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Biomedical Informatics (BMI): Research Fellowship

Use this guide to learn about research, training and real-world applications in the field of Biomedical Informatics

Biomedical Informatics Research Fellowship


The Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center (HSLIC) offers a three-year research fellowship for those at the post-doctoral level (with MD, PharmD or PhD degrees) who have an interest in becoming biomedical informatics investigators and/or academicians. Formal training in information technology is not required to be eligible for the fellowship. The fellowship program is designed to train individuals for biomedical informatics careers in academic research and the health care industry. In addition to extensive exposure to a wide spectrum of biomedical informatics topics, the curriculum also provides Fellows with the health services research skills necessary to become independently funded academic investigators.

Curriculum

The major components of the fellowship curriculum consists of the UNM MSCR Program offered through the UNM Biomedical Research Education Program (BREP), the 8-course biomedical informatics certificate program through the Oregon Health and Sciences University, and a mentored research project. This combined curriculum is a collaboration between the UNM BREP and HSLIC and represents a melding of the major curricular components to form the BMI fellowship curriculum. Upon successful completion of the combined program, the student will receive a M.S. degree in clinical research,  a certificate from the Oregon Health and Sciences University Graduate Certificate Program in Biomedical Informatics, and a BMI fellowship certificate from UNM.

The fellowship requires completion of a mentored research project in the Fellow's area of interest, with the goal of publishing the results in a national journal. Fellows are strongly encouraged to develop mentoring relationships with other faculty members at the Health Sciences Center, the University of New Mexico and outside institutions for additional mentoring. Dedicating a portion of the fellow's time to clinical or service activities is also strongly encouraged to provide the fellow with "real world" experience.

The fellowship curriculum is designed with demonstrable competencies that are to be attained at defined levels of expertise. Each of the competencies is mapped to the various UNM and external educational resources that are available to ensure that the fellow attains each competency successfully. This allows for maximum flexibility when tailoring the curriculum to individual fellows’ needs.

As seen in the image below, the first year of the combined program is drawn primarily from the MSCR’s curriculum (basic clinical research competencies). Then, as the fellow advances in the program, the more time is allocated towards the BMI curriculum.

Image of 2 90-degree triangles merged together to represent the amount of time each fellow will spend on either the BMI or MSCR curriculum over the 3-year fellowship. Year 1 is mainly focused on the MSCR curriculum and year-3 is more geared towards the BMI curriculum/thesis project.

 

Summary of Responsibilities

  • Successful attainment of all the competencies in the UNM BMI Training Program’s competencies-based curriculum.

  • Successful attainment of all the competencies in the UNM Clinical and Translational Sciences Center, MS in Clinical Research Program. (There is considerable overlap between the BMI and MSCR curricula). For detailed information about the MSCR curriculum, see: http://hsc.unm.edu/research/brep/graduate/mscr/resources.html.

  • Successful completion of an online eight-course certificate program in BMI from Oregon Health and Sciences University

  • Successful completion of a mentored research project in BMI with a manuscript submitted to a peer-reviewed journal

  • Participation as an active HSLIC faculty member, including participation on appropriate informatics-related faculty projects and committees

  • Devotion of approximately 20 percent of his or her time to clinical service, teaching, a UNM BMI Program administrative project or some combination based on the fellow’s prior background and research interests

  • Assistance in coordinating the UNM Biomedical Informatics Seminar Series (BioMISS). For a list of all the past seminars of speakers and topics, see http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/bmi/

  • Presentation about a biomedical informatics topic at two BioMISS seminars per year

  • Submission of a grant application for research support

Required Qualifications

  • Terminal degree in a biomedically relevant field (e.g., MD, PhD, PharmD, DPT). Those with PhDs in areas not traditionally considered to be “biomedically relevant” will be considered if the fellow has a research interest in the biosciences (e.g., electrical engineering, computer science). Must have the terminal degree by the start of the fellowship.

  • A three-year, full-time commitment

  • Applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S.
     

Preferred Qualifications

  • Subject knowledge or the quality of the training in the area related to the candidate's terminal degree

  • Subject knowledge of computer science or a related field

  • Prior scholarship (e.g., publications, grants funded, talks at major meetings, software/websites developed)

  • Project-management skills and experience

  • Motivation and commitment demonstrated in the field of biomedical informatics

  • Experience or formal training in the use of some information and communications technologies in a biomedical domain

  • Teaching experience and skills

  • Demonstrated excellence in written and oral communication skills

Application Cycles

HSLIC begins the recruitment process for a new fellow every other year. The next application cycle will commence in March 2020. More details coming soon - Please stay tuned via the BMI Libguide! 
 

