George Thomas PhD Fellowship

Nominations Sought:
The George Thomas PhD Fellowship
The Health Data Consortium


Fellowship Award Winner Announced!

Kevin Emmett, of the Department of Physics, has been awarded the George Thomas Post-Graduate Fellowship! Congratuations to him!

Title: Machine learning associations between Mendelian comorbidities and somatic genetic alterations in cancer


Recent years have brought an explosion in the number of genomically-profiled tumors, and the promise of finding most genetic loci containing cancer-predisposing variation seems within reach. While algorithms to sort through the complex landscape of tumor lesions have revealed recurrently altered “driver loci” – those somatic or germline genetic defects that are most likely to trigger the disease – the directory of relevant genes, and the catalogue of their roles in tumor progression remain incomplete. Here we propose a novel approach for identification of driver loci that relies on integration of large scale genomic and clinical records that complements existing methods.

Advisors: Rahul Rabadan - CUMC/C2B2 & Chris Wiggins - APAM


Fellowship Information

The Health Data Consortium has provided a gift to the Data Science Institute to fund a $60,000 fellowship for a PhD student for the 2014-2015 academic year to focus on data infrastructure and architecture to overcome barriers in interoperability, analytics, and machine learning applicable to the health care field. We are seeking nominations for a PhD student in mathematics, statistics, computer or information science or in related engineering fields to be funded by this fellowship.

The Health Data Consortium is a nonprofit, public-private partnership working to foster the availability and innovative use of open health data to improve health and healthcare. The Consortium has recently launched a fellowship program in honor of George Thomas, a pioneer in liberating government health data who passed away earlier this year. For more information about the Health Data Consortium and the George Thomas Post-Graduate Fellowship, please visit .

The Fellowship will provide $60,000 for funding of stipend, tuition, and fees for the 2014-2015 academic year as well as travel to the Health Data Consortium events. Nominations should be submitted by August 15th by the faculty advisor and should include including a CV for the student, 1-page project description of the work proposed, and two letters of support from faculty. At least one of those letters should come from the faculty advisor. Criteria for selection include quality of the student and his/her work, strength of the faculty recommendations and relevance to the focus of the fellowship. The selection committee will make the decision by August 26th, 2014.

Send your nomination package to Jonathan Stark at: Any questions about the process should also be sent to Jonathan Stark.

The selection committee will consist of Kathleen McKeown, Director of the Data Science Institute and the Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor in the Department of Computer Science, George Hripscak, the Chair of Biomedical Informatics and the Vivian Beaumont Allen Professor of Biomedical Informatics, and members of the Health Data Consortium.

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