IDASH Projects: Protecting Privacy and Patient Rights in the Name of Scientific Progress

In the years since the best-selling book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” made the issue of informed consent and patient privacy a national topic of conversation, scientists and clinicians have continued to struggle to develop a comprehensive methodology for collecting and sharing data from patients and research subjects without jeopardizing their rights.

The University of California, San Diego’s iDASH project aims to address some of these fundamental challenges to research progress with its most recent series of “Driving Biological Projects” (DBPs) … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Lucila Ohno-MachadoLead investigator in the iDASH project is Lucila Ohno-Machado, MD, MBA, PhD, professor of medicine, founding chief of the Division of Biomedical Informatics and associate dean for informatics and technology at UC San Diego.

Among other research and education projects directed by Dr. Ohno-Machado are the Biomedical Research Informatics for Global Health training program and the biomedical informatics component of the UC San Diego – Universidade Eduardo Mondlane Medical Education Partnership Initiative.  |  See all DBMI research projects

Dr. Ohno-Machado joined the UC San Diego faculty from Harvard Medical School in 2009. She was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2010.

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Bringing Power of Prevention, Diagnosis to the People

“A Mercedes Benz isn’t designed to function in the Sahara Desert,” notes Dr. Eliah Aronoff-Spencer of the University of California, San Diego. “So why are we designing medical equipment for developing countries the same way we do for developed ones?”

It’s a question researchers at the new Distributed Health Laboratory in the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at UC San Diego aim to address, and eventually, to render moot. In collaboration with the UC San Diego School of Medicine and the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) in Maputo, Mozambique, Calit2’s DH Lab is designing low-cost medical devices such as microscopes and wireless sensing devices that can be used by virtually anyone anywhere in the world to prevent and even diagnose illness. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Co-directing the Distributed Health Laboratory is Eliah Aronoff-Spencer, MD, PhD, fellow in infectious diseases at UCSD and informatics coordinator for the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) between UC San Diego and Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) in Maputo, Mozambique.

Eliah Aronoff-Spencer, MD, PhD with Dr. Manuel TomasThe photo at left shows Dr. Aronoff-Spencer with UEM physician Dr. Manuel Tomás (at right) on a patient ward at Maputo Central Hospital.

Dr. Aronoff-Spencer is also an organizer of the Biomedical Research Informatics for Global Health Training (BRIGHT) program, an international collaboration devoted to training the next generation of informatics researchers in partner countries.

The BRIGHT program, a Division of Biomedical Informatics project, is funded by grant D43TW007015 from the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health.

A graduate of the UCSD Internal Medicine Residency Program and Physician-Scientist Training Pathway, Dr. Aronoff-Spencer has completed a fellowship in clinical infectious disease and is now a fellow in research in infectious disease, global health informatics and decision making at UCSD. He is also a staff physician in infectious disease at the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

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Dr. Lucila Ohno-Machado Elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation

Dr. Lucila Ohno-Machado

Dr. Lucila Ohno-Machado

Dr. Lucila Ohno-Machado, Professor of Medicine and founding chief of the Division of Biomedical Informatics, has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI).

Membership in the ASCI is a distinction that recognizes the nation’s most outstanding physician-scientists.

The honorees for 2010 were introduced April 24 at a joint meeting of the ASCI and the Association of American Physicians in Chicago.

Lucila Ohno-Machado, M.D., Ph.D., is a groundbreaking researcher and a respected director of advanced training programs in biomedical informatics. She joined the Department of Medicine faculty from Harvard Medical School in 2009.

“Lucila has always been a leader, and she will continue to lead UCSD in new directions in biomedical informatics, developing critical new tools that will help both basic researchers and clinicians in moving their programs forward,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., M.A.C.P., Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine.

“Her election to ASCI highlights both her accomplishments and the increasing recognition of her field as a critical component of the academic medical center,” he said.

Dr. Ohno-Machado’s primary research interest is prognostic modeling, the development of statistical models to predict clinical outcomes. She is principal investigator of an NIH-funded grant to develop methods for improving the calibration of prognostic models and of another research project funded by the Komen Foundation to validate breast cancer biomarkers using computational techniques.

Dr. Ohno-Machado received her M.D. degree from the University of São Paulo and her Ph.D. in Medical Information Sciences and Computer Science from Stanford University.

She is an elected fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. She serves as associate editor for both the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association and the Journal of Biomedical Informatics.

Since 2004, during her tenure at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Ohno-Machado has directed the Biomedical Research Informatics for Global Health Training (BRIGHT) Program, an educational consortium funded by the Fogarty International Center of the NIH.

The aim of the program is to unite U.S. researchers and institutions in a collaborative effort to conduct research and to develop informatics research training programs in low- and middle-income countries.

In its first five years, the program concentrated its efforts in Brazil, where it developed a certificate program in clinical informatics and supported a new doctoral program in bioinformatics at the University of São Paulo.

With a new 5-year, $1.23-million grant awarded last fall, the BRIGHT program is expanding its efforts to include Maputo, Mozambique, as well as additional areas of Brazil.

$1.23M Grant Will Fund Biomedical Research Informatics for Global Health Training

Lucila Ohno-Machado, MD, PhDThe National Institutes of Health has awarded $1.23 million to a team of UC San Diego researchers led by Lucila Ohno-Machado, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and founding Chief of the new Division of Biomedical Informatics.

The award, which comes from the Fogarty International Center, will support multi-departmental efforts under the Biomedical Research Informatics for Global Health Training (BRIGHT) Program.


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from UC San Diego News