Application Requirements During Open Recruitment

To be considered complete, application materials must include the following:

  • A letter of interest addressing the required and preferred qualifications
  • A complete CV
  • A one-page personal statement that describes the applicant’s interest in biomedical informatics
  • Complete contact information for three professional references

 

Regents' Policy 

The University of New Mexico is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and Educator.

Regents' Policy Manual - Section 6.7: Disclosure of Information about Candidates for Employment, which includes information about public disclosure of documents submitted by applicants, is located at http://policy.unm.edu/regents-policies/section-6/6-7.html.

Michael Bernauer, PharmD
​2016 - 2019 Biomedical Informatics Research Fellow

Michael Bernauer, PharmD, earned his doctor of pharmacy degree from the UNM College of Pharmacy. During his time at the College of Pharmacy, he worked with Dr. Jason McConville to develop a wireless medication compliance monitor. He has submitted two invention disclosures to the University of New Mexico Science and Technology Center. In 2015, Bernauer completed a two-month research externship at the Rheinische Friedrich–Wilhelm University of Bonn, Germany. This research was conducted under the advisement of Dr. Jason McConville and Dr. Alf Lamprecht and was directed toward the development of 3D printed airways for use in medication inhalation studies. His current research interests include the use of machine learning methods for identification of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) PFGE strain types, as well medication compliance monitoring, postmarket surveillance and pharmacovigilance. One of Bernauer's main goals for the fellowship is to narrow his research focus. Henotes, “In the past, my research interests varied and have ranged from the use of machine learning for classifying MRSA PFGE strain types to the development of wireless medication compliance monitors. More recently, I’ve become interested in anomaly detection and mining the CMS Medicare Part D provider utilization and payment data as a means to identify aberrant prescribing patterns.”
 

​Felicha Candaleria-Cook, PhD
​2013 - 2016 Biomedical Informatics Research Fellow

Felicha Candelaria–Cook, PhD, completed the fellowship in 2016 and is currently serving as an adjunct professor for HSLIC. She earned her doctoral degree in behavioral neuroscience from the UNM Department of Psychology. Her doctoral research focused on the role of cannabinoid receptors in memory consolidation processes in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. She studied the neurobiology of learning and memory, effects of fetal ethanol exposure, spatial navigation, structural plasticity and electrophysiology. During her time in the department, Candelaria–Cook held various research assistant and fellowship positions from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Her current interest is in neuroinformatics and clinical research in neuroscience. During her three-year fellowship, she pursued further research into memory processes and human imaging.
 

Shamsi Berry, PhD
​2010 - 2013 Biomedical Informatics Research Fellow

Shamsi Berry, PhD, completed her tenure as a HSLIC Biomedical Informatics Fellow in 2013. She now serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor for HSLIC and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Shamsi earned her doctoral degree in biological anthropology from the University of New Mexico. Her doctoral research focused on the prediction of body mass from the skeleton and the creation of a new and improved way to estimate an individual’s weight. During that time, she was a research and lab assistant at the Laboratory of Human Osteology at the Maxwell Museum. She spent her time analyzing skeletons, excavating burials and teaching students about anthropology. For the past two years, she has been working with Dr. Philip Kroth on an informatics project related to the James K. Economides Orthodontic Collection housed at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology. Through the project, she became interested in biomedical informatics and is now the new Biomedical Informatics Fellow. During the three-year fellowship, she pursued further research into body mass and health outcomes.
 

Randall Stewart, MD

Dr. Stewart graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor of science in premedicine in 1994 and earned his MD degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1998. He completed an internship through the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, working at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinics.

In 1999, he transferred to the University of New Mexico to complete his residency in psychiatry. The UNM Department of Psychiatry has been working toward a behavioral health-specific electronic medical record since 2002. This was during Stewart's fourth year of residency when, as chief resident, he began his medical informatics involvement, providing clinical representation on the Implementation Team. Following residency, he worked as a  Department of Psychiatry faculty member for one year prior to transitioning to the Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center to pursue a career in medical informatics.

In 2005, Stewart was awarded fellowship funding through a National Library of Medicine Individual Medical Informatics Fellowship grant. He studied the effects of documentation using electronic health records on the psychiatric patient population and completed the fellowship in 2008. His interests also included application development, EHR implementation, medical coding and standardized languages. He left UNM after working as a biomedical informatics faculty member for one year to take a job working with terminology standards at the VA in Salt Lake City, Utah.
 

Trevor Rohm, MD

Dr. Rohm started the fellowship in 2008 when he completed his residency in family and community medicine at UNM. His interests centered on natural language processing, and he began a project evaluating the feasibility of using a caBIG (Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid) tool and caTIES as a case-identification method using full text surgical pathology reports for the UNM Tissue Repository and Experimental Pathology Laboratory. Because of unanticipated personal reasons, Rohm had to leave the fellowship prematurely. He is now practicing medicine in the Albuquerque area.

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