COVID-19 Updates

Visit UC San Diego's Coronavirus portal for the latest information for the campus community.

2020 Seminars

June 5, 2020 -- Ming Tai-Seale, PhD, MPH, Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health, Director, Health IS Outcomes Analysis, University of California San Diego, "Enhancing Shared Decision Making in Primary Care Practice Using EHR Tools."

Bio: Ming Tai-Seale, PhD, MPH, Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health, UCSD School of Medicine, and Director of Outcomes Analysis at UCSD Health IS Department, is a health economist and health services researcher. Tai-Seale examines the impact of financial and organizational incentives on health services delivery and patient outcomes. She collaborates with physicians, patients, clinic leaders, and researchers from multiple disciplinary backgrounds to study patient-physician communication, primary care transformation, and how physicians allocate time and effort in office visits by taking a detailed look at patient-physician communication captured by video- or audio-recordings and the access log of EpicCare. A paper resulting from analyses of EpicCare Logs was the second most read paper in Health Affairs in 2017.

May 29, 2020 -- Larissa Neumann, MD, Visiting Scholar, UCSD Health Department of Biomedical Informatics, Physician, Department of Anesthesiolog, Research Assistant, Institute for Medical Information Processing, Biometry, and Epidemiology (IBE), University Hospital of Ludwig Maximilian Universi, "The Evolution Of Tech Medicine In Germany: A Brief View Of My Journey From A Medical Doctor To A Clinician-Informaticist."

Abstract: The transition from a medical doctor using semi-analog devices to a clinician informaticist is uniquely exciting, with challenges and lessons. In this talk I will discuss what technologies were gradually introduced to German academic and professional life, how they were implemented, and how they impacted patient care my personal experience. From handwritten anesthesia care documentation to the use of electronic health record data and object-relational mapping, I will review the transformation of data acquisition and discuss the need for distributed analyses. I will also provide an overview of ongoing current SARS-CoV-2 projects at my home institution and in collaboration with USCD, including the implementation of an internal tracking system and a COVID-19 Dashboard.   

Bio: Dr. Neumann is currently a visiting scholar at the UC San Diego Health Dept. of Biomedical Informatics. She practices anesthesiology at the University Hospital of the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) of Munich, Germany, with additional specialization in critical care.  In January 2019, she joined the Anesthesia & Critical Care Informatics and Data Analysis Group (ACID) and is working as a research assistant for the Institute for Medical Information Processing, Biometry, and Epidemiology (IBE). Her research interests are in perioperative medicine and developing predictive models for critically ill patients. In addition to exploring machine learning methods to personalize blood transfusion triggers, she is excited about being a team member of building an Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership (OMOP) data warehouse to establish a cross-institutional distributed ledger. She is also passionate about participating in Datathons and learning more about varied aspects of Biomedical Informatics.

May 15, 2020 -- Erin Sundermann, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, "What a difference an X makes: The challenges of diagnosing and tracking Alzheimer's disease in women"

Abstract: The scientific community is increasingly recognizing sex differences in brain function and in the clinical manifestation of brain disorders, although biological sex is rarely considered when making diagnostic or treatment decisions. Women are predominantly affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD) and show a more aggressive clinical profile; however the reasons for these sex differences are not well understood. Throughout the lifespan, women tend to outperform men in measures of verbal memory. My work suggests that the female advantage in verbal memory acts as a domain-specific cognitive reserve enabling women to delay the clinical manifestation of AD until a more advanced disease stage compared to men but show more rapid decline thereafter. This line of research is clinically important because verbal memory tests are commonly used to diagnose AD and the norms for these tests are typically not sex-adjusted. I will discuss the implications of sex differences in cognitive/brain function and AD for both clinical and research practice and in the development of personalized disease interventions.  

