Former Students


Emily Pettigrew

"I worked under Erel Joffe, assisting in his clinical informatics research in the summer of 2013. We were studying natural language processing of clinical notes. I worked on two projects: a system to improve note classification using expert input, and a system that applies sentiment analysis techniques to analyze indications of patient compliance in clinical notes. My internship here was a great experience—I grew as a programmer, and became much more familiar with the scientific research process. The group was supportive, and I felt much more confident about my future career path at the end of the summer. I plan to continue working for UTHealth in the fall."



Franco Bettati

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Zhi Tan

"I am a Ph.D. candidate in Graduate School of Biomedical Science in UT-Houston and MD Anderson cancer center. I did one of my rotations in Dr. Bernstam’s lab. During this time, I worked with Dr. Erel Joffe on the eye tracking project. The aim is to identify the contents interest physicians when they are reading clinical notes. My responsibility is to write the codes getting information from text files and convert them to the format which can be used in eye tracking experiments. I also take the responsibility of calculating the coordinates of the words in the text files, which are used to mapping the output of experiments. I really enjoyed my experience working here. It brings me introduction to health informatics and it will definitely help me a lot in my later academic career."



Mirabela Rusu

"Although I spent just a few months working with the CDW team, I greatly enjoyed the simulating research environment provided by the group. The numerous projects had very divergent research directions, requiring interdisciplinary interactions between physicians, data storage managers and health informatics experts. Revolving around the medical information acquired through electronic medical records, my projects allowed me to understand the complexity of the information acquired in a health care setting. Moreover, the research focuses of the team showed me the numerous application that such data warehouse can entail."



Christopher Loverich

"Some of my duties while there:

  • Assist with ETL procedures for getting information cleaned and into the Clinical Data Warehouse.
  • Set-up and provide application support for Redcap, a forms based web application for clinical data capture.
  • Primary developer for a custom web-based clinical data capture application for the Texas Fetal Centers surgical group.
  • Investigate research methods for investigating drug adverse events using health record information from our Clinical Data Warehouse (looked at historical adverse events for Vioxx, Prednisone).

  • Overall, was a great learning experience. Got plenty of hands-on experience with programming and research with electronic health records. Regular exposure to bio-medical informatics research methods, gaining a good understanding of some of the difficulties involved in doing that type of research. The group is very open to exploratory research and allows lots of lateral movement between projects (helping each other out on interesting problems), giving both a good overview of existing problems and regular interesting projects to work on."