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Academic Update

Volume 2, Issue 2          September 20, 2011

SBMI Receives UTHealth School Service Award

Sept 13, 2011 - Dean Smith, on behalf of the SBMI, received the "UTHealth School Service Award" during the 2011 Salutation event. This award is part of UT system-wide initiative to encourage a strong spirit of volunteerism within the community, and is awarded annually to the UTHealth school with the highest percentage of volunteer participation. Thank you all for making our school the proud winner.

SBMI Blood Drive

Blood Drive Banner

SBMI and the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is holding a blood drive this Wednesday (9/21) from 12p to 4:30p at the UCT 14th floor in room 1410.

To schedule an appointment, please visit and login to Digital Donor. Search for Sponsor Code 2983UT08, or contact The Blood Center at 713-791-6326 to schedule an appointment by phone.

Student Handbook Available Online

Student HandbookSBMI students,

Please check the SBMI website for the newly designed Student Handbook. The student handbook is your guide to all of the school’s rules, regulations, and policies. In addition, you will familiarize yourself with the services and support provided by SBMI.

In the Appendix section, you will find all the important forms that you need to use during your program of study at SBMI.

We are continuing to improve the SBMI website as we move forward in strengthening our academics and providing high quality service to our students. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Reorganization of the SBMI Office of Academic Affairs  

Robert VoglerTo meet the needs of our students in response to our growing enrollment and increased numbers of new academic programs, the role of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs has been divided between two positions as of September 1, 2011.

The Associate Dean role will become the principal external interface for the office to students, faculty and alumni, as well as the focus of academic strategic planning. The Administrative Director of Academic Affairs position will be internally focused and responsible for the effective execution of the policies and day-to-day procedures and processes in the office.

Hongbin WangDr. Robert Vogler, DSN, MEd will assume the Administrative Director position, continuing his excellent efforts with the office. Dr. Vogler has done yeoman’s work during his tenure in a very large job in addition to his regular faculty activities. We are very appreciative of his many accomplishments in strategic planning, accreditation, new programs and improvements in administrative processes.

Dr. Hongbin Wang, PhD will assume the existing title of Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. He steps into this new role as one of the longest serving members of the school and has a deep commitment to success in our academic programs.

Please congratulate them both on these important new roles as we continue to refine our administrative structure and efforts at SBMI.

Welcome Our Coordinator of Special ProgramsStephanie Pic

Join us to welcome our new Coordinator of Special Programs, Stephanie Witowski. Ms. Witowski will implement recruiting and marketing strategies to attract and enroll a talented and diverse student population and will assist potential students with their initial inquires about our programs. She can be reached at (713) 500-3520 or by e-mail

Research Using Guidevue Won the 2011 ISIF Award

Significant social and economic development of a community cannot proceed unless basic healthcare support is affordable and readily available. In a recently completed project, a mobile app, GuideVue, designed by SBMI faculty Dr. Sriram Iyengar, was used to support rural health workers in south India. The project is the winner of the 2011 ISIF Award for innovation in use of ICT technologies in the Asia Pacific region, mobile services and applications category.  To read the announcement, please click here.


Quantum Minds: Why We Think Like Quarks

New ScientistApproaches inspired by and/or using the same mathematics as utilized in quantum physics have been applied to model aspects of human cognition and information retrieval. For example, quantum logical operators can be used to direct search away from an undesired meaning of an ambiguous term, when terms are represented as vectors in high-dimensional space. The alternative would be to direct search away from a particular word (as many search engines do), but since the same idea can be expressed in different words, this can be a tedious affair. These sorts of approaches can also be adapted to direct search through a space of knowledge extracted from the biomedical literature, which is where Dr. Trevor Cohen’s research (with Dominic Widdows, Roger Schvaneveld,t and Tom Rindflesch) comes in. Read more details in the article in New Scientist that mentions some of SBMI faculty Dr. Trevor Cohen’s research.

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