Bio: I am cognitive neuroscientist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSD. My broad research scope is in the investigation of sex differences in cognitive aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD) and the discovery of sex-specific biomarkers and risk factors for AD. I strive to address critical gaps in our understanding of sex differences in AD through a comprehensive research program involving neuropsychological, genetic, biomarker and neuroimaging data. More recently, my work has exposed the limitations of standard clinical tests of verbal memory in identifying women in the early stages of the AD trajectory due to a life-long female advantage in verbal memory that may serve as a form of cognitive reserve.

May 8, 2020 -- Charles Jaffe, MD, PhD, FACP, FACMI, CEO, Health Level 7 International, Visiting Scholar, UCSD Health Dept. of Biomedical Informatics, "FHIR Release 4: Changes to the future of Interoperability for patient care, research, public health, and the US payment system."

Bio: Charles Jaffe is the Chief Executive Officer of Health Level 7 International (HL7). He completed his medical training at Johns Hopkins and Duke Universities and post-doctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and the Lombardi Cancer Center. He has served in various academic positions in the Departments of Medicine and Pathology, as well as in the School of Engineering. Prior to joining HL7, he was the Senior Global Strategist at Intel. In addition, he led a national research consortium, found a consultancy for research informatics, served as the VP of Medical Informatics at AstraZeneca, and the VP of Life Sciences at SAIC. Dr. Jaffe has been the contributing editor for several journals and has published on clinical management, informatics deployment, and healthcare policy.

May 1, 2020 -- Eric Adler, MD, Professor of Medicine, Director of Cardiac Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support, University of California San Diego, "Development and Validation of MARKER HF: A Machine Learning Prognostic Tool for Patients with Heart Failure."

Abstract: Heart failure is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. A central challenge of treating heart failure patients is the ability to accurately predict prognosis. Machine Learning (ML) has great promise for radically changing medical practice but has had a limited impact to date. We used ML to design a highly accurate risk score to predict mortality in HF patients. In this talk I will discuss the process we used to develop and validate this tool and discuss ongoing projects to evaluate MARKER prospectively.   

Bio: Eric Adler, MD, is a Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of the Heart Transplant Program at the University of California, San Diego. His laboratory's focus is how genetic mutations cause cardiomyopathy. To address this important topic he uses stem cells from patients, as well as mouse models of cardiac disease and human tissue. His recent work has been the study of Danon disease, a rare yet devastating inherited cause of heart failure. 

Dr. Adler is a principal investigator in clinical trials for all stages of heart failure and is specifically involved in clinical research examining the use of gene therapy and stem cells for treating heart disease. His work has been published in leading medical journals and has been supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. He earned his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine, completed his internship and residency at the University of Washington, and Cardiology Fellowship at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is board certified in cardiovascular disease and advanced heart failure.

April 24, 2020 -- Sally Baxter, MD, MSc, Postdoctoral Scholar, UCSD Health Department of Biomedical Informatics, UCSD Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology, Staff Physician, Veterans Affairs (VA) San Diego Healthcare System, "Predictive Modeling in Glaucoma using EHR Data."

Abstract: Glaucoma is the world’s leading cause of irreversible blindness. Although lowering eye pressure is the mainstay of therapy, many patients exhibit disease progression despite seemingly adequate control of eye pressure. As a result, understanding how other factors, such as systemic conditions and medications, contribute to worsening of glaucoma is critically important. We have conducted predictive modeling studies using electronic health record (EHR) data and found that systemic data have predictive value in identifying patients with primary open-angle glaucoma at risk of progression to surgical intervention. In this seminar, I will describe the process of conducting these studies, the results, and their implications. By describing work conducted using local data from UCSD as well as work using data from the nationwide NIH All of Us Research Program, I will share practical pearls and lessons learned about performing predictive modeling projects using different data sources.   

