News Release
February 20, 2013

Penn Medicine Establishes New Institute for Biomedical Informatics

PHILADELPHIA — The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania announces the creation of the Institute for Biomedical Informatics (IBI).

With support from the naming gift of the Smilow Center for Translational Research, the IBI will “bring together the large number of Penn faculty who work in the broad field of biomedical informatics to inform science and medical care.  We will expand the number of faculty even more to create a wide-ranging program of research and education to find and clinically apply the treatments of the future and to train the next generation of physician-scientists,” says J. Larry Jameson, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President for the Health System and Dean of the Perelman School of Medicine.

John Hogenesch, Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology, has been named interim director of the IBI. Given the breadth of this field, three associate directors have also been named: John Holmes Ph.D., associate professor of Medical Informatics in Epidemiology; Klaus Kaestner, Ph.D., professor of Genetics; and Curtis Langlotz M.D., Ph.D., professor of Radiology.  A national search will be launched this spring for the institute’s permanent leader.

Big data is increasingly driving both biological research and clinical care. In biomedicine, this information runs the gamut from bioinformatics at the genome and molecular level, to health-care informatics at the clinical level, to public-health informatics at the population level.

The IBI, in partnership with the Schools of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Nursing, and Veterinary Medicine, as well as The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, will tackle challenges directly relevant to patient care, as well as improve basic research that leads to more personalized care.

The Institute will also focus on educating the next generation of biomedical informaticians by folding in a new Masters in Biomedical Informatics degree program with the existing Ph.D. program in Genomics and Computational Biology and by creating additional graduate and medical training programs as this field evolves.

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Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine is currently ranked #2 in U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $479.3 million awarded in the 2011 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; and Pennsylvania Hospital the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Penn Medicine also includes additional patient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2011, Penn Medicine provided $854 million to benefit our community.

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