The University of Utah is applying for the second renewal of its training grant with the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Our long term objective is to continue a program of research informatics excellence, carrying forward a tradition that dates back to 1964. In the five years since our first renewal, 103 graduate students have entered training. In our total 10 years of funding, over 60 NLM-funded graduate students have completed training or are currently working towards a degree. We currently have 41 predoctoral and 30 postdoctoral candidates for a total of 71 active students;over 40% of whom are focused on doctoral research. Twenty to thirty percent of all Departmental graduate students have been supported by the NLM training grant over the past ten years.
The specific aims of this proposal center on training graduate and postdoctoral students to develop broad informatics research expertise in clinical, public health, and translational/genetic application areas. Under the direction of a new Department Chair, who is also the PI of this grant, we have recently revised and updated our core curriculum that stresses 20 core competencies under the broad rubrics of foundational skills and applications proficiency. This curriculum review is also creating focus for our three training areas and the development of new training courses and experiences. The Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Utah is in the process of growth and change with new leadership, and here we describe our training successes to date as well as our expanded scope of training for this new funding period. Public Health Informatics has been defined as the study of systems for creating information and managing knowledge to understand, protect, and improve health in society. Our public health informatics program will train students in the development and application of technologies that will aid public health practitioners in these activities. We will train students to build tools that will assist educators, researchers, physicians, and individuals in the community to define and address public health issues.
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