Faculty Directory

Department Leadership

Elizabeth A Shenkman

Elizabeth A Shenkman Ph.D.

Department Chair And Professor
Phone: (352) 294-5975

Elizabeth Shenkman, PhD is the Chair of the Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics and the Co-Director of the University of Florida Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). She also is a health outcomes researcher whose research focuses on: 1) determining which combinations of health care delivery, community, and patient factors influence quality and outcomes of care; and 2) developing and testing corresponding evidence-based strategies to reduce disparities in health outcomes among underserved populations.

Dr. Shenkman has led diverse research initiatives ranging from pragmatic clinical trials to observational studies. She is the PI for the OneFlorida Clinical Data Research Network which is comprised of 10 different health system partners caring for over 15 M Floridians or approximately 60% of the population in the 3rd largest state in the US. The Floridians in this network include vulnerable populations who are rarely or minimally included in traditional clinical trials (e.g., those of lower socioeconomic status, racial and ethnic minorities, children, and older adults). A hallmark of OneFlorida is its centralized Data Trust, which contains linked health care claims, electronic health record, tumor registry, vital statistics, and census data from its health system partners for cohort discovery, study feasibility determination, and to augment primary data collection activities.

Dr. Shenkman is an MPI for the NIH Office of the Director-funded All of Us Precision Medicine cohort initiative in collaboration with the University of Miami, Emory University and Morehouse School of Medicine. In that capacity, she is responsible for overseeing community engagement and recruitment and retention efforts focused on rural and underserved populations in North Florida. Dr. Shenkman also is the PI of a U18 funded by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality. The project is designed to leverage electronic health record data to better measure quality and outcomes of care for children in Medicaid, particularly those who are receiving antipsychotic medication and hence are at risk for metabolic syndrome.

In her role as CTSI Co-Director, Dr. Shenkman leads the Learning Health System initiative, including interfacing with clinicians, health system leaders, researchers, and patients to align research and clinical operations to systematically improve health outcomes and advance health equity in real world clinical settings using data science and dissemination, implementation, and improvement science (DII) methodologies.

Dr. Shenkman’s research has been funded by PCORI, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NIH, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, among others. Her work is published in such journals as Pediatrics, Health Services Research, Clinical Epidemiology, Pediatric Blood and Cancer, and the American Journal of Public Health. Dr. Shenkman is an elected member of the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Pediatric Society.

Matthew Gurka

Matthew Gurka Ph.D.

Professor And Associate Chair
Phone: (352) 627-9088

Dr. Gurka is a Professor in the Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics and the department’s Associate Chair of Education at the University of Florida. Hired as part of the University’s Preeminence Initiative, Dr. Gurka is also Associate Director of the Institute for Child Health Policy. Prior to his recent appointment at UF, Dr. Gurka was the Founding Chair of the Department of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health at West Virginia University, where he also led the Clinical Research Design, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics Program of the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute (WVCTSI). Before his stay at WVU, Dr. Gurka was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences and Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia.

Dr. Gurka received a Ph.D. in biostatistics with an emphasis in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has experience in a wide range of applications of biostatistics to medical research, from the design and analysis of observational studies to the coordination and analysis of multi center longitudinal studies. His research areas in statistics include longitudinal data analyses, mixed models and other multivariate modeling techniques, model selection, power analysis, and internal pilot studies. He has published articles in renowned statistical journals regarding complexities associated with the use of linear mixed models, and he recently served on the Editorial Panel of the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A.

Research Summary:

Dr. Gurka has extensive collaborative and independent research experience in pediatrics. He has obtained funding from the NICHD to study the impact of chronic illnesses such as asthma on development and behavior in children and adolescents. Recently he has focused on childhood and adult obesity, specifically studying the metabolic syndrome. He has obtained NIH funding (NIDDK R21 and a current NHLBI R01) to develop and validate tools to measure metabolic syndrome severity that takes into account sex and racial/ethnic differences observed in this condition. He recently served a term on the Executive Editorial Board of the journal Pediatrics.

Research Interests:
  • Biostatistics
  • Longitudinal research design and data analysis
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Pediatric research
William Hogan

William Hogan M.D., M.S.

