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Faculty and Staff


Robert Davis Headshot
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 Department of Pediatrics. To learn more about Dr. Davis’ research, visit his faculty profile.
Shaben-Nejad headshot

Arash Shaban-Nejad, PhD

Arash Shaban-Nejad is an Associate 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 PhD 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.


Akram Mohammed headshot

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 PhD 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.
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Oguz Akbilgic, PhD

Dr. Akbilgic is a biomedical informaticist with expertise in statistical modeling and artificial intelligence theory and applications in medicine. He earned his BS degree in Mathematics (2001) from Istanbul University, MS in Statistics from Mimar Sinan University (2005), and PhD in Quantitative Methods (2011) from Istanbul University. 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), at Loyola University Chicago an Associate Professor of Health Informatics (2019-2021). He is currently at Wake Forest School of Medicine as an Associate Professor of Cardiology and Biomedical Informatics. He is also an Associate Director for Epidemiological Cardiology Research Center (EPICARE). 
Dr. Akbilgic's research focuses on AI applications on cardiovascular disease detection, risk prediction for neurodegenerative disease and surgery outcomes. He also has focus on remote applications of AI on data collected from wearables. Akbilgic's research has been funded by NIH and Michael J Fox Foundation and resulted in over 100 publications including two book chapters.
Soheil Hashtarkhani

Soheil Hashtarkhani, PhD, MSc

Soheil Hashtarkhani is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Biomedical Informatics, Department of Pediatrics, at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He holds a PhD and MSc in Medical Informatics from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran. Soheil's expertise lies in the field of public health informatics, where his research focuses on addressing health disparities, measuring health services accessibility, analyzing spatial epidemiology, and utilizing data visualization for effective decision-making. He is deeply passionate about leveraging informatics tools and methodologies to tackle pressing health challenges.
Fekede Kumsa, PhD

Fekede Kumsa, PhD

Dr. Fekede Kumsa is a postdoctoral fellow at the at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), Department of Pediatrics, Center for Biomedical Informatics. Dr. Kumsa earned his PhD in Public Health from the University of Technology Sydney in Australia, and his MPH in Epidemiology from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. Prior to joining UTHSC, Dr. Kumsa served as an Assistant Professor of Public Health at Haramaya University in Ethiopia, and a public health consultant and evidence-to-policy specialist for the Fenot project in Ethiopia, which is being implemented by the University of British Columbia and Harvard T-Chan School of Public Health. He was also an honorary research associate at the University of British Columbia's School of Population and Public Health in Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Kumsa's research interests encompass various aspects of maternal and child health epidemiology, with a specific focus on maternal nutrition and gestational weight gain, as well as health equity. Within the center, he primarily focuses on examining social determinants of health, disparities related to breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer, and the utilization of telemedicine for abortion care.

Fekede Kumsa, PhD

Joyce Hamilton

Joyce is our Administrative Coordinator (


Brianna White

Brianna M. White, MPH

Brianna White is a Research Coordinator within the UTHSCCenter for Biomedical Informatics and the College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics. Brianna earned her MPH in Epidemiology from The University of Memphis and previously worked in the CBMI as a Research Assistant. Her primary research project, TweenVax, focuses on a comprehensive Practice-, Provider-, and Parent/Patient-level intervention to improve adolescent vaccination. While Brianna’sresearch interests encompass various aspects of epidemiologyand global health including social determinants of health, digital health initiatives, natural language processing, social media sentiment analysis, disease forecasting, and emergency/outbreak response, her work within the center has a focus on vaccine confidence/hesitancy and mitigating the negative health consequences associated with the spread of mis- and disinformation. Helping to drive impactful public health initiatives and improving personal and population health, Brianna is passionate about advancing public health research and promoting global health equity.

Sep 6, 2023