UCSF Informatics Day Highlights Growing Enthusiasm for Data

Packed house - Robertson Auditorium at Informatics Day. Photo by Karen Shuster

By Angela Rizk-Jackson, PhD

June 10th, 2014 marked the first Informatics Day at UC San Francisco: “Leveraging clinical data for research.” The event provided an opportunity to learn from campus leaders about UCSF’s informatics roadmap; and showcased existing systems and tools available to support basic, translational, and clinical research. With nearly 500 registered attendees, the standing-room-only morning session clearly demonstrated the broad appeal of the day’s topics, and validated the need for UCSF to continue investing in informatics.

“We are in the midst of an informatics explosion” said Michael Blum, MD, UCSF’s associate vice chancellor for informatics, at the day’s final wrap-up session. He went on to explain that the national switch to electronic health records is one driving factor, but it has been accompanied by an emerging shift in both healthcare and scientific paradigms.

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2014 UCSF Informatics Day

The day was filled with sessions meant to inform the UCSF community about the various informatics tools and resources, both planned and currently available; as well as showcase the work of UCSF investigators utilizing these resources. An online clinical data access and browsing tool for researchers called the Research Data Browser launched at the event. Attendees were also given a glimpse at the vision for the future of informatics at UCSF by campus leadership, including UCSF Interim Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, and dean of the School of Medicine.

We are in the midst of an informatics explosion.

Michael Blum, MD

Event organization was a cross-campus collaborative effort, with co-sponsorship by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), Institute for Human Genetics, Institute for Computational Health Sciences, Office of Research, and UCSF Medical Center. The day’s opening speaker, Keith Yamomoto, PhD, vice chancellor for research, remarked that the partnership was “emblematic of how UCSF operates” and suggested this collaborative spirit is key to another significant UCSF initiative, the Precision Medicine platform.   

See SLIDES of the talks

UCSF's CTSI is a member of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards network funded through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (grant Number UL1 TR000004) at the National Institutes of Health. Under the banner of "Accelerating Research to Improve Health," CTSI provides a wide range of resources and services for researchers, and promotes online collaboration and networking tools such as UCSF Profiles