The December 2023 issue of the DBMI Digest is now available!
The December 2023 issue of the DBMI Digest is now available!

 A Message from Peter Embí: 

2024 DBMI Updates

Dear DBMI family,
As 2023 comes to an end, I want to take a moment and thank you all for your hard work this year. It’s been an incredibly exciting and productive year, and you all should be very proud of what we’ve accomplished together. We also hope you are able to enjoy the season and take a well-deserved break over the next couple of weeks! 
On another note, you’ve likely noticed some recent messaging from us regarding ongoing and upcoming changes in and around DBMI, with an initial focus on improving our work processes, culture, and environment
Many of these changes stem from the work and input related to our Strategic Planning activities. In collaboration across our DBMI leadership, we have begun to address some of the of the items and needs that many of you expressed. Some of these include 1) expanded hoteling options for those who occasionally spend time in DBMI space but don’t have permanent offices in our suites 2) improvements around conference room scheduling 3) establishment of a quarterly All-Hands meetings and more!
Some of these are already working well, but as with any new efforts, some of these may require a bit of time, trial-and-error, collaborative feedback, and adjustment. Still, I am are encouraged by the direction in which we are in moving as we approach the new year and believe these changes will be the first of many to foster more seamless work processes at 2525 and invigorate our departmental culture! 
Below you’ll find detailed information about some immediate changes the new year will bring. Please feel free to contact with feedback and suggestions.
Thank you for all you do. See you in 2024!
Professor & Chair, Department of Biomedical Informatics
Professor of Medicine
Senior Vice-President for Research & Innovation

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Table of Contents

  1. EMS Scheduling & Space Hoteling
  2. Quarterly All-Hands Meetings, 2024
  3. Cybersecurity & Device Inventory
  4. Grand Rounds 2024
  5. Kudos!
  6. Looking Back at 2023
  7. Open Positions & Upcoming Events

EMS Scheduling & Space Hoteling

As the first of many actionable steps emerging from this year's Strategic Planning, we have implemented a new DBMI EMS room scheduling system. Directly informed by feedback received and the need to accommodate our robust hoteling needs, Phase I of space planning changes will be operationalized in the new year as of January 2. This includes improvements to the scheduling of conference rooms and hoteling spaces on 8, 14, and 15. Hoteling spaces (cubicles and offices) will be outfitted with basic office supplies, docking stations and monitors, three of which will be designated for Mac users.
We will be using a scheduling application called Accruent Event Management Systems. Through this application, employees can reserve specific spaces or conference rooms. EMS will enhance the ability to book in-person meetings, secure collaborative workspace, and enable flexibility to perform on-site tasks. The application can be conveniently accessed through a desktop ( or mobile device.   
The DBMI EMS application will be managed by departmental administrators (listed below) and at this time, employees can only reserve areas within their designated department. Should you want to collaborate with an employee from another department or external to VUMC, please reach out to an administrator for assistance.
NOTE: Conference rooms will require a process of "request and administrator approval"; hoteling spaces will be by "reservation" on a first come, first served basis and will not require administrator approval. 

The EMS will do the following:
  • Enhance the user's ability to request and reserve specific rooms and hoteling spaces.
  • Increase flexibility and accessibility for primary and secondary faculty, staff, and students. 
  • Maximize departmental space. 
  • Drive operational efficiencies and standards.
  • Mitigate administrative scheduling delays and backup coverage issues. 
An improved user experience because:
  • Employees can locate and book space to meet current workplace flexibility.
  • Improved collaboration when employees are enabled with the right resources.
  • Visitors receive an improved customer experience.
  • Centralized and transparent scheduling prevents mishaps and double bookings of space.
Helpful links to get you started:
Need Assistance? Here are our DBMI EMS Administrators:
As we begin to further evaluate our current space, the functionality of design, and space allocation to meet departmental and staffing needs, please reach out to me with feedback and suggestions. The hope is to transition over time to a more collaborative work environment to foster continued advancements in innovation. To do so, it will require your partnership and support to encourage departmental growth, improve workplace flexibility, and establish best practices and operational standards. Your understanding, cooperation, and patience in support of these changes is instrumental towards moving us forward. 

