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Academic Update

Volume 2, Issue 9          April 13, 2012

Message from New Interim Dean

Dr. ZhangJiajie Zhang, Ph.D., the Doris L. Ross Professor, assumed the role as Interim Dean of the School of Biomedical Informatics on April 2, 2012. Jack Smith, M.D., Ph.D., stepped down from his administrative position as Dean on April 1.

Dr. Zhang delivered an encouraging message to all SBMI faculty, students, and staff as he started his tenure as Interim Dean of the school. In his message, he reflected upon those outstanding accomplishments of SBMI students, faculty, and staff in the past, and outlined his vision and plan for the school to move forward. Dr. Zhang emphasized that the primary mission of the school continues to be education. Some priorities include aggressively growing enrollment for the school’s master’s and certificate programs, expanding the doctoral and post-doctoral training, and recruiting additional faculty members. To read his full message, please click here.

Time for Course Evaluation

Your input counts! If you are taking courses this spring semester, please take a few minutes to fill out the course and instructor evaluation form(s). The surveys to be used in the spring 2012 semester are newly designed to better measure students’ perceptions of online or face-to-face/hybrid courses.

You will receive an e-mail from Zoomerang on April 23 about the access information. If you are taking more than one course this semester, you will receive multiple e-mails. Please follow the link(s) in the e-mail to finish the evaluation(s).

Course Survey

Zoomerang is not associated with Moodle so results are anonymous. We highly encourage every student to take this opportunity to evaluate our courses and instructors. Your feedback will also be valuable for us to continue to improve the course evaluation surveys. Let’s work together to enhance our teaching and learning experiences. Thank you for your cooperation and input.

Congratulations, SBMI Graduates!

The School of Biomedical Informatics’ 2012 graduation ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 3rd at 4:00 p.m. at the UT Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases Beth Robertson Auditorium (1825 Pressler Street, Houston, TX 77030). All faculty, students, and friends and family of the SBMI graduates are invited to attend this special event.

This year’s commencement speaker is Dr. John Riggs, Medical Director of Clinical Information Systems of the Harris County Hospital District and Associate Professor at UTHealth Medical School. Dr. Riggs is also a proud SBMI graduate of the 2002 class.

Please join us to congratulate the following students who received their Master’s or PhD degrees in 2011-2012 and will walk at the ceremony. May your new path take you where you want to go and bring you pleasant surprises!

Master’s Students

Summer 2011 Graduates

Fall 2011

Spring 2012 Graduates

Jesus Ibarra-Jimenez

Srinivasa Chekuri

Robert Bell

Andrea Harris

Laurie Dawn Clabough

Toby Berster

Adinarayana Kadapa

Elizabeth Cuevas

Jack Brixey

Krishna Kookal

Joshua Caleb Goodwin

Gabriela Espinosa


Crystal Maitland

Dinesh Gottipati


Elie Razzouk

Pamela Jones


Cheryl Rubio

Benita Idowu


Francisco Serna

Zhe "Eric" Li


Ning "Sunny" Shang

Elizabeth Markowitz



Merrick Meese



Munir Mohammad



Oscar Pinzon



Khurram Shahzad

Doctoral Students


Summer 2011 Graduates

Spring 2011 Graduates

Mirabela Rusu

Sharangdhar Phatak


Arunkumar Srinivasan

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 Craig W. Johnson, PhD.

Summer 2012 Registration Open Soon

The summer 2012 schedule of classes is currently available on the Registrar’s website. You can also check the SBMI website for the course offerings and textbook information.

SBMI Summer 2012 Course Offerings 
SBMI Summer 2012 Textbook List
SBMI Academic Calendar

Regular Registration:
April 23 – May 18, 2012; payment due: May 18, 2012
Late Registration: May 21 – May 24, 2012 ($15 late fee)
First day of class: May 21, 2012
2nd 6-week Summer Session Registration: June 11 – July 3, 2012
Late Registration – 2nd Summer Session: July 5 – July 10, 2012
First day of the 2nd 6-week session: July 5, 2012

Please note that from Monday, April 23, current and incoming academic UTHealth students will begin using the myUTH portal in Campus Solutions to register for summer 2012 classes

YouTube Video: Work Centered Design

If the video does not appear, please click here.

The purpose of Project 1: Work Centered Design, is to develop short-term, quick-fix tools and long-term breakthroughs for HIT usability and workflow challenges using our work-centered approach, which emphasizes the work performed by a distributed system composed of people and technology in a complex context. This is a joint effort between UTHealth and University of Washington.

Spring 2012 Poster Presentation

Please join us for the spring 2012 Poster Session and Reception.

Date: April 30, 2012Poster Session
Time: 4:00 p.m. – 6: 00 p.m.
Location:  IMM (Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases (IMMfirst floor lobby

Applied Master’s Program Virtual Poster Session

Date: May 1, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Second Life Virtual Campus

Don’t miss this great opportunity to share your research interests with your instructors and fellow students and discuss topics of interest with them.

If you plan to present your work please contact the Office of Academic Affairs (713-500-3591, You can stop by UCT 800 to pick up your poster board on April 27, 2012 and April 30, 2012.

SBMI Career Panel

To help SBMI students better prepare for their careers' SBMI’s Students and Alumni Affairs Committee is organizing an SBMI Career Panel. The panel discussion will be held right after the poster session, also at the IMM building lobby. Five panelists, mostly graduates of SBMI who hold prominent informatics positions in industry and academia, will share their career paths, offer their insights, and answer questions. Do not miss this great opportunity to learn more about possible roles for informatics graduates.

Date: April 30, 2012
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7: 00 p.m.

Location:  IMM (Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases (IMMfirst floor lobby

SBMI Blood Drive

Saving lives has never been sweeter! The April 4 SBMI blood drive was a great success. A total of 14 donors came and donated blood that day. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their commitment for life and donations for patients.

Important Dates

April 13                    Titles of the state of science paper & dissertation due (for SP12 graduates)
April 23-May 18        Registration for all Summer '12 sessions
April 27                    Last class day of Spring '12 semester
April 27                    Electronic copies of state of the science papers &
                                dissertations due (for SP12 graduates)
April 30                    2012 Poster Session & Career Panel
April 30-May 4          Final Exams/Evaluations
May 1                       Applied Master's Program Virtual Poster Session
May 3                       Graduation Ceremony

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