Tutorial Faculty

We are pleased to announce the faculty for the 2018 OHDSI Symposium Tutorial Workshops, listed in alphabetical order:


Juan M. Banda, PhD
Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Georgia State University

Dr. Banda is currently an assistant professor of Computer Science at Georgia State University. His lab focuses on building machine learning methods that utilize multi-modal data to generate insights. Previously, Dr. Banda was a research scientist and a postdoctoral data science research fellow at Stanford University in the Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research working in the lab of Dr. Nigam Shah. He has previously held a postdoctoral appointment at Montana State University (2011-2014). He received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science in 2011 from Montana State University and his M.A degree in Mathematics from Eastern New Mexico University. His main research interests lie in data science, particularly in the big data mining area, and specifically in the knowledge acquisition from massive real-life data sources. Bridging fields between astroinformatics and biomedical informatics, Dr. Banda’s research interests in biomedical informatics involve drug safety and phenotyping, leading the development of Aphrodite, a tool that allows researchers to build electronic phenotypes using fuzzy labels.

Eun Kyoung Ahn

Rimma Belenkaya, M.A., M.S.
Data Modeler/Knowledge Manager
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

I am a part of the Knowledge Management and Innovation team at the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Department of Health Informatics. I specialize in semantic and relational modeling of bio-medical information, data integration and standardization, interoperability, and data quality assurance. My current focus is on standardizing MSK metric definitions, underlying data models, and metric visualization across the institution. I am also working on mapping of MSK source data to the enterprise controlled terminology using Semantic Web technologies.

Eun Kyoung Ahn

Clair Blacketer, MPH, PMP
Manager, Epidemiology Analytics
Janssen Research & Development

Clair Blacketer is a Manager in the Epidemiology Analytics group within Epidemiology at Janssen Research & Development, a Johnson & Johnson company. She began her career at a regional health system in her home state of Virginia focused on health outcomes research, specifically in patients with sepsis. She then moved on to studying Medicare health care economics at a large payer and while there she was instrumental in implementing a novel way to track dual-enrolled Medicare retirees. Clair joined Janssen in 2015 where her main area of focus has been observational data management. This includes managing multiple ETL conversions to the OMOP Common Data Model as well as serving as project manager for the Common Data Model working group. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from James Madison University and her Master in Public Health from Eastern Virginia Medical School. Clair is also a certified Project Management Professional.

Eun Kyoung Ahn

RuiJun Chen (Ray), MD
Instructor in Medicine, Department of Medicine
Weill Cornell Medical College
Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Department of Biomedical Informatics
Columbia University

RuiJun Chen (Ray) is an Instructor in Medicine and Hospitalist at Weill Cornell Medical College, as well as a postdoctoral research scientist working with George Hripcsak at Columbia University. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Duke University and his Doctor of Medicine from the Yale University School of Medicine. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at UCSF before joining DBMI at Columbia and the Department of Medicine at Cornell.

While at Yale, he received the James G. Hirsch, MD, Endowed Medical Student Research Fellowship, leading to his work in cardiovascular outcomes research with Dr. Harlan Krumholz at the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE). He continued to pursue outcomes research in residency while looking for ways to reincorporate his previous interest in Computer Science, ultimately leading to his interest in clinical informatics and the OHDSI program. His work has resulted in numerous publications in journals such as BMJ, Circulation, American Heart Journal, and JAHA, as well as presentations at AHA and QCOR.

Kristin Feeney Kostka, MPH
Data Science Lead

Kristin is the Data Science Lead for ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte, a division of Deloitte Life Sciences & Healthcare Consulting. She specializes in computational epidemiology for real world evidence generation and translational research.

Kristin collaborates within the symposium organizing committee working group and regularly attends community calls. Day-to-day, she works with Life Sciences companies to adopt and deploy the OMOP CDM alongside other leading industry data standards to advance real world evidence generation studies. Kristin’s primary research interests are in population-level estimation and patient-level prediction, specifically leveraging next generation machine learning methods (i.e. deep learning models on the CDM). Kristin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Elon University and a Master’s in Public Health in Epidemiology from Boston University School of Public Health.

