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

Volume 12, Issue 1
September 23, 2021

SBMI Bragging Points

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

  • Professor and Associate Dean for Innovation Hua Xu, PhD and his colleague Yong Chen, PhD from the University of Pennsylvania were recently awarded two grants.
    • The first grant is from the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The researchers will develop rigorous bias correction methods and tools through modern knowledge engineering and data-driven statistical modeling, for enhancing the reproducibility of EHR-based clinical studies.
    • The second grant, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), focuses on developing informatics and statistics methods to manage phenotype definitions and to reduce analysis bias for observational studies of Alzheimer's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease Related Dementias (AD/ADRD).
  • Professor Dean Sittig, PhD and Adjunct Professor Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH have a new publication in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMA). The article focuses on new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) policies that mandate annual self-assessments for eligible hospitals. Drs. Sittig and Singh outline specific strategies to complement the new CMS rules. For more information, read the UTHealth news story to learn more about their policy suggestions. The paper was also was highlighted in News Medical Life Sciences and Healthcare IT News.
  • Susan Fenton, PhD, RHIA, FAHIMA, professor & associate dean for Academic and Curricular Affairs, and DHI Student Mary Stanfill had a co-authored article published by the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
  • Assistant Professor Tiffany Champagne-Langabeer, PhD, Professor Jim Langabeer, PhD, MBA, and Senior Program Manager Karima Lalani, PhD, MBA, RHIA had a research article recently published. The co-authored article is in the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute’s Healthcare Journal.
  • Angela Ross DNP, MPH, PMP, assistant professor, and Alumna Regina Wysocki, MS ‘16 are both members of the HIMSS North American Nursing Informatics Committee. The Committee “is charged with providing domain expertise, leadership and guidance to HIMSS activities, initiatives and collaborations within the specialty of nursing informatics.”
  • Assistant Professor Kirk Roberts, PhD co-authored a newly published Journal of Biomedical Informatics article titled “Searching for scientific evidence in a pandemic: An overview of TREC-COVID.”

Coffee with the Dean Scheduled for September 28th

Dean Jiajie Zhang, PhD invites all SBMI Students to attend the first “Coffee with the Dean” event on Tuesday, Sept. 28th from 12 to 1 PM (CDT). This informal, virtual event gives students the opportunity to engage with Dean Zhang and have casual conversation via GoToMeeting. Students can ask questions about the graduate programs, SBMI courses, scholarships, and more. Future meetings with the Dean may be hybrid with in-person components, when possible.

Students should bring their own coffee to drink and questions to ask the Dean. We hope to see many SBMI students in attendance. Please contact Chelsea Overstreet if you have questions about the event.

UT System Archer Center Graduate Fellowship Program

The Archer Center’s Graduate Archer Fellowship Program provides UT System graduate, medical and other professional (graduate degree level) students the opportunity to learn about policymaking and public service through a fulltime professional internship and classroom experiences in Washington, D.C., during a summer fellowship.

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Archer Fellows earn in-residence academic credit at their home institution. With the array of government, media, research and cultural institutions in Washington, D.C., students have unparalleled access to seasoned professionals and subject matter experts. As Archer Fellows, students utilize the skills and knowledge developed at their home campuses to address real domestic and global issues facing the nation today.

To learn more about the program, we encourage SBMI students to participate in the upcoming information session on Oct. 5th at 12 PM (noon) CDT. The application deadline for summer 2022 is Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021 by 11:59 PM CST.

SBMI STAR Award Recipients for 2021

Each year, UTHealth celebrates employee leadership and longevity with the STAR Awards. The university recognizes individuals celebrating five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 or more years of service to UTHealth.

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SBMI would like to recognize our Star Award recipients who achieved their service year by December 31, 2020.

Five Years

  • Christine Bakos-Block, PhD, LCSW-S
  • Ma de la Luz (Marylou) Cardenas-Turanzas, MD, DrPH
  • Heath Goodrum
  • Robert Murphy, MD
  • Angela Ross, PhD, MPH, PMP
  • Paul Wood

Ten Years

  • Megan Crossan
  • Marcos Hernandez
  • Johnathan Ishee, JD
  • Susan Rojas

NCHS/AcademyHealth Data Visualization Challenge

SBMI is excited to share information regarding the NCHS/AcademyHealth Data Visualization Challenge. This competition is for U.S. graduate students (masters or doctoral level) that want to create interactive data visualizations to explain an important trend or disparity in public health, telling a clear and policy-relevant story in the process.

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Professor Todd Johnson, PhD is the instructor for BMI 6340 - Health Information Visualization and Visual Analytics. He is willing to mentor three SBMI students who are interested in participating in the challenge. If you would like to participate, please visit this website and submit your intent by the Nov, 15th (5 PM EDT) deadline. You must also submit your CV/Resume to Dr. Johnson at [email protected].

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.

Free Confidential Helpline 833-367-4689

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.


Upcoming Events: All are virtual

Sept. 29 Research Seminar presentation by PhD Student Laila Bekhet
12 PM CDT on GoToMeeting
Oct. 6 Research Seminar presentation by Ang Li, MD
12 PM CDT on GoToMeeting
Oct. 12 Research Seminar presentation by Pora Kim, PhD
12 PM CDT on GoToMeeting
Oct. 13 UTHealth SIC Salutation 2021
5:30 to 7:30 PM CDT
Oct. 20 Research Seminar presentation by PhD Students Ivan Coronado & Tongtong Huang
12 PM CDT on GoToMeeting
Oct. 27 Research Seminar presentation by PhD Student Yuqi Si
12 PM CDT on GoToMeeting

Important Dates

Nov. 5 Last day to drop with a withdrawal grade of “W” Must process drop form
Nov. 5 Last day to apply for fall 2021 graduation in myUTH
Nov. 5 PhD - Last day to defend dissertation
Nov. 5 PhD - Final dissertation drafts and proposals to Advising Committee for review
Nov. 17 Spring 2022 registration opens in myUTH

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

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