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The University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, San Francisco's one-of-a-kind program in computational precision health continues to grow with these latest faculty additions.

The UCSF-UC Berkeley Joint Program in Computational Precision Health (CPH) has appointed 13 new faculty to its augmented graduate group, which functions as a novel, bi-campus initiative and PhD program.

These UC community members bring expertise in machine learning for biomedical applications, human-computer interaction, and technology-based interventions to address health disparities to this groundbreaking program. Dr. Ida Sim, CPH co-director and professor of medicine at UCSF, called the group “the heart of the CPH intellectual community.” CPH aims to transform personal and public health through computation by developing and deploying adaptive precision interventions for real-world impact. 

“Interest in computational precision health continues to grow, and we are so honored to have these new members from across both institutions bring their clinical and research expertise to our shared vision of transforming health through computation,” said Sim.

“The incredible range of stellar faculty are addressing the staggering complexity of health and healthcare systems, and we are thrilled to work on solutions with real-world impact with this community," she said. 

These latest appointments grow the augmented graduate group to 55 members, more than halfway to the CPH’s hoped-for size of up to 80 faculty. The members include Berkeley’s Adrian Aguilera, Joe Lewnard and Niloufar Salehi and UCSF’s Reza Abbasi-Asl, Katrina Abuabara, Rima Arnout, Jean Feng, A. Jay Holmgren, Sharmila Majumdar, Pratik Mukherjee, Sara Murray, Srikantan Nagarajan and Isabel Rodriguez-Barraquer.

Launched in October 2021, CPH draws upon two world-renowned universities’ data science, computing, biomedicine and health leaders to forge a new field with the capacity to transform health. CPH researchers will develop computational breakthroughs to enable complex care – from individuals to public health – by augmenting human intelligence and implementing data-informed interventions in hospitals, clinics and the community.

At UC Berkeley, the program is administered by the Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society (CDSS) and exemplifies CDSS’ efforts to create interdisciplinary fields that use data science to solve real-world challenges.

The next generation of researchers

This milestone comes as CPH makes major strides toward welcoming its first student cohort to its Ph.D. and second cohort to the designated emphasis. CPH received more than 200 applications to join its first Ph.D. cohort, which has spots available for just eight students.

Eligible UCSF and Berkeley doctoral students will be able to apply for the program’s designated emphasis starting March 1. Students accepted to the designated emphasis take CPH courses as an interdisciplinary specialization that compliments their doctoral degree studies, and are part of the community of CPH faculty and students, offering unique cross-campus connections and opportunities.

"The sheer number and exceptional quality of applicants for our new Ph.D. program in computational precision health is a testament to the growing excitement in this emerging field,” said Ahmed Alaa, a CPH assistant professor. “It highlights the unique and vital role that this type of graduate training can play in advancing the field of precision health and shaping the future of medicine."