I am thrilled to take the role as interim chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics. This department is home to a diverse group of very collaborative faculty. Our research interests span the range from molecules to patients to populations, all with the goal of using informatics to advance human health. We have a PhD student body that is pushing the boundaries of research and we have a bright MS cohort learning the tools of the trade. Our education program showcases active learning strategies such as a teaching EHR, new courses focused on wrangling and analyzing biomedical data, a human systems interaction lab, and a hands-on FHIR-enabled app development course. Students, faculty, and collaborators participate weekly in special interest groups focused on translational bioinformatics, computational and symbolic methods, population & public health informatics, and behavioral & clinical informatics. Our relationships with our industry partners strengthen the department through collaboration and innovation. Our Industry Advisory Board (IAB) Talks series consistently brings in over 100 people from the U as well as from neighboring schools and businesses. The ReImagine EHR initiative is drawing local and national attention as we develop standards-based decision support applications that are going live at the University of Utah Health and are forming a foundational infrastructure on which to enable the best care for patients here and abroad. This infrastructure has extended our ability to get large research grants, and our new collaboration with the Huntsman Cancer Institute has proven especially fruitful with three new center grants--we are working with their researchers to integrate research innovations in the EHR. Translational informatics is another key area of research in this department. Our faculty are active contributors to the NIH-NCATS sponsored Center for Clinical and Translational Science and the Trial Innovation Center. Exposure Health informatics is an emerging area of research that our faculty and adjunct partners in the College of Nursing and Pediatrics have helped to pioneer.
I look forward to the coming year, as we work together to advance our mission. This department has fantastic people as alumni, faculty, students, industry partners, and collaborators. Please join us in continuing to build our network and our impact.