SBMI Academic Update - February 2021 - School of Biomedical Informatics
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Academic Update

Volume 11, Issue 6
February 25, 2021

Winter Storm Updates from SBMI

The devastating winter storm that impacted the state of Texas last week was both challenging and traumatic for so many members of the SBMI Community. The impact of this storm, in conjunction with the ongoing stress of the pandemic, can be overwhelming.

Image of Downtown Houston Winter Storm

SBMI wants to remind our students, faculty, and staff that the university has safe and confidential resources available to support all students, faculty, staff, and trainees who may need them.

SBMI courses, both online and in-person, resumed this past Monday, Feb. 22. The revised in-person course schedule was sent via email to SBMI students. Students should check their course sites within Canvas for revised assignment due dates. Please contact the Office of Academic Affairs ([email protected]) with any questions regarding modified schedules or in-person classes taking place this week.

If you need assistance with timekeeping instructions for the week of Feb. 15-19, please review the detailed instructions provided on Inside UTHealth.

SBMI Bragging Points

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

    Image of DHI Student Monica Coley
  • DHI Student Monica Coley, MPH was named a recipient for this year’s T. F. Burks Scholarship for Academic Merit. The scholarship is awarded on behalf of the Office of the Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer and the Interfaculty Council (IFC) at UTHealth. Each UTHealth School Scholarship Committee nominates up to two candidates to be reviewed and selected by the IFC Scholarship Selection Committee for this annual award.
  • Assistant Professor Tiffany Champagne-Langabeer, PhD and Professor Xiaoqian Jiang, PhD co-authored an article that was recently published by the Journal of Medical Internet Research. The researchers explore the opioid trade living within the dark web.
  • Image of PhD Student Kang Lin Hsieh
  • Kang Lin Hsieh, PhD ‘19, SBMI alumnus and current postdoctoral research fellow, was recently awarded a one-year postdoctoral appointment with the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). Hsieh will participate in CPRIT’s Computational Cancer Biology Training Program. To learn more about his research, please review our news story online.
  • Assistant Professor Dr. Champagne-Langabeer co-authored another article that was recently featured in one of the top-rated substance abuse journals. Professor James Langabeer, PhD, MBA, EdD and Assistant Professor Andrea Yatsco, PhD also participated in the research.
  • Assistant Professor Angela Ross, DNP, MPH was recently appointed to serve on the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Committee. Her two-year term began on January 1 of this year. The committee’s “purpose is to articulate a cohesive voice for the HIMSS Nursing Informatics community and to provide domain expertise, leadership and guidance to HIMSS activities, initiatives, and collaborations with the global nursing informatics community.” SBMI Alumna Regina Wysocki, MS ‘16 serves on the committee as well.
  • PhD Student Carlos Pérez-Aldana recently co-authored a newly published article titled “Exchanges in a Virtual Environment for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support: Social Network Analysis.” Alumnae and Faculty Members Constance Johnson, PhD '03 and Sahiti Myneni, PhD '13 are also co-authors.

SBMI’s New Doctoral Student Scholarship for Research

Image of PhD Student Claire Loe

SBMI is proud to announce a new award for doctoral students. The new Doctoral Student Research Awards are funded by the Claire Loe, PhD Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship was established with the intent to aid students working on projects without substantial faculty funding. Funds will assist SBMI’s PhD and DHI students with dissertation research (PhD) or translational project matters (DHI) and travel expenses (both) by offering supplemental financial support of up to $1,000.

To apply for a Claire Loe Memorial Scholarship award, doctoral students must submit an application via Qualtrics and provide all supplemental documents. Visit SBMI’s website to learn more about the award.

UTHealth Launches the Alumni Community

Earlier this month, the UTHealth Alumni Community was launched. It is the university’s official networking platform for alumni and students. This virtual space is an opportunity for alumni to reconnect with fellow graduates, give back, and expand their professional network. It is also an environment where current students can reach out to alumni to form mentoring relationships.

Image of UTHeal Alumni Community Flyer

To register, download the UTHealth Alumni app from your phone or sign up at You can also register by using your LinkedIn or Facebook profiles and be ready to connect in less than 2 minutes. If you have any questions about the community, please contact Chelsea Overstreet, MA.

AMIA LEAD Fund Application Opens this Summer

The AMIA Leadership and Education Awards Donation (LEAD) Fund will solicit trainee scholarship applications for the AMIA 2021 Annual Symposium. Individuals who are enrolled in a graduate or post-graduate program focused in the area of biomedical and health informatics are invited to apply. Note there are other requirements as well.

The LEAD Fund anticipates awarding up to eight scholarship awards in 2021, with each award covering the meeting registration cost. Preference will be afforded to applicants from diverse and/or underrepresented backgrounds, as well those individuals who would be attending the AMIA meeting for the first time as a result of this award. Applications will open in July, 2021.

UTHealth Healthcare Innovation Challenge on Feb. 27

Image of UTHealth's Healthcare Innovation Challenge Flyer

UTHealth's Healthcare Innovation Challenge (HIC) will take place this Saturday, Feb. 27, at 12 PM (noon) CST. There will be an open viewing of the keynote presentation with Dr. Syra Madad, who was featured in the Netflix docuseries "Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak" and Fortune's 40 Under 40 in Healthcare. Additionally, participants are welcome to stay and watch the HIC finalists present, starting at 1 PM CST.

We invite the entire SBMI Community to join the event. To sign up for the open viewing, please register here:

SBMI In The News

  • Professor James Langabeer, PhD, MBA, EdD, was recently interviewed by The Healthy about sobriety and how to recover from substance use disorders.
  • Kirk Roberts, PhD, MS, assistant professor, was quoted in STAT News earlier this month. He discussed AI tools that can quickly screen studies to help researchers find ones most suitable to their needs.
  • Associate Dean for Research & Professor Elmer Bernstam, MD, MSE, was recently interviewed by Tech News World about a new study that identified the use of existing drugs to fight COVID-19.


Upcoming Events: All are virtual

Feb. 24 Predictive Algorithm for Forecasting Laboratory Values
Linda Li, MD
Virtual SBMI Research Seminar, 12 PM
Mar. 3 PhD Students Laila Bekhet & Xiao Dong
Virtual SBMI Research Seminar, 12 PM
Mar. 10 Graph representation learning for drug discovery
Jian Tang, PhD
Virtual SBMI Research Seminar, 12 PM

Important Dates

Feb. 26 Last day to submit Change of Academic Plan Request Form and supporting documentation
Mar. 5 Deadline to apply for spring 2021 graduation or certificate completion in myUTH
Mar. 15-19 Spring Break – no classes will be held
Mar. 19 Last day to drop courses & receive grade of W
Mar. 26 Last day to defend dissertation (PhD Students)

SBMI LogoOffice of Academic Affairs
7000 Fannin, Ste. 650 Houston, TX
Phone: 713.500.3591
Email: [email protected]

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