Collaborator Spotlights

OHDSI collaborator spotlights highlight members of our community and show both the energy within OHDSI, as well as the breadth of work happening around the world. Please read some of our spotlights, and be on the lookout for more in the coming months!

Atif Adam

“While my time in the OHDSI community is relatively brief, the environment struck a chord with me immediately. What stands out is how the community welcomes expertise from myriad backgrounds. Whether you’re a seasoned researcher, a data scientist, a clinician, or even someone just starting in healthcare analytics, OHDSI is a platform where different levels of familiarity converge to nurture actionable knowledge.” 

Read Atif’s full spotlight

Thamir AlShammary

“What makes OHDSI unique is its way of conducting trustworthy research and taking care of every detail, from the research idea through validating the data and selecting the best methodological design. I would love to see more involvement of OHDSI in many conferences in the Middle East and west of Asia to make people aware of OHDSI and all tools, practices, and experiences. A main advantage of OHDSI that countries should be aware of is the community itself … the different expertise, sharing knowledge, working together, and helping each other are examples of the beauty of this community.” 

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Faaizah Arshad

“Research allows me to exercise clinical thinking skills in ways college classes don’t. Research gives you a broader and deeper understanding of any field. Especially in OHDSI, research is interdisciplinary, so you are not only learning the science underlying certain diseases, but also how to code with data, how to standardize and improve quality of data, how to do predictive modeling and estimation, how to characterize populations, how to reproduce evidence. You’re developing a skill set. OHDSI changed the way I think about participants in healthcare: I’ve gained an overwhelming appreciation for everyone’s expertise.” 

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Clair Blacketer

“One of the things I love about OHDSI is that there is very little ego involved. No one person’s work is more important than the other; when we bring our expertise and knowledge together we create something truly great that has the potential to transform the field of observational health research.” 

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Alison Callahan

“Seeing the power of OHDSI network studies across multiple data sources and health systems, having the opportunity to contribute to the design of reproducible research methods, and the many amazing people I’ve met through this community, have kept me coming back.” 

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Montse Camprubi

“One of the major [EHDEN] accomplishments over the last year has been all the activities around evidence generation, with several studyathons organised. These have proven to be very informative activities for the participating data partners, many of whom were sharing standardised data for the first time.”  

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Alexander Davydov

“I do know these people, the people of OHDSI who daily move the community forward. I know how they love to work together. I’ve seen the results of this work, which are impressive. I believe in OHDSI because I believe in the people, their commitment and devotion, and their effective collaboration that is gradually changing the world for the better.” 

Read Alexander’s full spotlight

Mengling 'Mornin' Feng

“I met Rae Woong Park from Ajou University at a conference and learned that he was the pioneer in clinical data standardization in South Korea. We chatted for hours about how his team has successfully implemented the OMOP CDM as the standard data schema for research clinical data and how that may have accelerated the clinical research in Korea. Inspired by his success, I learned more about OHDSI and its platforms, tools and organizations. I began to advocate for OHDSI as the data standard and consortium that we should follow as a country to our Ministry of Health and major healthcare institutes.” 

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Davera Gabriel

“As the COVID pandemic still looms large in our rear-view, a sense of urgency to generate and apply advanced scientific methods to public health issues remains palpable to me. I believe the OMOP + FHIR partnership provides a focused, high-ROI opportunity to create relevant informatics advances with broad impact that will allow us to better address immediate and future health crises, both local and global.” 

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Kerry Goetz

“OHDSI has been amazing for giving me ideas on what to work on throughout my PhD journey, including class projects and my thesis. I have floated in and out of several working groups to see where there might be potential project ideas or mentors for my research. As an informatics student, one of the huge barriers is access to a source of significant data that is fit for purpose. The OHDSI community is a great resource and is very collaborative.” 

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Asieh Golozar

“There is a lot of energy and good will in the community. It is open, inclusive, and extremely diverse. I get my energy from the community. The enthusiasm and drive to do the right thing and to improve human lives and the possibility to work with such diverse group of individuals and learn from them excites me and pushes me to do more. I am extremely proud to be a part of this effort.” 

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Chungsoo Kim

The other thing that’s important is the power of a community. We are like a global family. I am always learning and growing in the OHDSI community. Our community strives to achieve common goals, and we tolerate mistakes and discipline ourselves to get on the right track. In the process, we grow together and gain a global network. These features of the community strongly drew me and made me stay in OHDSI.”

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Kristin Kostka

“OHDSI is a rare place where everyone really rolls up their sleeves. It’s easy to talk, but doing takes energy and dedication. Time and again I’ve seen the community rally around supporting a need and turn it into something amazing. I think what makes OHDSI the right environment is the mission. We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves. We all want to see healthcare change for the better.”

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Jenny Lane

“Being part of OHDSI has changed my ideas of how research should be designed, undertaken and reported. I feel that these notions are vital for science to move forward. I feel that this year has definitely changed the way I feel about open science, and that transparency and collaboration are key to the future of epidemiological research during the time of ‘fake news.’”