Bio: Sally L. Baxter is currently a National Library of Medicine postdoctoral fellow in biomedical informatics at UCSD. Her research interests fall within two broad areas: (1) Investigating how data from the EHR and other sources (e.g. sensors, patient portals) can be leveraged to better understand the connections between systemic diseases and medications with vision and other eye-related outcomes, and (2) Understanding how ophthalmologists at all career stages (including those in training) learn and interact with the EHR, and how these interactions might be improved in order to support high-quality care, enhanced patient experience, and ease of use for clinicians. She practices comprehensive ophthalmology with a specialization in complex cataract surgery at the San Diego VA. She was an Angier B. Duke Scholar at Duke University, received her Masters of Public Health from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine as a United States Marshall Scholar, and was a 21st Century Scholar at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania prior to coming to UCSD for her internal medicine and ophthalmology training.

April 17, 2020 -- Trevor Cohen, MBChB, PhD, FACMI, Professor, Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry University of Washington, "New Uses for Neural Embeddings: Biomedical Applications of Recent Advances in Neural Representations of Natural Language."

Abstract: Distributed vector representations (embeddings) of words, concepts and sentences have become increasingly prevalent as a fundamental unit of analysis in Natural Language Processing (NLP) on account of their ability to support generalization, and their alignment with the fundamental representational paradigm of neural network models. This talk will cover recent work in which such neural representations are applied to biomedical informatics problems, some of which fall outside their original conception as representations of natural language. The projects to be presented span application domains from post-marketing drug surveillance to digital phenotyping, but have a common thread between them: the desirable properties of neural representations for NLP, and how these can be leveraged to solve biomedical problems.   

Bio: Trevor Cohen, MBChB, PhD is a Professor of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Washington in Seattle. His research focuses on the development and application of methods of distributional semantics – methods that learn to represent the meaning of terms and concepts from the ways in which they are distributed in large volumes of electronic text. The resulting distributed representations (concept or word embeddings) can be applied to a broad range of biomedical problems, such as: (1) using literature-derived models to find plausible drug/side-effect relationships; (2) finding new therapeutic applications for known medications (drug repurposing); (3) modeling the exchanges between users of health-related online social media platforms; and (4) identifying phrases within psychiatric narrative that are pertinent to particular diagnostic constructs (such as psychosis). An area of current interest involves applying literature-derived distributed representations in conjunction with observational data as a basis for machine learning.  More broadly, he is interested in clinical cognition – the thought processes through which physicians interpret clinical findings – and ways to facilitate these processes using automated methods. Before joining the University of Washington, he held faculty positions at Arizona State University, and at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. Prior to this, and after training and practicing as a physician in South Africa, he completed his doctoral work at Columbia University in New York, with a research focus on the development of automated methods to enhance clinical comprehension in psychiatry.

April 10, 2020 -- Alysson Muotri, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics, Professor of Cellular & Molecular Medicine, UC San Diego, "Applications of Brain Model Technology."


Abstract:
Structural and transcriptional changes during early brain maturation follow fixed developmental programs defined by genetics. However, whether this is true for functional network activity remains unknown, primarily due to experimental inaccessibility of the initial stages of the living human brain. We developed cortical organoids that spontaneously display periodic and regular oscillatory network events that are dependent on glutamatergic and GABAergic signaling. These nested oscillations exhibit cross-frequency coupling, proposed to coordinate neuronal computation and communication. As evidence of potential network maturation, oscillatory activity subsequently transitioned to more spatiotemporally irregular patterns, capturing features observed in preterm human electroencephalography (EEG). These results show that the development of structured network activity in the human neocortex may follow stable genetic programming, even in the absence of external or subcortical inputs. Our approach provides novel opportunities for investigating and manipulating the role of network activity in the developing human cortex. Applications for neurodevelopmental disorders and brain evolution will be discussed.  

