BIDS Faculty Mentors

Jeffrey Blume, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Biostatistics, Founder and Director of the Biostatistics Graduate Program. Primary research areas in foundations of statistical inference, Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves, clinical trials, and neuroimaging. He teaches BIOS342: Contemporary Statistical Inference and BIOS370: Foundation of Statistical Inference.


John (Tony) Capra, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Informatics, Investigator in the Vanderbilt Genetics Institute.  Primary research in developing of scalable tools for integrate thousands of genome-scale data sets to study human evolution. He teaches BSCI 2210: Principles of Genetics and BSCI 3272: Genome Science and has mentored 8 graduate students, many underrepresented STEM environments.


Guanhua Chen, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biostatistics. Primary research area is statistical learning for high-dimensional biomedical data and personalized medicine. His papers have appeared in top-flight journals, including PNAS and Nature Genetics. He is co-instructor of BIOS362: Advanced Statistical Inference and committee member of two doctoral students studying high-dimensional EMR data. 


Qingxia Chen, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Biostatistics and Biomedical Informatics.  Primary area of research is missing data, survival data analysis, and statistical method evaluation in-high dimensional EMR datasets. She designed and taught EPID 323: Design and Analysis with Time-to-Event Data and BIOS 323: Applied Survival Analysis. 


You Chen, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics.  Primary area of research is in health data analytics, healthcare organization modeling, healthcare workflow modeling, transfer learning of phenotypes, and healthcare security and privacy. 


Nancy Cox, Ph.D. Mary Philips Edmonds Gray Professor of Genetics, Director of the Vanderbilt Genetics Institute, and Director of the Division of Genetic Medicine. Primary research area is development of computational tools to characterize genetic basis of common human diseases.  Her research focuses on large-scale integration of *-omics and EMR data. She has mentored numerous graduate students and junior faculty.


Joshua Denny, M.D., M.S. Associate Professor of BMI and Medicine. Primary research area in development of massively parallel processing methods for phenotyping in EMR datasets, genome- and phenome-wide association studies. He has mentored over 25 graduate and postdoctoral students in BMI and genetics, co-directs the BMI journal club, and teaches medical students, housestaff physicians, while still seeing patients.


Todd Edwards, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Medicine. Primary research area in development of statistical methods for genetic association and next-generation resequencing studies, which are applied to large-scale association studies of common complex traits, and is an extensive user of the BioVU resource and ACCRE cluster.  He teaches EPID333: Analytic Techniques in Genetic Epidemiology.


Daniel Fabbri, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Computer Science. Primary research area in big health data analytics and knowledge management and is a member of the Vanderbilt Trans-institutional Program in big data infrastructure.  He teaches CS5292: Big Data and is an instructor in Vanderbilt's Software Carpentry Bootcamp. 


Christopher Fonnesbeck, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biostatistics. Primary research area in computational statistics, Bayesian analysis, and machine learning. He created BIOS6301: Introduction to Statistical Computing and BIOS8366: Advanced Statistical Computing, and mentors three graduate students. He directs the Statistical Computing Series and coordinates the Software Carpentry Bootcamp.


Mark Frisse, M.D., M.S., M.B.A., Accenture Professor of Biomedical Informatics. Primary research in methods to integrate and analyze disparate data sources through HIE and emerging sensor technologies. His  research has been funded both by AHRQ, ONC, and CMS. He directs BMIF6300: Foundations of Biomedical Informatics, while he also lectures in the Schools of Nursing and Management.


Cynthia Gadd, Ph.D., M.B.A. Professor of Biomedical Informatics. Primary research areas in implementation and evaluation of clinical information systems, including e-prescribing and regional health information exchange (HIE). She co-directs BMIF6370 Evaluation Methods in Biomedical Informatics and is developing a summer seminar on Responsible Conduct of Research. 


Frank Harrell, Ph.D. Professor & Chair of Biostatistics. Primary research area in reliable statistical models, predictive accuracy, and regression modeling.  He received the WJ Dixon Award for Excellence in Statistical Consulting from the American Statistical Association.  He teaches BIOS6330: Regression Modeling Strategies.


Paul Harris, Ph.D. Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Biomedical Engineering, Director of the Vanderbilt Office of Research Informatics.  Primary research area in building software to support local and network-based research.  He teaches BMIF7360: Clinical Research Informatics and a Coursera MOOC on Data Management for Clinical Research, which in its first 3 offerings supported more than 40,000 learners across 196 countries.


Maithilee Kunda, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Computer Science.  A leader in the design and discovery of computational models to better understand what role visual mental representations - mental images - play in learning and problem solving, with a particular focus on autism.


