Tuesday, August 28, 2007

ASU names new chief of Biomedical Informatics

[Source: Ed Taylor, East Valley Tribune] - Arizona State University has recruited a renowned expert in the field of medical information technology to head its Department of Biomedical Informatics.Dr. Robert Greenes, who has almost four decades of experience at Harvard University, will hold the Ira A. Fulton Chair in the new department, which is part of the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering. Greenes, 67, will become the department chairman on Sept. 1. He is leaving posts as professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Informatics at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He also has been a professor of health policy and management at the Harvard School of Public Health; professor in the Health Science and Technology Division, a joint division of Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and program director of the Boston Biomedical Informatics Training Program.

Greenes said he was leaving his prominent position in the Harvard medical community because of the “substantial planning efforts and resources” being devoted to building ASU’s biomedical informatics program. “I’m impressed by the eagerness at all levels of the university, especially its leadership, and among its partners, the University of Arizona, and other Arizona health and biomedical science institutions, to create a top-notch biomedical informatics program,” Greenes said in a statement. Biomedical informatics is a science that collects data, statistics and other information that can be used by physicians, researchers and others in the medical field to improve health care. The fast-emerging field integrates information technology, computer science, engineering, biology, mathematics and health sciences to improve medical training, research, diagnosis and treatment. The new department will be co-located at ASU’s main campus in Tempe and at the Arizona Biomedical Collaborative in downtown Phoenix, a joint venture of ASU and the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

“Having someone of Dr. Greenes’ caliber will help ASU quickly move to the leading edge of biomedical informatics,” ASU President Michael Crow said in a statement. “He will offer strong direction for the department to provide its students an outstanding education and also to contribute to improving health care in Arizona,” the statement said. Greenes is “without question among the world leaders in the use of collaborative medical informatics research to benefit patients, physicians and students,” said Dr. Jeffrey Trent, president of the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix.

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