News Release: School of Medicine , Woodruff Health Sciences

Jun. 29,  2011

Emory School of Medicine Launches New Biomedical Informatics Department

News Article ImageJoel Saltz, MD, PhD

A new Department of Biomedical Informatics in Emory University School of Medicine will enhance opportunities for education and training, research and improved healthcare delivery in an emerging field of medicine with increasing importance for biomedical research and patient care. It also will allow recruitment of new faculty and will help foster collaboration among the increasing number of related informatics programs throughout Emory University.

Joel Saltz, MD, PhD, director of the Emory Center for Comprehensive Informatics (CCI), will chair the new department. Saltz joined Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center in July 2008 as CCI director and as Emory Healthcare’s Chief Medical Information Officer. He is a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar.

“The launch of this new department, which has been in the planning stages for several years, is a landmark event that signifies the dramatic growth of the field of biomedical informatics generally, its critical importance to medical advancement and the growing strengths of bioinformatics and biomedical informatics in the School of Medicine and other areas in the University,” says Saltz.

Biomedical informatics is a multidisciplinary field that uses computer technology to collect, analyze and integrate a wealth of biological data for biomedical research and healthcare delivery. Advances in biomedical informatics are having a broad and growing impact on improved patient care, medical education and health research.

“We are extremely pleased to add this significant new department to Emory School of Medicine,” says Dean Thomas J. Lawley, MD. “The field of biomedical informatics is a key component of the future of medicine, and this department will help us assume a leadership role as we continue the rapid progress in our multidisciplinary research and educational efforts.”

Over the past few years Emory has experienced rapid growth in a number of programs in biomedical informatics and computational life sciences. The CCI fosters collaborative projects among software system researchers and scientific research groups in clinical and translational research, biomedical and imaging informatics, high performance computing and Grid computing.

The Department of Biostatistics in Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health recently has expanded to become the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics.

Emory’s Computational and Life Science Strategic Initiative is another pivotal interdepartmental Emory program that spans computer science, physical sciences, life sciences and biomedicine.

A new doctoral concentration in biomedical informatics, housed in Emory’s Mathematics and Computer Science Department, was announced last year and will enroll its first class of students this fall. Many of the program faculty have been recruited over the past three years through efforts of the Center for Comprehensive Informatics (CCI). Program faculty are drawn from the new Department of Biomedical Informatics, the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, and the Mathematics and Computer Science Department. This new Biomedical Informatics program complements existing PhD programs in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science in Emory’s Laney Graduate School and the Department of Biomedical Engineering in Emory School of Medicine.


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

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Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

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