CINCINNATI —Peter White, PhD, has been named the Rieveschl Chair of the new department of biomedical informatics at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine and director of the division of biomedical informatics in the department of pediatrics and Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation.
White currently serves as director of the Center for Biomedical Informatics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and is research associate professor in the department of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
His appointment in Cincinnati will be effective Feb. 1, 2014, pending approval of the UC Board of Trustees.
The mission of the department of biomedical informatics is to use data to effectively create and apply knowledge to improve the understanding, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of health care issues.
"In this new role, Dr. White will develop vibrant and successful research and education programs in biomedical informatics that will build on previous work achieved here,” said Thomas Boat, MD, dean of the College of Medicine and UC vice president for health affairs. "The department will be the academic home for informatics faculty and will assist with collaborations and data sharing among UC, Children’s Hospital and UC Health.”
The department was previously approved by the UC Board of Trustees.
White, who will have a secondary appointment as professor of pediatrics, will lead efforts to develop a collaborative service core to support institutional needs for both bioinformatics expertise and medical informatics research. Additionally, he will develop a medical fellowship program for clinical informatics at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, with the first fellow expected during the 2016 fiscal year, and a doctoral program in biomedical informatics, pending UC and Ohio Board of Regents approval.
In his role at Cincinnati Children’s, White "will re-engineer data and software development services to most effectively meet the needs of investigators while focusing on team-based collaboration with researchers on data retrieval, transformation, management, delivery and analysis,” said Arnold Strauss, MD, Rachford Chair and professor of pediatrics and director of Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation. "Dr. White is expected to accelerate capacities especially for molecular and health services research and grow capabilities for genomics and proteomics research across the academic medical center.”
"I am extremely delighted to be joining such stellar institutions,” White said. "As biomedical research continues its transition to a data-driven discipline, academic medical centers are finding the need for transformative changes in how research is conducted. These changes involve investments in analytical capacity, a highly skilled workforce that empowers the entire institution through iterative learning structures and reinvention of practices that can more effectively translate data into improving the lives of patients. Investing and building capabilities in biomedical informatics will allow UC, Cincinnati Children’s and UC Health to maximize the utility of research and clinical data, and to apply knowledge generated from this data to improve patient outcomes.”
White received his doctorate in molecular genetics from Washington University in St. Louis in 1992 and later completed fellowship training there and at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He was appointed to the University of Pennsylvania faculty in 1999 and is a member of the university’s Abramson Cancer Center, Genome Frontiers Institute, graduate group in Genomics and Computational Biology, Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics and Center for Therapeutic Effectiveness Research.
At the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, White currently directs informatics research and resources involving genome-enabled medicine, clinical informatics, software development, informatics education and bioinformatics activities. He leads an active laboratory focused on developing genomic analysis, natural language processing, data integration and knowledge representation methods to determine the molecular origins of pediatric diseases such as cancer and congenital cardiac defects.
White also plays leading roles with several National Institutes of Health data projects, including the Newborn Screening Translational Research Network, Bench to Bassinet Program, Clinical Sequencing and Exploratory Research Consortium, and Audiology and Genetics Database.
Since 2004, he has held the David Lawrence Altschuler Endowed Chair in Genomics and Computational Biology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He has lectured widely and published more than 125 scientific articles on bioinformatics, genetics and cancer.