Vojtech Huser

Vojtech Huser, MD, PhD
Staff Scientist, Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health

Dr. Huser was born in the Czech Republic. He received medical doctor degree (MD) from Palacky University (Olomouc, Czech Republic, EU) and PhD degree in Biomedical informatics from University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA). He is currently affiliated with National Institutes of Health (NIH), Laboratory for Informatics Development at the NIH Clinical Center. His research interests are: clinical informatics, knowledge representation, clinical research informatics, data repositories and data analysis, workflow technology, executable clinical guidelines, medical decision support systems and quality improvement in healthcare. As an informatician, Dr. Huser worked with numerous informatics systems at Intermountain Healthcare in Utah, Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin, and NIH in Maryland (intramural campus). He is a former Fulbright scholar (his PhD degree) and recipient of the Young Investigator Award from HMO Research Network. He is a member of American Medical Informatics Association.

Michael Kahn

Michael G. Kahn, MD, PhD
Professor, Section of Pediatric Epidemiology
University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus

Dr. Kahn is Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado Denver; Co-Director of the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI); Biomedical Informatics core director for the CCTSI; and Director of Clinical Informatics in the Department of Quality & Patient Safety at The Children’s Hospital. Dr. Kahn holds joint appointments in the School of Medicine, School of Public Health, College of Nursing and Graduate School at the University of Colorado. He has been co-chair of the national NIH funded Clinical and Translational Sciences Award (CTSA) Informatics Key Function Committee, which represents the informatics core directors for all 62 CTSA grantees.

Eun Kyoung Ahn

Gregory Klebanov, MS
Chief Technology Officer
Odysseus Data Services, Inc.

Gregory Klebanov is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Odysseus Data Services (“Odysseus”), a niche start-up that provide unique, innovative offerings in Real-World Evidence (RWE) and Observational Research software and platform solutions and providing professional data management and IT services in RWE domain, including deep expertise in OMOP CDM, OMOP Standardized Vocabularies and OHDSI Platforms (ARACHNE, ATLAS). He is an active OHDSI participant, contributor and a thought leader.

Prior to joining Odysseus, Greg had spent over 18 years of in Life Sciences sector where he was leading global IT teams building complex data-driven solutions in R&D, Clinical, Regulatory, Medical, Commercial and Enterprise organizations, including in AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Christopher Knoll

Christopher Knoll
Manager, Epidemiology Analytics
Janssen Research and Development

Christopher Knoll is a Manger of Epidemiology Analytics at Janssen Research and Development where he architects software solutions and data platforms for the analysis and application of observational data sources. Chris’ areas of expertise include web application development, service oriented architecture, data visualization, and software engineering. He is currently a collaborator of the open-source software working group in OHDSI. Contributions include: lead designer of Circe (cohort definitions), Achilles/AchillesWeb (database characterization), major contributor to Atlas (standardized platform for OHDSI analytics), lead developer of Atlas D3 visualization library, served as faculty for several OHDSI symposium classes and presentations, and mentor to many contributors in the OHDSI open source community.


Steve Lyman
Senior Software Architect

Steve is a Senior Software Architect at Evalytica for Evidera, a leading provider of health economics, outcomes research, market access, data analytics and epidemiology services to the life sciences industry. Steve has over 16 years of experience working in the life sciences industry. Steve’s areas of expertise include software architecture and engineering, data modeling, data analytics, data visualization and web development. He has extensive experience working with large patient databases in conjunction with the OMOP data model and standardized vocabularies, and is currently developing software that takes advantage of cloud architectures to scale on demand, parallelize and rapidly process OMOP-formatted data. Steve has been a contributor to original OMOP projects, such as the Observational Screening signal detection method and has been a collaborator on the OHDSI visualization working group. Steve previously worked for UBC, where he managed the development of software using an early version of the OMOP Common Data model. Steve received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University.

Eun Kyoung Ahn

Robert Miller, MS
Analyst Programmer
Tufts CTSI

Robert Miller joined the Informatics team at Tufts CTSI in early 2017. His main focus has been the full-stack development of a research data warehouse from disparate health record systems. He is an active contributor to the Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI) community where he leads the geographic information systems (GIS) working group.

Robert earned his MS in Computer Science from the University of Southern Maine in 2016. During his time at USM, he worked as a graduate assistant for the Health Informatics Research Cluster at USM, a research associate for the Muskie School of Public Health, and a health services research intern for Maine Medical Center Research Institute.

