please fill out the application found here:

The SBMI Student Biosketch is required for the Student Assistant application.

If you have any questions, please send an email to [email protected] or call 713.500.3591.

SBMI Bragging Points

Members of the SBMI Community have recently achieved noteworthy accolades. We want to recognize and applaud their accomplishments.

  • PhD Student Astrid Manuel will participate in the Schull Institute Summer program this year. The 8-week program starts June 1 and ends July 31. Participation also includes a $1,000 stipend.
  • Assistant Professor Angela Ross, DNP, MPH spoke at the AMIA 2019 Informatics Summit in San Francisco on March 28th. Her co-presenter was Kai Makeda, PhD, MSN who works at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.
  • Assistant Professor Dr. Ross and Co-Presenter Kai Makeda
  • UTHealth’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and the Postdoc Association recently announced the inaugural winner of the Deans’ Excellence in Research Award for SBMI. The award was given to Postdoctoral Fellow Hong Kang, PhD. Along with the prestigious recognition of his scientific research, he received an award of $1,000 and will present his work at the annual Postdoctoral Deans’ Award Symposium on May 9.

Upcoming SBMI Recruiting Events

SBMI Recruitment

Several SBMI faculty and staff members will be traveling in the coming months to attend conferences to promote our degree programs. We invite any prospective students or alumni in the area to visit us during these events.


  • Professor James Langabeer, PhD, MBA, was quoted in a front-page Community Impact Newspaper story about the effects of the conversion of a full-service hospital in Cypress into a free-standing emergency room.
  • Research led by Dr. Langabeer and Assistant Professor Tiffany Champagne-Langabeer, PhD was featured in News Medical Life Sciences recently. The research explores the opioid epidemic and a new way to measure regions of the U.S. that are most disadvantaged.
    1. The research was also featured in a UTHealth News story.
  • SBMI was named a finalist for the Houston Business Journal's 2019 Landmark Awards for the construction of its new, expanded space at University Center Tower.
  • Professor Dean Sittig, PhD, was interviewed by KTRH Radio about the role artificial intelligence can play in improving health care.
  • Professor Lex Frieden, MA, was interviewed about the use of assistive technology in higher education by Knowledge@Wharton, a business radio show on SiriusXM.


Save the Date
May 1 The Promise and Perils of Microbial Forensics in the Genomics Era
Todd J. Treangen, PhD
SBMI Research Seminar in UCT E-612 & E-614, 12 p.m.
May 6 Spring 2019 Poster Session
UCT E-612 & E-614
4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
May 15 SBMI Commencement Ceremony
SBMI’s Building Space (6th floor of 7000 Fannin Street)
4 p.m.

Important Dates
May 3 Last class day for spring 2019
May 6 SBMI spring poster session and Connect 2019
May 6-10 Final Exams/Evaluations
May 17 Summer 2019 regular registration closes in MyUTH
May 20 First class day of summer (all SBMI courses are 12W)
May 27 Memorial Day - University is closed

SBMI LogoOffice of Academic Affairs
7000 Fannin, Ste. 650 Houston, TX
Phone: 713-500-3591
Email: [email protected]

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