Trainees & Visiting Scholars

Current Trainees

John J. Frazier, DMD, MSPH, PhD Student

  • 2012-Present: Biomedical Informatics Post Doctorate Fellow, Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • 2002-2006: DMD, Medical University of South Carolina
  • 2002: MSPH Biostatistics, University of South Carolina
  • Contact John

Former Trainees

Miguel Humberto Torres-Urquidy, DDS, MS, PhD StudentMiguel Humberto Torres-Urquidy

  • Currently: Informatics Fellow, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
  • 1/2003-12/2004: Master's Degree in Biomedical Informatics
  • 1/2005-Present: Doctoral fellow, Center for Dental Informatics, University of Pittsburgh
  • Publications (links to PubMed)
  • Community of Science Profile
  • Personal Statement: "I worked part time as assistant to the Dean at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, as an IT consultant for private companies (within and outside healthcare) and part time in private practice. I joined the program because (1) Pitt had the most advanced training program in its class; (2) the program could accommodate my set of skills and still provide further development opportunities; and (3) people at Pitt understand how informatics will reshape healthcare and dentistry in particular. Pitt's program gave me the opportunity to expand my views and understand the far reaching consequences that our prototypes today will have on healthcare in the future."
  • Contact Humberto

Danielle Mowery, MS Danielle Mowery

  • Currently: Discourse modeling and processing of dental exams
  • MS, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences concentration Health Information Systems
  • BS, Biological Sciences
  • Publications:

    Mowery DL, Harkema H, Dowling JN, Lustgarten JL, Chapman WW. (2009). Distinguishing Historical from Current Problems in Clinical Reports –Which Textual Features Help? Proceedings of the Workshop on BioNLP: Boulder, Colorado. 10-18.

    Mowery DL, Harkema H, Chapman WW. (2008).Temporal Annotation of Clinical Text. Proceedings of the Workshop on Current Trends in Biomedical Natural Language Processing: Cleveland, Ohio. 106-107.

  • Personal Statement: "Dentists and clinicians use natural language, written and spoken, to record several aspects of patient care including patient histories, findings from exams and treatment plans. One key challenge to using this data in dental research is developing an intelligent system that can unlock important data stored in written text and spoken language. The focus of my research is to develop natural language processing applications that will enable a system to use this data to further our understanding of disease, promote quality of care and facilitate more efficient workflow in the clinical setting."
  • Contact Danielle

Marc Clayton, MS Marc Clayton

  • Currently: Pursuing MS in Dental Informatics
  • BA, Psychology
  • BA, Chemistry
  • Publications:

    Spallek H, Odonnell J, Clayton M, Anderson P, Krueger A. Paradigm Shift or Annoying Distraction: Emerging Implications of Web 2.0 for Clinical Practice. Applied Clinical Informatics. 2010, 1(2); 96-115.

    Mowery D, Clayton M, Lu J, Schleyer T. Software Revew: Tooth Atlas 3D, version 6.3.0. Journal of Dental Education; November 2010: 74(11). 1261-1264.

  • Personal Statement: "I have spent plenty of time working to find my place in the field of dentistry. I chose this program because I knew it would give me a unique look at how dentistry is progressing and give me the opportunity to work with leaders in the field on projects that will actually affect clinical dentistry. I have been working on understanding the dental workflow and specifically how electronic prescribing can be best used in clinical dentistry. This program has helped me continue my pursuit of dentistry, offering insight and important relationships along the way."
  • Contact Marc

Corey Stein, MS Marc Clayton

  • Currently: Pursuing MS in Dental Informatics
  • BSc, Biology
  • BS, Physiology & Behavior
  • Personal Statement: "I have enrolled in this Dental Informatics program to contribute towards enhancing the flow of research data in dentistry and the progressive nature practiced in dental medicine. I am interested in chair-side systems including softwares, imaging, and devices. Following my informatics training, I plan to enroll in a dental program and continue to contribute to dental research and academia."

Richard Oldham, DDS Richard Oldham

  • Currently: Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Pittsburgh
  • 08/2007 - 05/2011: DDS, Virginia Commonwealth University
    08/2002 - 05/2006: BA, Economics and Mathematics, University of Virginia
  • Personal Statement: "I am a lifelong technophile who has worked with a myriad of Information Technology applications in health care, private industry, and academia. As a clinician, some of the problems with Health Information Technology in dentistry were writ large through frustrating experience. These frustrating experiences led me to the CDI's published research, which sparked a keen interest in applied clinical informatics. I love the interdisciplinary challenges informatics offers. My research interests center on Human Computer Interaction, User Interface Design, and evaluation. I am eager to learn all I can from the outstanding scholars at the CDI and hope to unite my two passions - dentistry and information systems - to make fruitful contributions to both."

