Welcome to BIME

pth-use-this-oneWelcome to the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education. We are in the midst of the admissions process for our next group of students, while also growing our faculty with recruitment visits.

Our faculty and students have been busy with research and teaching. I am particularly proud of Craig Monsen, MD, one of our Clinical Informatics fellows, for winning the First Place Prize with his team for the Provider User Experience Challenge (more details are below).

Our vision is to unleash the potential for information to improve biomedicine, health and education. We do this via a three pronged approach leveraging the bidirectional synergies between a) basic and applied research, b) training the next generation of researchers and practitioners, and c) applying our expertise to the broader operations of UW Medicine including research, clinical care and medical education through the practice of Biomedical Informatics and the practice of Medical Education and Evaluation.

To achieve our vision it is key for us to recruit the next generation of students and faculty. We have completed the application and interview process for our Clinical Informatics fellowship and new fellows will start in July, 2017. Prospective PhD students will be visiting in March. We are also ramping up our annual admissions for our on-line applied MS in Clinical Informatics and Patient Centered Technologies with applications due May 1st. Finally we are in the midst of an annual faculty recruitment cycle as part of our strategic plan to expand by 50% our core faculty, with 7 positions remaining to be filled over the next two years (see link).


Peter Tarczy-Hornoch, MD
Chair and Professor, Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education

News Highlights

Following are some recent BIME news highlights. For more BIME news, publications, and events, check out our News and Events page.

Congratulations to Dr. Peter Myler!

BHI Faculty Dr. Peter Myler has been awarded the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award for advances against infectious diseases disproportionately affecting developing countries.  Read more here!

Congratulations to Yong Choi!

Yong Choi has been selected to receive the 2017-18 Graduate School UWRA Fellowship in Aging. This award from The Graduate School was funded by the generosity of the University of Washington Retirement Association. Yong’s selection recognizes his innovative research agenda that contributes significantly to improving quality of life for older adults.

Congratulations to Clinical Informatics fellow Craig Monsen, MD!

Congratulations to Craig Monsen, MD, a first year clinical informatics fellow, and his team Herald Health for winning the First Place Prize and $50,000 in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Provider User Experience Challenge. This solution helps clinicians manage the overwhelming flow of alerts and information by allowing them to create highly customizable push notifications. These can be tailored to both individual patients and groups and exported to fellow users. Herald is currently deployed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital with plans to grow to 2 more health systems in 2017. Challenge submissions were required to use Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) and open application programming interfaces (APIs). Link to the announcement: https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2017/01/12/onc-announces-winners-consumer-and-provider-app-challenges-improve-health-information-access-and-use

Congratulations to BIME Research Scientist Matthew Cunningham, PhD!

Dr. Matthew Cunningham, Research Scientist in BIME, was recently recognized as part of the WWAMI Pro Recognition program.  The WWAMI Pro recognition program honors professionalism throughout our medical school community by capturing moments in time when someone has gone above and beyond in providing a respectful and supportive learning environment. Medical students are encouraged to recognize role models and teachers in their midst. Recognition can be directed toward any contributor to a student’s learning environment, including attending physicians, residents, interns, other physicians, pharmacists, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and staff, such as front office staff, administrators, clerks, custodial staff and security.

Dr. Demiris’ work featured in the Pacific Science Center

The Pacific Science Center Studio showcases the latest in health-related research occurring in the Pacific Northwest. The featured theme and content in The Studio changes every six months, giving the public an opportunity to learn about new advances in health research and the methods, challenges and opportunities associated with scientific innovation. The Exhibit “Play: It’s Good for Everyone” is available in the Studio from December 10, 2016 through June 4, 2017. In this exhibit visitors learn about the work of local scientists studying play. One display demonstrates how playing in sync can lead to more cooperative behavior, while another demonstrates how video games designed by scientists may help treat depression in adults. Dr. Demiris’ work with digital companions to address older adults’ social isolation is also included and featured in this exhibit. More specifically, the exhibit demonstrates findings from a longitudinal study he led with BHI alumn Amanda Lazar and colleagues from Nursing, examining the use of a digital companion for people with mild cognitive impairment.  The Pacific Science Center “Play” exhibit was created with the support of a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institutes of Health.


New Translational Research and Information Lab (TRAIL) will open on Health Sciences Campus!

