Leverage Data 


In spring 2021, the Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) led a strategic process to identify key priorities and initiatives for the campus over the next five years. OSI leveraged an inclusive, human-centered philosophy of design innovation to engage over 700 members of the campus community in contributing to a vision for how CU Anschutz might continue to break new ground in health sciences education, research, patient care and community engagement. OSI convened a steering committee and four working groups centered on each of these mission areas.

Across all working groups, participants spoke to the need for greater harmonization and smart application of data. Priorities they identified included:

  • building a stronger, integrated data infrastructure and
  • investing in data analytics, health AI and bioinformatics

Activities to Date

Building on existing bioinformatics expertise in the Colorado School of Public Health and the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine, CU Anschutz took an ambitious effort to recruit additional leaders in data science and informatics. This resulted in the creation of the Center for Health Artificial Intelligence, the Department of Biomedical Informatics and the Research Informatics Office (RIO).

Simultaneously, reorganizations within the Office of Information Technology opened up roles for a Vice Chancellor for Information Systems and Services and a CIO and Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology. Previously, all IT functions had been consolidated with CU Denver. Splitting out these functions has enabled a clearer focus on areas of need and opportunity for CU Anschutz's unique data needs.

Following these hires and new appointments, and the completion of CU Anschutz's strategic process, two data retreats were held in 2021 and 2022. These retreats resulted in action plans for the Research Information office, the Department of Biomedical Informatics and the Office of Information Technology.

Featured Accomplishments and Measures of Success

Building a stronger, integrated data infrastructure 


CU Anschutz's partnership with CU Boulder has enabled us to build the Alpine High Performance Computing Resource, which allows us to offer concierge support for our faculty and researchers. This tremendous resource also helps CU continue to attract and retain leaders in diverse fields, and further elevates CU Anschutz's competitive profile for extramural grant funding from the NIH, NSF and other agencies.

CU Anschutz also also created the role of Assistant Vice Chancellor for Information, Data Enablement and Assurance (IDEA). This position is working with our administrative and academic areas to create a data-enabled culture. The Assistant Vice Chancellor will collaboratively bring together the many areas of excellence already occurring on campus, accelerate the data governance work happening between the campuses and identify new opportunities around data enablement. 

The campus has begun to measure utilization in the HPC and is beginning work on measuring the data governance and management maturity for the CU Anschutz Medical Campus as a means to help understand areas of need and opportunities ahead. 

Investing in data analytics, health AI, and bioinformatics

Research Informatics Office

The Research Informatics Office is (RIO) working on several projects to advance the use of data analytics across the campus's mission areas.

In fall 2023, RIO will host a seminar for CU community research faculty, staff, students and administration to learn more about AI technologies, applications, and considerations for use.

RIO is also developing the iThrive portal, a research concierge that helps researchers connect with the resources they need. In addition to the resources RIO is adding to the portal, the information on this site is crowdsourced and those with an account can submit information, events and resources to be featured on the site.

Other projects include efforts to improve scholarship tracking and attribution for faculty profiles and grant submission; integrating well-managed biomedical data through a virtual biobank, improved research data security, data sharing agreements and better research computing; and implementing the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy

Read more about these projects

Department of Biomedical Informatics

The Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) is making strides in education, research and clinical care.

Its flagship PhD program in Computational Bioscience has been training methods developers in AI and biomedicine for over 20 years, and its Human Medical Genetics and Genomics Graduate program is an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental program providing outstanding training and research opportunities in all aspects of human and medical genetics. DBMI faculty also participate in PhD programs in Biostatistics and Bioengineering. 

Researchers in DBMI are bringing tools in artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud computing to bear on several domains of informatics, including genomics and computational biology, translational bioinformatics and personalized medicine and clinical research informatics and clinical informatics. The DBMI faculty use approaches of genome-scale biology, multiscale modeling, simulation, data integration and mathematical and predictive analytics to marry disparate but related aspects of the campus’s clinical and research portfolios to advance knowledge and improve healthcare. 

Faculty in DBMI are deriving insights from data that are being translated into clinical care at CU Anschutz's affiliated hospitals and health systems. They are supporting UCHealth's efforts to design personalized care guided by genetic factors and engaging in rare disease research, elevating Children's Hospital Colorado's expansion into precision medicine.

Learn about the 25 research teams housed in DBMI

Center for Health Artificial Intelligence 

The Center for Health Artificial Intelligence

The Center for Health AI launched in 2020. It is currently laying the groundwork for a world-class health AI hub by creating communities of practice, contributing to the recruitment of faculty with research programs in advanced analytical methods and addressing gaps in computational infrastructure. 

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