Read the Feb. 2023 issue of the DBMI Digest.
Read the Feb. 2023 issue of the DBMI Digest.

AMIA 2023 Submissions Due MARCH 8, 2023

The call for submissions is open for the AMIA 2023 Annual Symposium. Submit your research by March 8, 2023, to the premier informatics meeting held November 11-15 in New Orleans, gathering more than 2,500 informatics professionals. Click here for more information!

The AMIA 2023 Annual Symposium will consider submissions of the following types:
  • Paper, Student Paper
  • Podium Abstract
  • Poster, Panel
  • Informatics Debate
  • Systems Demonstration
  • Workshop
Please submit your work by Wednesday, March 8, 2023. If you have questions about AMIA submissions, reach out to faculty including Allison McCoy ( and Adam Wright (!
The AMIA Symposium has dropped its previous restriction on numbers of first-authored submissions. In previous years, people could serve as first author on only one of each type of submission (paper, panel, poster, etc.). However, Jeff Williamson at AMIA confirmed this month that the AMIA Publications Committee and the Scientific Program Committee has lifted the restriction. 

Table of Contents

  1. HR Updates & Reminders
  2. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  3. Faculty News 
  4. Education
  5. DBMI Spotlight: Benjamin Collins
  6. Funding Opportunities
  7. COVID-19 Updates
  8. Open Positions + Upcoming Events

HR Updates & Reminders

MyWorkday News Updates

The MyWorkday project at VUMC involves the implementation of two new cloud-based systems, Workday and Tecsys. MyWorkday will transform VUMC’s business systems. The go-live date for MyWorkday is April 1.
Below are important resources and updates:
To see the MyWorkday site, click here. If you have questions about MyWorkday, contact Elizabeth Brown ( 

Microsoft Teams Trainings Available

If you need Microsoft Teams training, there are training videos available for all levels on the VUMC Microsoft Teams page. Click here to access the recordings:

Kimberley Kondratieff Cox Welcomes Baby Girl!

Phoebe Elizabeth Karlovna Cox was born Saturday, February 11th at 7:40 pm to Charles and DBMI PhD Student Kim (Kondratieff) Cox at Tennova Healthcare in Clarksville.
"Mom and baby are both doing very well, and looking forward to going back home to research the medical system versus be part of it!" said Charles. 
Congrats to the Cox family!!

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

February is Black History Month. In recognition of BHM, a few members of DBMI shared what the month means to them & how informatics & those working in health care can improve health equity. Benjamin Collins, postdoc in DBMI, shared his thoughts.

Faculty News

Dara Mize Named Chief Medical Information Officer

As the newly named chief medical information officer for Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Dara Mize assumes a critical role for the health system.
She will serve on the HealthIT executive team as the primary liaison to clinical leadership across VUMC. Mize will lead the team of clinical directors who have extensive expertise in clinical informatics. These clinical directors work with HealthIT experts to analyze, develop and implement solutions that optimize the use of technology and its impact on caring for VUMC’s patients and families. Click to read more!

Brad Malin Discusses ChatGPT:

Becker's Hospital Review

Transparency, integrity and ethics are at the heart of an ongoing debate across the scientific community around using the tool in research. 

Bradley Malin, Vice Chair for Research in DBMI who also leads an ethics group for the National Institutes of Health's Bridge2AI program, told Becker's what is important for physicians to keep in mind about ChatGPT for now is that it is a new tool and can be useful, but there is still much to learn about its accuracy and reasoning. Click to read more!

Publications, News & Appointments:

2023 REDCap Day Highlights Tool’s New Features, Global Impact

Established in 2016, REDCap Day (Research Electronic Data Capture) is an annual event featuring presentations and workshops for the Vanderbilt and Meharry Medical College research community. For the third year in a row, REDCap Day was hosted virtually.

There were three morning-long sessions, Feb. 1-3, drawing 415 attendees from a total of 158 departments representing Vanderbilt and Meharry.
“Attendance was high across all three days, and we received dozens of requests for the video recordings and presentation slides. I think this demonstrates the value of REDCap education and the REDCap Day event to our Vanderbilt community,” says Stephany Duda, associate professor in the DBMI and host of REDCap Day. Click to read the story!

REMINDER: Change in Process for IRB Submissions

As DBMI’s Vice Chair for Research, Brad Malin will be taking over the responsibility of approving new IRB requests for our department’s investigators. Moving forward, when submitting a new IRB study in DISCOVERe, investigators will need to select "Brad Malin" as the Department Chair instead of "Peter Embi" to ensure the submission is properly routed. If investigators select the wrong name, they can change it by retracting the signature in DISCOVRe and then selecting a new signatory.


A Message from Jessica Ancker to Faculty

We have 2 fully funded postdoc positions coming open this summer on the T15 training grant. Please refer any candidates to us, and also consider whether any postdocs you are currently supporting on grant funding might be eligible to move over to this opportunity.

To be eligible, candidates must have a PhD, MD, PharmD, or other doctorate, and must be US citizens or permanent residents. Candidates can use the T15 opportunity to earn a masters degree in biomedical informatics if they desire, or can do research full-time. Please get in touch with me, Kim Unertl or Rischelle Jenkins if you'd like more information.

