The National Library of Medicine ¿rst funded the Biomedical Informatics and Data Science Research Training
(BIRT) program at Harvard Medical School (HMS) in 1992. The program continues to be a driving force in the
education of future leaders in the ¿eld of computationally-enabled biomedicine. As data-driven research
increasingly enables critical innovation across the whole spectrum of healthcare, we need to train individuals
from a wide range of disciplines to participate in this process. Through rigorous scienti¿c training, the
proposed program will prepare these individuals to integrate, interpret, and act on large-scale,
high-throughput, and complex data resulting from biomedical research and the practice of medicine.
The Department of Biomedical Informatics at HMS will be the administrative and intellectual home for the
proposed program. Faculty in the department have expertise in arti¿cial intelligence, biomedical discovery
infrastructure including computational statistics and data visualization, clinical decision support,
computational omics, evolutionary genetics, integration of genotypes, phenotypes and environmental
exposures, learning health systems, microbial genomics, and taxonomies of disease. Additionally, other
Harvard faculty, members of the Broad Institute, and faculty based at a¿liated teaching hospitals such
Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Beth Israel
Deaconess Medical Center, and Dana-Farber Cancer Center will participate in the training of the fellows.
Furthermore, the program will continue to coordinate its training e¿orts with other data science programs at
Harvard and the Harvard Data Science Initiative.
The proposed program will focus on areas of informatics with direct health-related application domains:
translational bioinformatics, healthcare/clinical informatics, clinical research informatics, and public health
informatics. Combining the broad expertise and deep knowledge of informatics in our research laboratories
with the clinical data generated in the daily practice of medicine at the a¿liated institutions will provide an
exceptional training environment.
The program will be open to trainees at the predoctoral and postdoctoral level who will enroll in academically
rigorous degree-granting programs. Predoctoral fellows will enroll in a PhD program, and postdoctoral fellows
will enroll in a Master’s program. Through these programs, the academic progress of the trainees will be
assessed regularly. In addition, trainees will conduct full-time research with internationally recognized faculty
on high-pro¿le grants and research projects. We will also o¿er these research opportunities to short-term