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

UNMC and the University of Nebraska at Omaha have a new joint master's/doctoral program in biomedical informatics.

Approved by the NU Board of Regents Friday, 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.

"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 two to four 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 toward 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.

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