Bennett Landman, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Radiological Sciences.  Primary research area is MRI & statistical analysis of medical imaging. He teaches undergraduate courses in signal processing and has designed and teaches EECS6358: Quantitative Medical Image Analysis.


Thomas Lasko, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics.  Primary area of research in the computational aspects of precision medicine, with a particular focus on the phenotype discovery problem using deep learning methods over large quantities of EMR data.  He is the chair or doctoral dissertation committee member for six biomedical informatics students.  He is one of the directors of BMIF6300: Foundations Biomedical Informatics.


Carlos Lopez, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology, Bioengineering, and Biomedical Informatics. Primary research area is in development of physical-law based models to predict how biochemical reaction networks give rise to phenotypic outcomes. He currently teaches BMIF6310: Foundations of Bioinformatics.


Bradley Malin, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Computer Science  Primary research areas in distributed databases, data mining and machine learning in high-dimensional EMR datasets, data privacy and security, and technology policy.  He designed and teaches BMIF7380: Data Privacy in Biomedicine and designed the big data mining modules for BMIF6315: Methodological Foundations of Biomedical Informatics.  He is the co-founder and co-director of the the Center for Genetic Privacy and Identity in Community Settings, an NIH Center of Excellence in Ethics Research.


Jens Meiler, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Biomedical Informatics.  Primary research area in fusing computational and experimental efforts to investigate small molecule substrates, therapeutics, or probes.  He teaches CHEM321: Biophysical Chemistry and CHEM337: Computational Structural and Chemical Biology.


Gregor Neuert, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics.  Primary research area is in quantitative systems biology of signal transduction and gene regulation of coding and non-coding RNA. He currently teaches the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program module on Quantitative Systems Biology.





Wayne Ray, Ph.D. Professor of Health Policy. Primary research area in population-based studies of therapeutic interventions and innovation of computational methods to analyze large cost-based health datasets (e.g., from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid).  He is also the founder of the Vanderbilt Master of Public Health program.


Antonis Rokas, Ph.D. Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Informatics, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Biological Sciences.  Primary research area in combining computational and experimental methods to investigate evolution of the eukaryotic genome. He teaches BSCI272: Genome Science, BSCI110B: Introduction to Biological Sciences, and BSCI205: Evolution.


Matthew Shotwell, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biostatistics.  Primary research area in statistical inference, reproducibility, and parallel computing for statistics applications. He currently teaches BIOS7362: Statistical Learning. 


Janos Sztipanovits, Ph.D. E. Bronson Ingram Distinguished Professor of Engineering, Professor of Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Computer Science; Director of the Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS).  Primary research area in embedded software and metaprogrammable tools for IoT and health care coordination.  He teaches CS6388: Model-Integrated Computing and CS6377: Advanced Embedded Systems.


Yevgeniy Vorobeychik, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Computer Engineering. Primary research area in artificial intelligence, security, multi-agent systems, and game theory with applications in vaccine design.  He teaches CS6362: Machine Learning and CS6395: Computational Economics, and the undergraduate Artificial Intelligence course.


Yaomin Xu, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and Biomedical Informatics.  Primary research area in high-throughput analysis methods for associating next-generation sequencing data with various diseases. He lectures in BMIF6310: Foundations of Bioinformatics and was an invited lecturer in Omics Data Analysis at the Cleveland Clinic.


Colin Walsh, M.D., M.A. Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Medicine.  Primary research area in real-time predictive analytics and decision support in mental health. Prior to joining Vanderbilt, he taught information security and unintended consequences of health IT to medical students at Columbia University, and supported the DBMI Computational Methods curriculum for graduate students and postdocs.


Jonathan Wanderer, M.D., M.Phil. Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Biomedicla Informatics.  Primary research area in analytic methods for risk stratification in perioperative outcomes.  He mentors numerous medical students and  teaches a longitudinal perioperative medicine course. A member of the Anesthesia Quality Institute’s Practice Quality Improvement Committee, which focuses on utilization of big data.


Jeremy Warner, M.D., M.S. Assistant Professor of Medicine (Division of Hematology/Oncology) and BMI. Primary research area in large-scale network analysis for EMR, genomic, and public data to improve cancer care. He mentors several graduate students, co-directs the VUMC medical student Research Immersion Course, and teaches in clinic.  He is Chair of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Health IT Workgroup.


Bing Zhang, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Cancer Biology.  Primary research area in high-dimensional *-omics data analysis, network biology, and visualization, while relying heavily on the ACCRE cluster. He directs the Applied Bioinformatics module of IGP300B: Bioregulation II and lectures on omics data analysis in BMIF310: Foundations of Bioinformatics.