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Academic Update

Volume 10, Issue 5
January 28, 2020

Spring Semester at SBMI

We hope everyone had a safe holiday season. We want to welcome back all returning SBMI students. To all new SBMI students, we are very happy to have you join the SBMI community here at UTHealth. We are looking forward to a successful spring semester.

Welcome back to school

Now that the semester has started, we want to remind all students to submit their updated, yearly degree or program plans if it has not been completed recently. Please work with your academic advisor to complete the plan and if you have questions, please contact the Office of Academic Affairs at 713.500.3591 or [email protected] for assistance.

Distance Education Announcements & Reminders for Spring 2020

  • Two-Factor Authentication Required for Faculty and Staff Off-Campus Login to Canvas

Starting this spring semester, two factor authentication (2FA) is required when accessing Canvas off-campus for Faculty and Staff including GRAs and Student Assistants (SA).

Students by default do not need to use 2FA to access Canvas unless they have a GRA or SA or other staff position at UTHealth. 2FA will not be needed to access Canvas from the university’s network or for users connected via the UTHealth Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Users can take advantage of the “Remember me for 180 days” checkbox to expedite their future logins and skip the 2FA while using the same computer and browser over the course of several months.

Canvas logo

The Canvas login link remains the same: If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

  • TMC librarian office hours will be held in the I-Squared Lab every Tuesday afternoon 1pm – 4pm throughout the spring 2020 semester.

SBMI students and faculty can also contact the liaison librarians directly to schedule a consultation:

Emma Silva: 713-799-7114, [email protected]

Travis Holder: 713-799-7166, [email protected]

SBMI Bragging Points

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

  • The University of Texas Kenneth I. Shine, M.D. Academy of Health Science Education (known as the Shine Academy) recently elected Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor Susan Fenton, PhD as one of its newest members. The mission of the Shine Academy is to serve the University of Texas System through the support and promotion of excellence in all aspects of health science education, educational scholarship and leadership. Fenton will be honored at the annual new member dinner on February 27. The dinner takes place on the first evening of the Kenneth I. Shine, M.D. Academy of Health Science Education Innovations Conference.
  • For the second year in a row, SBMI’s Gulf Coast Regional Extension Center (GCREC) has earned high Merit Based Incentive Payments System (MIPS) scores. Visit the SBMI News webpage to learn more.

Spring 2020 Scholarship Recipients

SBMI would like to congratulate our recent scholarship winners for spring 2020. We thank all students who applied, as well. These are the recipients:

James T. Willerson Endowed Scholarship
  • Surabhi Datta – PhD Student
Jingchun Sun Scholarship
  • Gilberto de la Garza – MS Student
Lex Frieden Scholarship
  • Yan Liu – MS Student
SBMI Dean’s Excellence Scholarship
  • Ivan Coronado – PhD Student
  • Kalaivany Ganesh – MS Student
  • Katharina Hathaway – MS Student
  • Ko-Hong Lin – PhD Student
  • Yang Liu – PhD Student
  • Amirali Tahanan – MS Student
  • Donald Thigpen – MS Student
SBMI Scholarship Excellence
  • Qiang Wei – PhD Student
  • Reena Ramachandran – MS Student
SBMI Student Governance Organization (SGO) Scholarship
  • Trinh Le – MS Student
  • Xinyuan Zhang – PhD Student
  • Kawtar Zouaidi – Certificate Student

JAMIA Student Editorial Board (SEB) Application Open

JAMIA is seeking applications from biomedical informatics trainees for positions on the Student Editorial Board (SEB). Applicants must be current members of AMIA. The JAMIA SEB was created in 2003, and has provided outstanding informatics trainees with opportunities to receive in-depth exposure to the peer-review process and the operation of a scientific journal.

Welcome back to school

Additional details about this program may be found in a published editorial in AMIA. Materials must be submitted by the Tuesday, February 18 deadline. All application materials should be sent via email to [email protected].