Karthik Natarajan

Karthik Natarajan, PhD
Associate Research Scientist, Department of Biomedical Informatics
Columbia University

Dr. Karthik Natarajan is an Assistant Professor in the Department Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University. He received his BS in computer science at the University of Texas at Austin. After working in the technology sector, he went on to obtain his PhD in biomedical informatics at Columbia University. Dr. Natarajan’s research interests are in operationalizing clinical informatics solutions. His specific area of interest is in applying scalable information retrieval and text processing methods on clinical data in order to build applications that will support both health professionals and researchers. Dr. Natarajan is an active member of the Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI) collaborative and particpates in the CDM and NLP working groups. He is currently working on converting United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) data to enable transplant outcomes analysis. He is also actively working on using OMOP to integrate EHR data from various sites in the All of Us Research Program. As part of the coordinating center, he helps with educating new members on ETL processes into the OMOP common data model. Dr. Natarajan also oversees the local instances of OHDSI at Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Karthik Natarajan

Gowtham Rao, MD, PhD
Chief Medical Informatics Officer
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina

Gowtham Rao MD PhD is the Chief Medical Informatics Officer at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, where he is responsible for the portfolio of Informatics and Data Science in the Population Health Division. Dr. Rao was introduced to the OHDSI community in 2016 symposium and has since joined the journey of improving health outcomes thru evidence generation. Some of Dr. Rao’s major contribution to the OHDSI community has been to the OMOP common data model (visit_detail, cost, payer_plan_period tables), cohort-builder (circe-be), Atlas functionality and webapi. He is board certified physician, certified in Preventive Medicine and in Clinical Informatics, and has earned a PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

Christian Reich

Christian Reich, MD, PhD
VP Real World Analytics Solutions

At IQVIA, Christian is responsible for building open OHDSI study networks for RWE generation as a service, including the building of enabling technology solutions. Christian is also Principal Investigator of OHDSI, and also served as Program Manager and Principal Investigator at OMOP. He responsible for the design and construction of the OMOP Standardized Vocabularies and leads the Common Data Model Working Group.

Christian has more than 15 years of experience in life science research and medicine. He was a practicing physician in Berlin and Ulm, Germany before moving to the European Bioinformatics Institute to work on the Human Genome Project. He then joined the biotech industry in 1998, where he worked in various positions on typical challenges in drug research and development, such as gene sequence and expression analysis, clinical trial design and analysis, systems biology, and outcome research, applying computational methods to large scale biological data. He received his bachelor’s degree in preclinical training from Humboldt University in Berlin and holds his M.D. and doctorate from the Medical University of Lübeck, Germany where he focused his research on T-cell activation and regulation.

Jenna Reps

Jenna RepsPhD
Senior Epidemiology Informaticist
Janssen research and Development

Jenna Reps is a Senior Epidemiology Informaticist at Janssen research and Development where she is focusing on developing novel solutions to personalise risk prediction. Jenna’s areas of expertise include applying machine learning and data mining techniques to develop solutions for various healthcare problems. She is currently working within the patient level prediction OHDSI workgroup with the aim of developing open source and user friendly software for developing risk models using data sets in the OMOP Common Data Model format.

Prior to joining Janssen Research and Development, Jenna was a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham where she developed supervised learning techniques to signal adverse drug reactions using UK primary care data and acted as a data consultant to other researchers within the University. Jenna received her BSc in Mathematics and MSc in Mathematical Biology at the University of Bath and her PhD in Computer Science at the University of Nottingham.

Peter Rijnbeek

Peter Rijnbeek, PhD
Assistant Professor
Erasmus University Medical Center

Peter Rijnbeek, PhD, obtained his MSc (1996) in Electrical Engineering at the Technical University Delft. His PhD thesis, received from the Erasmus University Rotterdam, was on the development of a computer program to automatically interpret pediatric electrocardiograms. He is Assistant Professor at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam where he is leading the health data science group at the Department of Medical Informatics (www.healthdatascience.nl).

