AMIA Awards Rong Xu, PhD, New Investigator Award

Monday, November 16, 2015

BETHESDA, MD – The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) honored Rong Xu, PhD, with the New Investigator Award presented during AMIA’s Annual Symposium, Nov. 14 – 18 in San Francisco.

The New Investigator Award recognizes an individual for early informatics contributions and significant scholarly contributions on the basis of scientific merit and research excellence. The AMIA Signature Awards program provides an opportunity for AMIA members at different stages of their career to be recognized for significant contributions to the field of informatics

"AMIA's Signature Awards demonstrate our highest recognition for members and their outstanding impact in the field," said AMIA Chair Blackford Middleton, MD, MPH, MSc, FACMI, of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. "We congratulate Dr. Xu on her accomplishments in the field of informatics and her commitment to AMIA’s mission." 

Dr. Xu is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Computational Biology, in the School of Medicine, at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Xu's research focuses on developing novel computational algorithms to translate “big biomedical data” into novel diagnoses and therapeutic interventions, as well as to gain insight into the mechanisms that underlie human diseases. Currently, Dr. Xu is leading three exciting research projects. First, she develops novel computational algorithms to create, integrate, and analyze large amounts of heterogeneous and complex biological and health data. Second, she combines novel computational predictions with in vitro and in vivo experimental validation and clinical testing to match the effects of over 2,000 existing drugs with more than 100,000 diseases for which these drugs could provide relief. Her goal is to identify unique viable drug candidates and move them into patient trials efficiently and cost-effectively. Third, she tackles a seemingly intractable problem: characterizing how environmental factors interact with human genomes in contributing to diseases.

Dr. Xu holds a doctorate in Biomedical Informatics and a Master of Science in Computer Science from Stanford University. She received the 2014 NIH Director's New Innovator Award that supports exceptionally creative new investigators who propose highly innovative projects that have the potential for unusually high impact. She also received the 2015 Landon Foundation-AACR INNOVATOR Award for Cancer Prevention Research, which recognizes the outstanding achievement of a junior faculty for novel, high-risk, high-reward cancer prevention research.

AMIA's Annual Symposium is the premier educational event in the field. The symposium presents leading-edge scientific research on biomedical and health informatics and over 100 scientific sessions. The Symposium presents work from across the spectrum of the informatics field -- translational bioinformatics, clinical research informatics, clinical informatics, consumer health informatics and public health informatics.

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AMIA, the leading professional association for informatics professionals, is the center of action for 5,000 informatics professionals from more than 65 countries. As the voice of the nation’s top biomedical and health informatics professionals, AMIA and its members play a leading role in assessing the effect of health innovations on health policy, and advancing the field of informatics. AMIA actively supports five domains in informatics: translational bioinformatics, clinical research informatics, clinical informatics, consumer health informatics, and public health informatics.