In Memoriam

This page is dedicated to fond remembrance of members of the UW BIME family who are no longer with us.


Ira J. Kalet, PhD, FACMI

Ira was awarded a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Princeton University in 1969 and embarked on a teaching career.  He then joined the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Washington in 1978, beginning a long academic career in medical physics, establishing a research effort in medical informatics, publishing a book on the principals of biomedical informatics, and mentoring several students.

He maintained joint appointments in Medical Education and Biomedical Informatics, Computer Science and Engineering, and Bioengineering and was an informatics contributor for more than 25 years, having received a best paper award at the 1985 Congress of the American Association for Medical Systems and Informatics (AAMSI). He led the development of the University of Washington M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Biomedical and Health Informatics (BHI) and served until 2004 as the Director of the UW BHI Graduate Program.  Ira was very engaged with various UW departments, advising a number of graduate students, and held joint or adjunct appointments with several departments before his retirement from the UW. He passed away in February 2015 after a long battle with cancer.

Fred Wolf, PhD, FACMI

Fred had a long and illustrious history in both medical education and biomedical informatics. Fred’s academic career began at Ohio State University in 1980. In 1982, he moved to the University of Michigan where he directed the instructional computing facility at the medical school and later created the Laboratory for Computing, Cognition, and Clinical Skills.  As an educational researcher, he did pioneering psychometric work on the validity of patient management problems as a clinical reasoning assessment technique. His work helped establish the use of “efficiency” measures rather than “proficiency” measures as the basis for scoring performance.

In 1997, Fred moved from Michigan to the University of Washington, as chair of the Department of Medical Education, which later became the Department of Medical Education and Biomedical Informatics.  In Seattle, working with Sherri Fuller, Peter Tarczy-Hornoch, Ira Kalet and others, Fred played a critical role in fostering academic Biomedical and Health Informatics at the University of Washington, guiding the department to become a nationally prominent center for research and training.  After 13 years as Department Chair, Fred stepped down in 2012 to focus on his own research and teaching which included two very popular courses on evidence based medicine, systematic reviews and meta-analysis.  He passed away in July 2017 after a long, heroic battle against a rare cancer.