CIOHTR Graduate Students

Graduate Students

John Frazier, BS, MSPH, DDS, MS

CurrentlyBiomedical 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


Former Graduate Students

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

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
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."

Danielle Mowery, MS

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

Marc Clayton, MS

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

Corey Stein, MS

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

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

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
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, MS

Currently: Assistant Professor, Deanship of Research, University of Puerto Rico School of Dentistry
7/2003-8/2005: Master's Degree in Biomedical Informatics
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

Currently: Health Scientist Administrator, NIH
9/2000-9/2002: Master's Degree in Biomedical Informatics
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

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
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

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, DDS

Currently: Received her DDS at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry in 2010. 
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

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
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."