The History of BMI

Our program was founded in 1982 by Edward Shortliffe as the Medical Information Sciences training program. The original focus was on clinical computing but it has evolved to train students broadly in informatics applied to multiple domains of biomedicine. Russ B. Altman became the director in 2000 and in recognition of a mission beyond clinical informatics, the program was renamed "Biomedical Informatics" (BMI). He served until 2018. The current Training Director is Sylvia Plevritis, who is also the Chair of the Department of Biomedical Data Science.

The program has been funded by the National Library of Medicine since 1984. It was initially focused solely on post-doctoral trainees, but was broadened in 1988 to include pre-doctoral trainees as well.