Director Of Biomedical Informatics And Data Science
Phone: (352) 294-4197

Dr. Hogan is Director of the Division of Biomedical Informatics in the Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics, Director of Biomedical Informatics for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Florida, and Director of Informatics for the statewide OneFlorida Clinical Research Consortium. He is the co-principal investigator on OneFlorida’s Clinical Data Research Network, which makes OneFlorida part of the National Patient Centered Clinical Research Network or PCORnet. OneFlorida is one of just 9 Clinical Research Networks in PCORnet 2.0 nationwide. Dr. Hogan is a Professor in the College of Medicine, Department of Health Outcomes and Policy at the University of Florida. To these endeavors, he brings over 20 years of experience in development and implementation of large informatics systems, electronic health records, healthcare data warehouses at three institutions and the OneFlorida Data Trust, the National Retail Data Monitor for biosurveillance, and a suite of research informatics applications used in the National Children’s Study. Dr. Hogan is an accomplished researcher and practitioner of biomedical informatics, with expertise and research interests in biomedical ontology and terminology, electronic health records, research informatics, and biosurveillance. He has authored over 60 journal publications and peer-reviewed papers at conferences and has been principal investigator or co-investigator on over $90M of grant funding.

Research Summary:

Dr. Hogan has research interests and expertise in biomedical ontology and terminology, translational science, the reuse of clinical and administrative data—especially electronic health record data—in research, and the development and deployment of large-scale informatics systems that span the state of Florida and the nation. He also has a strong research interest in the fundamental ways in which information is structured and represents biomedical reality, as well as how mismatches between information and reality impact data and information quality. Dr. Hogan has led or played a significant leadership role in the successful creation, implementation, and ongoing operation of (1) a national system for biosurveillance using point-of-sale data of over-the-counter healthcare products, (2) a system used for biosurveillance in Pennsylvania (the success of which led to several additional state and county health departments adopting the system), (3) a suite of open-source software applications for use in clinical and translational science both at a single institution and at multiple institutions participating in the National Children’s Study, (4) institutional and state-wide integrated data repositories in support of research, (5) electronic health records.

Research Interests:
  • Biomedical ontology
  • Biomedical terminology
  • Clinical and translational science
  • Electronic medical records
Stephanie Staras

Stephanie Staras Ph.D.

Associate Professor And Division Director
Phone: (352) 294-8299

Stephanie Staras, M.S.P.H., Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics and director of the department’s Division of Health Outcomes and Implementation Science. She is also a faculty member of the University of Florida’s Institute for Child Health Policy.

Dr. Staras is an expert in human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine implementation research. She has served as principal investigator on eight implementation research grants, including a 5-year, $2.9 million grant from the NCI in 2019 to evaluate a multi-level intervention to boost HPV vaccine rates among 11- and 12-year-olds in Florida. Dr. Staras’ work highlights the strong association between HPV vaccine initiation and parents’ beliefs about the HPV vaccine’s ability to prevent cancer safely. Additionally, she led one of a handful of studies to assess a direct link between provider recommendations and parent beliefs. By simultaneously targeting parents with reminders and providers with an in-clinic, parent-tailored decision aid, Dr. Staras’ real-world, multi-level implementation trial demonstrated a synergistic increase on HPV vaccine initiation among girls. To target interventions at geographic areas of the greatest need, Dr. Staras is characterizing HPV-related disease burden in the University of Florida Cancer Catchment Area by triangulating data with an environmental scan that includes vaccination records, stakeholder interviews, and a provider discrete choice experiment.

Dr. Staras is a graduate of the highly recognized Mentored Training in Dissemination and Implementation Research in Cancer program sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. Her excellence in research also was recognized by her inclusion in the University of Florida’s 2018-2019 University Term Professorship cohort. Dr. Staras also contributes her implementation science expertise to research grants on meningococcal B vaccination, smoking cessation, and cancer screenings.

Department Faculty

Jiang Bian

Jiang Bian Ph.D.

Director Of Cancer Informatics And EHealth Core & Associate Professor
Phone: (352) 273-8878

Biomedical Informatics is an interdisciplinary field, where the central theme is to explore the effective uses of data, information, and knowledge for scientific inquiry, problem-solving, and decision making, motived by efforts to import human health. I have a diverse yet strong multi-disciplinary background in data integration, semantic web, machine learning, natural language processing, social media analysis, network science, data privacy, and software engineering. Nevertheless, my expertise and background serve an overarching theme: data science with heterogeneous data, information and knowledge resources.

