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Dr. Jyotishman Pathak Named Chief of Health Informatics at Weill Cornell Medicine

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Dr. Jyotishman Pathak, whose work focuses on developing new methods and tools for mining complex electronic health record data, has been named chief of the Division of Health Informatics in the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research at Weill Cornell Medicine, effective Oct. 1.

Dr. Jyotishman Pathak Photo provided

In his new role, Dr. Pathak plans to increase the size and scope of the Division of Health Informatics, which is dedicated to understanding how the explosion of biomedical big data affects healthcare delivery. He will lead efforts to expand the division's research and educational activities. Dr. Pathak also plans to foster and strengthen collaborations between health informatics researchers and clinician-investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, Cornell Tech, and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Before his move to Weill Cornell Medicine, Dr. Pathak worked at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he was a professor of biomedical informatics, the director of biomedical informatics at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, and the director of clinical informatics in the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery.

"We're excited to have Dr. Pathak on the team and to utilize his expertise in quantitative healthcare data to both improve patient decision-making and inform healthcare policy changes," said Dr. Rainu Kaushal, chair of the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research and the Frances and John L. Loeb Professor of Medical Informatics at Weill Cornell, and healthcare policy and research physician-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "Under Dr. Pathak's leadership, the division will forge new relationships with Cornell Tech and the Caryl and Israel Englander Institute for Precision Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine so that big data and technological advances are being utilized at the highest level to support new models of healthcare delivery."

"I'm excited to have the opportunity to lead this team, recruit top faculty and researchers in the field and develop a program to train and mentor the next generation in health informaticians," Dr. Pathak said. "We are entering an exciting era in the practice of medicine and the delivery of healthcare, where availability and access to rich biological, health, behavioral and environmental data will refine our understanding of disease onset and progression, response to therapy and health outcomes. The vision and a major research focus of this division is to harness the vast amounts of biomedical data to facilitate development of novel therapies, and enable the delivery of the right care to the right patient at the right time, every time. The New York metropolitan area provides unprecedented opportunities to establish multidisciplinary collaborations to realize this vision and impact patient care and outcomes."

Born and raised in India, Dr. Pathak received his bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering in 2002 from the National Institute of Technology in Jamshedpur. He moved to the United States soon after and received his doctorate in computer science in 2007 from Iowa State University. He completed his post-doctorate training at Mayo Clinic, and remained there ever since.

A trained computer scientist, Dr. Pathak develops innovative methods and tools that enable investigators to mine patient electronic health records. Using standardized biomedical ontologies and natural language processing techniques, he is investigating how scalable, massively parallel and high-throughput software and hardware technologies can process and interpret clinical narratives to facilitate clinical decision support, prediction modeling, and clinical trials research.

Dr. Pathak also studies how an individual's genomic and behavioral data can be integrated with clinical data to facilitate personalized decision-making and more informed treatment recommendations — a research theme that aligns with President Barack Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative. A passionate educator, Dr. Pathak led informatics education and curriculum development activities at Mayo Clinic, and will play a similar leadership role at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Dr. Pathak recently received a nearly $9 million grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to establish a clinical data research network at the Mayo Clinic that will integrate clinical and patient data across nine healthcare systems, providers, and health insurers to enable comparative effectiveness and patient-centered outcomes research. (Dr. Pathak relinquished his role as the network's principal investigator when he departed Mayo Clinic.) This project, called The Patient-Centered Network of Learning Health Systems, is similar to the New York City Clinical Data Research Network, which is led by Dr. Kaushal and falls within the Division of Health Informatics.

In addition to funding from PCORI, he has also received multiple research and training grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and private foundations. Dr. Pathak has published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles in several journals including the Journal of Biomedical Informatics, the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association and Nature Biotechnology. He is a member of the American Medical Informatics Association, the International Society for Computational Biology and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, among other professional organizations. He is also the recipient of the Iowa State University Graduate Research Excellence Award and Mayo Clinic Early Career Development Award in 2007 and 2010, respectively.

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