Bio:
Dr. Muotri earned a BSc in Biological Sciences from the State University of Campinas in 1995 and a Ph.D. in Genetics in 2001 from University of Sao Paulo, in Brazil. He moved to the Salk Institute as Pew Latin America Fellow in 2002 for a postdoctoral training in the fields of neuroscience and stem cell biology. He has been a Professor at the School of Medicine, University of California in San Diego since late 2008. His research focuses on modeling neurological diseases, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, using human induced pluripotent stem cells and brain organoids. He has received several awards, including the prestigious NIH Director's New Innovator Award, NARSAD, , NIH EUREKA Award among others.

April 3, 2020 - Terri Meier, CHFP, CSMC, CSBI, CRCR, System Director, Patient Revenue Cycle, UC San Diego Health "The Patient Financial Experience - Changes to Self-Pay Collection Strategies."

Abstract:
The U.S. healthcare market is rapidly changing, particularly around the patient billing and payment experience. As patients become increasingly responsible for a larger portion of their medical bills, this has a direct impact on health system economics. Hospitals must learn to adapt in order to compensate for a fundamental change in revenue mix from payer to patient.  

Bio: Terri Meier is currently the System Director Patient Revenue Cycle at UC San Diego Health, providing leadership and strategic direction of UCSDH's Shared Business Office (SBO). SBO unifies the patient-facing element of the billing office for both hospital billing and professional billing with a single bill and single point of contact for customer service. Terri has worked exclusively in healthcare for 40 years serving in multiple leadership roles as well as healthcare consulting.

Immediately prior to UCSDH Terri served for four years as the Director, PFS and Director Professional Billing Organization for Stanford Health Care and the prior 12 years as the Director, Revenue Cycle Operations for Oregon Health & Science University.

Terri holds a healthcare financial management certification from the Oregon Graduate Institute as well as CHFP, CRCR, CSMC, CSBI from the Health Care Management Association (HFMA).  Terri is also the President for the 2020-2021 year for the San Diego Imperial Chapter of HFMA.

March 13, 2020 - Anita Bandrowski, PhD., Founder & CEO, SciCrunch, Scientific Lead, Neuroscience Information Framework Project, UC San Diego, "Rigor and Transparency: Tools and Tricks."

Abstract: Reproducibility is a broad topic difficult to understand and in general make much headway with. However transparency and rigor may be a tad more tenable things to understand, measure and address. SciScore, a tool funded under the SBIR mechanism (this is a commercial tool created by SciCrunch a UCSD start up company), that points out which rigor criteria are being addressed by which manuscripts. It processes the methods sections using text mining, classification and a set of rules, looking for things like "blinding", to indicate that investigators have addressed investigator bias. The tool scores each paper on a scale of 1-10 which roughly corresponds to how many of the criteria have been addressed by authors. In 2019, the tool was deployed on the OAI corpus of PubMed Central, which consists of about 2 million papers and it determined that while the overall score is increasing over time, the number of criteria met by authors remains below 50%, including fairly obvious criteria such as describing which sex of animal investigators are using.   

Bio: In the university, I lead the Resource Identification Initiative, an interdisciplinary group devoted to identification of scientific research resources. The initiative is designed to help researchers sufficiently cite the key biological resources used to produce the scientific findings reported in the biomedical literature. The group spans academia, publishers, funding bodies and commercial tool providers. It is the core principle of this group that reproducibility starts with identifiability and we work with many journals to improve the methods section in each and every paper published by helping authors disambiguate their resources with RRIDs. I also lead a company called SciCrunch that helps to create tools and interface with commercial organizations interested in improved rigor in research.

March 6, 2020 - Lucila Ohno-Machado, MD, PhD, MBA, Professor of Medicine, Chair, UC San Diego Health Dept. of Biomedical Informatics, Associate Dean for Informatics and Technology, "Patient Preferences for Data Sharing."

Abstract: Dr. Ohno-Mached discussed how 1,200 patients from University of California San Diego and University of California Irvine indicated their preferences for sharing Electronic Health Records for research, which items they preferred to share, and what factors affected their choices. I will also provide an overview of technical and policy strategies to protect patient and institutional privacy when sharing data for research, including some differences between US and EU regulations. 