I am currently directing the Cancer Informatics & eHealth Core program (http://bit.ly/36IBw5s).

Research Summary:

I have a diverse yet strong multi-disciplinary background. Nevertheless, my expertise and background serve an overarching theme: data science with heterogeneous data, information and knowledge resources. My research areas can be divided into three logical sections under this overarching theme: (1) data-driven medicine—applications of informatics techniques, including machine learning methods in medicine on solving big data problems; (2) mining the Internet, including the social web, to provide insights into health-related behavior and health outcomes of various populations and finding ways to develop interventions that promote public and consumer health; and (3) development of novel informatics methods, tools and systems to support clinical and clinical research activities such as tools for data integration, clinical trial generalizability assessment, and cohort discovery.

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=ysr–voAAAAJ&view_op=list_works&sortby=pubdate

Research Interests:
  • Cancer Informatics
  • Social media
  • data privacy in healthcare
  • data science
  • eHealth and user-centered design
  • semantic web
Mathias Brochhausen

Mathias Brochhausen Ph.D.

Phone: (352) 627-9467
Research Summary:

My area of specialization is the use of semantic web technologies (especially biomedical ontologies) to assist in the collection, curation and maintenance of biomedical data. My particular focus is on the semantic web as a knowledge representation technology to allow automatic inferences. In addition to that I have an interest in general questions related to medical humanities, such as medical ethics. I also have a keen interest in formal logic and social ontologies. The biomedical areas in which I have worked so far are: oncology, pharmacy and pharmacology (drug-drug interactions), radiology, trauma care, pathology, biobanking.

Michelle Cardel

Michelle Cardel Ph.D., R.D.

Assistant Professor
Phone: (352) 273-8811

Dr. Cardel is an obesity and nutrition scientist and registered dietitian in the Department of Health Outcomes & Biomedical Informatics at the University of Florida. Dr. Cardel received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Florida State University in 2005. In 2009, she was awarded a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition and in 2012, a Doctorate Degree in Nutrition Sciences from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She went on to complete her dietetic internship at UAB and the Alaskan Native Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Her research is focused on understanding factors that contribute to the development of obesity and implementing treatment programs for obesity in underserved populations. Her specialties include nutrition, obesity, weight management, pediatric obesity, psychosocial factors contributing to obesity, and health disparities.

Dr. Cardel is a member of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, The Obesity Society, and the American Society for Nutrition (ASN), where she was recognized in 2015 as the recipient of the ASN Grand Prize for Young Minority Investigators Award. She has presented at both national and international conferences including the National Academy of Medicine annual meeting and has been recipient of a variety of awards including the UAB President’s Diversity Award, Charles Barkley Young Investigator Award, UAB’s Outstanding Woman Award, The Obesity Society’s Ethan Sims Young Investigator Award finalist, and the UAB National Alumni Society’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award. In 2018, she was selected to become a Fellow of The Obesity Society. She is passionate about trans-disciplinary obesity research and is currently Co-Chair of the Annual Program Committee Population Health/Policy Track for The Obesity Society.

Dalila D'Ingeo

Dalila D'Ingeo Ph.D.

Assistant Research Scientist
Phone: (352) 294-8419
Research Summary:

Dr. D’Ingeo is a cultural and medical anthropologist who specializes in health disparities, race and racism, and social determinants of health. She earned a PhD in Anthropology at the University of Florida in 2018, after her undergraduate and graduate studies in philosophy, ethics, and health care management. In the Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics, Dr. D’Ingeo conducts research on health care access and health outcomes among Medicaid recipients in Florida, as part of the evaluation team for the Managed Medical Assistance (MMA) program. In other recent projects, Dr. D’Ingeo studies social networks and food security among minority adolescents, and HPV education and prevention in dental health care. Dr. D’Ingeo’s work uses a variety of qualitative and mixed methods for social and health research, including text analysis, social network analysis, community-based participatory methods, and visual and digital methods.

