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

Volume 11, Issue 10
June 22, 2021

SBMI Bragging Points

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

Image of Blockchain and Emerging Technologies in Health Track at the Virtual ConV2X 2021

SBMI Professors: Cui Tao, PhD, Degui Zhi, PhD, Yang Gong, PhD and Licong Cui, PhD (Photo of SBMI Faculty Members)

  • A co-authored npj Digital Medicine article was released in late May that was written by a group of SBMI researchers. The team includes SBMI PhD student Laila Rasmy Bekhet, SBMI faculty members Cui Tao, PhD, Degui Zhi, PhD, and two other researchers.
  • DHI student Angela Hayes has been named a member of the Child Abuse Clinical Decision Support (CA-CDS) national consortium on electronic child abuse screening. She will serve as the official organizational representative for the Baylor College of Medicine Section of Public Health and Child Abuse Pediatrics.
  • Associate Professor Yang Gong, MD, PhD was recently awarded a new Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) grant. Dr. Gong will work with his colleague Yun Jiang, PhD, MS, RN from the University of Michigan School of Nursing as they investigate medication safety during transitions of care. The total budget for the grant is just under $2 million.
  • Assistant Professor Licong Cui, PhD was recently awarded a Faculty Early Career Development Program grant from the National Science Foundation. She will use the $533,520 grant budget to develop new methods for ontology matching and for ontology quality enhancement that directly impact data science practice in biomedicine.

AMIA 2021 Student Design Challenge Application is Open

AMIA invites teams of graduate students from different scientific disciplines and of various backgrounds to propose creative interactive solutions to challenging health problems. Unlike previous student design challenges, this year’s challenge will not have a specific theme. This year, AMIA encourages teams to choose any problem of significance to health and healthcare that can be supported and improved with an interactive solution.

The challenge includes proposal submission by the team, participation in the summer training program for qualifying teams, and final submission at the conclusion of the summer program. To learn more about the challenge and the various requirements, please visit the AMIA website.

If you have any questions about this process, please send an email to The submission deadline is July 7th at 11:59 PM (EDT).

Updated Title IX Presentation

The UTHealth Title IX Office recently updated the Title IX presentation. The Office of Academic Affairs encourages everyone in the SBMI Community to review the updated presentation.

Image from SBMI Commencement for 2021 Graduates

Click here to view the presentation. In order to access the presentation, which is provided as a Panopto video, you will need to login using your UTHealth credentials.

Heroes Helpline Aids Healthcare Workers

UTHealth’s Center for Health Systems Analytics is operating a 24/7 free and confidential helpline for all healthcare workers, first responders, and their families in Texas who have been impacted by COVID-19. Healthcare workers, including allied health students and professionals, and first responders are our heroes. The helpline is here to help our heroes and their families who have been experiencing an unprecedented level of stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please call the Heroes Helpline at 833-367-4689 to speak with trained staff who will guide you to mental health support resources in your area.

Call for Abstracts at Annual ConV2X

The Blockchain and Emerging Technologies in Health Track at the Virtual ConV2X 2021 is currently accepting abstract submissions. The virtual symposium will take place Nov. 9 to 11, 2021.

Image of Blockchain and Emerging Technologies in Health Track at the Virtual ConV2X 2021

The annual ConV2X is a leading international health tech symposium driving real world evidence, strategy, research, operations and trends to create a blueprint for a new digital health era. This year, the conference has added a scientific and research track to cover cutting-edge topics that explore and sharing developments in blockchain and emerging technologies in health and clinical medicine.

Abstracts may be based on original research, conceptual frameworks, proposed applications, position papers, case studies, and real-world implementation. Selection will be based on a peer-review process. All accepted abstracts will be considered for a special supplement of the Blockchain in Healthcare Today, the leading open access blockchain journal. Selected abstracts will be invited to submit complete manuscripts for review and publication. A separate category of student-led abstracts will also be considered for undergraduate and graduate students. Faculty, students, and industry researchers are encouraged to submit abstracts to present their ideas before an informed and knowledgeable audience of industry leaders, policy makers, funders, and researchers.

Deadline for abstract submission: July 15, 2021
Notification of acceptance: Aug. 21, 2021


  • Professor James Langabeer, PhD and the HEROES-Houston ER Opioid System team is starting a new study to provide mobile, integrated health care to participants. UTHealth profiled the program in a news story.
  • Professor Lex Frieden, MA was interviewed for an UTHealth news story and he focused on ways you can get ready for potential weather emergencies.
  • Assistant Professor Jonathan Ishee, JD, MPH, was quoted in a Verywell Health article about whether asking employees their vaccination status is HIPAA violation.


Important Dates

July 5 Independence Day holiday - University is closed
July 9 PhD - Last day to defend dissertation
July 14 Fall 2021 registration opens in myUTH
Aug. 6 PhD - Last day to defend proposal
Aug. 6 Last class day for summer 2021 semester
Aug. 9 & 10 Final exams & evaluations for summer 2021

SBMI LogoOffice of Academic Affairs
7000 Fannin, Ste. 650 Houston, TX
Phone: 713.500.3591

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