The Department of Biomedical Informatics is committed to improving biomedical research and clinical care through the innovative application of informatics. Currently funded projects explore areas such as genomic and proteomic data mining, natural language processing, machine learning, and biosurveillance.

Prospective Students

We offer a range of training experiences to accommodate diverse backgrounds and aspirations. Active participation in research and development is a key element of the educational experience at DBMI.


Meet Our Faculty

Michael J. Becich, MD, PhD

Dr. Becich is a Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Pathology, Clinical/Translational Sciences, Information Sciences/Telecommunications. He is the Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Associate Vice-Chancellor for the Health Sciences.

Gregory Cooper, MD, PhD

Dr. Cooper is the Vice chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Computational Biology, Computer Science, Information Science, and Intelligent Systems.

Madhavi Ganapathiraju, PhD

Assistant Professor whose current research focus is in the area of computational molecular and systems biology, translational bioinformatics and biomedical text mining, using signal processing and machine learning.

Vanathi Gopalakrishnan, PhD

Dr. Gopalakrishnan is interested in the design and development of computational methods for solving clinically relevant biological problems.

Harry Hochheiser, PhD

Dr. Hochheiser’s research focuses on the design of usable systems for use in clinical and research settings. His other interests include universal usability, security, privacy, and public policy implications of computing systems.

Shyam Visweswaran, MD, PhD

Dr. Visweswaran's research interests lie in the application of artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining and Bayesian methods to problems in clinical medicine and bioinformatics.

Michael M. Wagner, MD, PhD

Richard Boyce, PhD

Dr. Boyce is interested in the intersection of informatics, comparative effectiveness research, and medication safety (including pharmacoepidemiology).

Xia Jiang, PhD

Dr. Jiang's research focuses on developing novel algorithms/systems that improve the computational efficiency of high-dimensional data analysis, and network modeling of cancer genome data.

Xinghua Lu, MD, PhD, MS

Dr. Lu’s research focuses on the computational methods for identifying signaling pathways underlying biological processes and diseases as well as Statistical methods for acquiring knowledge from biomedical literature.

Gerald Douglas, PhD

Dr. Douglas is an Assistant Professor focusing on Health Informatics for the Underserved.

Songjian Lu, PhD

Uma Chandran, PhD, MSIS

Dr. Chandran's interests include genomic data mining, Next Generation Sequencing data analysis, integrative analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas Project (TCGA) and development of computing infrastructure for large genomics datasets

David Boone, PhD

Dr. Boone is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Director of the CoSBBI Summer Academy

Donald P. Taylor, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Douglas Landsittel, PhD

Dr. Landsittel is a professor and biostatistician whose research focuses on the intersection of biomarker studies and causal inference methods, with applications in transplant, occupational, and comparative effectiveness research.

Kayhan Batmanghelich, PhD

Building efficient inference and computational tools to elucidate the statistical connections between imaging, genomics, and medical health records, to improve our understanding of human diseases.

Erik S. Wright, PhD, MS

Dr. Wright is interested in combatting infectious disease by better understanding how microorganisms evolve.

Jonathan C. Silverstein, MD, MS, FACS, FACMI

Yalini Senathirajah, PhD

Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Informatics

Hatice Ulku Osmanbeyoglu, PhD

Assistant Professor, Biomedical Informatics

Sofia Triantafillou, PhD

Department News

Meet The Alumni

Velma L. Payne, PhD, MS, MBA, MS

Personal Statement:  After an extended career in Information Technology, I decided to pursue my PhD within another department at Pitt. After taking a class within DBMI from Dr. Rebecca Crowley, I knew DBMI was the place I needed to be.  I immediately transferred to DBMI where I obtained the skills necessary to integrate my technology expertise with Medical Decision Making and Diagnostic Errors in Medicine. Dr. Crowley was instrumental in planting the seed of the importance of the cognitive aspects of medical decision making.

Robyn Reed, BS, MA, MLIS

Personal Statement

Jon Bickel, MD, MS

Personal Statement

Turning to DBMI, one of the top tier programs in the country, to obtain my Masters in Biomedical Informatics was a natural transition for me since I was already in Pittsburgh having just obtained my MD at Pitt’s School of Medicine. Bioinformatics, which I realized as the nexus of medicine, education and technology, was the perfect complement to my existing work in the Lab for Educational Technology ( and would smoothly morph with my existing work in clinical care.

Heather Piwowar, PhD

Personal Statement

Catherine Arnott Smith, MS, PhD
  • Currently: Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, and Discovery Fellow, Living Environments Laboratory, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • 2002: PhD, Library and Information Science, Medical Informatics
  • 2000: MSIS (Master of Science, Information Science), Medical Informatics
  • Publications (links to PubMed)
Matthew Scotch, MPH, PhD
  • Currently: Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Arizona State University
  • 2006: PhD in Biomedical Informatics
  • Publications (links to PubMed)
Gilan El-Saadawi, MD, PhD, MS
  • Currently:  Managing Consultant at College of American Pathologists (CAP)
  • 2004: MS in Biomedical Informatics
  • Publications (links to PubMed)
  • Personal statement: “I began work in biomedical informatics under the mentorship of James Harrison, MD, PhD, and later received a fellowship in the Pittsburgh Biomedical Informatics Training Program.
Ann McKibbon, PhD
  • Currently: Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University
  • 2005: PhD in Biomedical Informatics
  • Publications (links to PubMed)
  • Personal statement: “The people [at Pitt] are what I remember and value the most. Doug Fridsma and Ellen Detlefsen were stellar; without them, I would not have graduated.
Raj K. Krishnaraju PhD, MS
  • Currently: Health Scientist Administrator, NIH
  • September 2000 to September 2002: Master's Degree in Biomedical Informatics
  • Publications (links to PubMed)
  • Personal statement: “Currently, I am working as a Health Scientist Administrator at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. My areas of interest are bioinformatics and molecular biology of cell differentiation.”
Pedro L. Hernández-Cott, DMD, MS
  • Currently: Assistant Professor, Deanship of Research, University of Puerto Rico School of Dentistry
  • July 2003 to August 2005: Master's Degree in Biomedical Informatics
  • Publications (links to PubMed)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal statement: “After 20 years as a general dentist with an interest in computers, this was an excellent program for aiding me in making the transition
Christopher Mast, MD, MS
  • Currently: Assistant Professor; Associate Physician Project Director for the Electronic Medical Record Implementation Project; University of Texas, Galveston
  • 2003: Master’s Degree in Biomedical Informatics
  • Publications (links to PubMed)
  • Personal statement: “My training in biomedical informatics from Pitt is invaluable, and I use it every day.
Deborah A. Lewis, EdD, MPH, MS
  • Currently: Associate Professor of Nursing, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
  • 1999: Master's Degree in Public Health
  • 2006: Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship
  • Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
  • Publications: see CV
Patricia Corby, DDS, MS
  • Currently: Assistant Director, Bluestone Center for Clinical Research
Christa Bartos, BSN, MS, PhD
  • Currently: Director of Clinical and Operational Informatics at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh
  • 2008: Doctoral Degree in Biomedical Informatics
  • Publications (links to PubMed)
  • Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
Constantin Aliferis, MD, PhD
  • Currently: Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, NYU School of Medicine, Sackler Institute, NYU; Director, NYU Center for Health Informatics and Bioinformatics; Director, Biomedical Informatics Cores of NYU Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the NYU Cancer Center
  • 1998: PhD in Intelligent Systems (Biomedical Informatics)