Regents approve joint master's/doctoral program in biomedical informatics

UNMC/UNO program will provide students new opportunities in fast growing field

UNMC/UNO program will provide students new opportunities in fast growing field

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents Friday approved a new joint master’s/doctoral program in biomedical informatics through the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

The program responds to the urgent need for specialists who can effectively use biomedical data, information and knowledge for scientific inquiry, problem solving and decision making in an effort to improve human health, said B.J. Reed, Ph.D., senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at UNO.

The biomedical informatics field is growing rapidly, Dr. Reed said. It is a multidisciplinary, interprofessional program integrating the theory and practice of fields such as computer science, bio-imaging and public health.

“We need professionals who are uniquely positioned to help analyze and interpret the massive amounts of new information being generated in research, clinical and health care services and delivery,” said Dele Davies, M.D., UNMC vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean for graduate studies, “and to use their knowledge to solve problems in the biomedical field.”

Students enrolling in the program can earn either a master’s of science (M.S.) degree or a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in biomedical informatics (BMI).

Existing UNO and UNMC programs enroll 2-4 students per year. Expansion of the joint degree would create ongoing enrollment of five students, Dr. Davies said, and approximately 10 current students from UNO and UNMC would join the new program.

The program is designed as a graduate level, research-oriented program. It is geared towards traditional health sciences students as well as computer or information technology experts looking to expand their knowledge and work in an academic, clinical or business setting.

Dr. Davies said the UNMC/UNO joint BMI degree program will be similar to the BMI degree programs offered by other institutions across the country.

Since Omaha and Nebraska are home to many technology-related businesses and organizations, Dr. Davies said it is anticipated that students will be able to utilize the high-technology, business communities in Omaha and Lincoln for many of their projects.

Dr. Davies said Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education still needs to give final approval before the joint BMI degree can be offered.

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.

The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life.




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