Professor of medicine Mark Cullen will serve as the first director of the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences, the School of Medicine announced on Monday. Cullen will oversee research funding, educational programs and data-sharing efforts.
The Center was founded in 2012 and focuses on disseminating public health data and information. To date, the Center has funded 26 research teams working on related projects and is working to provide a centralized gateway to U.S. and worldwide population health data.
Lloyd Minor, dean of the School of Medicine, stressed the center’s importance.
“Backed by Stanford’s research and computational engines, the Center for Population Health Sciences is poised to harness the power of big data to improve health here and around the world.” Minor said. “Mark Cullen is the right person to bring together clinicians and researchers in social, biologic and data sciences to meet these challenges.”
The Center’s current projects include adapting Google Street View to provide neighborhood health data and providing access to large databases of health insurance claims.
“Today’s electronic medical records are like MapQuest a decade ago — they provide a snapshot of a chart without much added value,” Cullen told Stanford Medicine News.
“We want to add intelligence to medical records in the same way that smartphone navigation apps have added real-time traffic alerts and alternate routes,” he added.
Cullen came to Stanford in 2009 and currently serves as chief of the Division of General Medical Disciplines.
Contact Michael Gioia at mgioia2 ‘at’ stanford.edu.