Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Academic Update

Volume 3, Issue 9          April 19, 2013

Voting Open to Elect New SGO Officers

The following four SBMI students have been nominated for the 2013-2014 academic year as SBMI Student Government Organization (SGO) officers and are running for three officer positions. SBMI students will receive an email directly from SurveyMonkey with a link to the poll to vote. The poll will stay open for a week and include complete candidate bios. 

  • Rodney Howell is a SBMI master’s student who works as an application analyst for The Methodist Hospital System in the TMC.
  • Mehdi Rais is an applied master’s graduate and completing coursework toward a PhD in health informatics.
  • Jonathan Wolfarth is graduating this semester with a master’s degree in health informatics and will begin the PhD program this fall.
  • Rafeek Yusuf is working towards a PhD in health informatics and a MPH.

The three students who receive the most votes will become the SBMI SGO officers for the 2013-2014 academic year. Officer roles will be determined by the three elected SGO officers, SBMI’s SIC representative and the SGO faculty advisor.

New SIC Officers: SBMI PhD Student Among Them

The UTHealth Student InterCouncil elected new officers for the coming academic year at the general meeting on April 11, 2013. Congratulations to all the new officers—especially Melissa Resnick who will serve as SBMI’s Student InterCouncil representative in the coming academic year.

SIC LogoPresident: Hiba Ali
VP: Natoya Peart
Treasurer: Melissa Resnick
Historian: Michelle Martinez-Rivera
Secretary: Ka Hoi (Vivian) Hui
UT-System Student Advisory Council alternate: Melissa Resnick

The Student InterCouncil (SIC) is the UTHealth student governance organization and is the recognized forum of student opinion and the primary vehicle for student participation in the governance of UTHealth. The organization is comprised of officers and representatives from each of the six schools as well as representatives from underrepresented student and international student constituencies.

SBMI Faculty Member Appointed to Graham Professorship

Lex FriedenHua Xu, PhD, associate professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Biomedical Informatics, was appointed the holder of the Robert H. Graham Professorship in Entrepreneurial Biomedical Informatics and Bioengineering effective March 16, 2013.

Xu came to the school in October 2012 from Vanderbilt University on a $2.8 mil CPRIT Rising Stars award. The award was frozen by the state in December and unfrozen in March, solidifying Xu's commitment to the school. He directs the Center for Computational Biomedicine and is the chair of the American Medical Informatics Association Natural Language Processing Working Group.

UTHealth STARS: Thank You for Your Service!

SBMI has an abundance of dedicated faculty and staff who have served at the university for many years. This year, as part of the STAR Awards, UTHealth honored employees who’ve been with the university for a total period of 5, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 or 40 years (including non-continuous service). SBMI would like to thank all of our employees, whether you’ve been here for a few months or a few decades, for your hard work and loyalty to the school! We specially want to spotlight the following SBMI employees for their commitment to the university.

UTHealth Stars

5 Years

10 Years

15 Years

25 Years

30 Years

Carmen Elliot Noriaki Aoki Jaime Hargrave Robert Vogler Craig Johnson
Devadatta Tata   Virginia Solt    
Yukiko Bryson        
Juliana Brixey        
Lex Frieden        
Yang Gong        

Grants Awarded to SBMI Faculty

Integration and Analysis of Medical Data for Important Acute Diseases
Noriaki Aoki, MD, PhD, SBMI associate professor, received a grant through the CHORD- J Consortium as the project leader to develop an information management system that will integrate data from prehospital, acute care and inpatient care, which will be used for further decision making in the regional emergency care PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) cycle.

Real-time Disambiguation of Abbreviations in Clinical Notes
Hua Xu, PhD, new SBMI associate professor, had a NIH grant transferred from Vanderbilt University, which proposes to develop informatics methods to automatically detect abbreviations and their possible meanings from large clinical text and to disambiguate abbreviations that have multiple meanings. The project will also integrate those methods with clinical documentation systems so abbreviations can be expanded in real-time when physicians enter clinical notes.

Bridging Genomics and Medicine by Ontology Fingerprints
Jim Zheng, PhD, new SBMI associate professor, had a NIH grant transferred from the Medical University of South Carolina, which proposes to develop an ontology fingerprint-derived gene network to study human disease. These studies will link genomic information to clinical concepts and translate biomedical literature and genomic information into clinical practice by employing ontology fingerprints to decipher the interplay and reversal of obesity, diabetes and hepatic steatosis after GBS. Bridging the gap between genomics and medicine by ontology fingerprints will enhance the delivery of clinical care to patients.


