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Informatics in Public Health Subject of University of Pittsburgh Lindberg Symposium


PITTSBURGH, May 2008 — “Informatics in Public Health,” this year’s Donald A.B. Lindberg Lecture and Symposium sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Biomedical Informatics and the Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH), will discuss informatics in surveillance, epidemic models and other aspects of public health practice. The symposium takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Thursday, May 8. The morning session, which features the keynote Donald A.B. Lindberg Lecture, will be in Parran Hall, G-23 Auditorium, 130 DeSoto St. The afternoon session will be at the Thomas E. Starzl Biomedical Science Tower, Room S-100, 200 Lothrop St., both on the University of Pittsburgh’s Oakland Campus.

The Donald A.B. Lindberg Lecture, “Real Time Biosurveillance: Into Maturity or Obscurity?” will be presented by Leslie Lenert, M.D., M.S., director of the National Center for Public Health Informatics (NCPHI) at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the NCPHI, Dr. Lenert is responsible for improving health practice through the advancement of the science of biomedical information systems. He pioneered the use of computer interviewing techniques for preference surveys, the development of surveys with integrated multimedia materials and the development of web-based delivery mechanisms for surveys. He also is interested in research in the Wireless Internet Information System for Medical Response in Disasters (WIISARD) project, an advanced wireless location-aware electronic records system designed to facilitate the care of victims at the site of disasters or terrorist attacks. He is a member of the editorial boards of Medical Decision Making, the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association and Journal of Biomedical Informatics. He is also a member of the Agency for Health Research and Policy’s Healthcare Technology and Decision Sciences study section. In 2002, Dr. Lenert was appointed to the American College of Medical Informatics, in recognition of his work in the field of informatics.

Following Dr. Lenert’s lecture, Donald S. Burke, M.D., Dean of GSPH and UPMC-Jonas Salk Professor of Global Health, will present a lecture titled, “The Epidemiological Dynamics of Influenza in Pittsburgh.” Michael Wagner, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical informatics and intelligent systems, and director of the Real-Time Outbreak and Disease Surveillance (RODS) Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh also will present a lecture during the morning session entitled, “Informatics in Biosurveillance: A Ten-Year Retrospective.”

The afternoon session features the following presentations:

* Kirsten Waller, M.D., M.P.H., surveillance sections leader, Division of Disease Epidemiology, Pennsylvania Department of Health
* “Environmental Public Health Tracking: Past, Present and Future,” by Evelyn O. Talbott, Dr.P.H., professor, Department of Epidemiology, GSPH
* “The Bayesian Aerosol Release Detector,” by William R. Hogan, M.D., M.S., associate professor of biomedical informatics, University of Pittsburgh, and director, Medical Vocabulary/Ontology Services, UPMC
* “Case Detection/NLP,” by Rich Tsui, Ph.D., research assistant professor of biomedical informatics and intelligent systems, and associate director, RODS Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh
* “Bayesian Biosurveillance,” by Gregory F. Cooper, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical informatics, computer science and intelligent systems and vice chair, Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Pittsburgh
* “Multivariate Outbreak Detection and Characterization,” by Danial B. Neill, Ph.D., assistant professor of information systems, Heinz School of Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Established in 1997, the Donald A.B. Lindberg Lecture addresses key issues in biomedical informatics and is named for Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., who continues to pioneer the development of advanced information systems as director of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Founded in 1948 and fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, GSPH is world-renowned for contributions that have influenced public health practices and medical care for millions of people. One of the top-ranked schools of public health in the United States, GSPH was the first fully accredited school of public health in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with alumni who are among the leaders in their fields of public health.

The Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) was formed in 2006, and brings together a diverse group of faculty who are committed to improving biomedical research and clinical care through informatics research and development. Current areas of focus include biosurveillance, bioinformatics, clinical informatics, health services research, intelligent systems, machine learning, natural language processing, oncology informatics, tissue banking informatics, and translational informatics.

The symposium is targeted to clinicians from all health professions, information technology professionals, educators and administrators. For more information or to register, please access the symposium Web site at or contact Joseph Cummings at 412-647-7156.


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