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Academic Update

Volume 3, Issue 1          August 20, 2012

SBMI Student Scholarship

For the 2012-2013 academic year, six competitive $1,200 merit based scholarships are available for SBMI students from the Doris Ross Merit Based Scholarship and President James T. and Nancy Beamer Willerson Endowed Scholarship. Students must be currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at SBMI and in good standing.

If you have questions or need additional information, contact Academic Affairs at or by phone at 713.500.3591.

Learn more about the scholarships

Search for SBMI Dean

SBMI Dean SearchTo all members of the SBMI community, UTHealth’s School of Biomedical Informatics is seeking a Dean.

A search committee, co-chaired by Dr. George Stancel and Dr. Brent King, has been appointed to recommend candidates for the SBMI Dean's position. The position is posted on UTHealth’s HR site at The review of candidates will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Please share this information with any persons or groups you think appropriate and encourage any individuals you feel are well qualified for the position to consider applying.

Recent Personnel Changes at SBMI

Starting on Sept. 1, 2012, faculty members Dr. Kim Dunn and Dr. Ed Hsu will become adjunct faculty members to pursue other career ventures.

Dunn will need more time for her entrepreneurial activities that have the potential to make a major impact on new models of healthcare. SBMI is in the process of arranging a contractual agreement for her to perform a set of mission-critical tasks for the school that will require her unique expertise. Dunn will continue to supervise her students and perform some teaching activities as an adjunct faculty member.

Hsu will start his next career by attending The University of California-San Francisco Law School to study health law. Hsu will continue to teach the core courses for public health informatics and continue to supervise his students as an adjunct faculty member.

YouTube Series: Meet the Faculty

If the video does not appear, please click here.

Want to know more about our faculty and their respective areas of research? Now you have the opportunity! Check out our “Meet the Faculty” YouTube video series. This month we are featuring the new SBMI associate professor, Yang Gong, MD, PhD.

Call for AMIA Annual Symposium Student Volunteers!

AMIA Symposium

AMIA has now opened the call for current student members who would like to take part in the student volunteer program at the Fall 2012 AMIA Annual Symposium.  The deadline to apply is Friday, August 31, 2012.  Apply now to become part of one of the biggest networking opportunities that AMIA has to offer!  You can meet VIP from the informatics world, mingle with other students from across the country, attend tutorials and sessions for free and learn how an AMIA conference is run from behind the scenes!

All applicants will be notified of volunteer decisions on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012.

Good luck; AMIA looks forward to seeing all students at the Annual Symposium in Chicago in November!

YouTube Video: Life of a SBMI PhD Student

If the video does not appear, please click here.

Fresh from his PhD dissertation defense (and passing with flying colors), Ashish Joshi, MD, MPH, describes his experience as a doctoral student at the School of Biomedical Informatics. Ashish also describes his experience studying abroad in Brazil.

Distance Education Updates

New Student Orientation in Moodle is being updated as new information drifts in. Watch for announcements about important updates on the Moodle homepage.

The distance education team is assembling a library resources page to help students and faculty with their courses and research needs. A draft of the resources page is available for use and review. The resources page will be completed with all relevant links soon.

Please send comments and suggestions to Tingting Lu, PhD. We welcome any thoughts from students and faculty to help us improve teaching and learning experiences at SBMI.

Please contact Marcos Hernandez (713.500.3589), SBMI’s Web Developer, for any distance education technology needs especially if you wish to have your lecture recorded.

USA-Brazil Exchange Program

Are you a current student at UTHealth? Are you interested in traveling to Brazil? Then take advantage of this grant opportunity! The USA-Brazil consortium for biomedical informatics education grant is jointly administered by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) and the Brazilian Ministry of Education, which provide grants for up to four years to consortia of at least two academic institutions each from Brazil and the United States. To apply, email a statement of interest to Dr. Sriram Iyengar.

Read more about the program


OAA Moving to UCT Sixth Floor on August 29th

The Office of Academic Affairs is moving to the sixth floor during the first week of the fall 2012 semester to better serve you, the students. All phone numbers will remain the same, but the phone lines will be closed momentarily during the move from Suite 800 to Suite 650. Please contact Academic Affairs with any questions or concerns.

Fall 2012 Special Topics Course - HI 6001

Dr. Jonathan Ishee is teaching a new course this semester. It’s a Special Topics course – HI 6001, and the topic this semester is Health Information Exchange Policy.

The course will provide an overview of health information exchange policy in the context of the health care system and how policy is developed on the state and federal levels. It will survey the various disciplines involved in information exchange policy development. The course will identify key issues in developing and implementing widespread health information exchange including issues related to law, ethics public health, privacy, economics, and technology.

Alternative Delivery Fee Reminder

All students enrolling in SBMI web-based courses will be charged an Alternative Delivery Fee of $100 per semester credit hour. Please note that this is not a new fee.

Important Dates

Aug 24                Tuition & fees payments should be made to the Bursar's Office
Aug 27                 Fall 2012 classes begin
Aug 29                 Financial aid check release date
Sept 3                  Labor day holiday - UTHealth closed
Sept 4-12             Add/drops for students who have already registered
Sept 12                Application for fall graduation - submit to Registrar's Office
Sept 12                Tuition & fees payments should be made to the Bursar's Office

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