Research Interests:
  • Food security
  • Health disparities and vulnerable populations
  • Translational HPV Research
  • adolescent health
Yi Guo

Yi Guo Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Phone: (352) 294-5969
Email: yiguo@ufl.edu

Dr. Yi Guo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Outcomes & Biomedical Informatics in the College of Medicine at University of Florida. His research focuses on 1) reducing health disparities, 2) integrating heterogeneous data for health risk prediction, and 3) validating patient-reported outcome measures across subpopulations. With a unique combination of training in biostatistics, bioinformatics, and biochemistry, Dr. Guo has strong study design, data collection, and analytical skills. His expertise includes interventional study design, power and sample size analysis, analysis of multi-level and longitudinal designs, mediation and moderation analysis, and health risk, including risk of cardiovascular disease, prediction modeling. He has extensive experience collaborating with clinicians and biomedical researchers on study design, coordination, and analysis. In particular, he has extensive experience applying complex statistical models to analyze health outcomes.

Research Summary:

My areas of expertise serve an overarching research theme: data-driven precision and public health supporting clinical (shared) decision making and multilevel health interventions. Under the overarching theme, my research areas and expertise can be divided into: 1) Electronic health records (EHR)-based phenotyping and risk stratification – the identification of sub-populations with certain conditions or at higher risk for diseases; 2) Causal modeling and inference – the examination of causal relationships and pathways in clinical and public health research, particularly treatment studies; 3) Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in clinical and public health applications – the development, validation, assessment, analysis, and reporting of PROs among various populations, especially vulnerable populations; and 4) Social media analysis and social media-delivered intervention – mining social media data to study health behavior and health outcomes in various populations and developing social media-delivered interventions that promote public and consumer health.

Jaclyn M Hall

Jaclyn M Hall Ph.D.

Research Scientist
Phone: (352) 627-9099

As a medical geographer, I contribute to a variety of health outcomes studies, and to the larger initiatives of the department and college. Due to my diverse background in spatial technologies and experience with environmental data, I contribute to a variety of community health and heath policy related research, both in geographic analyses and geographic data management. My research provides insight into the rurality and other spatial trends of patient data that is vital to several initiatives of the UF Cancer Center, Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, several large Medicaid Managed Care evaluation projects, and multiple studies using data from the OneFlorida Clinical Data Research Network. My contributions include working with researchers on study design, managing the process of geocoding (generating spatial locations from written address data) multiple large data sources, analyses of health care network adequacy, hotspot identification, cluster analyses, and creation of new spatial data sets.

Christopher A Harle

Christopher A Harle Ph.D.

Professor And Chief Research Information Officer
Phone: (352) 294-5797

Dr. Chris Harle is a Professor in the Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics, and the Chief Research Information Officer (CRIO) at UF Health.

Dr. Harle’s research focuses on the design, adoption, use, and value of health information systems. His primary interest is in understanding how information technology-mediated communication tools affect consumer, patient, and provider decisions and behavior. Recently, with funding from Pfizer, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), his research has focused on developing clinical decision support tools to support primary care clinicians in chronic pain care and opioid prescribing. Other recent research, funded by the NIH, focuses on developing interactive electronic informed consent processes for obtaining broad consent from patients to share their electronic health records for research studies.

Dr. Harle holds an MS in Decision and Information Sciences from the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business Administration and a PhD in information systems and management from Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III College.

Georges Khalil

Georges Khalil Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Phone: (352) 294-8415

Georges Khalil is a cancer prevention scientist and health communication specialist in the Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics. Prior to his appointment at the University of Florida, Dr. Khalil served as a Postdoctoral Fellow and then Instructor faculty at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He earned a Master of Public Health from the University of Southern California (2010) and a Doctoral degree in Communication from the State University of New York at Buffalo (2015).

Dr. Khalil’s research interests are cancer prevention, digital technologies, and social interactivity. His work primarily focuses on the design and evaluation of entertainment programs and technology-based interventions that aim to improve clinical and behavioral outcomes related to cancer prevention and control among youths. He is particularly passionate about the application of games for health to bring about behavior change.

Most recently, his research has focused on tobacco prevention, exploring adolescents’ reactions to ASPIRE, a web-based smoking prevention program, and the study of young adults’ experience with a mobile health campaign for tobacco-risk communication. He has also conducted studies on Re-Mission, a video game designed to improve medication adherence among pediatric cancer patients and cancer-risk communication among young-adult college students. Funded by an R00 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Dr. Khalil is currently developing and testing social influence strategies for tobacco prevention and cessation among adolescents.