Patricia Corby, DDS, MS Patricia Corby, DDS, MS

  • Currently: Assistant Director, Bluestone Center for Clinical Research
    Assistant Professor, Department of Periodontics & Implants, New York University, College of Dentistry
  • 8/2002-8/2005: Master's Degree in Biomedical Informatics
  • Publications (links to PubMed)
  • Personal Statement: "For many years now, I have been working with research in all aspects from basic science to clinical research. My limitation in dealing with many research tasks was the lack in knowledge and skills related to efficiently managing the enormous amount of information gathered during each aspect of research projects. The training program exposed me to a broad biomedical Informatics curriculum encompassing medical information access and retrieval, medical databases, decision support systems, and computational medicine. This training was so far the most valuable contribution to my carrier development. I truly believe that Informatics for Clinical Research is fundamental to translation of basic research to medically useful interventions."

Pedro L. Hernández-Cott, DMD, MSPedro L. Hernandez-Cott, DMD, MS

  • Currently: Assistant Professor, Deanship of Research, University of Puerto Rico School of Dentistry
  • 7/2003-8/2005: Master's Degree in Biomedical Informatics
  • Publications (links to PubMed)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Statement: "After 20 years as a general dentist with an interest in computers this was an excellent program for me in making the transition in to academia. This is an outstanding program for exposing healthcare professionals, academicians and researchers in how technology is changing and will be used in healthcare for the future. Moreover, it was an opportunity for me to interact with individuals from other ethnic and professional groups. We all gained new knowledge not only on informatics but also personal experiences in cultural awareness, thus developing our own team in 'dental informatics.' My areas of interest are oral health disparities, heavy metals, caries, and also includes serving as an examiner for a study on 'Clinical validation of combined ICDAS/QLF exam for early caries detection.'"

Raj K. Krishnaraju, PhD Raj K. Krishnaraju

  • Currently: Health Scientist Administrator, NIH
  • 9/2000-9/2002: Master's Degree in Biomedical Informatics
  • Publications (links to PubMed)
  • Personal Statement: "Currently, I am working as a Health Scientist Administrator at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. My areas of interest are bioinformatics and molecular biology of cell differentiation."

Thankam Paul Thyvalikakath, MDS, MS Thankam Paul Thyvalikakath

  • Currently: Assistant professor, Center for Dental Informatics
    Department of Dental Public Health/ Information Management
  • 7/2003-4/2006: Master's Degree in Biomedical Informatics
  • 7/2005-present: Clinical Research Scholar (8K12 RR 023267), NIH Roadmap/NCRR, University of Pittsburgh Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Career Development Award
  • Publications (links to PubMed)
  • Personal Statement: "I was a clinician working full-time before joining the program. My experience as an oral surgeon made me aware of the need and potential of clinical decision support tools that can improve the quality of patient care and outcomes. The knowledge I gained through the program gave me the confidence and knowledge to design and conduct research in the field
    of informatics with impact in the field of clinical dentistry."

Joe Rauch, DDS Joe Rauch

  • Currently: private practice
  • Personal Statement: "I graduated in 1983 from of the University of Iowa and practiced in a variety of settings including public health, private practice, and tertiary hospital care. I had been looking at public health or dental public health for a career shift when I discovered the Dental Informatics program at the University of Pittsburgh.
    Informatics is a perfect fit for me. It allows me to leverage my interest in computers and technology with many years of clinical experience. I believe that dentistry will come to rely more and more on informatics, and I plan to help dentists to take full advantage of it."

Teena Wali, BDS, MS, DDSTeena Wali

  • Currently: Received her DDS at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry in 2010. 
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Statement:"Training in dental informatics to me is an exciting prospect. While I have the option of being a dental clinician, I have chosen to study this field which although is new to me but is full of exciting possibilities. Not only am I excited at the prospect of learning this science but also at the possibility of contributing towards the development of projects which might be of help to my dental colleagues. My initial resistance to the use of this modality, I must admit, has been replaced by an increasing curiosity to explore the possibilities. If I am able to achieve something which will enhance the working efficiency of dental system, it will be my 2 cents of contribution to this field of science that I have come to love."

Jeannie Irwin, PhD Jeannie Irwin

  • Currently: Working at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Biomedical Informatics
  • 8/2002 - 4/2006: Master's Degree in Biomedical Informatics
  • 5/2006-12/2009: PhD in Biomedical Informatics
  • Publications (links to PubMed)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Statement: "Before I entered the program, I was a Network Administrator at the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Public Health. I decided to pursue the Masters/PhD in Biomedical Informatics because it was the best way to combine my biology undergraduate degree with my computer-related interests. This program has given me a great sense of accomplishment via my coursework and research. I've also been fortunate to have multiple career and personal opportunities become available solely because of my work in the program."

