(from left) Kevin Dufendach, MD, MS, Emily Miraldi, PhD, and Danny T. Y. Wu, PhD

Peter S. White, PhD, Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics (BMI) at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and Cincinnati Children’s, recently announced the addition of three new faculty members to the team:


Kevin Dufendach, MD, MS, has been appointed to a secondary faculty position with BMI.  His primary appointment is with Cincinnati Children’s Division of Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology. Dufendach is an Attending Neonatologist as well as an Assistant Professor. 

His research focuses on user-centered design of electronic health record system software. Specifically, he is interested in incorporating human factors principles into the design of human-computer interfaces to better improve information communication for both provider-facing as well as patient-facing applications. Dufendach’s current research seeks to improve parental engagement in the neonatal intensive care unit through a neonatal-specific inpatient portal application.

“Kevin’s research on optimizing patient and family participation in infant at such a critical time is a great example of how a precision medicine approach to care delivery can positively affect both children and their families,” says White.


Emily R. Miraldi, PhD, has also been appointed to a secondary faculty position with BMI. Her primary appointment is in Cincinnati Children’s Division of Immunobiology as an Assistant Professor.

“Emily’s work establishes fundamental models of immunological systems that will lead to deeper insights into immune system function that can readily inform the development of translational therapies,” says White.

Her research goal is immuno-engineering: to alter the behavior of specific immune cell populations in disease contexts (autoimmune disease, organ transplant, and cancer) without compromising the body’s homeostatic immune function (e.g. defense against pathogens).

Her lab works to reverse-engineer the underlying logic of immune cells (molecular networks that drive cellular responses) from high-dimensional molecular measurements of immune cells in action (sensing and responding to perturbations, disease conditions, etc.) Their focus is transcriptional regulatory network inference, modeling gene expression as a function of transcription factor activities, from gene expression and measurements of chromatin state.


Danny T. Y. Wu, PhD, is now an Assistant Professor in the University of Cincinnati Department of Biomedical Informatics. “Danny’s research will help clinicians to make better use of electronic health data both for research investigations and for improving clinical decisions at the bedside,” says White.

Wu’s research draws on human-computer interaction, data mining, information retrieval, and natural language processing to maximize the value of clinical data stored in electronic health records to improve care quality and support clinical and translational research. Wu received both his PhD and master’s degree from the University of Michigan School of Information prior to joining UC. Before going to graduate school, he worked as a software engineer for four years.

Biomedical Informatics Welcomes Three New Faculty
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