2012 Morgan Award Recipient: Kailah Davis

Fri, December 7, 2012 @ 12:00 PM
School of Medicine
Biomedical informatics
HSEB 3515B
26 S 2000 E (Google Map Link)
City, State, Zip
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Jo Ann Thompson
(801) 213-3242
Kailah Davis, -
Event Audience
Open to Public


Currently, there's little effective communication and collaboration across all levels of public health. The lack of collaboration has resulted in more than 300 separate biosurveillance efforts. The literature has indicated that many of these systems are disease specific, are not integrated or interoperable, and may be duplicative. Grid architecture is a promising methodology to aid in building a decentralized health surveillance infrastructure because it combines and analyzes unrelated data existing from independent domains to provide computational and analytic resources on demand. Also, it encourages an ecosystem development culture, which has the potential to increase collaboration and decrease duplications. To demonstrate its use we have created 3 GRID services which can be used to help public health meet their surveillance goals: data service using de-identified death records from the Utah Department of Health and two analytical services, MetaMap and 'R'. This presentation will describe our efforts of creating the three GRID services to simulate a public health virtual organization. Also discussed will be the potential benefits of how a public health infrastructure could be developed as a dynamically evolving ecosystem of grid enabled applications.


Kailah Davis was born in St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands and attended the University of the Virgin Islands where she received her undergraduate degree in computer science in 2007. As an undergraduate she was a Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) scholar and did research training in bioinformatics. In 2007, she did post-baccalaureate research with Professor Sudhir Kumar (Arizona State University) in the Center for Evolutionary Medicine and Informatics. In 2009 she began her graduate studies in Biomedical Informatics at the University of Utah. Kailah's research interests at the University of Utah include infectious disease surveillance, development of methods for detection of emerging diseases and the practical use of Grid computing for public health applications.

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