New UW Chief of Bioinformatics dives into data to push cancer research, care forward

UW Health

After nearly two decades in the field, Jomol Mathew, PhD, is more than used to hearing the question: just what exactly is biomedical informatics?

Fortunately, she’s got a good answer.

“It’s an interdisciplinary science of the collection, integration, analysis and interpretation of data” she said. “We’re generating knowledge out of data and ultimately helping to improve human health.”

While the collection of health data and information has always been part of medicine – think paper charts and lab reports – advancements in technology have made it easier to compile this information from various sources (including basic and clinical research, clinical care, and directly from patients themselves) and parse it out to identify trends. While making sense out of large swaths of information is a difficult task, it’s exactly what Mathew was hired to do.

Earlier this year, she accepted an offer to become the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health’s first ever chief of biomedical informatics. In this role, she oversees institutional biomedical informatics activities and is charged with finding new ways to enable UW researchers to translate data into meaningful interventions for patients. Read more …