DBMI, Medical Students Collaborate To Impact Future Of Healthcare

Herbert ChaseThe recent availability of enormous amounts of healthcare data has provided physicians and scientists the opportunity to develop technology to improve healthcare outcomes and foster groundbreaking research. One of the missions of the Columbia Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) is to introduce medical students to biomedical informatics so that they become familiar with the cutting-edge methods to answer important healthcare questions, and, perhaps, participate in creating important tools that improve the ability of physicians to provide outstanding, safe, and efficient care.

Dr. Herbert Chase, Professor of Clinical Medicine in Biomedical Informatics, takes the lead in introducing medical students to the field. Chase reaches all medical students with a series of introductory lectures that emphasize the value of electronic health records and the potential of clinical decision support.

To supplement these lectures, Chase created a series of YouTube podcasts on varied topics such as datamining and clinical decision support, geared to medical students to access when needed. His most popular one is entitled Overview Of Biomedical Informatics which has more than 2,100 views.

A second mission of the department is to identify outstanding students who may want to be clinical informaticians. “It’s about recruitment in a maturing field with a generation of tech-savvy kids who see the potential of technology in medical practice,” Chase said.

The department offers a variety of research opportunities for students who demonstrate a deeper interest in informatics such as the scholarly research project. He also advises students working on a project with a faculty member in a clinical department who may want to use biomedical informatics methods.

The Department also offers an elective in biomedical informatics for residents and fellows, regardless of their computational science background, to set up conversations with each department member to learn about the various and diverse aspects of the field.

This elective has provided important connections for trainee physicians who may not ultimately end up in the biomedical informatics field. Instead, they can find modern ways of researching important medical questions using the tools discovered through their DBMI interactions. Through these interactions, clinicians often provide insights in their own specialties to help informaticians build the next generation of tools. About 35 residents took this elective during the 2018-19 academic year.

Some of these residents may want to do a clinical informatics fellowship. A particularly exciting milestone for the department’s training mission was the creation of the Clinical Informatics Subspecialty Fellowship, a two-year program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

“We are seeking to train the in-between person,” Chase said, “the person who knows clinical medicine, and who understands the ecosystem of electronic health records and the methods of biomedical informatics. They can identify worthy clinical questions thanks to their clinical knowledge, and can also determine what are the interventions that would require a computational component and what that component would look like.”

Medical students, residents and fellows can benefit from DBMI interactions. As their understanding of informatics potential grows, so too will their vision on how they can positively impact the evolution of medicine and healthcare.

Columbia DMBI Celebrates 2019 Ph.D. and Master’s Graduates

The Columbia Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) honored its 2019 Ph.D. and master’s degree graduates Monday, May 20, during an afternoon celebration in NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

“We’re very proud of every member of our training program, and we’re excited to see their growth and how they impact healthcare and health,” said Noemie Elhadad, Director of the Graduate Program.

Mollie McKillop, Drashko Nakikj, and Joseph Romano each completed the Ph.D. program in Biomedical Informatics.

Marissa Burgermaster, Huanyao Chen, Megan Houterloot, Kathleen LaRow, Jeremy Lew, Xinhang Li, Ziran Li, Olga Lyudovyk, Nenad Macesic, Kamileh Narsinh, Liana Tascau, Kernyu Park, and Natnicha “Numfa” Vanitchanant each completed the master’s program.

Prospective students who are interested can learn more about the DBMI Ph.D. program or the master’s program.


2002 Ph.D. Graduate Eneida Mendonca Joins Regenstrief As VP Of Research Development

Eneida Mendonca, M.D., Ph.D., a 2002 Ph.D. graduate from the Columbia Department of Biomedical Informatics, joined the Regenstrief Institute to hold the newly created position of vice president for research development.

As VP for research development, she will build upon and enhance the successes of the institute’s faculty investigators across biomedical informatics, health services research, aging research and implementation science. Mendonca also will have an appointment as professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, with a secondary appointment as a professor of biostatistics.

“I had earned my medical degree from Universidade Federal de Pelotas in Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state in Brazil, before I came to New York to pursue a Ph.D. Enrolling in Columbia’s Department of Biomedical Informatics was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” said Mendonca following her appointment at Regenstrief. “I especially valued the department’s family atmosphere, which created a climate very open to learning. Students were friends with faculty, but were expected to achieve at a high level. One of the highlights of my graduate school experience was working, in collaboration with the local hospital system, on the development of an EHR system, enabling me to experience and learn in a real-world setting.”

“My graduate training plus five additional years as a junior faculty member at DBMI launched me on a career which has taken me to the University of Chicago, University of Wisconsin, and recently to the Regenstrief Institute as its inaugural Vice President for Research Development,” Mendonca added. “It’s very exciting to be at this prominent place in my career in biomedical informatics and Columbia provided me with the essential foundation to attain this goal.”

Congratulations To Our 2019 HIT Certification Program Honorees

Congratulations to the nine honorees who earned their Health Information Technology Certification of Professional Achievement on May 10 during a celebration inside the Columbia Department of Biomedical Informatics.

Patricia Falto, Amy Kim, Mariam Mohsin, Gul Moonis, Cynthia Polynice, Maria Juana Romero, Claudette Tiru, Johanna Wenderoth and Tracey Whyte were each honored after successfully completing their two-semester, competency-based Certification of Professional Achievement program.

Steven Posnack, executive director of the Office of Technology, enhanced the celebration with his keynote “There and Back Again: Perspectives on Health IT, Interoperability, and Policymaking,” and he joined the graduates later for a photo on the roof of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

“May 10th was a great day,” said Virginia Lorenzi, Director of the Columbia HIT Certification Program. “I am so proud of our Health IT graduates, loved seeing program alumni, and am very thankful to the vendors who exhibited at the career fair.”

HIT 2019 Open House

Health IT Open House Event
May 2019


Learn about this unique training program offered by the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University.  Your Choice:

Come Visit Us on Campus Wednesday, May 15th: 12:30PM or 5:30PM




Attend an Online Session Monday, May 20th at 8:00PM




Additional Information:


Contact us:  hit@columbia.edu

Congratulations to Lena Mamykina and her several DBMI and outside colleagues on receiving a Notice of Award for their R01.

Congratulations to Lena Mamykina and her several DBMI and outside colleagues, who just received a Notice of Award for their R01, “Dynamically Tailoring Interventions for Problem-Solving in Diabetes Self-Management Using Self-Monitoring Data – a Randomized Controlled Trial” from NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive And Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Great job.