Archived News


DBMI @ AMIA 2010

Sneak preview of DBMI contributions to AMIA 2010 including papers, posters, tutorials, workshops and panels.  PapersS08      Mining Clinical Data Using Minimal Predictive RulesIyad Btal, Milos HauskrechtDate: 11/14/10            Time:  3:30 PM – 5:00 PM     S29      Conditional Outlier Detection for Clinical AlertingMilos Hauskrecht, Michael Valko, Iyad Batal, Gilles Clermont, Shyam Visweswaran,Greg CooperDate: 11/15/10            Time:  1:45 PM – 3:15 PM     S37      Measuring the Information Gain of Diagnosis vs. Diagnosis Category CodingWilliam HoganDate: 11/15/09            Time:  3:30 PM – 5:00 PM     S38      MeSH Term...

Wei Wei, first year graduate student, has been accepted for a summer research fellowship with the MIDAS National Center of Excellence Program!

The University of Pittsburgh Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) National Center of Excellence is pleased to announce a summer research opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students in the field of computational modeling of infectious diseases. Through this ten-week Summer Research Program, participants will gain an appreciation of major research questions being raised at the intersection of public health, biological sciences, and computer technology. Participants selected for the program will work with MIDAS Investigators, experienced graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows, conducting exciting interdisciplinary research projects in this dynamic field. This intensive, research-based experience will prepare applicants interested in working at the interface of mathematics, computer science, engineering, statistics, epidemiology, public health, and the biological science for the rigors of scientific research and graduate education.More Information

Zach Landis Lewis receives a Global Health Travel Scholarship

Zach Landis Lewis, DBMI doctoral student MLIS, has won a Global Health Travel Scholarship in the amount of $3,000. Zach will be traveling to Malawi, Africa using this scholarship to complete his master's research project on developing automated methods for feedback in low resource settings.Read the Complete Article

Gerry Douglas - Malawi’s $1 Million eHealth Miracle

Article on Gerry Douglas, Malawi’s $1 Million eHealth Miracle. It points out that while Ontario was spending $1 billion on eHealth with “almost zip” results, dirt-poor Malawi has the records of 1.1 million patients accessible in 10 locations throughout the country, thanks to a computer network put together by a non-profit created by a Canadian aid worker and his wife for a total cost of $1 million from their office above a 7/11. He bought obsolete computers from eBay, converted them to touch screens, and developed the patient registration app, which uses “health passports” that cut the hours-long lines. “It’s hot, dusty and hydro is intermittent. Health clinics are in the open air with no doors. We needed a computer system that would work in those conditions and be used by people who don’t have computer skills. The system works on the premise that if you can work a mobile phone, you can use a touch-screen computer.”Read the full Article in the Toronto Star

Chad Kimmel, MS, has been awarded the 2010 Predoctoral Fellowship in Clinical and Translational Research.

Chad Kimmel, MS, DBMI doctoral student, has been awarded the 2010 Predoctoral Fellowship in Clinical and Translational Research. The award will provide a stipend, health insurance, partial tuition, research support funds, and travel funds from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011.Shyam Visweswaran will be Chad’s research mentor and Steve Handler will be his secondary mentor.

Heather Piwowar wins Thomson Reuters Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship

Heather A. Piwowar, MEng, MS, has won the scholarship, which includes an award of $1,500 (donated by the Institute for Scientific Information). Additionally, Thomson Reuters contributes $500 towards travel or other expenses. Heather will be presenting her paper on November 9 at the ASIST Annual Meeting in Vancouver.Read more about this award

Thankam Thyvalikakath, MDS, MS has received funding for her K08 grant application

Thankam Thyvalikakath, MDS, MS , has received funding for her K08 grant application entitled “Implementation and Evaluation of a Risk Assessment Tool for Periodontal Disease.” During three successive reviews, her scores were 226, 180, and 137. Getting this grant funded is a testament to Thankam's persistence and hard work.Read full article

Doctoral Student Heather Piwowar wins 2009 Annual BMI Training Program Retreat Best Student Paper Award

DBMI Doctoral Student Heather A. Piwowar, MEng, MS, has won the 2009 Annual BMI Training Program Retreat Best Student Poster Award for:H Piwowar, W Chapman. “Using open access literature to guide full-text query formulation.”  

