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PCCI Collaborates With UTSW On Top National Research Grants Totaling Over $30 Million

DALLAS, Jan. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- PCCI ( is a major scientific partner and collaborator on three prestigious grants awarded to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) exceeding $30 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).


Mathematicians, clinicians, and engineers at PCCI will leverage their strengths in scientific research, real-time health predictive modeling, natural language processing, and applied clinical informatics toward multi-institution research that seeks to advance knowledge across the clinical enterprise.

As part of an NIH sponsored Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), administered through the Center for Translational Medicine at UTSW in Dallas, PCCI will collaborate with UTSW, Parkland Health & Hospital System (Parkland), and Children's Medical Center of Dallas (CMC) on bench-to-bedside clinical and translational research.

Ruben Amarasingham, MD, MBA, president and CEO of PCCI and associate professor of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, will serve as Director of the Biomedical Informatics Program, where he will spearhead the informatics effort with a particular focus on predictive modeling, using electronic health record (EHR) data.

Robert Toto, MD, Principal Investigator on the CTSA grant, and Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research and Director of the Center for Translational Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, commented,  "I am thrilled to have Dr. Amarasingham as the leader of  the UTSW CTSA Biomedical Informatics Program.  He brings a wealth of experience and expertise in developing and implementing innovative informatics science approaches—such as natural language processing and predictive modeling—to solve real-world problems in healthcare.  His leadership and passion for team science make him the perfect person to lead this critically important component of our CTSA program."

Dr. Amarasingham will also serve as Director of the Applied Medical Informatics Cluster for a new AHRQ funded R24 Center for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) at UTSW, Parkland, CMC, and North Texas Veterans Administration Health Systems as part of an AHRQ grant awarded to UTSW. PCCI will play an important informatics coordination role for PCOR, developing new methods to predict readmissions using data from novel electronic medical record (EMR) sources previously untested.  

"We have collaborated with PCCI on many innovative projects harnessing data from the EMR for observational and interventional research. This AHRQ center grant further extends that work in a deeper, more profound way," said Ethan Halm, MD, MPH, Principal Investigator on this award and Professor of Internal Medicine and Clinical Sciences and Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Division of Outcomes and Health Services Research at UTSW.

On a collaborative NSF grant project with UTSW and the University of Texas at Arlington, PCCI is working closely with a team of advanced mathematicians to develop clinical prediction models using Bayesian modeling approaches.

"We're incredibly excited by these grants that look to improve clinical care through the application of carefully conducted health services and informatics research," says Dr. Amarasingham.

Elizabeth Dwelle

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