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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Washington: Biostatisticians Among Leadership Team for New FDA Coordinating Center

Several faculty members of the University of Washington School of Public Health will help lead a new coordinating center for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Sentinel Initiative.

Over the last decade, the FDA has amassed a wealth of health care data through its Sentinel Initiative, an electronic data system used to monitor FDA-regulated drugs, medical devices and other products. In September, the agency announced the addition of two new Sentinel coordinating centers, including the Sentinel Innovation Center whose charge is to  better regulate drugs and keep patients safe by developing new technologies and approaches to convert data into actionable knowledge.

“Sentinel has only begun to tap the incredible richness of information that exists in electronic health records (EHRs),” said Dr. Jennifer Nelson, affiliate professor of biostatistics at the University of Washington School of Public Health and director of biostatistics at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. She is a member of the Sentinel Innovation Center’s executive leadership team along with Dr. Patrick Heagerty, also a professor of biostatistics at the UW School of Public Health. The center operates under the auspices of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, where it is led by Dr. Sebastian Schneeweiss of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School.

“What excites me is the opportunity to forge stronger collaboration outside academia with tech companies like Microsoft and Amazon. I get the chance to connect leading scientists to a major public health initiative where their state-of-the-art expertise can make a direct and positive impact on patient safety in the U.S.,” Dr. Nelson said.

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