Media Contacts

Chris Nelson

Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs, Health Sciences Public Affairs
Email: chris.nelson@hsc.utah.edu
Phone: 801-581-7387

Aug 20, 2013 10:50 PM

Wendy Chapman, Ph.D.
Wendy Chapman, Ph.D.

(SALT LAKE CITY)— The University of Utah School of Medicine is pleased to announce that Wendy Chapman, Ph.D. will lead the Department of Biomedical Informatics as the school’s new chair effective Sept. 1.

Chapman is a nationally renowned scholar and researcher in the field of medical informatics. Her expertise is related to extracting information from narrative clinical reports. She is the chair of the American Medical Informatics Association Natural Language Processing (NLP) Working Group and is involved in several multi-center efforts for enriching linguistic and clinical knowledge bases, developing standards for modeling clinical data described in narrative reports, and building infrastructure and resources for informatics development and collaboration.

She most recently worked at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine’s Division of Biomedical Informatics, where she participated in research related to natural language processing. She brings several funded research projects, including a $2.4 million grant from the National Library of Medicine and a $1.2 million grant funded by VA Health Services Research and Development.

"Wendy Chapman brings a unique combination of skills to this leadership position: a track record of success with large, multi center collaborative health IT research programs, a profound understanding of the need for accessible, standardized tools in health informatics, a creative mind that will help us solve health care's most vexing challenges in data extraction and management, and an appreciation for the remarkable opportunities that the University and our community of collaborators brings to bear on both bioinformatics and biomedical informatics," said Vivian S. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences at the University of Utah, Dean of the University’s School of Medicine, and CEO of University of Utah Health Care.

"Dr. Chapman will ensure that the biomedical informatics department will continue its rich legacy with contributions from personalized medicine to health care systems innovation."

Chapman’s arrival in Utah will be a homecoming of sorts: she graduated from the University of Utah in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and went on to earn her Ph.D. in medical informatics from the U. in 2000.

She worked as a postdoctoral fellow in biomedical informatics at the University of Pittsburgh until 2003, at which point she joined the faculty there as an associate professor of biomedical informatics and intelligent systems. She took a position with UCSD in 2010.

Chapman said she’s excited to take the helm within the Department of Biomedical Informatics, which is recognized as one of the most prestigious training programs for informatics in the world.

“The University of Utah Department was the first of its kind in the U.S. Over almost five decades, the Department has been a leader in building and implementing electronic health information systems, applying intelligent, patient-specific decision support at the point of care, developing standards that allow interoperability of separate applications, and discovering genetic causes of disease," said Chapman. "I am honored to join the incredible faculty, staff, and students that are continuing that tradition of innovation in research and in care delivery. In this next decade, Biomedical Informatics will take on a more active partnership with U of U Health Care in effecting more innovative solutions to current challenges in health care delivery and in leveraging opportunities arising from new technologies and from the availability of large digital datasets."

Chapman takes over for interim chair Julio Facelli. Her appointment is subject to approval by the University’s Board of Trustees.