His research interests include computerized analysis of the electrocardiogram, pattern recognition, machine learning and predictive modeling using clinical data. He had a leading role in several large European projects related to secondary use of health care database. He is co-leading the European Health Data and Evidence Network project funded by the European Commission that aims to standardize a large amount of databases to the OMOP-CDM in the upcoming 5 years and create a high quality European data network. Peter is the coordinator of the European OHDSI chapter that organizes a yearly symposium (www.ohdsi-europe.org) and supports the adoption of the OMOP-CDM.

In OHDSI he is co-leading the Patient-Level Prediction working group together with Jenna Reps that built a framework on top of the OMOP-CDM for large-scale development and validation of prediction models across the world (www.github.com/ohdsi/PatientLevelPrediction).

Patrick Ryan

Patrick Ryan, PhD
Sr. Director and Head, Epidemiology Analytics
Janssen Research and Development
Assistant Professor, Adjunct; Department of Biomedical Informatics
Columbia University Medical Center

Patrick Ryan, PhD is Senior Director of Epidemiology and the Head of Epidemiology Analytics at Janssen Research and Development, where he is leading efforts to develop and apply analysis methods to better understand the real-world effects of medical products. He is currently a collaborator in Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI), a multi-stakeholder, interdisciplinary collaborative to create open-source solutions that bring out the value of observational health data through large-scale analytics. He served as a principal investigator of the Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership (OMOP), a public-private partnership chaired by the Food and Drug Administration, where he led methodological research to assess the appropriate use of observational health care data to identify and evaluate drug safety issues.

Patrick received his undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Operations Research at Cornell University, his Master of Engineering in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering at Cornell, and his PhD in Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patrick has worked in various positions within the pharmaceutical industry at Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, and also in academia at the University of Arizona Arthritis Center.

Martijn Schuemie

Martijn Schuemie, PhD
Director, Epidemiology Analytics
Janssen Research and Development

Dr. Martijn Schuemie received his Master’s degree in Economics with a major in Information Management. He completed his PhD in Computer Science on the topic of human-computer interaction in virtual reality systems for phobia treatment. In the past, he was employed as an assistant professor at the Erasmus University Medical Center of Rotterdam, where he started by researching the application of text-mining the scientific literature in support of molecular biology. He later moved to pharmacoepidemiology, and was one of the lead investigators in the EU-ADR project tasked with building a prototype drug safety signal detection system using population-level observational data. In 2012 he received a one-year fellowship of the FDA and became an active OMOP investigator.

In 2013 Martijn joined Janssen Research and Development, where he continued his research in OMOP and later in OHDSI. He is working on methods for estimating average effect sizes in observational, calibration of effect size estimates, and patient level prediction, as well as supporting the conversion of databases to the OMOP CDM. Within OHDSI, Martijn has developed the White Rabbit and Rabbit in a Hat tools, and is contributing to the OHDSI Methods Library. Martijn is heading the OHDSI Population-Level Methods workgroup together with Marc Suchard.


Anthony Sena
Manger of Epidemiology Analytics
Janssen Research and Development

Anthony Sena is a Manger of Epidemiology Analytics at Janssen Research and Development where he architects software solutions and data platforms for the analysis and application of observational data sources. Anthony’s areas of expertise include web application development, data modeling, information visualization, technology infrastructure, project management and informatics. He is currently a collaborator across a several open-source software working group in OHDSI including Atlas, WebAPI and Penelope.

Prior to joining Janssen Research and Development, Anthony held the position of Director, Collaboration Systems at Covanta where he lead a team of application developers focused on revenue generating projects. Additionally, he has expertise in technology consulting across multiple industries including pharmaceuticals, consumer products, retail and finance. Anthony received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Drew University.

Marc Suchard

Marc Suchard, MD, PhD
Professor, Department of Biomathematics, David Geffen School of Medicine
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Suchard is in the forefront of high-performance statistical computing. He is a leading Bayesian statistician who focuses on inference of stochastic processes in biomedical research and in the clinical application of statistics. His training in both Medicine and Applied Probability help bridge the gap of understanding between statistical theory and clinical practicality. He has been awarded several prestigious statistical awards such as the Savage Award (2003), the Mitchell Prize (2006 and 2011), as well as an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (2007) in computational and molecular evolutionary biology and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2008) to further computational statistics. He recently received the Raymond J. Carroll Young Investigator Award (2011) for a leading statistician within 10 years post-Ph.D., and in 2013 he was honored with the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) Presidents’ Award for outstanding contributions to the statistics profession by a person aged 40 or under. He is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association and of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.