Direct questions to Michael F. Chiang, MD, JAMIA Associate Editor, [email protected].

Selection Criteria
  • up to six SEB members will be selected from the group of applicants
  • will serve a two-year term
  • members should be enrolled in an informatics degree program throughout the duration of their term on the SEB
  • must be current member of AMIA
Desired applicant qualifications
  • critical thinkers with a mastery of written English
  • experience in scientific writing
  • background in health care and/or computer science, and solid knowledge of research design and basic biostatistics
  • assigned up to six manuscripts per year to review
  • assist with moderating/managing the monthly JAMIA Journal Club
  • invitation to attend annual Editorial Board meeting
  • SEB members will be expected to treat manuscripts with the same strict confidentiality employed by full reviewers and Editorial Board members; and. reviews will be used in the standard JAMIA review process.
  • names of SEB members will be listed on the official Editorial Board page of the journal

2020 HSRProj Research Competition for Students

AcademyHealth and the National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR) of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) are hosting the 2020 HSRProj Research Competition for Students. As part of this annual competition, students will access data from the Health Services Research Projects in Progress (HSRProj) database (in conjunction with other sources) to identify research priorities in health services and systems research.

This competition is for undergraduate and graduate students studying health services research, public health, health informatics, or information science/library science who would like to:

  • Gain greater visibility as a new researcher in the fields of HSR and data science.
  • Broaden their professional network by strategizing with faculty and collaborating with new peers.
  • Acquire experience using data visualization to communicate their research.

The application deadline is February 28, 2020. Visit the HSRProj website for information on how to apply.

Online Financial Disclosure Statement for 2019 is Now Available

Why is this annual reporting requirement important?

All faculty and certain staff are required to submit a disclosure of financial interests and outside activities online each year by The University of Texas System policy and the UTHealth Conflict of Interest, Conflict of Commitment and Outside Activities Policy (HOOP 20). In some cases, a disclosure may also be required by other state and/or federal regulations (and in accordance with NIH guidance) and for submitting grant applications.

Who is required to submit a Financial Disclosure Statement?

In general, you must submit a Financial Disclosure Statement if any of the following statements below applies to you:

  • You are a faculty member;
  • You are an administrative and professional (A&P) employee (HOOP 150, Administrative and Professional and Classified Job Appointments);
  • You are an executive officer of the university;
  • You negotiate or execute contracts on behalf of UTHealth;
  • You will be involved in procurement ($15,000 or more);
  • You are involved in contract management;
  • You are a “Covered Individual” on an UTHealth research project as designated by the principal investigator of the project, per the Research Conflicts of Interest Policy (HOOP 94).

How to submit the Financial Disclosure Statement?

For instructions, FAQs, and the required form, visit the Financial Disclosures Website. The deadline to submit the Financial Disclosure Statement for calendar year 2019 is March 31, 2020.


If you have any questions or would like help completing the Financial Disclosure Statement, please contact the Conflict of Interest Office at [email protected] and their staff will be happy to provide assistance.

Upcoming SBMI Recruiting Events

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.

SBMI Recruitment


Save the Dates

Jan. 29 Biological Time: Often Neglected Variable in Bioinformatics
Michael Smolensky, PhD
SBMI Research Seminar in UCT E-612 & E-614, 12 p.m.
Feb. 5 Clinical Natural Language Processing with Machine Learning
Tim Miller, PhD
SBMI Research Seminar in UCT E-612 & E-614, 12 p.m.
Feb. 12 Licong Cui, PhD
SBMI Research Seminar in UCT E-612 & E-614, 12 p.m.
Feb. 19 Thomas Deserno, PhD
SBMI Research Seminar in UCT E-612 & E-614, 12 p.m.

Important Dates

Feb. 17 President’s Day – University is closed
Feb. 28 Last day to drop courses & receive grade of WP or WF (May impact GPA)
Mar. 16-20 Spring Break – no classes will be held

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

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