Bonnie Hurwitz Appointed Program Director of Health Informatics at Arizona Health Sciences Center at UA

Bonnie HurwitzTUCSON, Ariz. – Bonnie L. Hurwitz, an expert in bioinformatics and computational biology, has been appointed program director of health informatics at the Arizona Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona.

In this new position, Hurwitz will provide coordination and leadership in the evaluation, design and implementation of statewide AHSC biomedical informatics health initiatives. In collaboration with major partners from the UA and organizations statewide, she will promote the use of state-of-the-art technologies and computational methods to advance biomedical informatics. Among other duties, she will develop patient-driven informatics capabilities that link biomedical informatics with social network media and consumer health platforms. Hurwitz reports to the Office of the UA Senior Vice President for Health Sciences.

(Biomedical informatics is the scientific field that deals with biomedical information, data and knowledge – their storage, retrieval and optimal use for problem-solving and decision-making. It touches on all basic and applied fields in biomedical science and is tied closely to modern information technologies, particularly in the areas of computing and communication. Biomedical informatics involves the resources, devices and methods required to optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval and use of information in health and biomedicine.)

Hurwitz has 15 years experience in software design, data analysis and management in bioinformatics and computational biology.  She was awarded two prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships in interdisciplinary sciences. She also pioneered emerging “next-generation” sequencing technologies and developed “high-throughput data analysis pipelines” for large-scale data analysis. Prior to coming to the UA, she was a bioinformatics consultant at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories in New York. From 2002-2004, she was a bioinformatics scientist at Third Wave Technologies, Madison, Wis.; from 2001-2002, she was project leader for bioinformatics data services at Accelrys in San Diego, Calif. Before that she was an associate bioinformatics scientist at Incyte Genomics, Palo Alto, Calif.

A doctoral candidate in ecology and evolutionary biology at the UA College of Sciences, with a minor in management information systems at the UA Eller College of Management, Hurwitz earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in biochemistry and molecular biology.  She will receive her PhD in summer 2012.