Dr. Khalil has presented at both national and international conferences including the World Cancer Congress and has been recipient of a variety of awards including the Early Career Investigator Award from the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco and a New Investigator Workshop Award from the American Society of Preventive Oncology.

Dominick Lemas

Dominick Lemas Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Phone: (352) 294-5971

Dominick Lemas is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Outcomes & Biomedical Informatics at the University of Florida. Dr. Lemas received his bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Vermont in 2006 and completed his doctorate in biochemistry & molecular biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2012. His research is devoted to understanding the fetal origins of pediatric obesity with a specific interest in the functional implications of gut microflora and the critical host-microbe interactions that regulate maternal-infant metabolism.

Research Interests:
  • Biomedical informatics
  • Child-maternal health
  • Computational biology
  • Metagenomics
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Pediatric obesity
Rahma S Mkuu

Rahma S Mkuu

Assistant Research Scientist
Phone: (352) 627-9087
Email: rmkuu@ufl.edu

Dr. Mkuu is a health outcomes and chronic disease researcher in the Department of Health Outcomes & Biomedical Informatics at the University of Florida. Dr. Mkuu’s work focuses on disentangling determinants of health outcomes and identifying evidenced-interventions and policies that improve the health of under-served populations. Dr. Mkuu is also involved with leading evaluation projects that are part of the Texas Medicaid External Quality Review Organization.

Research Interests:
  • Cancer
  • Global Health
  • HIV Prevention
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity prevention and treatment
  • Program evaluation
  • quality improvement
François Modave

François Modave Ph.D.

Director Of Artificial Intelligence And Decision-Making & Associate Professor
Phone: (352) 294-5932

François Modave is an associate professor in the Department of Health Outcomes & Biomedical Informatics, a member of the Institute for Child Health Policy, and the Director, Artificial Intelligence and Decision-Making

Dr. Modave rejoined HOBI and the biomedical informatics team in December 2019 after spending a little over a year as director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Informatics Research and founding chair of the department of health informatics and data science at Loyola University Chicago, where he also served as site-PI for the University of Chicago-Rush CTSA.

Dr. Modave first joined HOBI in 2015 and spent nearly 4 years on the BMI team as an associate professor until he moved to Chicago in October 2018. Prior to this appointment, he was chair and tenured associate professor of the Department of Computer Science at Jackson State University, and an adjunct faculty at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center – El Paso, Texas, where he held a joint appointment with Family Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Modave received his M.S. in Applied Mathematics from the Université of Paris IX -Dauphine in 1994, in Paris France, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from ENSEEIHT – Université Toulouse III also in France, in 1999.

Dr. Modave’s research focuses on the use of data science, decision theory, and mobile health to improve health outcomes, in particular for chronic conditions, and also to improve cancer screening rates. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Cancer Institute and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

Heather L Morris

Heather L Morris Ph.D.

Phone: (352) 627-9074
Research Interests:
  • Patient-Provider Communication
  • Prevention and intervention trials in Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Type 2 Diabetes
Keith E Muller

Keith E Muller Ph.D.

Phone: (352) 294-5957

Professor Muller has NIH funding from NIGMS, NLM, and NCATS. His journal publications are split roughly equally between scientific collaborations and biostatistical methodology developments. In addition, Professor Muller is the first author of two current books on the theory and practice of linear models.

Professor Muller serves as co-principal investigator of 9R01GM121081-05, “Methods and Software for Lifecourse Epidemiology Data and Sample Size Analysis” funded by NIH/NIGMS, 08/15/2016-06/30/2020, as a continuation of 1R01DE020832-01A1. Co-principal investigators are Dr. D. H. Glueck (UCD) and Dr. D. Dabelea (UCD). Dr. Muller (UF) and Dr. D. H. Glueck (UCD) are co-PI of 1R25GM111901-01, “A Master Course on Power for Multilevel and Longitudinal Health Behavior Studies,” funded by NIH/OBSS and NIGMS, 08/25/2014-06/30/2018, and also 1G13LMO11879-01, “Guidebook to Power and Sample Size for linear models,” funded by NLM/NIH, 12/01/2014-11/30/2016.

Research Summary:

Professor Muller’s current research centers on power and sample size for multilevel and longitudinal designs, especially with trajectories as predictors. He and colleagues also pursue advances in adaptive designs and High Dimension, Low Sample Size (more variables than participants).

