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The UAB Informatics Institute envisions the sharing of data between biomedical research and patient care that results in greater knowledge and improved health for people everywhere. 

Biomedical informatics is the art and science of organizing knowledge of human health and disease, and making it useful for problem solving. Informatics research, training and practice activities are prominent throughout many of schools of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The Informatics Institute was established in the School of Medicine in 2015 to accelerate and enhance these activities within the school and coordinate with relevant activities in other schools. The Institute is the de facto home for an informatics faculty, drawn from multiple clinical and basic science departments, who collaborate with other biomedical researchers and each other, to apply informatics solutions to biomedical research and healthcare tasks as a means to understanding fundamental challenges. This understanding, in turn, serves as the basis for their own research into developing new informatics methods and tools for addressing the future tasks. The Institute is also establishing undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate educational programs to train the next generation of informatics practitioners and researchers.

History of Informatics & the Institute

  • First article on medical computing appears in Science: Ledley and Lusted's "Reasoning Foundations in Medical Diagnosis"
  • First electronic patient records system
  • First Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care (SCAMC)
  • Future UAB Informatics Institute Director James J. Cimino presents his first paper at SCAMC
  • The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) is formed from the merger of three organizations: AAMSI, ACMI and SCAMC
  • First edition of Biomedical Informatics: Computer Applications in Health Care and Biomedicine published
  • American Nurses Association develops first Informatics Nursing certification exam
  • Informatics pioneer Dr. Morris F. Collen publishes "A History of Medical Informatics in the United States, 1950 to 1990"
  • A formal definition of biomedical informatics is developed by AMIA
  • First Board Certified Clinical Informatics Subspecialty Exam is administered
  • UAB Informatics Institute is established by UA System Board of Trustees
  • International clinical informatics expert James J. Cimino, M.D., joins UAb as the inaugural Director of the Informatics Institute
  • Bioinformatics expert Jake Y. Chen, Ph.D. joins the Institute as Associate Director

Our Mission

From data to knowledge to better health, the Informatics Institute’s researchers will apply their tools and techniques to the problems facing the researchers, practitioners, and patients at UAB and its partners, while conducting our own hypothesis-driven informatics research to develop the tools, and train the informatics researchers, of tomorrow.

Informatics Institute faculty and staff lead and conduct research across the biomedical informatics spectrum. Our faculty and staff have expertise in bioinformatics, computational and systems biomedicine, translational informatics, clinical research informatics, and clinical informatics. Informatics contributes toward timely prevention of diseases in individuals and communities, and is rapidly advancing health care and biomedical research.

The Informatics Institute's members contribute their expertise to facilitate medical, biomedical and translational research at UAB and around the world, through partnerships and collaborations with experimentalists and clinicians.

The Informatics Insitute is training the next generation of informatics researchers by offering educational programs and teaching informatics at the undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral level. The Institute offers a dynamic learning environment for students with a variety of courses available and the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research within the Institute. 

The Informatics Institute coordinates informatics-related efforts with other UAB initiatives, most notably the Center for Genomic Medicine and the Hugh Kaul Precision Medicine Institute.