Department of Biomedical & Health Informatics

Primary Faculty Appointments

The Department faculty include tenure track and adjunct faculty, who participate in graduate education and research at the School of Medicine and its partner hospitals, Truman Medical CentersChildren’s Mercy Hospital and Clinics and Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City.

Jenifer Allsworth, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor Department of Biomedical & Health Informatics

Primary Research Area: Epidemiology, Women’s Health

  • Ph.D. — Epidemiology, Brown University
  • Research Interests: Impact of social factors, including race, violence, and poverty, on obstetric and gynecologic outcomes; the use of social media for delivery of weight gain interventions among disadvantaged reproductive-aged women at risk for obesity; and the impact of alterations of the vaginal microbiome on health outcomes.
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Julie Banderas, Pharm.D.
Professor & Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies & Allied Health UMKC School of Medicine Work Phone: (816) 235-5249

Primary Research Area: Pharmacotherapy, Adherence

  • Specialty: Clinical Pharmacology
  • Doctorate of Pharmacy: University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Clinical Pharmacy Residency: Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Pharmacotherapy Fellowship: University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Research interests: HIV prevention, adherence to medications, engagement in care, health literacy.

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Julie earned her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1990. She completed a clinical pharmacy residency and pharmacotherapy fellowship before she began teaching basic and clinical pharmacology at UMKC School of Medicine in 1994. Happily, she has been able to experience a variety of rewarding opportunities at UMKC. In addition to teaching, she has engaged in clinical research in the areas of adherence, HIV treatment and prevention. She has served on the UMKC Adult Health Sciences IRB and teaches the Responsible Conduct of Research course for UMKC graduate programs. At the School of Medicine, she is the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies and is a member of the Department of Medicine and the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics. She enjoys the inter-professional aspects of her work.

Photo of Jannette Berkley-Patton M.A., PhD
Jannette Berkley-Patton M.A., PhD
Associate Professor Biomedical & Health Informatics

Primary Research Area: Community Based, Behavior, Health Outcomes

  • University of Missouri-Kansas City, Post doctorate (Psychology HIV/AIDS, 2008)
  • University of Kansas, Ph.D. (Psychology HIV/AIDS, 2004)
  • University of Kansas, M.A. (Human Development and Family Life, 1997)
  • University of Kansas, B.S. (Electrical Engineering, 1988)
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Dr. Berkley-Patton is an associate professor in the UMKC School of Medicine’s Department of Biomedical and Health informatics. She received both her master’s degree in human development and family life, and a doctorate in developmental psychology HIV/AIDS at the University of Kansas. She joined the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2005 in a postdoctoral fellowship position founded by the National Institute of Mental Health in the Department of Psychology. Dr. Berkley-Patton received a tenure as an associate professor in the UMKC Department of Psychology, where she still remains as an adjunct. She leads the unconquered path of African American and community health research for the UMKC School of Medicine faculty. One of her noted research projects, Taking It to the Pews, was funded with a $3.2 million dollar grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to assess HIV testing. She is the director of the UMKC Community Health Research Group, which supports collaborative community research, and provides doctoral and undergraduate training in community participatory research.

Dr. Berkley-Patton has been awarded many honors and professional memberships, including the Heartland Health Network and the National institute of Minority Health and health Disparities. She is a reviewer for both the University of Missouri Research Board and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she helps improve public health practices through translational research.

Research Interest

Dr. Berkley-Patton interests include helping improve the health of African Americans, where she used collaborative, community-based approaches to allow her to launch new innovative research studies in several settings. She has led and contributed to several community-based intervention trials using a range of intervention strategies from individual behavior change for improving health behavior in large community-based studies, including studies focused on HIV/STDs, HIV medication adherence, diabetes and heart disease/stroke. She uses community based participatory research approaches, in conducting increased HIV screening rates in African American churches.

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An-Lin Cheng, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Director of Research and Statistical Consult ServiceDepartment of Biomedical and Health Informatics Work Phone: (816) 235-5242

Primary Research Area: Multivariate Statistics

  • 2004, PhD in Statistics, University of Georgia, Athens
  • 2002, MS Statistics, University of Georgia, Athens
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Research Interests

Longitudinal data analysis, HIV health care data, data analysis for phase I, II and III clinical trials, community-based interventions, bioinformatics, response adaptive designs, generalized linear mixed models, Hierarchical linear mixed modeling, multiple imputation technique, structural equation modeling.


Dr. An-Lin Cheng received her PhD in Statistics from the University of Georgia, immediately followed by postdoc training at Yale University in the Department of Biostatistics. She then joined the School of Nursing and Health Studies at the University of Missouri – Kansas City at 2006 as Assistant Professor. With this position she had the opportunity to work with researchers from a wide range of disciplines such as dentistry, nursing, biomedical engineering, statistics, biostatistics, environmental sciences, and medicine. She also taught graduate level statistics courses for nursing PhD students and served as a member or chair of their committees. Dr. Cheng was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure at 2012. In August 2016, Dr. Cheng join the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics.

Dr. Cheng has extensive experience handling large data sets and conducting secondary data analyses. She have participated in 17 funded research projects and published more than 45 peer review research articles. Her primary roles will be leading the Research and Statistical Consult Service and collaborating with researchers on Hospital Hill Campus.

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Mary M. Gerkovich, Ph.D.
Adjunct Emeritus Associate Professor Office for Health Services & Outcomes ResearchDepartment of Biomedical & Health Informatics

Primary Research Area: Behavior and Adherence

  • 1998 – University of Kansas
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Research Interests

Evaluation of a botanical product for use with osteoarthritis patients.

Identifying methods and resources to support HIV+ patients for maintaining engagement in care and self-management.

Projects using large secondary datasets to address issues related to health conditions and care.

