Dr. Lucila Ohno-Machado, who in her work combines a fascination with life science and computer science to study predictive models and data sharing, was recently appointed the Waldemar von Zedtwitz Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics and Data Science, effective Jan. 1, 2023.
She joined the faculty at Yale School of Medicine in January as the inaugural chair of the Section of Biomedical Informatics and Data Science and Deputy Dean for Biomedical Informatics.
Ohno-Machado received her medical degree from the University of São Paulo, Brazil; her M.B.A. from the Escola de Administração de São Paulo, Fundação Getúlio Vargas, Brazil; and her Ph.D. in medical information sciences and computer science at Stanford University.
Prior to coming to Yale, she was health sciences associate dean for informatics and technology, founding chief of the Division of Biomedical Informatics in the Department of Medicine, and distinguished professor of medicine at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). She was also founding chair of the UCSD Health Department of Biomedical Informatics and founding faculty of the UCSD Halicioğlu Data Science Institute in La Jolla, California. She organized the first large-scale initiative to share clinical data across five UC medical systems and later extended it to various institutions in California and around the country. Prior to joining UCSD, she was distinguished chair in biomedical informatics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and faculty at Harvard Medical School and at MIT’s Health Sciences and Technology Division.
Ohno-Machado’s doctoral thesis work involved neural network models for survival analysis. She subsequently focused on new methods to evaluate predictive performance of models based on clinical and molecular data. Since artificial intelligence models require large amounts of data, and institutions prefer to keep the data locally, she worked on innovative algorithms to distribute the computation so that data could stay local, but multivariate models could be built and evaluated in a federated manner.
At Yale, Ohno-Machado is overseeing the infrastructure related to biomedical informatics research across the academic health system. The Section of Biomedical Informatics and Data Science will serve as the hub for biomedical collaboration, bringing informatics to the clinic and the bedside; introducing new approaches to the analysis of big data across the biomedical research spectrum from basic genetic, proteomic, cellular, and systems biology, to clinical phenotypes, population health data, and the understanding of the social determinants of health; and working in concert with colleagues in data science and public health. This new academic unit will also address inequality in health care and research with innovative approaches at the intersection of engineering, technology, and medicine. It will work with scientists exploring fundamental biological principles and physician-scientists implementing interventions that promote health for all. It will also lead new studies and data collection initiatives; build new algorithms and tools; provide a unique nexus to advance artificial intelligence (AI) for medicine at Yale; share meaningful, privacy-preserving digital objects (data, code, processes); train next generation leaders; and disseminate lessons learned globally.
Ohno-Machado is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the American College of Medical Informatics, and the International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics. She is a recipient of the American Medical Informatics Association leadership award, as well as the William W. Stead Award for Thought Leadership in Informatics.