• Faces of AMIA

    Prerna Dua, PhD, RHIA, CHTS-IM

Prerna Dua, PhD, RHIA, CHTS-IM

Current Affiliation: Associate Professor, Department of Health Informatics and Information Management, Program Director for Master’s in Health Informatics, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Research, School of Biological Sciences, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana

Education: 2006, PhD, Computational Analysis and Modeling Louisiana Tech University Ruston LA
1999, Master of Computer Applications, Rajiv Gandhi Technical University, Bhopal, India
1996, BA, English Literature and Psychology, Barkatullah University, Bhopal India

How do I describe my work to those outside the field ...

I teach healthcare courses at the graduate level, which has computation elements in them, such as databases of healthcare, computerized efficient support systems, and data mining in healthcare. My research revolves around the intersection of health care and computational science. I use the principles and techniques of computational science and information technology and apply those to design efficient and accurate systems of healthcare management and informatics

Years of experience:

13 years

Why Informatics?  

Actually, I started with a B.A. in English Literature and Psychology as I was influenced by the writings of some great English authors. However, soon I realized that this was not a field that I would like to make my career in. I had started to enjoy computer programming and ended up getting my Masters in it.

Then I met my husband who is a computer scientist by profession and his skills and enthusiasm in the discipline inspired me to grow my career in this area. My husband has always been supportive of my career and encouraged me to pursue my doctoral studies.  My research was oriented towards the designing of high performance computing algorithmic frameworks for applications in healthcare informatics. I became fascinated by the challenges that healthcare industry faces, with opportunities for scientific investigation that can not only contribute to the applied science of computing in healthcare, but can also make strong contributions to algorithm design problems in computing.

What are your ambitions? At the end of your career, what do you hope to have accomplished?

The long lasting product of any academic person is his or her students. At the end of my career I would be gratified to realize that I made a difference in many of my students’ lives and their career choices. And their success would define and grow my legacy.

Who or what are your “key sources” in the informatics field?

Being in the teaching and the research field I need to stay updated constantly so I do this by reading articles from journals such as JAMIA, BMC Bioinformatics, and the neuroscience journals. I also attend the AMIA annual conference and the HIMSS (Health Information Management Systems Society) annual meetings on a regular basis. These conferences help to keep me updated with the current trends and needs. They also help me to provide opportunities for networking with people who have similar interests.

Articles that spotlight my research interest …

(As an author, Dr. Prena Dua is also listed as Prerna Sethi)

1. P. Sethi, W. J. Lukiw; Micro-RNA (miRNA) abundance and stability in human primary brain cells and in human brain tissues, Neuroscience Letters, vol. 459 (2), pp. 100-104, 2009. PMID: 19406203.
2. P. Sethi, K. Theodos; Translational Bioinformatics and Healthcare Informatics: Computational and Ethical Challenges, Perspectives in Health Information Management 6, Fall 2009. PMCID: PMC2804463.
3. P. Sethi, S. Alagiriswamy; Association Rule based Weighted Similarity Measures for the Clustering of Gene Expression Data, Bentham Open Medical Informatics Journal vol. 4, pp.63-73, 2010.
4. P. Dua, S. Bais: Supervised Learning Methods for Fraud Detection in Health Insurance, Book Chapter in Machine Learning in Health Informatics.  Published by Springer-Verlag ISBN 978-3-642-40017-9, 2014.

Hobbies/Interests outside AMIA ...

I love spending time with my family. I have two small kids, so balancing professional and personal lives at times becomes challenging for me. However, whenever I’m able to squeeze some time, I love to go swimming.

AMIA is important to me because ...

It’s very important because it is an interdisciplinary platform that brings people together from different areas, which have common interests. It’s like a professional home for me. I’ve always enjoyed interacting with other academicians and learning from their experiences. I’m also particularly excited about the recent tie up of AMIA with CAHIIM. And being the program director for our graduate program I was involved in getting a program accredited through CAHIIM. So I am very excited now about the impact of this partnership that could lead to various changes in the various curricular components in the informatics-based curriculum.

I am involved with AMIA ...

I’m proud to be a representative of the AMIA academic forum for Louisiana Tech.

It may surprise people to know ...

I’m an early riser and I’m usually up by 4:00 a.m. I spend an hour doing meditation and some early morning reading.

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