SBMI Academic Update - June 2022 - Academic Update Newsletter - News - $
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Academic Update

Volume 12, Issue 10
June 29, 2022

SBMI Bragging Points 

image of Morgan Foreman PhD Student
image of Joseph Krocker, MD
  • During SBMI's Spring 2022 Poster Session in May, two students were awarded the Paul C. Boyle Award for Excellence in Research. Morgan Foreman (PhD Student) and Joseph Krocker, MD (MS 2022 Graduate) tied for the highest score and were named dual winners. We want to congratulate them both for their outstanding work. To see photos from the event, visit SBMI’s Flickr page.
  • The 2022 National Library of Medicine (NLM) T15 Training Conference was held in Buffalo, NY recently. Three SBMI PhD students, Ivan Coronado, Astrid Manuel, and Evan Yu, were in attendance to presenting their research.
  • SBMI PhD students, Ivan Coronado, Astrid Manuel, and Evan Yu
  • Alumnus Ashish Joshi, PhD '12 was named the inaugural winner of the CUNY SPH Legacy Award. In August, Dr. Joshi will start a new role as Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Memphis and in May, he was named SBMI's 2022 Distinguished Alum Award Winner.
  • SBMI's Genomics and Translational Cancer Research Training Program (BIG-TCR) recently welcomed 11 undergraduate interns during orientation. The students will spend 10 weeks doing research in the field of biomedical informatics, genomics, and translational cancer research through the CPRIT funded program.
  • image of SBMI undergraduate interns during orientation
  • Professor and Associate Dean for Academic and Curricular Affairs Susan Fenton, PhD, RHIA, FAHIMA, and Professor Zhongming Zhao, PhD, MS were inducted as Fellows of AMIA (FAMIA) during AMIA's Clinical Informatics Conference in late May. Professor and Associate Dean for Research Elmer Bernstam, MD, MSE & Professor Todd Johnson, PhD are also in the Class of 2022 but were not present at the induction.

Registration is Open for Second Annual THIA Conference

UTHealth Houston SBMI, along with the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW), are pleased to announce the Second Annual Texas Health Informatics Alliance (THIA) Conference. The conference will be held in-person at The University of Texas at Arlington and hosted by the Multi-Interprofessional Center for Health Informatics (MICHI) at UTA on September 9, 2022.

the Second Annual Texas Health Informatics Alliance (THIA) Conference

THIA is a collective that aims to build informatics ties across Texas through partnerships in the following areas: research, data, policy, education, standards, and workforce development.

THIA invites researchers, developers, health professionals, information management professionals, data and information scientists, and students to join the alliance and attend the conference. By participating in the annual conference, attendees will be able to collaborate and connect in the Texas health informatics community to improve health care and meet the state’s current and future health informatics needs.

The THIA conference will provide an opportunity to share, collaborate, and showcase the amazing work in health informatics and will feature presentations and keynote speakers from across Texas. The theme is “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to Accelerate Health.”

The event will feature two keynote speakers, presentations, networking lunch, poster session, and closing reception. This conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST on Thursday, Sept. 9. The registration fee is $100 and you can register online at

THIA is accepting conference abstracts as well and they are due by July 8, 2022. Abstract submission details are available at

UTHealthLeads Fellowship Application – Deadline Extended to July 1

SBMI has extended the deadline for the UTHealthLeads Fellowship program to July 1, 2022. Students, enrolled part-time or full-time, are encouraged to apply before the deadline to be considered for the campus-wide student leadership development program.

SBMI will submit four names to be a part of this upcoming 2022-2023 cohort and represent our school. Please submit all application requirements: Application; CV/Resume; Letter of Recommendation; Essay, no later than July 1, 2022. Application materials can be submitted HERE. For more information and details about the program review the UTHealthLeads FAQ.

Questions regarding the program can be directed to Elvis Parada; Assistant Director of Admissions and Student Affairs.

New Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Goes Live

The UT System Health Biobank (UTSHB) Consortium Common LIMS is now available for use by investigators at UTHealth Houston. The UT System Common LIMS uses commercial software to provide LIMS functionality to UT investigators. Features of the LIMS include:

  • Inventory management: you’ll always know where each biospecimen is stored throughout its entire lifecycle
  • Data integrity and consistency:
  • Data is stored in a searchable database that includes a sophisticated data query tool
    • Standardized data elements and permissible values
    • Custom data elements can be added for each study, including permissible values
    • All team members use the same integrated platform
  • Custom forms: define and create forms specific to your study
  • Security:
    • Data visibility is determined by the role assigned to each user by the study PI
    • User accounts leverage the UT Federated Single Sign On system
  • Compliance: organization and automation help drive compliance by providing a standard framework
  • Integration: can be integrated with other electronic data systems
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): cloud-based, no dedicated IT team required, automated upgrades, no need to install software on individual workstations
  • Business continuity: backup and disaster recovery capabilities
  • Support: provided by local Common LIMS experts (see Institute Administrators below) and the vendor

Researchers can contact the UTHealth Houston Common LIMS Institute Administrator Alexander Alvara ([email protected]) or the UT System Health Biobank ([email protected]) to discuss onboarding studies. Studies can be in any phase of specimen/data collection and Institute Administrators will work with study personnel to set up their projects in the Common LIMS. Visit for more information.


  • Professor Jim Langabeer, PhD was quoted in a Community Impact Newspaper story last month. He discussed the rise in opioid overdoses.


Important Dates

July 4 Independence Day holiday - University is closed
July 8 PhD - Last day to defend dissertation
July 8 MS - Draft of Capstone Report due to Advisor for review
July 13 Fall 2022 registration opens in myUTH
Aug. 5 PhD - Last day to defend proposal
Aug. 8 Last class day for summer 2022 semester
Aug. 8-11 Final exams & evaluations for summer 2022
Aug. 10 All documents due for Summer 2022 Graduates and Certificate Completers in Canvas course