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Ophthalmology Informatics and Data Science

Informatics is the "science of how to use data, information, and knowledge to improve human health and the delivery of health care services" (American Medical Informatics Association). At the UC San Diego Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology and the Shiley Eye Institute, our Division of Ophthalmology Informatics and Data Science is dedicated to advancing data science, artificial intelligence, and big-data analytics for the improvement of vision and health.

We are conducting cutting-edge research as well as providing clinical informatics support to develop and integrate state-of-the-art health information technology tools into the day-to-day care of our patients. Our division is engaged in a range of activities, including:

  • NIH-funded research in health information technology integration, big data, and artificial intelligence
    • Examples:
      • Deep learning analyses of optic nerve and retinal images
      • Big-data predictive analytics with electronic health record data
      • Innovations in sensor technology and wearables
      • Genomics
  • Providing core resources such as high-performance computing and state-of-the-art custom computer programming through the UC San Diego Computational Ophthalmology Group
  • Seminar series with notable ophthalmologists, informaticists, and data scientists from across the world
  • Training programs to develop the next generation of ophthalmic informaticists and data scientists
  • Journal clubs and research symposia to discuss cutting-edge research
  • Providing support to faculty, staff, and trainees as they implement new informatics and digital tools for research and clinical applications
  • Founding member of the UC San Diego Halicioglu Data Science Institute
  • Member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Committee on Artificial Intelligence
  • Member of the National Research Network (NRN) headquartered at the UC San Francisco Center for Clinical Informatics and Improvement Research

We also value diversity and inclusion as an utmost priority. Some of the ways we have prioritized diversity include making concerted efforts to study individuals from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in biomedical research, recruit trainees from diverse backgrounds, and ensure data analyses, algorithms, and implementation of tools are performed in a transparent fashion while minimizing bias and reducing health disparities.

Training Opportunities

Faculty in the division have trained and mentored undergraduates, postbaccalaureate students, medical students, residents, and fellows via independent study courses, research electives, mentoring programs, summer internships, and other pathways.

We are also proud to offer an Ophthalmology Informatics and Data Science Fellowship Program, a unique postdoctoral training opportunity for physicians and scientists interested in advancing their understanding of biomedical and clinical informatics as applied to vision science and clinical ophthalmology. Learn more about the fellowship opportunities.

Affiliated Faculty from the Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology

  • Sally L. Baxter, M.D., MSc - Division Chief, Dual Board-Certified in Ophthalmology and Clinical Informatics
  • Dirk-Uwe Bartsch, Ph.D.
  • Akram Belghith, Ph.D.
  • Chris Bowd, Ph.D.
  • Mark Christopher, Ph.D.
  • William Freeman, M.D.
  • Michael Goldbaum, M.D.
  • Sasan Moghimi, M.D.
  • Robert N. Weinreb, M.D.
  • Derek Welsbie, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Linda Zangwill, Ph.D.

Collaborating Faculty from Other Division/Departments at UC San Diego

  • UC San Diego Health Department of Biomedical Informatics
  • UC San Diego Health Information Services
  • UC San Diego Halicioglu Data Science Institute
  • UC San Diego Division of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health
  • UC San Diego Department of Computer Science and Engineering