Vice-Chair in the Department of Biomedical Informatics
and Director of CTSA Informatics Resource Center (CIRC)

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is recruiting a Vice-Chair for Clinical and Translational Research, in the Department of Biomedical Informatics. This person would also serve as Director of the CTSA Comprehensive Informatics Resource Center (CIRC). The position will hold an academic appointment at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor on the tenure-eligible track and requires a Ph.D. in biomedical informatics, medical informatics, data science, or other analytical science fields or an M.D. with board certification in clinical Informatics. All candidates should have at least four years of research experience in clinical research informatics, and significant experience with clinical trial operations. The duties include directing a core that emphasizes clinical trial operations, as well as doing scientific and scholarly research, publishing, and teaching in the biomedical informatics graduate and clinical informatics fellowship training programs.

All inquiries, nominations and applications for the position of the vice-chair for Clinical and Translational Research are welcome.


About the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI):

"Big Data" has come to hospitals, and for most hospitals the problem is how to deal with this explosion of information. Founded in 2015, the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI), in the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, develops computational tools to assess and manage medical and public health information for patient care and research programs. The DBMI focuses on advanced medical information technologies, and provides highly competitive training and research, with faculty experts in several areas of medical informatics. This includes analysis of the UAMS Electronic Health Records (EHRs), numerous state data resources, external collaborations, and many collaborations with the Center for Translational Science Award (CTSA) activities. DBMI also has experts focusing on advancing clinical trial operations and clinical effectiveness research. Within DBMI are faculty members building on cancer informatics with extensions into neuroimaging informatics in collaboration with the Departments of Radiology, the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, the Brain Research Imaging Center and the Psychiatric Research Institute. DBMI faculty include several bioinformaticians, working closely with the Cancer Institute and also in developing key tools and technologies for ‘omics’ research across UAMS, including third-generation sequencing of DNA and RNA as well as proteomics, metabolomics, and microbiome research.
The department works to cross-link these research activities with fundamental research in a variety of standards in clinical and imaging informatics and genomics, in ontology development and in the use of machine learning methods and advanced analytics in high performance computing. A high-performance computer is managed by DBMI in support of the UAMS research community and allows for routine analysis of terabytes of data, with a large 4.2 petabyte storage.

About the UAMS Translational Research Institute (TRI)

The UAMS Translational Research Institute (TRI) provides services and resources to ensure the swift translation of research into health care advances. This support is available to all UAMS researchers at the UAMS campus in Little Rock, the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus in Fayetteville, the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, (including the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute and the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center (ACNC)), and the Central Arkansas Veteran’s Healthcare System in Little Rock and North Little Rock. TRI is supported by a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).
Translational research is often classified by which stage of translation (from beginning research to societal application and impact) it falls into. The T Spectrum (Translational Spectrum) below illustrates the different stages of translational research, ranging from Basic Science (T0) to Translation to Humans (T1), Patients (T2), Practice (T3) and finally to Translation to the Community (T4), as shown in the Figure.

TRI information graphic showing the process from research to community application

TRI is dedicated to advancing the use of cutting-edge informatics, providing researchers with the tools, expertise and procedures for clinical and translational research. This is done through the CIRC (Comprehensive Informatics Resource Center), a partnership with the Department of Biomedical Informatics in the UAMS College of Medicine. TRI, as a member of the CTSA network, is part of the national effort to study and innovate the process of conducting clinical trials using informatics approaches, for both single and multi-site trials. UAMS is a member of the Southeast SHRINE network and the ACTS consortium.

Role & Responsibilities:

  • Directing a core that emphasizes clinical trial operations and innovative informatics approaches to address rural health and healthcare disparities.
  • Foster and Leverage Relationships across the CTSA Informatics Community.
  • Demonstrate the leadership, management ability, and administrative experience to take the CIRC to the next level of achievement.
  • Be supportive of the educational needs and contributions of students, residents, faculty, and staff in the Department.
  • Develop a research portfolio that stresses collaboration and maximizes opportunity for synergistic productivity across the University’s campuses.
  • Play a lead role in the Clinical Research Informatics component of the DBMI graduate education program, including helping students and staff successfully publish papers, write grants, and present at professional conferences.
  • Play a leading role in the emerging clinical informatics fellowship training program.

