Justin B. Starren, MD, PhD, FACMI

Year Elected: 
Columbia University

Currently: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Website: http://wiki.bioinformatics.northwestern.edu/index.php/Justin_Starren

A summa cum laude biology graduate of Washington University in 1980, Dr. Starren stayed on for medical school, also earning a master’s degree in the combined program in immunogenetics. He completed his degrees in 1987 and moved to UCLA Sepulveda for a year’s internship in internal medicine. Then it was off to New York for radiology residency at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, which he pursued for two years before trying his hand as Medical Director with the PA Consulting Group from 1990 to 1992. The lure of academia and computing brought him back to Columbia, however, where he joined the postdoctoral informatics program and, in time, decided to pursue a full PhD degree. After completing his doctorate in 1997, he joined the faculty and is currently an assistant professor of biomedical informatics and of radiology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Starren’s early work involved adaptations to the Arden Syntax to support care planning, but he went on to do important work in automated speech recognition, presentation discovery, user interface design and evaluation, and, more recently, remote display protocols. He is perhaps best known for his work on the Informatics for Diabetes Education and Telemedicine (IDEATel) Project. In this randomized clinical trial, half of the approximately 1,500 elderly diabetic patients received home telemedicine units and half received standard care. Dr. Starren designed the overall technology architecture and has been responsible for vendor selection, system specifications, and implementation of technology components. The focal point of the intervention was a home telemedicine unit, built to Dr. Starren’s specifications.

Dr. Starren has served as faculty for the NLM’s Woods Hole Informatics Course since 1999, has worked closely with several graduate students, and has been especially active at the intersection of telemedicine and informatics. His public service and professional involvements are further demonstrated by his past role as a member and Chair of the AMIA Finance Committee and his current position as Treasurer of AMIA.