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May 18, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University Department of Biomedical Informatics is the recipient of a prestigious five-year training fellowship award issued by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The highly-competitive funding will be utilized by The Ohio State University College of Medicine to recruit and teach the next generation of biomedical informatics professionals, and will enhance innovative, cutting-edge research being conducted in today’s “living laboratories.”

Ohio State’s Clinical and Translational Research Informatics Training Program (CTRIP) is among only 14 elite academic training programs across the country applying innovative biomedical informatics (BMI) theories and methods to improve overall health outcomes of patients. CTRIP will help recruit expertise in the field of informatics to expand upon an existing research workforce spanning a spectrum from the basic to applied to clinical sciences. According to Dr. Peter Embi, co-director of CTRIP, the training program was strategically designed to combat barriers to efficient and timely conduct of clinical and translational research. 

CTRIP will build on the unique strengths, expertise and resources present on The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center campus and focus on the training of pre-doctoral and post-doctoral students in the BMI sub-domains of translational bioinformatics (TBI) and clinical research informatics (CRI). 

The NLM selected Ohio State – home to one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive health sciences campuses – to host an informatics training program due largely to its interdisciplinary environment which is conducive to innovation and research, and includes expertise in biology, medicine, computer and information sciences, engineering, quantitative sciences and human behavior. Another quality that attracted NLM’s attention was the academic depth and breadth of faculty from Ohio State’s Department of Biomedical Informatics, many of whom are graduates of NLM-funded training fellowship programs. 

“We’re privileged to have an exceptional group of renowned informatics faculty in our department, including several who trained at NLM-funded programs like this one, and we’re excited about contributing to the next generation of informatics training through this new program,” adds Embi. 

In 2010, William Hersh defined biomedical informatics as the field that is concerned with the optimal use of information, often aided by the use of technology and people, to improve individual health, health care, public health and biomedical research. Ohio State’s CTRIP focuses specifically on two emergent sub-domains of BMI, TBI and CRI. 

TBI refers to the sub-discipline of BMI and focuses on the development of analytic, storage and interpretive methods to optimize the transformation of increasingly voluminous genomic and biological data into diagnostics and therapeutics for the clinicians. 

Similarly, CRI is the sub-discipline of BMI that develops, applies and evaluates theories, methods and systems to optimize the design and conduct and clinical research and the analysis, interpretation and dissemination of the information generated. “By focusing exclusively on the training of a TBI and CRI academic and professional  workforce capable of addressing the challenges and opportunities associated with the rapidly evolving clinical and translational research fields, our graduates will be ideally positioned to lead advancements in biomedical knowledge and the delivery of clinical care informed by the best possible science, ultimately improving the outcomes, quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of healthcare delivery,” says Philip Payne, co-director of CTRIP and chairman of Ohio State’s Department of Biomedical Informatics. 

Ohio State faculty regularly serve as leaders, advisors and instructors for a variety of undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate training programs.  Just as BMI faculty mentor pre- and post-doctoral trainees from a number of other Ohio State departments and centers, including computer science, electrical and computer engineering and statistics, as well as post-doctoral clinicians from all over Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, several faculty from across campus will also mentor students in the CTRIP program. 

The National Library of Medicine is the world's largest library of the health sciences and collects, organizes and makes available biomedical science information to scientists, health professionals and the public. The NLM is the institute within the NIH focused on biomedical informatics research and development, both internally at the NIH and externally, as a major funder of grants and contracts for core BMI research at the national level. 

Ohio State’s Department of Biomedical Informatics is a leader in discovering, creating, and applying leading-edge biomedical informatics innovations to improve individuals' lives through personalized healthcare. For additional information about CTRIP at Ohio State, or to apply to the training program, contact bmi.education@osumc.edu

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Contact: Sherri Kirk, College of Medicine Public Relations, 614-366-3277, or Sherri.Kirk@osumc.edu.