Meet Dr. Leming Zhou, director, Health Informatics
Dr. Leming Zhou, PhD, DSc, is program director of the Master of Science in Health Informatics and an associate professor in the Department of Health Information Management. His research goal is to provide computational methods and tools to facilitate high quality and low cost health care services.
How long have you worked at Pitt and in what capacity?
I joined Pitt in 2008 after I finished my PhD studies in computer science. I was hired to do computational modeling research and teach graduate courses. I created three new courses—Computer Programming in Python, Data Analytics and Its Applications in Genomics, and Security and Privacy in Health Information Systems. They are all part of the new Health Informatics graduate curriculum.
What is your area of expertise?
My doctoral dissertation was on pattern recognition and machine learning, especially their applications in large scale genomic data analysis. I also performed various computational modeling and software system development projects. After I started to work at Pitt, my research projects gradually switched to health care related topics, such as modeling of disease development, large scale health care data analysis, and mobile health app development and evaluation. I’ve also conducted research related to information security and privacy.
What changes have you contributed to the new MSHI program and why?
The innovation in high throughput biotechnologies and the wide adoption of EHR and mobile devices have made digital data production dramatically faster. There is a clear need for more data scientists and health informaticians to extract meaningful information from this enormous amount of health care data. That’s why we created the new MSHI program. We also created the online version because of the numerous inquiries we received in the past years from working professionals around the country.
What is your overall vision for the MSHI program?
Our major goal is to train highly competitive health informatics professionals so that they can improve the quality of health care. Our graduates will be able to extract information from massive health care related data and make informed decisions. They will also work as leaders in various health care facilities and make contributions to better serve patients and their health care needs.