Ph.D with Biomedical Informatics Concentration

‚ÄčThe Biomedical Informatics Concentration (BMI) focuses on the effective use of biomedical data, information, and knowledge for biomedical and clinical research, as well as decision support driven by efforts to improve human health. Graduates will find careers in teaching and research facilities of educational and medical institutions; industry and hospitals; and law and government regulatory agencies. Graduate study will comprise of developing advanced computational techniques and strategies that directly impact patient care, and clinical and biomedical research. This is a multidisciplinary concentration, jointly administered by departments of Biomedical Informatics, Mathematics and Computer Science, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics.

Requirements

Students admitted to the program, in full standing, should have basic competencies in college-level calculus, undergraduate biology, statistics and computer programming. Strong applicants who are missing some of this background (e.g., an MD with no formal computer science training) can be accepted but will be required to take introductory courses in computer science as a condition of admission. Similar accommodations will be made for strong computer science-oriented applicants who have no specific training or experience in the biomedical domain.

Students must complete each of the following requirements.
  • Course requirements:
    • 3 core courses, 6 required Courses from 3 tracks, and 2 electives (see below).
    • Complete an informatics and a clinical rotation project. These projects involve interdisciplinary work and will be co-supervised by a core faculty and an informatics or domain faculty member. It is expected that the projects will be in areas relevant to the student's dissertation topic. Students are required to submit a project proposal and a final report. Possible areas of rotation include Intensive Care Unit informatics, Biomedical informatics studies in HMOs, Medical Home, Imaging informatics and radiation therapy, Data modeling and visualization, Transplant informatics, Natural Language Processing in biomedicine.
  • Qualifying Exams: This consists of an area exam that covers foundational materials within the student's area of research, and a thesis proposal in which the student describes a set of open research questions and the approaches that will be taken to answer them.
  • Teaching Requirements: Each student must attend a three-day summer workshop and a one semester department seminar on teaching, co-teach one course, and independently teach one introductory-level undergraduate course.
  • Ethics Requirement: Each student must attend a one-day summer workshop and attend a minimum of 4 workshops held in collaboration with the Laney Graduate School and the Emory Center for Ethics. Students must also attend a minimum of 6 hours of program-based ethics material (CS 590, the programs teaching program and CS 700, Graduate Seminar). CS 590 should be completed in the fall of the second or third year of study.
  • Students must fulfill the Graduate School residency requirements.
  • Each student must present a deparment graduate seminar, complete an acceptable dissertation and deliver an oral defense.

Course Requirements

Students are required to take the following 3 core courses:
  • BMI 500: Introduction to Biomedical Informatics
  • CS 534: Machine Learning
  • BIOS 506: Biostatistical Methods (4)

In addition, students are required to take 6 courses that serve as building blocks of a sound biomedical informatics training. These courses are organized into three tracks: Mathematical Foundations, Biomedical Applications, and Computational Techniques. Students must take two courses from each track.

Mathematical Foundations (Min 6 courses): The objective of this track is to provide training in mathematical and statistical techniques to analyze data, formulate and test hypothesis etc. Example of courses that meet this requirement are listed below. Students also have the option of substituting other graduate level courses from Math, BIOS, EPI (with prior approval from BMI program director and/or your thesis advisor).
  • BIOS 510: Probability Theory I
  • BIOS 710: Probability Theory II
  • BIOS 511: Statistical Inference I
  • BIOS 711: Statistical Inference II
  • BIOS 522: Survival Analysis
  • EPI 504: Fundamentals of Epidemiology
  • INFO 503: Management Principles for Informatics
  • MATH 515: Numerical Analysis I
Biomedical Applications (2 courses/Min 6 credits): The objective of this track is to provide training in the specific domains that motivate the methodological and applied activities of biomedical informatics research. Example of courses that meet this requirement are listed below. Students also have the option of substituting other graduate level courses from GDBBS, BMI etc. (w/ prior approval from BMI program director and/or your thesis advisor).
  • IBS 523 Cancer Biology I
  • IBS 524 Cancer Biology II
  • IBS 534 Computational Neuroscience
  • IBS 574 Computational Biology Bioinformatics
  • BMI 614+ Machine Learning Computational Biology
  • BMI 615+ Biomedical Imaging Informatics
  • BMED 6760/6790 Info Process Model Neural
  • BMED 6780 Medical Image Processing
  • BMED 6789 Technology Ventures
  • BMED 7411 Mathematical Models in Biology Medicine
Computational Techniques (2 courses): The objective of this track is to provide training in the computational systems and techniques that are essential to the conduct of biomedical informatics research and development activities. Example of courses that meet this requirement are listed below. Students also have the option of substituting other graduate level courses from MathCS, BMI etc. (w/ prior approval from BMI program director and/or your thesis advisor.
  • CS 551 Systems Programming
  • CS 554 Database Systems
  • CS 556 Programming Languages and Compilers
  • CS 557 Artificial Intelligence
  • CS 562 Advanced Computer Systems
  • CS 563 Digital Image Processing
  • CS 570 Data Mining
  • CS 571 Natural Language Processing
  • CS 572 Information Retrieval
  • CS 573 Data Privacy and Security
  • CS 580 Operating Systems
  • CS 581 High Performance Computing (merged with CS 555)
  • MATH 771 Numerical Optimization

Finally students are required to take 2 additional graduate level courses. To meet this requirement, students may opt for courses from Mathematics, Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, Biomedical Informatics, the Rollins School of Public Health, School of Medicine, and appropriate schools at Georgia Tech through the ARCHE program. When substituting courses, a student must obtain prior written approval from their thesis advisor, the CSI DGS and the BMI program director.

Students must complete their core courses with a grade of B+ or higher and complete the remaining coursework by year three with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Students may take a qualifying exam once they have completed the minimum course requirements.