Bio: Lucila Ohno-Machado, MD, MBA, PhD received her medical degree from the University of São Paulo and her doctoral degree in medical information sciences and computer science from Stanford. She is Associate Dean for Informatics and Technology, and the founding chair of the UCSD Health Department of Biomedical Informatics at UCSD, where she leads a group of faculty with diverse backgrounds in medicine, nursing, informatics, and computer science. Also, she is the PI for the California Precision Medicine Consortium for the NIH All of Us Research Program. Prior to her current position, she was faculty at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and affiliated with the MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. Dr. Ohno-Machado is an elected member of the American College of Medical Informatics, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the National Academy of Medicine. She served as editor-in-chief for the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association from 2011 to 2018. She directs the patient-centered Scalable National Network for Effectiveness Research, a large clinical data research network covering more than 30 million patients and 12 healthcare systems, and was one of the founders of UC-Research eXchange, a clinical data research network that connected the data warehouses of the five University of California medical centers. She was the director of the NIH-funded National Center for Biomedical Computing iDASH (integrating Data for Analysis, ‘anonymization,’ and Sharing) based at UCSD with collaborators in multiple institutions, as well as other NIH-funded consortia and research projects. Her research focuses on privacy-preserving distributed analytics for healthcare and biomedical sciences. She has received numerous awards for innovations in biomedical informatics.

February 28, 2020 - Hooman H. Rashidi, MD, MS, FASCP

Bio: Dr. Rashidi combines his passion for patient care and education with his unique training in bioinformatics and computer programming to create innovative new tools and resources that improve clinical practice and health. Dr. Rashidi is the co-founder, developer, and senior editor of HematologyOutlines, an online atlas used internationally by medical schools and other training programs, and endorsed by the American Society of Clinical Pathology for clinical laboratory scientist and medical technologist training.
Dr. Rashidi also developed the educational app, HemeQuiz1, which includes quizzes in more than 15 categories, quick references, and a game center that allows users to compete with one another. HemeQuiz1 quickly became a top-selling medical app and available world-wide in 30 countries. In addition to the above, Dr. Rashidi has also recently published a print version of his renowned hematology atlas which has become a top selling atlas on Amazon.
Projects currently in progress by Dr. Rashidi and his team include development of artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) platforms applicable for diagnostic, educational and research use in multiple pathology subspecialty areas and other health science disciplines. Dr. Rashidi also is leading a project to improve clotting using poly-phosphates and silica nano-particles.

February 21, 2020 - Tsung-Ting (Tim) Kuo, PhD, Assistant Professor, UCSD Health Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of California San Diego, "The Blockchain: How Crypto-currency can Transform Healthcare."

Abstract: In this talk, Dr. Tsung-Ting Kuo will introduce blockchain technologies including their benefits, challenges, and the latest applications in the biomedical, healthcare and genomic fields. Also, He will discuss a study of technology systematic review for a set of blockchain platforms to identify their technical features. Finally, Dr. Kuo will present two use cases of adapting blockchain, privacy-preserving machine learning to avoid security risks such as single-point-of-failure. To summarize, he will give an overview of blockchain for biomedical/healthcare/genomic domain, to reveal the impact of this emerging technology and its potential applications.  

Bio: Dr. Tsung-Ting Kuo is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in University of California San Diego (UCSD) Health Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI). He earned his PhD from National Taiwan University (NTU) in Institute of Networking and Multimedia. Prior to becoming a faculty member, he was a Postdoctoral Scholar at UCSD DBMI and received the UCSD Chancellor's Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar Award. He was a major contributor towards the UCSD DBMI team winning the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) healthcare blockchain challenge, and also the NTU team winning the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD) Cup competition four times. He was awarded a NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award, as well as UCSD Academic Senate Health Science Research Grant and Travel Award, for blockchain-based biomedical, healthcare and genomic studies. His research focuses on blockchain technologies, machine learning, and natural language processing.

