McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics Monthly Message - February 2024 - Monthly Message Newsletter - News - $
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Monthly Message

Volume 14, Issue 6
February 22, 2024

McWilliams Bragging Points

Members of our McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics Community have recently achieved noteworthy accomplishments. We want to recognize and applaud their endeavors.

photo of McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics Bragging Points

  • Professor Zhongming Zhao, PhD, MS. He has been named the winner of the UTHealth Houston 2023 President’s Scholar Award for Excellence in Research. Dr. Zhao is photographed here (third from the left) with the other 2023 President Scholar award winners.
photo of group of McWilliams alumni and faculty
  • A group of McWilliams alumni and faculty recently published a digital health paper. The co-authors include two-time Alumna Tavleen Singh, PhD '23, MS '18, Alumna and Associate Professor Sahiti Myneni, PhD '13, Alumnus Michael Truong, MS '23 & Associate Professor Kirk Roberts, PhD.
  • Assistant Professor Angela Ross, DNP was spotlighted in a HIMSS member profile earlier this month. She will be presenting at the 2024 HIMSS Global Conference & Exhibition in Mar. in support of the conference’s Nursing Informatics Forum.

2024 Commencement Ceremony Speaker – Atul Butte, MD, PhD

We are proud to announce that Atul Butte, MD, PhD will serve as our 2024 Commencement Ceremony Speaker. Dr. Butte is a Distinguished Professor and the Inaugural Director of the Bakar Computational Health Sciences Institute at the University of California, San Francisco and Chief Data Scientist for the University of California Health System. He is also a co-founder of three investor-backed data-driven companies and in 2023, AMIA named him the William W. Stead Award for Thought Leadership in Informatics award winner.

photo of Atul Butte, MD, PhD

We invite the entire McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics community to attend commencement on May 7. Visit for more information on the school’s annual ceremony.

McWilliams STAR Award Recipients for 2023

Each year, UTHealth Houston celebrates employee leadership and longevity with the STAR Awards. The university recognizes individuals celebrating five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, or 55 years of service at UTHealth Houston. The STAR Awards acknowledge the leadership and longevity of employees by recognizing their milestone years of service at the university.

photo of STAR Awards 2023

Congratulations to the 28 STAR Award recipients from McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics.

Five Years

Laura Carter
Queen Chambliss
Luyao Chen
Meaghann Clark
Travis Crook
Xiaoqian Jiang, PhD
Yejin Kim, PhD
Zhao Li, PhD
Mistie Smith
Andrea Yatsco, PhD
Lei You, PhD

Ten Years

Reuben Applegate
Jeanette Broshears, PhD
Guocai Chen
Henry Chen
Tiffany Champagne-Langabeer, PhD
Susan Fenton, PhD
Swaroop Gantela
Elvis Parada
Debora Simmons, PhD
Jun Zhang
Jieyi Zhao
W. Jim Zheng, PhD

Fifteen Years

Yukiko Bryson
Dean Sittig, PhD

Twenty Years

Muhammad Walji, PhD

Twenty-Five Years

Cung “David” Ha
Jiajie Zhang, PhD

McWilliams Chili Cook-Off

Friday, February 23rd is Go Texan Day! To celebrate, McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics will host the annual chili cook-off. If you prefer something sweeter, there is now a dessert category! We invite everyone to come out and bring their best chili and desserts. Prizes will be given for the best dishes.

photo of Student at last years chili cook off

Join us in in the school commons area on the 6th floor of UCT from 11:30 AM to 1 PM and wear your finest “Go Texan” apparel.

Hot Topics in Aging Conference

The UTHealth Houston Institute on Aging will host the 8th annual Hot Topics in Aging Conference on Mar. 5, 2024. Visit this webpage to learn more and register.

photo of Hot Topics in Aging Conference

McWilliams In The News
  • Professor James Langabeer, PhD, was interviewed by the Houston Chronicle earlier this month. He discussed how mail delays by the U.S. Postal Service have impacted Houston-area residents whose prescriptions are delivered by mail.
  • 2023 Alumnus Peter Kizz, DHI was featured in a Gainesville Sun article this month as a "trailblazer in the field of health informatics."
Upcoming Events

Feb. 28 Research Seminar presentation by Yaobin Ling and Kaichen Tang
12 PM CT online and at 7000 Fannin Street, 6th floor (UCT E-612 & E-614)
Mar. 6 Research Seminar presentation by Yiming Li and Xu Zuo
12 PM CT online and at 7000 Fannin Street, 6th floor (UCT E-612 & E-614)
Mar. 13 Research Seminar presentation by Assistant Professor Pora Kim, PhD
12 PM CT online and at 7000 Fannin Street, 6th floor (UCT E-612 & E-614)
Mar. 27 Research Seminar presentations by Ivan Coronado
12 PM CT online and at 7000 Fannin Street, 6th floor (UCT E-612 & E-614)

Visit our website for a full list of research seminar dates and access to recordings for past seminars.

Important Dates

Mar. 1 Last day to apply for spring 2024 graduation in myUTH (must be currently enrolled)
Mar. 18-22 Spring Break – no classes will be held
Mar. 22 Last day to drop with a withdrawal grade of “W” with the appropriate form (pdf) (Docusign)
Mar. 22 DHI/PhD - Last day to defend translational project/dissertation. Drafts must be sent to the Advising Committee for review 10 business days before the defense date.