The TRAIL ribbon cutting ceremony was Monday, November 7, with BIME Chair Peter Tarczy-Hornoch and faculty member Sean Mooney representing the department.  The new Translational Research and Information Lab (TRAIL) opens in December 2016. TRAIL will create a permanent home for our mission-driven library to help solve population health problems.  We have formed a partnership with the Institute for Translational Health Sciences, UW Research Information Technology, the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education, and NN/LM Pacific Northwest Region to transform existing library space into an innovation and data-driven research environment for the leaders, thinkers and doers who are addressing the complexities of population health and accelerating bench-to-bedside healthcare solutions.  Centrally located on the Health Sciences Campus, HSL is an ideal incubator space for translating research into innovation.

University of Washington Maintains #11 Global Universities Ranking

University of Washington has maintained its No. 11 position in US News Best Global Universities ranking, and is ranked third among public institutions.  Read more here:  http://www.washington.edu/news/2016/10/25/uw-maintains-no-11-position-in-us-news-best-global-universities-ranking-third-among-public-institutions/

BIME Alumnus News: Daniel Capurro, MD, PhD

BIME PhD graduate (2012) Daniel Capurro, MD, PhD, is currently an assistant professor at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile School of Medicine and CMIO of the university’s healthcare network.

A consortium of five Chilean universities recently obtained grant funds to create the National Center for Health Information Technologies, in which Dr. Capurro will serve as the Co-PI.  Chile’s National Development Agency funded the creation of the center. It is a 6.5 million dollar grant to establish a national center that will certify health information technologies, certify health IT competencies for people working in this domain and provide consulting services.

Congratulations to BIME Associate Professor, Dr. Janice Sabin!

Dr. Sabin submitted a proposal in September to the UW Race & Equity Initiative, to take the implicit bias course her team developed one step further and expand it to a workshop format with the course as the content anchor. She is pleased to announce that she heard from Jason Johnson, Special Assistant to the Provost, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Academic Affairs that “the Provost has reviewed your funding request and would like to allocate $5,000 in support of the School of Medicine’s efforts to develop implicit bias workshop materials for faculty and trainees.” As part of the agreement, CEDI will be matching. This will support Dr. Sabin’s time for development, set up metrics, and branding of materials which will be designed for use by all in the School of Medicine.

BHI part of effort to create first networked smart home system to advance research on aging

A new initiative funded from the National Science Foundation aims to establish “HomeSHARE,” the first-ever Networked system of smart homes designed to advance research on older adults. The funds from the NSF’s Computing Research Infrastructure Program will support the installation of high-tech sensors and other equipment in the homes of community dwelling older adults in various regions in the country. The project is an effort to improve the quality of life of older adults through the unobtrusive collection of high-quality research data. This initiative is based on the collaboration of multiple partners including research teams at the University of Colorado at Denver (led by BHI alumn Blaine Reeder), Indiana University, University of Washington (led by George Demiris), University of Virginia, and Clemson University.

BIME Affiliate Faculty News: Congratulations to Dr. Dan Masys!

Dr. Dan Masys, Affiliate Professor of BIME, has been appointed co-chair of a new National Library of Medicine (NLM) Strategic Planning effort that will develop a ten-year vision for NLM resources and services in support of discovery and translational science, health and healthcare, and informatics.  Dr. Masys is a member of the NLM Board of Regents, which will oversee the year-long planning process that will involve face-to-face meetings and solicit online input from a broad range of users.

BIME Faculty Newly Elected to the American College of Medical Informatics

Two BIME faculty members have been honored with election to the prestigious American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI), which is a college of elected fellows who have made significant and sustained contributions to the field of biomedical informatics. Drs. Anne Turner and Sean Mooney will be officially inducted into ACMI at a ceremony to be held on Sunday, November 13th in Chicago, Il.

Congratulations to BIME Professor Dr. Bill Lober!

mPOWEr investigators Dr. Bill Lober (Professor, UW School of Nursing/Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Sciences, School of Medicine/Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education, School of Public Health/Division of Global Health) and Dr. Heather Evans (Associate Professor, UW School of Medicine Department of Surgery) are co-PIs on a newly received five year award under the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Safe Healthcare, Epidemiology, and Prevention Research Development (SHEPheRD) Program.

The SHEPheRD program is a broad initiative of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP) to provide healthcare epidemiology prevention research, implementation, evaluation, surveillance and medication safety studies under an Indefinite Deliverables Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) mechanism. The award allows the University of Washington to respond as prime contractor to CDC proposals in the focus area of healthcare information technology development, implementation, and services (SHEPheRD Domain 5). Specific UW activities under Domain 5 will likely include applying multidisciplinary (Surgery, Biomedical Informatics, Nursing) expertise to healthcare data surveillance and management, including the development of new data sources and methods to identify hospital acquired infections, particularly post-surgical events.