Research Interests:
  • Biostatistics
  • Health outcomes research
  • Statistical methods
Deepa Ranka

Deepa Ranka

Assistant Scientist
Phone: (352) 265-0111
Ramzi G Salloum

Ramzi G Salloum Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Phone: (352) 294-4997

Dr. Salloum is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Outcomes & Biomedical Informatics at the University of Florida College of Medicine and a member of the UF Health Cancer Center and the Institute for Child Health Policy. He is an economist and health services researcher whose work has consistently focused on decision making across the cancer prevention and control continuum, including prevention, screening, and treatment. His research considers the influence of guidelines and incentives on the demand for and provision of health and healthcare across the cancer control continuum.

He is the recipient of two National Cancer Institute (NCI)-supported fellowships from the Health Care Systems Research Network (HCSRN)’s Cancer Research Network (CRN) Scholars Program (2015-2017); and the Mentored Training for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Cancer (MT-DIRC) Program (2016-2018). Given his research experiences in studying the provision of healthcare services, his goal is to increase the implementation and dissemination of innovative value-added cancer prevention and control strategies by improving our understanding of patient values and preferences, and enhancing stakeholder engagement.

Dr. Salloum teaches Fundamentals of Dissemination and Implementation Research (GMS 6851).

Khairul A Siddiqi

Khairul A Siddiqi

Assistant Research Scientist
Phone: (352) 627-9467
Sarah M Szurek

Sarah M Szurek Ph.D.

Program Director, Community Outreach And Engagement, UF Health Cancer Center & Assistant Research Scientist
Phone: (352) 627-9143

Dr. Sarah M. Szurek is a medical anthropologist who holds a faculty position as an assistant research scientist in the College of Medicine’s Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics. She also serves as program director for the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement at the UF Health Cancer Center.

Dr. Szurek’s work focuses on understanding the social and cultural factors that influence health outcomes among marginalized populations to then develop targeted, evidence-based programs to positively affect health in community settings. She has worked with Mexican immigrants in Alabama to examine how personal social networks affect diabetes risk, and with African Americans in Florida on community-based participatory research projects related to racism, cardiovascular disease, and the local food environment. Dr. Szurek previously directed the Florida Healthy Kids Program evaluation, which examined the quality of care that children receive in the state.

She currently is responsible for developing and managing community-based programs that identify cancer-relevant needs, target cancer prevention, and improve health outcomes in twenty-three counties in Florida. Dr. Szurek is a voting member of the Scientific Review and Monitoring Committee within the UF Health Cancer Center’s Clinical Research Office. She also serves on the Steering Committees for the North Central Florida Cancer Control Collaborative and the ABOUT Network – Project COGENT (Customizing Consumer GENerated Tools to Engage Researchers).

Ryan P Theis

Ryan P Theis Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor
Phone: (352) 294-5973

Dr. Theis is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics and the Institute for Child Health Policy (ICHP) at the University of Florida College of Medicine. He is a medical anthropologist specializing in the use of qualitative methods in implementation and improvement science, health care quality measurement, and program evaluation. His research focuses on health disparities and health care quality in publicly insured populations, with an emphasis on children and adults in Medicaid who require long-term services and supports.

Dr. Theis presently oversees evaluation studies as a key investigator of the External Quality Review Organization for Texas Medicaid and CHIP. He also provides qualitative and mixed-methods expertise in collaboration with other UF faculty to inform the development and adoption of evidence-based practices in local clinical settings, including studies funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (PI: Shenkman), the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program (PI: Salloum), and the Aetna Foundation (PI: Salloum). Dr. Theis is a member of the operations committee for the UF CTSI Learning Health System Program, and serves as a subject matter expert on Texas DSRIP Program workgroups related to social determinants of health and telehealth. Dr. Theis received his PhD in anthropology from the University of Florida. His dissertation work, funded by the U.S. Fulbright Program, used ethnographic methods to understand experiences and perceptions of discrimination among low-income social service users in Geneva, Switzerland.