SBMI Career Panel and Poster Session

Career Panel

The end of the semester is fast approaching, which means the Spring Poster Session is right around the corner! Join us from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 6, 2013 for the Spring Poster Session & Career Panel in the Beth Robertson Auditorium (1825 Pressler, Houston, TX 77030). SGO will be providing food and refreshments for the event. We encourage all members of the SBMI community to attend this event including graduates, current students, alumni, faculty, staff and guests. You’ll learn about research conducted by SBMI students, hear from SBMI alumni about their career path in health informatics—not to mention, you’ll network and enjoy tasty treats!


SBMI Connect

Academic Affairs will be hosting an open house event for prospective students called SBMI CONNECT 2013, which will be held in conjunction with the poster session and career panel from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 6, 2013 in the Beth Robertson Auditorium. Students, faculty, staff and alumni are encouraged to pass along SBMI CONNECT 2013 details to anyone who may consider enrolling in SBMI’s programs. During the event, faculty, alumni, staff and current students are encouraged to interact with the prospective students so they are exposed to the full SBMI experience— ranging from the virtual classroom to major research projects.

HIMSS Virtual Career Fair

HIMSS Virtual Career Fair

Meet hiring companies and get inspired at the HIMSS Virtual Career Fair from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Featured education speakers include Ken Ong, MPH, CMIO, New York Hospital Queens, New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System; Pete Shelkin, President, Shelkin Consulting, LLC; and David S. Finn, CISA, Health IT Officer, Symantec. The event is free to all job seekers.

Medical Futures Lab Symposium

SymposiumMillennial Medicine: Knowledge Design for an Age of Digital Disruption focuses on creative solutions to the grand challenges facing medical education today. The symposium is on Friday, April 26, 2013 at the Bioscience Research Colloborative at Rice University. The goal is to launch a new kind of conversation about what the future of medicine should be and how we should get there.

Join the SBMI Team to Walk for Babies

March for BabiesUTHealth and SBMI are participating in the March of Dimes March for Babies on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at the University of Houston (2400 Calhoun Houston, TX 77204). When you walk in March for Babies, you are supporting programs in your community that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. The money raised funds research to solve problems that threaten babies.

Registration is at 8 a.m. and the 5 mile walk begins at 9 a.m. Be sure to give yourself enough time to navigate through hectic Houston traffic and to find parking at UH. The walk typically takes 2-3 hours, but there are plenty of rest stops, refreshments, facilities and treats along the way. If you prefer not to walk, consider giving a donation to the March of Babies on behalf of the school.

After the walk, UTHealth will host a tent that will have Pappas BBQ for all the walkers. You’ll also get a t-shirt to commemorate the occasion. The SBMI team captain is Christina Cowperthwait. She will have fundraising supplies for the donors and walkers who contribute to the team. If you have questions or would like to set up a carpool, please email Christina.

Recycle Your Electronics This Weekend

TMC Sustainability

The second annual Texas Medical Center e-waste collection is scheduled for Saturday, April 20, 2013 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Monday, April 22, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Saturday collection will be held in the TMC south extension lot at 1522 S. Braeswood Blvd. and William C. Harvin Blvd. (view map). The Monday collection will be held in the parking lot of the John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science at 1515 Herman Drive (view map). Last year, this project of the TMC Sustainability Advisory Council collected over 16 tons of e-waste for recycling. The items collected included retired computer and network equipment, electronic components, batteries and even copier machines. Please note: you should only recycle personal electronic equipment. State-issued electronics from the university should not be taken to the e-waste drive.

Important Dates

April 19           MS state of the science papers to committee for review
May 3              Last day of class
May 3              Completed graduation check out form to OAA
May 3              Student's completed work to faculty for incomplete grades from fall semester
May 3              Final electronic copy of the state of the science or dissertations due to OAA
May 3              Original signed cover sheet(s) for state of the science or dissertations due to OAA
May 6              Poster session and career panel
May 6-10         Final exams
May 7              Graduation dress rehearsal
May 8              Graduation
May 10            Faculty grade changes to registrar for fall incompletes

facebook LinkedIn twitter youtube pinterestOffice of Academic Affairs
7000 Fannin, Ste. 650