Patel joins biomedical informatics team

February 5, 2007

Vimla L. Patel, an educator and researcher with a long list of impressive achievements in the medical sciences, has been named professor and interim chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics in ASU's new School of Computing and Informatics (SCI), a part of the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering.

Since 2000, Patel has been a professor of biomedical informatics and psychiatry at Columbia University in New York . Before that, she was a professor of medicine and psychology, and director of the Centre for Medical Education, at McGill University in Montreal . Download Full Image

“Dr. Patel is an outstanding academician and researcher in biomedical informatics,” says Sethuraman Panchanathan, SCI's director. “Dr. Patel is internationally recognized for research contributions in cognitive modeling and assessment of clinical systems. We are delighted that she has agreed to help ASU lay the foundation for our new Department of Biomedical Informatics.”

Patel will work with Panchanathan to bring new faculty and students, and to recruit a permanent chair for the department. She will play a key role in developing educational programs, including doctoral and master's degree programs in biomedical informatics.

The Department of Biomedical Informatics also will provide informatics education for medical students at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix . The master's degree program in biomedical informatics will begin this fall.

Biomedical informatics is poised to have major impacts on medical research and health care.

The field involves the science of information management and use, encompassing the acquisition and evaluation of vast quantities of medical information and the efficient use of that information in advancing bioscience and improving health care management and treatment programs.

It's already leading to major progress in the evolution of “personalized medicine,” through which physicians and other health care practitioners can customize care for individual patients.

Patel says she was lured to ASU's biomedical informatics program by “an intellectually stimulating and remarkable combination of talent in many scientific fields and the enthusiasm to embrace a variety of areas of expertise.”

Her new position is “a unique opportunity to have my home base in a new biomedical informatics department that is within a school of engineering,” she says.

Patel is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada ( Academy of Social Sciences ), the American College of Medical Informatics and the New York Academy of Medicine. She received the Swedish “Woman of Science” award in 1999, and she is an associate editor of the Journal of Biomedical Informatics .

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


MBA students to benefit from scholarships

February 5, 2007

The Urban Land Institute's (ULI) Arizona District Council has awarded scholarships to two W. P. Carey School of Business graduate students in the school's full-time MBA real estate specialization program. The two $2,000 awards are part of a new ULI real estate scholarship program for students at the W. P. Carey School and at ASU's College of Design.

This is the first year that ULI Arizona has awarded scholarships, according to Steve Gervais, chair of the ULI Arizona Scholarship Committee. Gervais said the institute created the scholarships to encourage top academic performers to pursue careers in real estate development. Download Full Image

Coury Mascagni, of Louisville, Ky., and Robert Rosing of San Diego are recipients of the inaugural awards for the MBA real estate specialization program.

Mascagni earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tenn.

“The W. P. Carey MBA program is among the top programs in the country, and I wanted to study the real estate industry in a part of the country where real estate is booming,” Mascagni says. “Another attraction was the faculty. Professor Crocker Liu is one of the leading experts in real estate finance.”

Rosing earned a bachelor's degree in speech communication from the University of Illinois, and a law degree from the Tulane University School of Law.

“I believe the W. P. Carey School will give me the skills to work in real estate development and finance on large scale projects,” Rosing says. “In addition, the ULI's mission is to provide responsible leadership in the use of land, and I strongly relate to that philosophy.”

Adds George Bosworth, executive director, Urban Land Institute, Arizona District Council: “The Urban Land Institute focuses on responsible land development. In addition to the scholarships, the students will receive free memberships in the ULI, with access to ULI resources, including mentors and best practices.”