Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Academic Update

Volume 12, Issue 3
November 24, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving from SBMI

The Office of Academic Affairs would like to wish everyone in the SBMI Community a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. We hope you will always remain thankful and full of gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving

SBMI offices will be closed on Nov. 25 and 26 for the holiday. Regular business hours will resume at 8 AM on Monday, Nov. 29.

SBMI Bragging Points

Several members of the SBMI Community have recently earned a special recognition or contributed to the informatics community. We want to congratulate those individuals on these accomplishments.

  • Professor Cui Tao, PhD and Assistant Professor Licong Cui, PhD are part of a team of UTHealth faculty members who developed an informatics platform that helps doctors better streamline and manage the care of patients with epilepsy. Visit the UTHealth News webpage to learn more.
  • Earlier this month, the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) published an article co-authored by several members of the SBMI Community. Authors include MS Alumna ('18) & PhD Student Tavleen Singh, MS Student Sophia Olivares, Alumna ('13) & Associate Professor Sahiti Myneni, PhD, MSE, and Associate Professor & Associate Dean for Student, Faculty, & Community Affairs Amy Franklin, PhD.
  • Alumnus (‘19) & Postdoc Kang Lin Hsieh, PhD recently had his Computational Cancer Biology Training Program postdoctoral fellowship renewed.
  • A team of SBMI Researchers, and a colleague from the University of Chicago, had a review article published in The Lancet HIV online journal in early November. The team includes Yang Xiang, PhD, PhD Alumnus (’19) & Assistant Professor Jingcheng Du, PhD, Adjunct Associate Professor Kayo Fujimoto, PhD, Fang Li, PhD, and Professor Cui Tao, PhD.
  • In late October, two PhD Candidates successfully defended their dissertations. We congratulate Laila Rasmy Gindy Bekhet & Yuqi Si as both students will earn their doctoral degrees in December.

Virtual Poster Session for Fall 2021

SBMI’s Fall 2021 Poster Session will take place on Monday, Dec. 13 at 4:00 PM (CDT). The Office of Academic Affairs is hosting this live event in a virtual format for the health and safety of all faculty, students, and staff at SBMI.

Virtual Poster Session 2021

Students will present during various time slots that are organized by research focus. This will allow faculty, students, staff, and guests enough time to see as many posters as feasible. Faculty judges will also have an assigned time to visit the student's session/room during a live presentation period. The judges will listen to the student presentation, ask questions, and review the work.

All attendees (student participants, judges, faculty members etc.) must have a Hopin account and register for a “ticket” to attend the poster session. Click here to register via Hopin.

Students who will participate, must complete this this Qualtrics survey by 5 PM (CDT) on Thursday, Dec. 9. Please contact the Office of Academic Affairs if you have questions.

SBMI Accepting Competitive Scholarship Applications

SBMI has scholarship funds currently available. The Office of Academic Affairs is currently accepting applications for spring 2022 semester scholarships.

Seeking Student Aid?

All SBMI students, both new and returning, are eligible to apply. Applicants must also be in good academic standing and enrolled for spring 2022 courses in SBMI’s certificate, masters, PhD or DHI program.

  • Pattern of academic achievement
  • Teaching and mentoring experience
  • Leadership experience
  • Community service
  • Success in overcoming adversity
  • Previous and recent publications in the discipline (if any)

Click here to submit the SBMI Scholarship Application. Please note that all submissions must be submitted in Qualtrics. No email submissions will be accepted.

The application deadline is Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 at close of business (5 p.m. CDT). If you have questions, please send an email to [email protected] or call 713.500.3591.

CDC Public Health Informatics Fellowship Opportunity

Applications are being accepted for the two-year CDC Public Health Informatics Fellowship Program (PHIFP).

One Health Virtual Conference 2020

PHIFP provides applied public health informatics training to fellows to apply computer science and information technology to public health problems. PHIFP fellows learn through a combination of course work and on-the-job training. PHIFP fellows:

  • Work on public health informatics projects within their assigned CDC Centers.
  • Provide informatics assistance to state, local, and territorial health departments, international agencies and non-profit entities through special requests, or Info-Aids.
  • Develop, manage, and evaluate complex information systems.

The application deadline is December 1, 2021. More information is available on the PHIFP application web page.


  • Professor Dean Sittig, PhD was quoted in a Politico story that explores a non-profit app store where patients and practitioners can find the tools to manage their needs.


Upcoming Events: All are virtual

Dec. 1 Research Seminar presentation by Zak Kohane, MD, PhD
12 PM CDT on GoToMeeting
Dec. 8 Research Seminar presentation by Neil Abernathy, PhD
12 PM CDT on GoToMeeting
Dec. 13 SBMI’s Virtual Fall 2021 Poster Session in Hopin

Important Dates

Nov. 25 & 26 Thanksgiving Holiday – University is closed
Nov. 30 M.S. - Capstone Report drafts due to Advisors for review
Dec. 10 Last class day for fall 2021
Dec. 10 PhD - Last day to defend proposal
Dec. 13 SBMI’s Virtual Fall 2021 Poster Session in Hopin
Dec. 13-17 Final exams/evaluations
Dec. 24 Holiday Break – University is closed
Dec. 27- 30 Skeleton Crew Work Days
Jan. 7 Last day of spring 2022 regular registration in myUTH
Jan. 7 Tuition and fee payment is due for spring 2022
Jan. 10 First Class Day for spring 2022

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

Facebook YouTube TwitterInstagram LinkedIn Pinterest Flickr