George Demiris Appointed Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor
George Demiris has been named the University of Pennsylvania’s 22nd Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor. The appointment, announced by Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett, will be effective Jan. 1.
“Biomedical informatics brings together big data, precision technology, behavioral science and medical care,” Gutmann said. “This booming field has enormous potential for saving and improving lives. Standing at the forefront of this field is the brilliant and internationally renowned researcher and teacher George Demiris. His innovative work has significantly advanced our understanding and application of biomedical informatics, from e-health to home-based patient-centered technologies, and his prolific and influential publication track record bridges several important fields. With dual appointments in Penn Nursing and the Perelman School, George will bring impressive leadership and groundbreaking insight to some of Penn’s most important life-saving and life-improving efforts.”
Demiris’ work uses data and informatics to improve health-care delivery and education, especially in advancing home-based technologies for older adults and patients with chronic conditions and disabilities, using, for example, smart homes, ambient assisted living systems and telehealth for home and hospice care. A Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the American College of Medical Informatics, he is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and 20 book chapters, as well as a co-editor of three major books about e-health and smart homes. His work has been widely funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and others, including most recently an NIH R01 grant to conduct a randomized clinical trial of a technology-based intervention for hospice caregivers.
Demiris is currently the Alumni Endowed Professor in Nursing, director of the Biomedical and Health Informatics Graduate Program and director of the Clinical Informatics and Patient Centered Technologies Program at the University of Washington, where he has taught since 2006. A native of Greece, he earned a Ph.D. in health informatics from the University of Minnesota following undergraduate and graduate degrees in medical informatics from the Heidelberg University.
“George Demiris’ path-breaking and life-saving work,” Pritchett said, “has enormous potential to bring together students and faculty in the increasingly essential area of biomedical informatics. His work exemplifies one of our core values: the use of innovative research to make a tangible impact on peoples’ lives. He will be a great catalyst for educational programs and research initiatives in data science across our campus and at our world-leading Institute for Biomedical Informatics.”
The Penn Integrates Knowledge program was launched by Gutmann in 2005 as a University-wide initiative to recruit exceptional faculty members whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge across disciplines and who are appointed in at least two schools at Penn.