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Mark Hoffman, Ph.D.
Department of Biomedical & Health Informatics

Primary Research Area: Informatics

  • Research Associate Professor – Biomedical & Health Informatics
  • ResearchAssociate Professor – Pediatrics
  • Children’s Mercy Hospital – Director Translational Bioinformatics
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Dr. Mark Hoffman received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and performed post-doctoral research at the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa. Before joining UMKC, he spent 16 years leading genomics, public health and research initiatives at Cerner Corporation, where he was a Vice President. In addition to his peer-reviewed publications, Mark is an inventor on 16 issued patents.

Research Interests

CDC funded use of laboratory and medical data warehouses to support quality improvement.

Pharmacogenomic knowledge representation and decision support.

Influence of patient context on health, what I refer to as the ‘Envirome’.

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Mark Patterson, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor UMKC School of Pharmacy

Primary Research Area: Pharmacotherapy, Outcomes

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Research Interests

1) Using mixed methods approaches to examine the prevalence of medication discrepancies and their underlying workflow attributed to those discrepancies that occurring during transitions of care between hospitals and nursing homes in rural Missouri. 2) Proposal currently under review to use the HealthFacts dataset to estimate the prevalence and patterns of antipsychotic polypharmacy prescribing patterns present in patients hospitalized with schizophrenia.

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Kim Smolderen, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor — Implementation Science Department of Biomedical & Health Informatics

Primary Research Area: Cardiovascular Outcomes

  • 2012, Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Outcomes Research PRT: American Heart Association, St. Luke’s Mid-America Heart Institute
  • 2009, PhD in Medical Psychology, Tilburg University, Tilburg Netherlands
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Research Interest

An estimated 8 million individuals in the United States are affected by peripheral arterial disease (PAD), blockages of the leg arteries that can cause excruciating calf pain when walking. PAD can have a major impact on patients’ quality of life. It is also associated with high rates of heart attacks and premature death. While there are a number of treatments, there have been few previous studies that have prospectively examined treatment patterns for PAD or sought to systematically identify opportunities to improve care. Most importantly, there have been no rigorous studies examining the impact of the disease from patients’ perspectives-their symptoms, function, and quality of life-as a function of different patient characteristics and treatments. The PORTRAIT study (Phase II) will systematically document the treatments and health-status outcomes (symptoms, function, and quality of life) of 840 US patients from nine centers over the course of one year to address these gaps in knowledge. It will illuminate whether disparities in treatment or health-status outcomes exist as a function of a patient’s age, gender, race, or socioeconomic or psychological characteristics. As a direct deliverable, it will translate its findings-expected health status changes following PAD treatments over the course of one year-directly to patients through the development of education tools for patients with PAD who need to make a choice with regard to their treatment. As it is PCORI’s mission to assist patients, clinicians, purchasers, and policy makers in making informed health decisions with regard to diseases like PAD, PORTRAIT will substantially elevate the field and identify critical gaps in the way PAD is currently managed, including potential disparities in care, so that the quality of care can be improved. PORTRAIT will also be a critical first step in designing efficient, effective disease management programs for PAD in the future that are based on more personalized and healthcare system-oriented approaches to increase the use of evidence-based guidelines. Finally, as patients have been closely involved in the design of this study in Phase I and continue to be engaged as active advocates and experts on their disease throughout the current study, PORTRAIT will also empower patients and let them decide on what information and outcomes are most relevant for them while dealing with this burdensome condition of PAD.

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John A. Spertus, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor & Daniel J. Lauer / Missouri Endowed Chair Metabolic & Vascular Disease ResearchDepartment of Biomedical & Health Informatics

Primary Research Area: Cardiovascular Outcomes

  • 1993 -University of Washington
  • Research Interests: Methods for assessing patients’ health outcomes, measuring healthcare quality, and the use of information technology to guide medical decision-making based on risk-prediction models so that treatment can be safer, more cost-effective, evidence-based and patient-centered.
Photo of Lakshmi Venkitachalam, Ph.D.
Lakshmi Venkitachalam, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Department of Biomedical & Health Informatics

Primary Research Area: Cardiovascular Outcomes

  • Ph.D. — Epidemilogy, 2007 – University of Pittsburgh
  • 2011, Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Outcomes Research PRT: American Heart Association, St. Luke’s Mid-America
Research Interests:

Use of alternative care models such as the patient-centered medical home, the chronic care model etc. to enhance translation of evidence-based best practices and meet the health and wellness needs of underserved and vulnerable populations globally. I also have a strong interest in examining cross-country variations in the use of healthcare technology and the related impact on clinical, patient-centered and economic outcomes, with a view to informing clinical practice and health policy guidelines.

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Karen B. Williams, Ph.D.
Professor & Chair Emerita Department of Biomedical & Health Informatics

Primary Research Area: Health Outcomes

  • Ph.D. – 2001, University of Kansas
  • Research Interests: Clinical trial and survey research design, health behavior, quality of life, IRB application and oral health outcomes.
Photo of Shui Qing Ye, M.D., Ph.D.
Shui Qing Ye, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor & the William R. Brown / Missouri Endowed Chair Medical Genetics & Molecular MedicineDepartment of Biomedical & Health Informatics

Primary Research Area: Genetics

  • 1993, PhD, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago IL
  • 1982, Doctor of Medicine, Wuhan University School of Medicine, Wuhan China
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Research Interests

Investigate the roles and molecular mechanisms of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase in acute respiratory distress syndrome, arthritis, drug induced liver injury.

Identify new genetic risk factors underlying complex diseases using next generation DNA sequencing technologies.

Apply Translational Bioinformatics to leverage ‘Big Data’ to make new biological discoveries and gain new unifying global biological insights, which may lead to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic targets for human diseases.