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Jing Li

“There is a saying in Chinese – 酒香不怕巷子深, which could be translated into ‘Good wine needs no bush’. OHDSI has great methodologies, tools, and community support, which are making more and more people adopt OMOP and join the community. As the six APAC chapters are all new to OHDSI community, it is very beneficial for the researchers to get together and share experiences.” 

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Asiyah Lin

“There is something unique about the OHDSI organization and how they support the community, which motivates the community to work as a whole. We know that with greater diversity and inclusiveness, there is greater creativity and innovation.”  

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Aniek Markus

“All the useful open-source tools available within the OHDSI community allowed me to build further on existing work and solve new challenges right from the beginning. I am not sure if I fully valued the worth of starting research in an environment with so much data during the beginning of my PhD. It has certainly provided me with very valuable insights in real-world data collection processes that are very helpful to also understand limitations in existing modelling methods.”  

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Jody-Ann McLeggon

“The sense of community and support inspires me the most. Together as a community we challenge and support each other. No matter the task, or how challenging it may initially seem, there’s someone in the community that’s willing to help. Sometimes in the world of research we think and work in silos but in OHDSI we conquer those challenging clinical questions together.” 

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Evan Minty

“As an internist, I’ve become a better consumer of observational studies, and predictive model studies in particular. That has been very helpful in the COVID era. I was better able to appraise the observational studies that were being published, while OHDSI’s own work produced effect estimates that I was able to confidently bring to the bedside. As an example, I was able to cite the work done by this group when justifying restraint regarding hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 related respiratory disease to patients and their families.” 

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Maxim Moinat

“The OHDSI community has always been very welcoming. This is such an ambitious group of skilled people, who always try to make time to guide newcomers; it is remarkable. Personally, I have grown to love the field of observational health research. It combines my passion for cleaning messy data and my background in medical science. OHDSI has even inspired me to go back to academia and pursue a (part-time) PhD in medical informatics!” 

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Paul Nagy

“OHDSI is a multi-disciplinary community pushing the boundaries of computational observational research so there is always something new to learn. The values of being transparent in our methods and in our software resonate with me in trying to make a lasting impact. I get energized from going to OHDSI meetings because I always meet new people, learn new things, and am part of making a difference in improving healthcare.” 

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Melanie Philofsky

“OHDSI’s mission, vision and values align with my views and desires to produce reliable, real- world evidence to inform decisions on their healthcare. I didn’t set out to become a leader in the OHDSI community. “Pay it forward” is one of my favorite mottos and I enjoy sharing knowledge, mentoring, and teaching. OHDSI is such an open and welcoming community, it just came naturally to share what I have learned with others.”  

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Nicole Pratt

“I often sit in those teleconferences (often late at night or in the wee hours of the morning here in Australia) and marvel at the discoveries and new insights that are shared so openly. The light bulb moments that lead to fabulous discoveries! The work that has been generated in LEGEND and EUMAEUS is important clinically, it can help to update clinical guidelines and provides robust evidence for medicine regulators – but for me these landmark studies have also provided critical insights into which methodologies are appropriate under which conditions – especially the value of empirical calibration!” 

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Anthony Sena

“OHDSI’s core values include openness and reproducibility and the open-source nature of OHDSI is critical in supporting those values. Open-source software development has trade-offs but by publishing code used to produce results, we strive to make the work we do as a community as transparent as possible.”  

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Azza Shoaibi

“Completing that [effectiveness/safety of famotidine as a COVID treatment] study in a span of 3 weeks, I experienced what blows every scientist’s mind. Once the clinical question was clear, OHDSI resources/tools/best practices enabled me to rapidly generate evidence that was critically needed in a structured, standardized, transparent and reliable manner that no other way can possibly do.”  

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Kees van Bochove

“To really build on each other’s work, it’s not enough to peer review a paper now and then, nor is it enough to have Github repositories for your code. You have to collaborate on all levels — on data, on methodology, on software, on the language and terms you use — exactly like OHDSI does!”  

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Mui Van Zandt

“What inspires me the most to stay active and a leader is the ability to collaborate to improve our overall health decisions and better care. It’s something I truly believe in as a great cause for ourselves and our future generations. There are so many out there who think just like me and it really shows by the amount of openness and collaboration that is out there in the OHDSI community. Both personally and professionally, it’s great to see the number of people who care and want to help, and then actually do help and make a difference.”  

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Ross Williams

“A nice thing about OHDSI is the speed you can move from novice to intermediate and how people provide you with trust to perform analysis but also support you in doing so. You’re never left on an island, there is always a boat and someone willing to sail with you.

Simply put, my PhD would have been impossible without the OHDSI toolstack and the community.”   

Read Ross’ full spotlight 

Seng Chan You

“OHDSI has six values: Innovation, Reproducibility, Community, Collaboration, Openness, and Beneficence. OHDSI pursues highly reliable evidence through innovative ways and open-science spirit. When I started my journey in 2016, many gurus in OHDSI welcomed and helped me a lot. OHDSI works hard to produce medical evidence for better care for humanity. It is truly impressive that OHDSI is trying to hold its values.”   

Read Chan’s full spotlight