Two faculty from Biomedical Informatics selected for Ohio State’s inaugural Growing Research Opportunities Academy cohort

Two members of The Ohio State University College of Medicine’s faculty, John Bridges, PhD, and Xia Ning, PhD, have been selected for The Ohio State University Office of Research’s inaugural Growing Research Opportunities (GRO) Academy, a leadership development program that implements skills necessary for effective interdisciplinary collaboration in research. The two researchers from the Department of Biomedical Informatics will join 19 others in a series of educational seminars led by professionals from different disciplines.

The GRO Academy aims to expand Ohio State’s activity in externally funded multidisciplinary research. Reflective self-assessments and team-building workshops provide participants with the leadership and collaboration skills that will encourage their pursuit of transformative, comprehensive research.

“Our GRO Academy will provide the tools faculty need to not only increase their research activity, but also expand their research leadership capabilities and catalyze their pursuit of innovative, high-impact multidisciplinary research that benefits society,” says Dorota Grejner-Brzezińska, PhD, MS, interim vice president for Knowledge Enterprise at Ohio State. “It is yet another way the university is investing in developing our research capacity and enabling the faculty success that will translate to accelerated discoveries and innovations.”

Dr. Bridges is professor and vice chair of Academic Affairs in the Department of Biomedical Informatics and professor in the Department of Surgery at the Ohio State College of Medicine. Promoting a deeper understanding on the preferences and engagement of patients in medical research, Dr. Bridges has published over 200 peer-reviewed publications. Currently, Dr. Bridges is helping lead an Ohio State team for The National Cancer Institute’s Participant Engagement and Cancer Genome Sequencing Network. Providing support to participating researchers and community partners of this program, Dr. Bridges and his team ensure well-organized efforts to close the gap in knowledge on cancer research profiling.

“As a social scientist who works in medicine, I am proud that Ohio State is investing in facilitating transdisciplinary team science. The GRO Academy will help me improve my skills in leading multicenter networks and engaging patients and the community in our research,” says Dr. Bridges.

Xia Ning, PhD, is an associate professor of Biomedical Informatics at the Ohio State College of Medicine. Dr. Ning’s research is highly interdisciplinary across the boundaries of artificial intelligence (AI), biomedicine and health care. She develops innovative AI and machine learning techniques, applying these techniques to address critical and challenging problems in biomedicine and health care. Dr. Ning’s research areas include predictive analysis and information retrieval from electronic medical records for clinical decision support, deep learning for biological sequence analysis, deep generative modeling and prioritization for drug discovery, personalized learning for precision medicine in cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases.

“I am extremely honored and thrilled to be selected in the first GRO cohort,” says Dr. Ning. “I deeply value this GRO opportunity, and I truly believe this will be a rewarding investment and will definitely help me advance my career on interdisciplinary research. I hope I can take more leadership roles on large-scale, interdisciplinary research after I graduate from GRO, and make more significant contributions to the Ohio State’s research portfolio. Particularly, as AI has been recognized as having immense potential to advance health care, and as a researcher on AI for health care, I believe the GRO program will empower me with knowledge and skills needed to lead complex, interdisciplinary collaborations on AI for health care. I am very excited!”

Lang Li, PhD, professor and chair of Ohio State’s Department of Biomedical Informatics, is excited too.

“As one of major data science academic programs at Ohio State, the Department of Biomedical Informatics highly values team science research,” says Dr. Li. “I am so proud that our two leading faculty members are offered this wonderful opportunity. I have no doubt that they will develop, build and lead new team science research on top of their current productive research profiles.”

Congratulations Dr. Bridges and Dr. Ning for being selected for this honor!