Joel N. Swerdel, MS MPH
Manager, Epidemiology Analytics
Janssen Research and Development

Joel Swerdel is a Manager of Epidemiology Analytics at Janssen Research and Development, a Johnson and Johnson company. He is involved in many epidemiological research projects where he designs novel approaches for the use of standard OHDSI methods. He has recently completed a project using predictive modeling to determine patients in end-of-life care. He is currently working on designing a standard approach for developing and evaluating diagnostic phenotypes.

Don TorokDon Torok, MS
Ephir Inc

I have been working as a consultant with Ephir Inc. since January 2010. During that time, I have: specified ETLs for a number of EHR and Claims datasets into OMOP, Mini-Sentinal and PCORnet common data models; Installed the OHDSI Web API and Atlas tool set; Developed ETLs to OMOP CDM using AWS RedShift, Oracle, SQL-Server and Postgres for both claims and EHR datasets; QC’ed ETL implementations and OHDIS vocabularies; and implemented code to create Drug and Condition Era tables.

Mui Van Zandt

Mui Van Zandt
Director Product Development

Mui is a Director of Product Development at QuintilesIMS, managing the OMOP Factory. Mui’s area of expertise include software development, data conversions, agile process, and project management. The OMOP Factory has been performing OMOP ETL conversions on over 12 different datasets in 6 different countries. Mui has gained extensive knowledge working on large patient databases in the OMOP model and the standard vocabularies that are needed to support these conversions. She’s played an active role in creating extension to RxNorm.

Erica Voss

Erica Voss, MPH
Associate Director, Epidemiology Analytics
Janssen Research and Development

Erica Voss is currently a Associate Director in the Epidemiology Analytics group within Epidemiology at Janssen Research & Development, a Johnson & Johnson company. Starting in the IT department, she focused on data warehousing and working with large datasets. In 2007, she started working with observational datasets and later joined the Epidemiology department in 2011. Her projects typically include studying patient populations across different therapeutic areas as well as implementing OHDSI tools, such as converting the Truven MarketScan and Optum Clinformatics claims datasets into the OMOP Common Data Model.  Erica received her Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences and Technology at the Pennsylvania State University, her Master in Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Medical Informatics at Erasmus MC. She is also a certified Project Management Professional.

James Weaver, MPH, MS
Manager, Epidemiology Analytics
Janssen Research and Development

I’m a Manager of Epidemiology Analytics at Janssen Research & Development, a Johnson & Johnson company.

In the Epidemiology Analytics group within the Epidemiology department, my role is to design and execute observational research studies with a focus population-level effect estimation evidence generation and methodological development.

My background is in epidemiology, statistics, and data science and I have 10 years of experience in academia working with diverse teams in comparative effectiveness research, methods for causal inference, and applied predictive analytics. I have 3 years of  experience working in the pharmaceutical industry. I have a BA from McGill University, an MPH from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at University of Toronto, and an MS in business analytics from the Stern School of Business at New York University. I live in Toronto, Ontario.

Andrew Williams, PhD, Special and Scientific Staff

Tufts Medical Center CTSI and Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies

Dr. Williams is a psychologist by training, a health services researcher, clinical informatician and data scientist. The areas his work has focused on include the conduct of pragmatic trials, on relating EHR-based performance measures to disease incidence, on interventions that promote individual health behavior change and on the measure of health literacy and health communication. He was a member of AcademyHealth’s Electronic Data Methods forum and the Data Quality Collaboratory. He oversees the Data Quality program of the Tufts CTSI.

Eun Kyoung Ahn

Seng Chan You, MD, MS
Medical Doctor, Department of Biomedical Informatics
Ajou universityy

Dr You is a medical doctor who majored in internal medicine from Severance hospital, Korea. He received his Master of Medical Science at the same university. Currently he is a PhD candidate in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, Ajou university and studies primarily OHDSI network research. He received the best community contribution award for clinical evidence generation at the 2017 OHDSI symposium. He works as a member of several OHDSI working group: Genomic WG, Population-Level Estimation WG, and Patient-Level-Prediction Oncology WG.