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Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biomedical Informatics:

Clinical, Translational and Genome Informatics

Postdoctoral training at the Yale Center for Medical Informatics (YCMI) focuses on the creative use of computers in support of clinical medicine, biomedical research, and medical education. Fellowships are sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Fellows engage in a variety of projects and attend courses, discussion groups, and seminars. Fellows may also help teach seminars and participate in academic computing activities within the medical center. The goal of the fellowship is to provide fellows with a range of experiences that will prepare them for a career based wholly or in part in Biomedical Informatics. The NLM expects post doctoral clinicians to obtain a masters degree during their fellowship. Yale offers a Master of Health Science (MHS) with a clincial informatics focus and a Master of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, further described below.

There are two general areas for our postdoctoral training:

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clinical informatics - focused in areas of clinical medicine and patient care,

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translational and genome informatics - focused in areas of genomics and proteomics, broadly defined,

Examples that illustrate each area can be found in the section which describes projects that previous fellows have carried out. We are also interested in helping provide each fellow as much integrated training in these areas as possible. We feel that it is extremely important for fellows working in each of these areas interact with one another. There are many common research themes that underlie all areas of Biomedical Informatics. In addition, research projects will increasingly involve several of these areas, as diverse types of data need to be integrated to fully understand biomedical phenomena. We anticipate that informatics researchers in all of these areas will be collaborating with each other on research, teaching, and other institutional initiatives throughout their careers. As a result, our training program emphasizes the interaction and interchange between fellows working in all areas of biomedical informatics. Information about other informatics training programs funded by the National Library of Medicine can be found at this NLM link. Note: In addition to the YCMI's postdoctoral training program described in this section, the Center is also centrally involved in Yale's interdepartmental PhD program in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics.

Biomedical Informatics Projects for Postdoctoral Fellows

The most important part of the fellowship involves each fellow carrying out one or more projects under the supervision of a faculty member. A project may be research-oriented, or may be quite applied with an interesting, innovative aspect. Fellows often choose a project that is part of a larger, ongoing YCMI activity. Fellows with particular interests, however, may define a project that is entirely their own, with faculty supervision. In either case, the goal is to help the fellow learn how to conceive, plan, and successfully carry out the project, and then write it up and present it.

In addition to working on their own projects, fellows frequently also participate in a less central way in other ongoing YCMI projects, thereby obtaining a broader exposure to different types of Biomedical Informatics activities. Section 3 describes a number of current and recent Biomedical Informatics projects at Yale. Section 4 describes the specific projects of previous fellows.

Courses

Fellows participate in the graduate course CBB 740 Clinical and Translational Informatics and a seminar on Core Topics in Biomedical Informatics. Fellows are also encouraged to attend other courses pertinent to their individual needs and interests, including computer science and bioinformatics courses.

Seminars and Lectures

A Biomedical Informatics lecture series meets roughly once a month. The format varies, including: invited speakers, Biomedical Informatics faculty and fellows describing their projects, journal club, and other topics of interest.

Master of Health Science (MHS) with a "Clinical Informatics" Focus for Postdoctoral Fellows

Yale School of Medicine now offers a Master of Health Science (MHS) degree with a clinical informatics focus. This degree is designed for postdoctoral informatics fellows who are clinicians. Fellows enrolled for this degree will complete an MHS research project and will also take a variety of courses focused on clinical/ translational research, medical informatics, and related courses and seminars. The specific courses taken by each fellow can be tailored to that individual's background, interests, and career plans.

Masters Degree (or PhD) Training in “Translational Informatics” for Postdoctoral Fellows

For postdoctoral fellows interested in the emerging field of translational research, we now offer an optional “Focus on Translational Informatics” within our Masters (or PhD) program in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (CBB). Translational research is concerned with bringing bioscience research discoveries into patient care. The CBB Translational Informatics focus emphasizes the intersection of bioinformatics and disease, and includes topics from both bioinformatics and clinical informatics. Examples include 1) research that uses genomic technologies to help better understand the mechanisms of disease, 2) organizing data from the electronic medical record to help define the clinical phenotype of many diseases, 3) building informatics tools that analyze clinical and bioscience data in an integrated fashion, and 4) the computer modeling of disease processes. (See the description of our CBB program for more detail.) Postdoctoral applicants interested in this program should contact Prof. Michael Krauthammer for information as to how to apply.

Patient Care (for Clinician Fellows)

Fellows with previous clinical training are encouraged to spend up to one day a week in clinical activities. This arrangement has several potential advantages. It helps fellows maintain their clinical skills. It may also help the fellow feel part of Yale at a clinical level, and may provide a context for identifying interesting projects.

Eligibility and Application

Applicants should have a doctoral degree (e.g., an MD or PhD) in the clinical or biological sciences. Applicants should also have considerable computer programming experience and a desire to pursue a career based, in whole or in part, in Biomedical Informatics.

The postdoctoral fellowship is normally a 2-3 year experience. If appropriate, a fellow (e.g., with an MD) may enroll for a longer period of time to study for a PhD, for example in Yale’s PhD program in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics.

We ask all applicants to send us a Curriculum Vitae, along with a one or two page description of their computer experience and career objectives. We also require three letters of reference. Due to limitations imposed by our funding, applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Applications from women and minorities are encouraged.

Contact Information

Clinician applicants should contact:
Cynthia Brandt, MD, M.P.H.
203-737-5762
cynthia.brandt@yale.edu

Bioscientist applicants should contact:
Michael Krauthammer, MD, PhD
203-737-1233
michael.krauthammer@yale.edu

Center for Medical Informatics
Yale University School of Medicine
300 George Street, Suite 501 New Haven, CT 06511

http://ycmi.med.yale.edu

 

 
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