Candidate Qualifications

The position requires significant experience in the conduct of clinical trials. The candidate should have experience in FDA and NIH multi-centered clinical trials, preferably with a coordinating center or national network. Prior experience leading an informatics core and working within a CTSA is highly desirable.

The ideal candidate will have the following professional qualifications and personal characteristics:

  • PhD in biomedical informatics, medical informatics, data science, or other analytical science fields or an MD with board certification in clinical Informatics;
  • An established, NIH funded research program.
  • Four years of research experience in clinical research informatics, and significant experience with clinical trial operations
  • Proven track record of grants funded and other avenues that support the development of new methods to streamline clinical trial process
  • Leadership as well as organizational and interpersonal skills needed to effectively operate in the complex environment of an academic health center

Foster and Leverage Relationships across Clinical Trials and Informatics Community

It is important to develop and foster relationships with the broader informatics and clinical research community. Research initiatives have a greater chance of success and impact when they include multiple sites across multiple institutions. The individual should have experience collaborating with other universities and CTSAs to develop innovative research initiatives that can move the field forward.

Innovative and Forward Thinking…Streamline Clinical Trials

Clinical research and trials are beginning to incorporate innovative methods used in other domains, but they are usually adopted slowly because of the limited number of informatics projects that include Pharma, Academia and other industry stakeholders. The individual should have experience and success in consistently pursuing funding opportunities - beyond grants - that support the development of new methods to streamline clinical trial process and evaluate the use of EHR data for clinical trials. This should include publications of the experiences and their outcomes.

Team Building and Academic Track Record

Building a successful team is essential to productive research. This individual should have experience with developing a positive and cohesive team consisting of a cross section of faculty and staff that respect each other and work well together. He/She should have experience in helping students and clinical informaticists develop a research track record.

Preferred Professional Experience and Characteristics

  • Balanced commitment to educational and research missions
  • Strong commitment to interdisciplinary cooperation and learning
  • Demonstrated track record of mentorship and evidence of having developed others in their academic careers
  • Understanding of compliance requirements at the federal and state levels.

Personal Characteristics

  • Well-developed emotional intelligence with exceptional interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Passion for excellence and a high level of energy and enthusiasm;
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a matrixed organization with multiple lines of reporting;
  • Demonstrated record of promoting collaboration and cultivating strong internal and external relationships;
  • Capacity to embrace change with an appropriate respect for culture and tradition;
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity;
  • Motivator and mentor capable of developing strong teams and developing others; and
  • Unquestioned personal integrity.

Interested individuals are asked to submit their CV and a letter addressing their experiences that fulfill the criteria for this position to Julian Tunno, Manager of Executive and Faculty Recruitment at Contact Julian Tunno by phone at 501-686-2590.

Written nominations, inquiries, and applications (including emails) may be subject to disclosure under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

UAMS is an inclusive Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer of individuals with disabilities and protected veterans and is committed to excellence.

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Did You Know?

UAMS was founded in 1879 by eight physicians. Today UAMS is the state’s only academic health center, part of a statewide network of postsecondary education institutions of the University of Arkansas System governed by a 10-member Board of Trustees.

About the University

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is the state’s only academic health sciences center, comprised of five health professions colleges (Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions, and Public Health), a graduate school, six institutes, eight Regional Centers (six of which include family medicine practices and residency programs), and a comprehensive Medical Center. Its College of Medicine has held a unique and vital role in Arkansas for more than 130 years. UAMS is the largest public employer in the state of Arkansas with more than 11,000 employees. UAMS and its clinical affiliates: Arkansas Children’s and the VA Medical Center, are an economic engine for the state with an annual economic impact of $3.92 billion. Centrally located within the state, UAMS’s Little Rock campus is a tertiary referral center and the only Level 1 adult Trauma Center and Comprehensive Stroke Center for Arkansas.