SBMI Academic Update - June 2018 - School of Biomedical Informatics
Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Academic Update

Volume 8, Issue 11
June 21, 2018

SBMI Team Wins National Anti-Fraud Competition

MITRE logo The SBMiners team recently won the MITRE Corporation’s 2018 Healthcare Anti-Fraud Academic Competition. The team includes Ph.D. student Kang Lin Hsieh and M.S. students Adeola Akinfaderin, Avi Raju, who served as team lead, and Bin Yao. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor Susan Fenton, Ph.D. is the team’s academic advisor.

During the competition, students from U.S.-based colleges and universities worked collaboratively to create innovative approaches for finding fraud while using a dataset and tools provided by MITRE. The competition encouraged teams to develop innovative solutions that could help government and private healthcare payers reduce dollars lost due to healthcare fraud.

As the competition winners, the SBMiners team demonstrated advanced technical skills to identify potentially fraudulent schemes using cluster analysis. The team’s analysis approach included a geographical-based focus and analysis by ratios. Additionally, the team chose impactful visualizations to convey their recommendations.

“Winning the MITRE competition demonstrates not only how diligently the team members worked, but also speaks to the caliber of the students we educate at SBMI,” stated Fenton. “The students take SBMI courses focused in data visualization and biomedical data analysis and successfully applied the knowledge gained to win a national anti-fraud competition.”

Click here to read more.

Summer 2018 Scholarship Awardees

SBMI would like to congratulate all summer 2018 scholarship recipients and thank all students who took the time to apply.

SBMI Scholarship Excellence

  • Sarah May - Ph.D.

Neuosoft Certificate Scholarship Fund

  • Kevin Banks - Certificate
  • Abraham Mendoza - Certificate
  • Luis Oliveira - Certificate
  • Chukwunwike Onwudiwe - Certificate

Doris Ross Scholarship Fund

  • Sridatri Chakraborty - M.S.
  • Madhuri Sankaranarayanapillai - M.S.
  • Yi-Ching Tang - M.S.
  • Bin Yao - M.S.

Lex Frieden Scholarship for Disability and Health Informatics

  • Ankita Misra - M.S.

James “Jim” Turley, PhD Funds New SBMI Scholarship

Retired SBMI Associate Professor, James “Jim” Turley, PhD recently donated $100,000 to fund the James Turley Endowed Scholarship for Global Health. The scholarship will go to SBMI students in good academic standing and preference shall be given to international students who intend to practice in their home country and US Citizens and permanent residents who intend to practice outside of the United States.

“It is important for students to take the skills and education gained here at SBMI and apply it in other countries.” Turley continued, “I hope students will foster feelings of pride as they become informatics leaders in their own nations or take their informatics practices to foreign places. Having the informatics knowledge is not enough; they should desire to serve those who need the resources most."

Click here to view the complete news story.

SBMI Bragging Points

Members of the SBMI Community have recently achieved noteworthy accomplishments. We want to acknowledge and congratulate them.

  • Danilo P.M.S. Student Danilo Peña has been named a participant in the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship – Houston Galveston program.
  • Professor Jim Langabeer’s, PhD, MBA new multi-institution pilot study was featured in an UTHealth news story. The study, called Houston Emergency Opioid Engagement System, or HEROES, uses a three-pronged approach. The program includes the administration of medication to treat opioid dependence in the emergency department, a follow-up visit to the patient’s home by a paramedic, and peer support and counseling from a recovery coach.
  • The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) awarded Degui Zhi, PhD, associate professor, a grant worth more than $2.3 million. Zhi and his co-principal investigator will build “algorithms to identify shared DNA segments within large cohorts,” Zhi stated. “We aim to advance genetic research by building new informatics tools that reveal detailed genetic relationships between humans.” Click here for more information on the award.
  • Professor Dean Sittig, PhD has a new co-authored research article that was published.

If any SBMI alumni or current students want to announce a recent professional accomplishment in a future Academic Update, please share the details with Chelsea Overstreet via email at [email protected]

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.

  • June 24-26 – 2018 TxHIMA Annual Convention in Austin, TX
  • Aug. 21 & 22 – Public Health Informatics Conference in Atlanta, GA
  • Sept. 23-25 – AHIMA Convention and Exhibit in Miami, FL


  • FOX 26 News recently interviewed James Langabeer, PhD, MBA. He discussed the new home-visit program to help people who have overdosed from opioids. Langabeer also discussed the intervention with WOAI Radio in San Antonio.


Save the Date

Aug. 13 Summer 2018 Poster Session
UCT 1414, 4 p.m.

Important Dates

July 4 Independence Day - University is closed
July 16 Fall 2018 registration opens in MyUTH
July 20 Ph.D. - Last day to defend dissertation
Aug. 10 Last class day for summer 2018 semester
Aug. 10 Ph.D. - Last day to defend proposal
Aug. 13 & 14 Final exams & evaluations for summer 2018
Aug. 14 Electronic copy of state of the science/capstone or dissertations due to the Office of Academic
Aug. 27 First class day for fall 2018 semester

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

Facebook YouTube TwitterInstagram LinkedIn Pinterest Flickr