W B Vogel

W B Vogel Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Phone: (352) 294-5970

W. Bruce Vogel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics at the University of Florida. An economist by training, Dr. Vogel has extensive experience in a broad array of health services research and health economics projects. His interests focus on applied mathematical and statistical modeling in the areas of outcomes, access, and costs across a variety of chronically-ill populations, including Medicaid enrollees, children, and veterans. Dr. Vogel is currently the lead principal investigator on a three-year, $3M evaluation of the Managed Medical Assistance (MMA) Program, Florida’s statewide transition of Medicaid from fee-for-service to managed care. He is also involved in conducting analyses as a part of the Texas Medicaid External Quality Review Organization. Dr. Vogel was previously Co-Director of the original Florida Health Insurance Study and also served as the Director of the Methodology Core at the VA Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center and the VA Center for Innovation in Disability and Rehabilitation Research. He has served on the VA’s Scientific Merit Review Board and the VA’s National Advisory Panel on Statistics and Analytics, and is currently an Associate Editor of BMC Health Services Research. His research has appeared in Medical Care, Health Services Research, Inquiry, Health Care Management Science, and Advances in Health Economics and Health Services Research, among others. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the George Washington University.

Yonghui Wu

Yonghui Wu

Phone: (352) 294-8436

Dr. Wu is an Assistant Professor in the College of Medicine, Department of Health Outcomes & Biomedical Informatics at the University of Florida. Dr. Wu’s research interests include Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed papers and has been the principal investigator for a number of grants, including an NLP grant from Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. His research has contributed substantially to clinical and biomedical NLP – including information extraction from clinical notes and biomedical literature, Word Sense Disambiguation (WSD) for ambiguous biomedical terms; predictive modeling for drug adverse reactions and drug new indications (known as drug repurposing); various applications to apply NLP and machine learning to solve clinical and translational problems.

Dr. Wu received his Ph.D. from the Harbin Institute of Technology, School of Computer Science with a focus on natural language processing. Then, he entered medical informatics research with a motivation to help improve the quality of healthcare delivery and the safety of patients. He has Biomedical informatics training at Vanderbilt University (2010-2012) and then University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (2012-2014).

Alyson Young

Alyson Young Ph.D.

Assistant Research Scientist
Phone: (352) 294-8128

Emeritus Faculty

Jonathan J Shuster

Jonathan J Shuster

Professor Emeritus
Phone: (352) 682-0893

Jonathan Shuster is a professor emeritus in the College of Medicine, Department of Health Outcomes & Biomedical Informatics, and Director of Research Design and Analysis Program, University of Florida Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

He has been on the University of Florida faculty since 1969. Between 1980 and 2000, he served as the founding Group Statistician for the Pediatric Oncology Group, one of the cooperative clinical trials groups funded by the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has been PI or Co-PI on over $30 million in federal grants. He is a member of the Cardiovascular and Sleep Epidemiology Study Section for the NIH, his fifth term on an NIH study section. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Sequential Analysis. In past years, he has served as Associate Editor, Journal of the American Statistical Association and on the Editorial Board of Blood.

  • 1969
    Ph.D., Math-Statistics
    McGill University
  • 1967
    M.S., Math-Statistics
    McGill University
  • 1964
    B.S., Chemistry
    McGill University
Alexander C Wagenaar

Alexander C Wagenaar

Professor Emeritus
Phone: (352) 327-8716

Dr. Wagenaar is Professor Emeritus of Health Outcomes & Biomedical Informatics at the University of Florida College of Medicine. His second book, Public Health Law Research: Theory and Methods (with Scott Burris of Temple University School of Law), was published by Wiley in 2013. In addition, he has published 180 scientific articles on social and behavioral epidemiology, public health policy, legal evaluations, community intervention trials, alcohol and tobacco studies, traffic safety, and injury control.

In 1987, Professor Wagenaar received the Exceptional Leadership Award from the American Public Health Association. In 1999, he received the Jellinek Award for lifetime achievement in research on alcohol. In 2001 he received the Innovator’s Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and in 2004 was named by the Institute for Scientific Information as a Highly Cited Researcher, an honor limited to less than one-half of one percent of published scientists worldwide. Other scientists have cited his journal articles more than 10,000 times. In 2009 he received the Prevention Science Award and in 2016 the Nan Tobler Award, both from the Society for Prevention Research, in recognition of his three decades of investigating and advancing the methods and outcomes of prevention research.

  • 1980
    Ph.D., Health Behavior and Health Education
    University of Michigan
  • 1978
    M.S.W., Program Evaluation and Research
    University of Michigan
  • 1977
    B.A., Sociology
    Calvin College