January 24, 2020, Thomas M. Maddox, MD, MScExecutive Director, Healthcare Innovation Lab, BJC HealthCare/Washington University School of Medicine, Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), Washington University School of Medicine, "Driving Innovation Using Data, Analytics, and Technology: The Healthcare Innovation Lab at Washington University School of Medicine and BJC HealthCare."

Abstract: Recent advances in data, analytics, and technology can greatly improve healthcare delivery and the outcomes it produces for patients and communities.  To capitalize on these opportunities, the Healthcare Innovation Lab was established in 2017 to catalyze care delivery innovations at Washington University School of Medicine and its partner health system, BJC HealthCare.  To date, the Lab has developed innovations in predictive analytics in inpatient care, critical care, and palliative care; remote patient monitoring in heart failure, post-operative, and post-partum patients; patient transportation for ambulatory and cancer patients; voice assistants in inpatient supply chain and pre-operative patients, and patient billing.  This talk will describe the Lab's approach to selecting and piloting care delivery innovations, and details about its current project portfolio.

Bio: Dr. Maddox is a cardiologist and Professor of Medicine in the Washington University School of Medicine.  He maintains an active inpatient practice in consultative cardiology.  Prior to his arrival at Washington University in 2017, he served as the National Director for the Veterans Affairs (VA) Clinical Assessment, Reporting, and Tracking (CART) cardiac quality program, which oversaw care in all 78 VA cardiac catheterization laboratories. He was also a staff cardiologist at the Denver VA medical center, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Dr. Maddox earned his BA in economics and history, cum laude, from Rice University in 1993; an MD from Emory University in 1999; and a MSc in epidemiology from the Harvard University School of Public Health in 2007. He trained in internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern medical center 1999-2002, and in cardiovascular medicine at the Mount Sinai medical center 2003-2006.  He was also a fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation and the National Academy of Medicine in 2002-2003.
Dr. Maddox's research interests have focused on healthcare delivery innovation, learning healthcare systems, prevention in coronary artery disease, optimal care for cardiac patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery, and quality of care for cardiac patients. He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications, received multiple grants exploring optimal cardiac care and outcomes, and holds national leadership positions in the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

January 17, 2020, Biren Kamdar, MD, MBA, MHSAssistant Professor, Div. of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, UC San Diego Health, "Delirium Improvement in 4ICU: Novel use of the EHR to bridge the quality chasm."

Abstract: Delirium is a condition of varying cognition, sometimes termed "brain failure," that is a common complication of hospitalization, particularly for patients in the Intensive Care Unit. Delirium causes significant morbidity and mortality, including increased length of stay, healthcare costs, and long-term physical and cognitive deficits. Delirium goes undetected one-third to two-thirds of the time, often because healthcare providers do not know how to detect it. There is no proven treatment for delirium, and the primary goal is prevention. Dr. Kamdar will speak about a comprehensive quality improvement initiative to detect and reduce delirium in the Intensive Care Unit. 

Bio: Biren Kamdar, MD, MBA, MS, MHS, is a board-certified pulmonologist and critical care physician. He cares for adult patients in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) and those with general lung conditions.
As an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, Dr. Kamdar trains medical students, residents and fellows at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. His NIH/NIA-funded research focuses on sleep and circadian rhythms in the ICU; in particular, methods to evaluate sleep in critically ill patients and the effect of interventions to improve sleep-wake cycles on delirium and other important outcomes. Dr. Kamdar has presented on this topic at national and international conferences, and has published in various medical journals and textbooks.
Prior to joining UC San Diego Health, Dr. Kamdar was an assistant professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Kamdar completed a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine) in Baltimore. During his fellowship, he received an NIH/Kirschstein NRSA Award and a Master in Health Science (MHS) degree from the Graduate Training Program in Clinical Investigation at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He completed his internal medicine residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He received a joint MD/MBA at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management in Nashville.