There is a growing need for highly skilled and talented biomedical informatics professionals. On the clinical side, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) estimates a need of 50,000 additional personnel to meet the needs of President Obama's goal for every American to have their health records in digital form by 2014. There are equally substantial needs in other areas, such as bioinformatics, clinical and translational research informatics, and public health informatics. In order to encourage highly accomplished students to pursue careers in the field, OHSU has initiated the Excellence in Informatics Scholarship program.

2012 Excellence In Informatics Scholarship Recipient

Joe Reistetter

Joe ReistetterJoe received his B.S. in Mathematical Biology from Beloit College. After graduation, he used geographic information systems (GIS) to study pressing issues in conservation ecology. A lot of that experience involved using computational tools to derive useful information from large datasets. Although Joe enjoyed working in that domain, he knew that he wanted to study medicine and human disease. Bioinformatics was well suited to that goal, and the program has done an excellent job of exposing him to both cutting edge advances in biological data capture and analysis as well as the impact and possibilities of those methods for medicine and understanding disease.

Broadly, his research interests are using computational tools to derive meaningful, medically relevant knowledge from data.  More specifically, for his thesis he is combining gene expression and proteomics data to decipher the transcriptional regulation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis during the course of its infection of host immune cells. Dr. Shannon McWeeney is his mentor.
Outside of school, Joe enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, snowboarding, exploring the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and biking around the great city of Portland.

First Excellence in Informatics Scholarship Awarded

Pavana Anur

PavanaAnur100xThe department is pleased to announce that the First Excellence in Informatics Scholarship has been awarded to Pavana Anur, a second year master's student in bioinformatics. Pavana completed undergraduate studies in India in chemistry, botany, and microbiology, where she also received a MS in Biochemistry. Her earlier studies also included diplomas in genetic engineering and finance/management.

Pavana's research interest is computational modeling to understand the progression of complex human diseases, with a current focus on examining genes involved in atherosclerosis using microarray data. She works under the mentorship of Dr. Shannon McWeeney. Aside from academics and research, Pavana enjoys hiking, singing, and participating in community activities.

The Biomedical Informatics graduate program will begin reviewing applications for the Winter 2014 Excellence in Informatics Scholarship in Fall 2013 to support qualified individuals in the second year of their on-campus master's program. The program will present one award in the form of a tuition waiver of $5,000. Two waivers in the amount of $2,500 each will be applied during winter and spring terms 2014. Applications are due no later than December 1, 2013.


Students must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for the award:
  • Second year MS or MBI student, either Medical Informatics track or Bioinformatics track
  • On-campus, year-round, part-time or full-time status
  • Successful performance in program (GPA 3.5 or better)
  • Timely progression toward degree
  • Voluntary contribution to the program such as HIMSS student rep, DMICE committee participation, posters, publications, professional conference presentations, recruitment activities, etc.
  • Financial need is not a requirement for eligibility but will be considered

Responsibilities of Awardee

  • Become a student representative to a department advisory committee
  • Present his or her final capstone or thesis at a public forum


Individuals interested in applying for the Excellence in Informatics Scholarship must submit the following:

Mail the completed application to:
Andrea Ilg
Educational Program Director
Biomedical Informatics Program
Mail Code: BICC 504
Oregon Health & Science University
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd.
Portland, OR 97239

Additional Funding Opportunities

HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) Foundation Scholarship Program
The HIMSS Foundation Scholarship Program annually awards scholarships to student members studying in the health care information or management systems field. Visit the HIMSS site at for more information.
AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) Foundation of Research and Education
Financial aid is available to qualified students through the AHIMA Foundation of Research and Education. The organization offers both loans and scholarships. For more information, see

An extensive list of other funding sources is available on the OHSU Office of Graduate Studies website at