Doctoral Student Velma Payne wins 2009 Annual BMI Training Program Retreat Best Student Paper Award

DBMI Doctoral Student Velma L. Payne, MS, MBA, has won the 2009 Annual BMI Training Program Retreat Best Student Paper Award for her paper:Payne VL, Medvedeva O, Legowski E, Castine M, Tseytlin E, Jukic D, Crowley RS. “Effect of a limited-enforcement intelligent tutoring system in dermatopathology on student errors, goals and solution paths.”  Accepted to Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, August 2009.  

DBMI’s Gopalakrishnan Participating in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Research

Vanathi Gopalakrishnan, PhD, a primary faculty member at the Department of Biomedical Informatics, is also serving as an affiliated faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh Center for ALS Research.The Center for ALS Research integrates and coordinates research and clinical activities by investigators and clinicians in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and other motor neuron diseases. The Center, directed by Robert Bowser, PhD, includes a multidisciplinary clinic for patient care and numerous basic science laboratories searching for causes and treatments of ALS. The Center for ALS Research also administers the Stephen Tuttle ALS Tissue Donation Program, providing a resource for human tissue samples for ALS and control subjects for use in research both within the University of Pittsburgh and throughout the country.Gopalakrishnan’s two-year research collaboration with Bowser involves cerebrospinal fluid profiling of ALS and with proteomic data mining of the mass spectra to...

DBMI Doctoral Student Wins “RAAHPer of the Year” Award

Jeannie Yuhaniak-Irwin, a third-year PhD student at the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) at University of Pittsburgh, got the biggest surprise of her academic life to see her name etched on a crystal plaque as she became the winner of the “2008 RAAHPer of the Year” Award from the NYU College of Dentistry.Presented annually by the NYU Oral Cancer Research for Adolescent and Adult Health Promotion (RAAHP) Center, the award is to honor the individual who has made outstanding contributions to research activities at the RAAHP Center in the previous year.Read complete article

Pitt School of Medicine's Gerry Douglas Named 2009 TED Fellow

Gerry Douglas, a doctoral student in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, has been named a 2009 Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) fellow. He was selected to participate in TED's inaugural fellowship class for his work as co-founder of Baobab Health, a nonprofit organization aimed at improving healthcare in developing countries through medical informatics.Read complete article

Alumni and Informatics Pioneer Randolph Miller Elected to IOM

Randolph Miller (MD ’76, Internal Medicine Resident ’79) was a second-year med student—a physics major from Princeton University who knew how to program computers when he volunteered to help Pitt’s Jack Myers with a project in computer-assisted diagnostics. Today, Miller is the Donald A. B. and Mary M. Lindberg University Professor at Vanderbilt University and was recently elected to the Institute of Medicine.“I was recruited here as chair of what became the Department of Biomedical Informatics,” he says, noting he has since stepped down. Now, he’s considering a return to his original work, trying to build a national model for computer-assisted diagnosis.from PittMed magazine, Winter 2008 edition

DBMI Chair Becich part of new GE Healthcare/UPMC venture

Michael J. Becich, MD, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh, will serve as a senior consultant to Omnyx LLC, a new GE Healthcare/University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UMPC) venture that has the potential to transform surgical pathology though the use of a “virtual microscope.” GE Healthcare is a unit of the General Electric Company. Becich and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC began work over a decade ago to develop this technology, which is intended to improve the speed and accuracy of disease diagnosis.“Currently, this technology is largely being used for education and training,” Becich recently told The Dark Report. “What will make the market explode is getting certification from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use these instruments for primary diagnosis. Getting the FDA to approve this technology as a medical device will allow pathologists to use imaging as the primary diagnostic mode in...

Spallek's teaching proposal wins funding from the Provost's Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence (ACIE)

A teaching proposal submitted by Heiko Spallek, DMD, PhD, assistant professor of dental medicine and biomedical informatics, and Mark Mooney, MS, PhD, professor and vice chair, Department of Oral Biology, School of Dental Medicine, was recently awarded funding to promote innovation in education. The award winners were selected by the Office of the Provost’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence (ACIE). The awards, begun in 2000 by James V. Maher, provost and senior vice chancellor at the University of Pittsburgh, encourage instructional innovation and teaching excellence. Spallek and Mooney’s proposal, one of 8 that was awarded funding, is titled, “Quantitative Image Analysis Using Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended.”For more information, see