This proposal explains how Utah will continue to enhance the Department of Biomedical Informatics' exemplary record of graduate informatics training. Our Department celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015 and is justly proud of its impact on the science of informatics and on the informatics community. In this fourth renewal application, we present our plans for rejuvenation and growth carefully tailored to meet the challenges of our rapidly evolving field. Our long-term charter has unwaveringly sought to create and sustain a state-of-the-art, adaptive, and rigorous training environment that promotes research excellence and innovation. The mission of our program builds on four general areas of focus: 1) Clinical Informatics; 2) Clinical Research Informatics; 3) Population and Public Health Informatics; and 4) Bioinformatics and Statistical Genetics. Woven through these areas of focus are three strong methodology lines: 1) sociotechnical design and evaluation, 2) biomedical natural language processing, and 3) data analytic and decision support. This level of integration greatly enhances the power and rigor of the curriculum. The result will be trainees fully equipped with the requisite command of theory, mastery of skills, and deep knowledge base required to impact health outcomes in major ways throughout their research.
The aims of our training program are: 1) To provide a rigorous and integrated curriculum giving students the necessary foundation for an innovative and effective research career in biomedical informatics. 2) To continue to recruit the highest quality and most diverse trainees, including under- represented minorities and women. 3) To ensure students have strong foundations in the conduct of ethical, rigorous, and responsible research. 4) To provide a comprehensive research environment with the broadest possible variety of resources for faculty and students to encourage creative and innovative research. Our trainee research environment is unparalleled. We provide access to clinical, public health, data science, and translational clinical research opportunities. Utah has a superb computational infrastructure as well as one of the largest network healthcare settings in the nation, including a major academic medical center; a statewide nonprofit healthcare network; and a regional Veterans Administration Medical Center. All three are national leaders in informatics.
The University of Utah's Department of Biomedical Informatics has been granting research doctorates for over half a century, and this fourth NLM Training Program renewal application is its strongest yet. The current application describes an exceptionally well-balanced faculty, a thoughtful curriculum, a proactive diversity- centric recruitment strategy, and an unparalleled research environment for NLM trainees. Underpinning these resources is a reasoned and rigorous evaluation plan that provides a superior mentoring and training environment for the next generation of biomedical informatics researchers.
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