Former Visiting Scholars

Amit Acharya, BDS, PhD Amit Acharya

  • Currently: Dental Informatics Scientist at the Biomedical Informatics Research Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation
  • 8/1995-12/2000: Bachelors of Dental Surgery, Govt. Dental College, India
  • 8/2001-12/2004: Master's Degree in Computer Science, Western Kentucky University, KY
  • 1/2005-12/2009: Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics, UMDNJ, NJ
  • 10/2006-09/2009: Visiting Scholar, Center for Dental Informatics, University of Pittsburg, PA
  • Community of Science Profile
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Statement: "Trained as a dentist and a computer scientist, I chose to develop expertise in the field of biomedical informatics to deal with the several ongoing challenges that healthcare is facing.
    The Center for Dental Informatics (CDI) provided an excellent opportunity for me to further my research knowledge and apply it to the field of dental and medical informatics. It was an honor to work with Dr. Schleyer, Dr. Spallek and their outstanding team at the CDI. During my time at CDI, I was very fortunate to collaborate with some of the elite researchers in the discipline of dental and biomedical informatics at the University of Pittsburgh and beyond.
    In my current role as a Dental Informatics Scientist at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation’s Biomedical Informatics Research Center, my main focus is on conducting high quality, independent, and original research in the field of Dental Informatics. Also, work closely with the IS development team on the specifications, implementation and evaluation of the dental module for the EHR and other clinical information systems.
    My main area of interest lies in design and architecture of electronic health records with focus on electronic dental records, developing clinical decision supports and expert systems, information modeling and developing ontologies and terminologies, binding coded data sets of values to the different segments of electronic record architecture, principles of evidence based practices and knowledge development and representation."
  • Contact Amit

Jian Hu, DDSJian Wu

  • Currently: Associate Professor in Wuhan University, China,
  • 9/1996-5/2006: Doctoral Degree in Clinical Dentistry (China)
  • 11/2009-6/2010: Visiting Scholar at the CDI, University of Pittsburgh
  • Publications (links to PubMed)
  • Personal Statement: "I have trained as a dentist for 10 years. At the same time, I have been trying to develop expertise and skills in dental informatics as a further goal in my career. Unfortunately, the emerging interdisciplinary field of dental informatics has gained relatively little attention and interest in China. Some of my colleagues, students and I are trying to change this. The CDI at the University of Pittsburgh is assisting us in this long-term goal. Now, I am provided a golden opportunity to work with those nice and excellent fellows here in Pittsburgh. Dr. Schleyer, as my current advisor, has given me lots of support ever since we initially got to know each other via the Internet in 2005. Currently, I am working on a 3D dental record project at the CDI. I do not know what I will accomplish in the very short period of six months here, but I will do my best to make this start worthwhile. I will never give up what I have chosen, because my colleagues in China, my students and I strongly believe in what we are doing, and in the impact of dental informatics on clinical work."

Former Participants in the Dental Informatics Research Program

Aaron Lazuka, BS Aaron Lazuka BS

  • Currently: Participant in the Dental Informatics Research Program
  • 7/2009-Present: Bachelor's Degree in Bioinformatics
  • Personal Statement: "As an undergraduate student planning to attend dental school I wanted to combine my unique Bioinformatics background with dentistry. This internship has made this possible by providing a unique outlook on dentistry through an informatics research prospective. This program is the perfect way for me to take my passion for Bioinformatics and combine it with my passion for dentistry and learn how to apply it to real world research."

André Correia, DMD André Correia, DMD

  • Currently: Lecturer in Dental Informatics, School of Dental Medicine, Portuguese Catholic University
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Statement: "With dental informatics, I have combined my clinical practice as a dentist with my favorite hobby, informatics. Since my studies at Porto Dental School, dental informatics has always been a part of my research and clinical practice. The Portuguese Catholic University gave me the opportunity to teach dental informatics and the Porto Dental School supported my PhD studies with CAD-CAM systems. These two endeavors made it possible to establish a cooperation with the Center for Dental Informatics in the University of Pittsburgh. Under Dr. Schleyer's and Dr. Spallek's mentorship, I have completed a research program at the CDI which enhanced my skills in dental informatics and helped me start the implementation of CDI projects in Portuguese-speaking countries."

Papavramidis Efthymios, DDS Papavramidis Efthymios DDS

  • Currently: Trainee Orthodontics Department - University Clinic Kiel, Germany
  • Personal Statement: "I have been following computer-related technologies closely for more than 15 years and have been involved in various projects. It comes natural to me to find ways to utilize innovative technologies in my work as a dentist. At the Center for Dental Informatics, I found people with passion for their work who really inspired me. I had the chance to meet top-notch researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. My work in the Center's 3D visualization project was a fulfilling and rewarding experience."