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Faculty and Staff


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Robert Davis, MD, MPH

Dr. Robert Davis is the founding director of the UTHSC Center for Biomedical Informatics and the University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair in Biomedical Informatics, and a Professor in the UTHSC Deptartment of Pediatrics. To learn more about Dr. Davis’ research, click here.


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Arash Shaban-Nejad, PhD

Arash Shaban-Nejad is an Assistant Professor in the UTHSC-OAK-Ridge National Lab (ORNL) Center for Biomedical Informatics, and the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). He is also an adjunct faculty at the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Before coming to UTHSC, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow of the McGill Clinical and Health Informatics Group at McGill University. Dr. Shaban-Nejad received his Ph.D. and MSc in Computer Science from Concordia University, Montreal and Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of California, Berkeley. Additional training was received at the Harvard School of Public Health. His primary research interest is Global and Population Health Intelligence, Clinical and Epidemiologic Surveillance, Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) and Big-Data Semantic Analytics using tools and techniques from Artificial Intelligence, Knowledge Representation, and Semantic Web.



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Akram Mohammed, PhD

Dr. Akram Mohammed is a High Performance Computing Liaison and Bioinformatics Scientist at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Mohammed works closely with UT research faculty, staff, postdocs, and students and serves as a liaison between UT Health Science Center’s Information Technology Services and High Performance Scientific Computing group at UT Knoxville. He has coordinated with the HPSC team and managed a range of health, clinical and biomedical informatics research projects for the UT Health Science Center groups. Dr. Mohammed’s interests also include health data science, -omics (genomics, proteomics, epigenetics and transcriptomics) data analysis. At the center, he also focuses on designing and developing advanced real-time algorithms for predicting the onset of abnormal conditions at the bedside using data streams acquired in intensive care units, analyzing single-cell RNA sequencing, single-nuclear RNA sequencing, small-RNA sequencing, DNA microarrays, DNA methylation, whole-genome, and whole-exome sequencing data. To learn more about Dr. Mohammed’s researchclick here.


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Parya Zareie, MS

Parya Zareie is the Data Manager at the UTHSC Center for Biomedical Informatics. She is experienced in data analytics, building and evaluating machine learning algorithms and extrapolating conclusions from large data sets. Her expertise is in the deployment of statistical principles, data visualization, data transformation and conducting routine database maintenance as needed to ensure data integrity.


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Jamie Whartenby, MPH

Jamie Whartenby serves as a Program Administrator from the Center for Biomedical Informatics.  She earned her Master’s in Public Administration from Murray State University.  She earned a Health Systems Leadership graduate certificate and is currently pursuing further studies in the School of Public Health at the University of Memphis.  Her research interests include maternal and child health, program and policies, and community engagement and influence.


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Fatima Gunturkun, PhD

Dr. Fatma Gunturkun is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Center for Biomedical Informatics, Department of Pediatrics. She received her Ph.D. in Statistics from Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey in 2019. Her research interests include the implementation of statistical modeling, machine learning, deep learning, biostatistics, and data visualization for clinical decision making.


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Nariman Ammar, PhD

Nariman Ammar is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Population Health Intelligence lab (PopHI-Lab) within the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC)-Oak-Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Center for Biomedical Informatics, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine. She is working with Dr. Arash Shaban-Nejad on several projects, including building a recommendation system and a digital assistant for Public Health Surveillance and incorporating that into a Personal Health Library (PHL). She also contributes to other projects, including analyzing Sickle Cell and Severe Sepsis data sets in collaboration with St. Jude and Methodist Le Bonheur Children's hospitals. She obtained her PhD in Computer Science from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA. Her research interests are in Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Knowledge Representation and Semantic Web, and distributed data management.


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Olufunto Olusanya, PhD, MD, MPH

Olufunto Olusanya is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Population Health Intelligence lab (PopHI-Lab) within the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, (UTHSC)-Oak-Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Center for Biomedical Informatics at the Department of Pediatrics. Olufunto received her doctoral degree in Health Education and her master’s degree in Epidemiology from the Texas A&M University. Olufunto also has a medical degree which she obtained from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. 

Olufunto is working with Dr. Arash Shaban-Nejad and a multi-disciplinary team of researchers on implementing and overseeing the Tennessee TweenVax Project, a multi-phase study to improve HPV vaccination uptake among adolescents. Other projects Olufunto is currently working on include the Memphis Urban Public Health Observatory (UPHO), Personal health libraries (PHL) and Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs). Her research interests include Vaccine hesitancy and Compliance, Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-related Cancers, Maternal and Child Health and Precision Medicine. Olufunto’s work, which incorporates clinical knowledge and biomedical informatics, has practical applications in generating evidence and impact to advance HPV-related cancer preventive research. Click to view the CV.


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Oguz Akbilgic, PhD

Dr. Akbilgic is a data scientist with expertise in statistical modeling, machine learning, and deep learning for clinical decision making. He earned his BS degree in Mathematics (2001) and PhD in Quantitative Methods (2011) from Istanbul University and MS in Statistics from Mimar SInan University (2005). He carried out postdoctoral studies at University of Tennessee Knoxville, (2012-2103) and University of Calgary (2013-2015). He worked at University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Memphis, TN as an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics (2015-2019). He is currently an Associate Professor of Health Informatics at Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, IL.


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Rishi Kamaleswaren


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Corey Cole, BS

Corey Cole has a BS in Computer Science. His role is responsible for receiving patient data via HL7 from UT associated hospitals, de-identifying the data (remove PHI from the data) and sending it to Tri-Netix for use in clinical research.

Last Published: Jun 16, 2021