Quarterly All-Hands Meetings, 2024

We’ve received feedback about reinstating regular All-Hands meetings with faculty, staff and students of DBMI. The new All-Hands Meetings will take place once per quarter—the purpose will be to review important updates relevant to DBMI employees and trainees.
Another unique function of the All-Hands Meetings will be to provide trainings relevant to employees (i.e. safety trainings, Microsoft Teams trainings etc.), allow DBMI teams (i.e. faculty PIs, research staff and students) to discuss research and grants, and more!
More information (including topics and speakers) and calendar invitations will be shared in the new year. Please find the scheduled dates below:
  • Meeting #1: Jan. 23, 2024 at 12:00 pm
  • Meeting #2: April 25, 2024 at 12:00 pm 
  • Meeting #3: July 17, 2024 at 12:00 pm
  • Meeting #4: Oct. 23, 2024 at 1:00 pm

Cybersecurity & Device Inventory

If you haven’t already, please send your device information (yellow tag number, manufacturer and model) to Wil Comstock and Elizabeth Brown as soon as possible. We need to capture all equipment within the department to ensure that it is either managed by VUMC IT or appropriately registered, so the proper security agents may be installed. Not complying with this institutional request will result in your access to VUMC systems being blocked after January 1, 2024.  

DBMI Grand Rounds Spring 2024

The DBMI Grand Rounds for Fall 2023 ended last week on December 20. Thank you to Lina Sulieman, Jodi Dedeyan, Rischelle Jenkins, and Mia Garchitorena for their work on the newly revitalized Grand Rounds! And many thanks to our presenters and attendees this fall! 

The DBMI Grand Rounds will resume on Wednesday, January 17, 2024. NOTE: We have a couple of spots open for speakers in the Spring! If you have suggestions, email and!


DBMI Featured in VUMC Ethics Grand Rounds

The DBMI Grand Rounds on Dec. 13, 2023, sponsored by the VUMC Ethics Committee, featured Peter EmbiYaa Kumah-CrystalBrad Malin and Susannah Rose and was moderated by Ellen Clayton. The panelists discussed “Ethical Implications of AI in Clinical Care & Research”. The event garnered tons of in-person attendees and 170 remote attendees. Congrats!
Shoutout to Brad Malin for being a good sport and sharing this AI-generated background for today's presentation—created by Yaa Kumah-Crystal during the DBMI Annual Retreat!

Taylor & Atlee Thurston Welcome 2nd Child! 

Atlee Thurston and her husband, Taylor Thurston, Senior Project Manager in the Center for Improving the Public's Health through Informatics (CIPHI)welcomed their second child, Hugh Fletcher Thurston, a month earlier than expected on November 12th! Hugh was a healthy 5 lbs 10 oz at birth and has gained 2 pounds since being home, likely from all of the smooches and love from big brother Harvey! Congrats!

KJ Krause Got Engaged!

DBMI PhD student KJ Krause and his longtime partner, Tab Srisengfa, got engaged on November 28! The couple met eight years ago at a college Halloween party at UC Davis. Congrats! 

Looking Back at 2023!

Open Positions

Feel free to share our DBMI Open Positions with your friends and colleagues! 
Contact Jennifer Martellotti with questions. 

REMINDER: Update Your DBMI Bio Page

REMINDER: Please review your DBMI bio page and notify us of any changes. Updates can include:
  • New headshot
  • Updated degrees, professional titles
  • Updated bio information
  • Adding Google Scholar, PubMed, LinkedIn URLs
Email Mia Garchitorena ( and Wil Comstock (

Upcoming Events

Visit here for more details on upcoming summer events and previously recorded DBMI seminars.
Suggestions? Email