School of Medicine

Biomedical Informatics Research

Overview

Rigorous courses prepare students for diverse types of research and policy careers, including positions in public health, academic, and the IT-related private sector. Students have ample opportunity for exposure to health care and IT professionals from various organizations.

Research Opportunities

population

Utah is unique for public health informatics research. Powerful and extensive electronic health databases exist in all of the major Utah health care provider networks, including University of Utah Health, Intermountain Healthcare, and the Veterans Administration. Students have access to faculty with expertise in public health practice, record linkage, simulation, NIH caBIG infrastructure, surveillance system development and evaluation, and other areas required for addressing public health problems.

Unique Resources

The Utah Cancer Registry has recorded all cancers occurring in the state since 1966. The Utah Population Database (UPDB) represents 10 generations of Utahns, including the early Utah pioneers and their modern-day descendants. This genealogical data set is linked to the University of Utah Health electronic data warehouse, to state-based disease registries and vital records, resulting in a resource unmatched in the world for population studies of heritable conditions. The Utah Department of Health’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Network is funded by the CDC and creates a unique resource that combines environmental and clinical data for public query and research.

As a Center of Excellence in Public Health Informatics site funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opportunities are provided to conduct research in collaboration with our local and state public health partners. This close collaboration fosters crosscutting mentorship for our students.

Advanced lines of research include:

Surveillance techniques that rely on electronic processing of data contained within the electronic medical record Population-based genealogical studies utilizing the Utah Population Database Health informatics-based interventions to improve response to infection diseases within health care systems and communities.