SBMI Alumnus Receives Prestigious Award

Published July 16, 2012 by Sarah Kelly

Muhammad Walji, PhDHOUSTON-(July 16, 2012)- Muhammad Walji, who graduated from the School of Biomedical Informatics in 2006 with a Ph.D. in Health Informatics, is one of the 40 recipients of the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards across the six UT System health campuses and one of the ten recipients from UTHealth Houston.

“I am passionate about helping students become better thinkers, problems solvers, and in dealing with situations where optimal answers to important questions may not exist,” Walji said. “Students in health professions have a mountain of data and information they have to navigate.”

Walji is the Director of Informatics and an associate professor at UTHealth School of Dentistry. He is also an adjunct faculty member at SBMI and the Associate Director of the National Center for Cognitive Informatics and Decision Making in Healthcare (SHARPC).

This is the first year that the UT System has given the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards to faculty at UT health institutions. Each of the faculty members will be featured on the UT System website and receive a $25,000 award.

“The board is very pleased to offer these teaching excellence awards for the first time to faculty members at our outstanding comprehensive academic health science centers,” Regents’ Chairman Gene Powell said. “These awards demonstrate the board’s commitment to recognize outstanding faculty members for their exceptional performance and innovation in the classroom.”

Faculty members are evaluated by students, peer faculty and external reviewers to be considered for this award. The review panel considers multiple criteria like classroom expertise, student success, quality of course material and improvements in curriculum.

“I hope that teaching our students about the science of informatics and arming them with the necessary skills and tools to effectively manage this information will help them in making safe and effective clinical decisions throughout their career,” Walji said.