DBMI Spotlight: Benjamin Collins

Each month, we will feature one of our DBMI faculty, staff, students, trainees or alumni. If you or someone you know is new to the department, has an interesting backstory, or is making an impact at work or in their personal lives, email Mia Garchitorena at!  
Benjamin Collins, MD, MA, MS, is a postdoctoral research fellow at VUMC DBMI working on ethics, legal, and social issues of artificial intelligence in healthcare; internal medicine, clinical informatics; interest in clinical decision support and addressing health disparities.
He is a graduate of the clinical informatics fellowship program at Oregon Health & Science University. Clinically, he is a graduate of the Temple University Hospital internal medicine residency program and practices as a hospitalist. During residency, he also earned an MA in Urban Bioethics from Temple with a thesis on, “A Theory of Sociotechnical Justice in Healthcare.”
He is interested in the use of AI to support the functions of clinical decision support and committed to reducing health disparities. This commitment includes working to ensure that AI does not contribute to those disparities through qualitative research, community engagement, and improving clinician education & training in the use of AI. Outside of informatics he is also interested in medical education, narrative medicine, and medical philosophy. He volunteers as a member of the Diversity, Education, and Inclusion Committee in AMIA.
He joined DBMI in July 2022 and has already made an impact at the institution through his research and presentations at AMIA. Below, he shares his story:
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Ft. Campbell, TN, before growing up in several locations including Germany, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Tell us about your family!
My father served over 20 years in the Army and my mother was a teacher and a reading specialist. Growing up, I spent much of my time following in the steps of my older sister, Candyce. She shaped a lot about who I am.
Pictured right: Candyce and Benjamin on his first day of school.  
What memories from growing up stand out to you?
Living in Germany was an especially memorable experience for me. Many of my early memories are from Germany and I started school while living there. Moving to different places and getting to meet different people had a strong effect on my perspective on life.
What did you imagine your career path would be while you were growing up? Were you interested in STEM? If so, why?
I followed my dream to become a physician from as far back as I can remember while the details of how that looked changed depending on my experiences along the way. Eventually, I was able to put together my interest in medicine with my interest in computers.
Tell us about your early career path. What moments impacted you?
During internal medicine residency at Temple University Hospital, I was inspired to pursue informatics after conversations with a medical student about the use of computer technology in medicine and a suggestion from the residency program director. I thank them for helping me to find this path.
When and how did you come to DBMI? What interested you about DBMI?
I came to DBMI in July 2022 after completing my clinical informatics fellowship at OHSU for a role as a postdoctoral research fellow under the mentorship of Ellen Clayton and Brad Malin (pictured above).  
This was a great opportunity to work within a large department where I could make lots of connections and learn from other people as I shift my primary area of work from clinical to research.
Tell us about your research. What projects have you been a part of that you’re particularly passionate about?
My research is focused on the ethical use of artificial intelligence in healthcare, including addressing health disparities. I am currently working with a great MD/PhD student, Victor Borza (pictured right), on looking at patient trust in AI for healthcare which is a major determinant of how well AI can be adopted.
You received the Academic Forum Best Paper Award at AMIA 2022 for your work on the “Development of an Online Training Module on Algorithmic Bias in Health Care for Clinicians”.
Could you tell us about when and how you began researching this at OHSU?

After I developed an interest in AI for healthcare, this work began as a capstone project for an MS degree in biomedical informatics under the guidance of Eilis Boudreau at OHSU. In learning about AI and the concern for algorithmic bias, I became aware that there was little being done to make clinicians aware of this risk even though AI is being implemented in healthcare.
What was challenging and surprising about this research?
It was challenging to build the module as I programmed the interactive module and the website from scratch. In addition, this was an area without much expert guidance and little prior work on which to base the module. An extensive literature review was used to guide the content that was included in the module.
What was your main takeaway and its significance?
Due to how much content there is in the current medical education curriculum and the constant need for ongoing training, there is little space for additional content. However, practical content can be taught in a clinical context so that clinicians can learn about content like algorithmic bias while still learning medical knowledge. Online modules are one way to make content available which has not yet been incorporated into the medical education curriculum.
When you think of Black History Month, what or who comes to mind and why?
There are so many people who deserve attention not just during Black History Month but throughout the year for their dedication to social justice. For me, what comes to mind first are the efforts to continue to make progress. Every step forward takes a lot of effort from many people, and many of those people who contribute will never find their names written into history books, but are well deserving of admiration.
How can physicians and informaticians help improve health equity and DEI?
Awareness is key. The understanding that we have a lot of work left to do is the first step to taking the necessary steps to improve healthy equity. Although there isn’t a simple solution, I appreciate the efforts of everyone I have worked with at VUMC in pursuit of health equity and DEI.
What advice do you have for people of color and allies working in our field?
It is important be make connections with people who you can trust but also people who are willing to put their trust in you. Whether that is leading others as a mentor or learning as a mentee, the human experience among people brings people together to move forward. Many people have helped me to achieve success and continue to provide their guidance and support. It is from a strong foundation of supportive people from which a person can grow or get through difficult times.

Funding News & Opportunities

REMINDER: Contact Terri DeMumbrum When Considering a Grant Submission

All grant proposals require approval of the Office of Sponsored Programs prior to submission. Terri will review the opportunity announcement and prepare a submission timeline/checklist as well as help with the submission. Email her at
NIH Funding Opportunities & Notices. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers funding for many types of grants, contracts and even programs that help repay loans for researchers. To view current funding opportunities, visit here

COVID Updates:

"The Haunting Brain Science of Long Covid" by VUMC's E. Wesley Ely

What exactly is going on inside the brains of people with long COVID from a biological and pathological perspective? 
E. Wesley Ely, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine and Critical Care at VUMC and Associate Director of Aging Research at the Tennessee Valley Veteran’s Affairs Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, shares his findings in STAT. Click to read.

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 (

Open Positions

Visit here to view current open positions throughout DBMI and its Centers. If your team has a job opening, please email Mia Garchitorena at

Upcoming Events

Visit here for more details on upcoming events in March 2023 and previously recorded DBMI seminars.
Suggestions? Email