New Faculty Announcement: Gang Luo, PhD

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Gang Luo will be starting in BIME as an Associate Professor on September 19th. He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004. Between 2004 and 2012, he was a Research Staff Member at the IBM T.J. Watson research center. From 2012 to 2016, he was a faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Informatics of the School of Medicine at the University of Utah. His research interests include health/clinical informatics (software system design/development and data analytics), big data, information retrieval, database systems, and machine learning with a focus on health applications. He invented the first method for automatically explaining prediction/classification results for any machine learning model without degrading accuracy.

He has also developed the questionnaire-guided intelligent medical search engine iMed, an intelligent personal health record, and SQL and compiler progress indicators. He just had an NIH R21 grant “Predicting Appropriate Admission of Bronchiolitis Patients in the Emergency Room” funded with multiple other grants under review.  He was named the Vice President Clinical and Translational Research Scholar at the University of Utah.  Dr. Luo has authored over 50 peer-reviewed papers (most as first author as well as senior/corresponding author), and holds over two dozen patents.

Nationally and internationally Dr. Luo has served on scientific review panels for grants, was scientific reviewer for eleven conferences and nineteen journals, served on twenty-four scientific program committees for meetings, and was chair of an international conference. He is associate editor for the journal Network Modeling and Analysis in Health Informatics and Bioinformatics, is on the editorial board for International Journal of Respiratory and Pulmonary Medicine and is on the editorial board for the Springer Health Information Science book series. Dr. Luo enjoys interacting with people from various areas and is interested in combining advanced computing techniques, mathematical theory, and healthcare knowledge to improve the daily lives of people.

New Faculty Announcement: Pam Nagasawa, PhD

We are pleased to announce that after a national search, Pamela Nagasawa, PhD, has accepted a faculty position as Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education, in the division of Medical Education and Evaluation, effective July 1, 2016.

Dr. Nagasawa received her Bachelor of Science degrees in Physics and Chemistry from Westminster College (Salt Lake City, UT) in 1992. She received a Masters of Education (2002) and PhD (2010) in Science Education from the University of Washington College of Education, Curriculum and Instruction. She became an Acting Instructor in BIME in November of 2010, and from July, 2014 until the present she has been an Acting Assistant Professor of BIME, both in the Division of Medical Education and Evaluation.

Dr. Nagasawa will be active in Dentistry RIDE/regional affairs related academic program development, teaching, and evaluation.  She will also work with Academic Affairs in Dentistry in the areas of new curriculum evaluation, school-wide longitudinal evaluation, assessment, and faculty development.

Dr. Nagasawa’s areas of interest are in health professional curriculum development and program evaluation, with a focus on the development of rural and underserved workforces and preparation of students to work with diverse patient populations in external community rotations. Projects she has underway utilize both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, and include a) examining the climate and culture of learning environments from a student learning and faculty teaching perspective; b) the use of self-reflection in clinical rotations;  and c) assessing indicators that influence and inform the professional identity development of students that choose to enter a rural and/or underserved workforce. Her research will support the expansion of the dental school program regionally.

Dr. Nagasawa will serve as Director of Educational Development and Evaluation in Dentistry, a role which is highly synergistic with her teaching roles and her research direction.

New Faculty Announcement: Diane Korngiebel, DPhil

We are delighted to announce that Diane Korngiebel, DPhil, has accepted a faculty position as Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education, effective May 1, 2016.

Dr. Korngiebel is a bioethicist who works at the intersection of bioethics, genomic medicine, and informatics. Dr. Korngiebel received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington in 1997 in History and a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in History from the University of Oxford in 2005. She joined the University of Washington in December, 2010, as an Acting Instructor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education (BIME), and from July, 2014, until the present she has been an Acting Assistant Professor of BIME, both appointments in the Division of Medical Education and Evaluation.

Dr. Korngiebel is supported by a K01 Mentored Career Development Award through the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of genomic research (ELSI) program at the National Human Genome Research Institute. The end product of the K award is an electronic clinical decision-support tool for Lynch Syndrome screening. Lynch Syndrome is a heritable condition that confers a high lifetime risk of certain cancers, particularly colorectal and endometrial.

Dr. Korngiebel’s future work will continue to explore and address issues related to decision support from the perspectives of key stakeholders, including patients and clinicians. Her focus is on two areas of importance to precision medicine: 1. bringing implementation science into the process of creating and successfully deploying genetic-related precision medicine interventions in clinical practice and 2. incorporating bioethical approaches into the development of clinical and patient decision support with a view to more fully fostering shared decision-making.