You are currently viewing From Manhattan to Bourbon Street – MIRACUM-DIFUTURE USA Tour 2023

From Manhattan to Bourbon Street – MIRACUM-DIFUTURE USA Tour 2023

  • Reading time:5 mins read

With five American metropolises, around 100 lectures at American universities of excellence and other partners, countless discussions and participation in a top international symposium, the almost 20 scientists from the two consortia of the Medical Informatics Initiative had set themselves an ambitious programme and are now back at their German home universities. In addition to the international exchange at the highest scientific level, the main aim of the trip was to familiarise their American colleagues with the content of the Medical Informatics Initiative.

The Big Apple calls

The group led by the two consortium leaders, Prof. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Prokosch (MIRACUM) and Prof. Dr. Martin Boeker (DIFUTURE), began their trip in New York, specifically with a visit to the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center. George Hripcsak warmly welcomed the delegation from Germany. The focus was, among other things, on the OHDSI project (Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics), an interdisciplinary collaboration of international partners aimed at unlocking the value of health data through large-scale analyses.

George Hripcsak introduces OHDSI

Nashville shows its best side

For the next appointment, the group headed to Nashville, Tennessee. The Department of Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University presented its research focuses to the German medical informatics experts through a wide range of their own lectures (including presentations by Peter Embi, Josh Peterson, and Adam Wright). In return, MIRACUM-DIFUTURE presented the previous results and projects of the MII in a lunch seminar.

Group picture infront of the Vanderbilt University

Three inspiring meetings in Boston

As the third highlight of the trip, Boston was on the itinerary. Here, the group was able to attend three different meetings with varied focuses. The first visit was to the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard University, where Nils Gehlenborg presented an exciting program on visualizing oncological patient data. Another stop in Boston was a visit to TriNetX, an industry partner of the scientific consortia that, in collaboration with the VuD (Association of Directors of German University Hospitals), has initiated a networking project in Germany. The final event in Massachusetts was another lecture series at the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard University, this time led by Shawn Murphy.

Mini-Symposium at Yale University

From Boston, the tour continued directly to another Ivy League university location. New Haven is certainly best known for Yale University. Lucila Ohno-Machado, Chair of Biomedical Informatics & Data Science at the Yale School of Medicine, like Shawn Murphy and Brad Malin, is a member of the joint International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB) of MIRACUM and DIFUTURE. Together with her team, she organized a mini-symposium for the group, which addressed, among other things, a wide range of challenges in cross-site data utilization. Additionally, she expressed great interest in an international exchange of master’s students and post-docs.

Mini-Symposium at Yale University

The American Medical Informatics Association invites to the South

The final destination for the group was New Orleans. The goal here was the five-day AMIA Symposium (American Medical Informatics Association). With many inspiring impressions, but also great interest in the work of the German representatives, the tour came to an end here.

The crowning conclusion was undoubtedly the two meetings with the OHDSI Board of Directors and the two representatives of the MII Advisory Board (Lucila Ohno-Machado, Jim Cimino), as well as the joint visit to a jazz club and the AMIA party on Tuesday evening.