Medical & Health Informatics Laboratories
Applying Bioinformatics and Data Science to Medical Research
With a vision to facilitate improved health outcomes, MEI Lab is dedicated to advancing the medical and health sciences by empowering application of a more Personalized, Preventive, Predictive, and Participatory (i.e., “P4”) practice of medicine (and wellness). We aim to individualize and revolutionize healthcare through application of Bio Digital Twin technologies to achieve Precision Medicine.

Advancing the goal of optimized therapies for patients, we use a broader definition of Precision Medicine than what has been earlier popularized by the -omics revolution. According to our definition, Precision Medicine approaches must also include causal, mechanistic, inferential, and statistical models integrating data that is multimodal and multiscale – in magnitudes and across time scales. Such approaches draw upon a wide range of sciences and technologies, including physiological control systems, hemodynamics, causal inference, modeling and simulation, and cardiovascular dynamics.

Our initial focus is on realizing Precision Cardiology through development of an organ systems level Cardiovascular Bio Digital Twin (CV BioDT) as well as an in vitro Heart-on-a-Chip digital twin platform. The CV BioDT will begin with representations of acute cardiac conditions before moving on to more chronic cardiac conditions and their co-morbidities. By addressing the complex interactions necessary to represent these conditions of unmet medical need, the overall Bio Digital Twin will be developed.

Ultimately, based on our accumulating knowledge of underlying physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms – together with advanced wearable and remote sensing technologies – we will be able ultimately to move into wellness and prevention.

Roles exist for collective causes. As Director of the MEI Lab, my first priority is to make myself useful to others on my team. Collectively, our Medical Informatics Lab (MEI) team is focused on the real-world needs of individuals as well as on the global community as a whole – spanning current and future generations. It has been said that the only way to create the world we want to live in is to act as though we already live there. What we envision is clear: a brightened future of healthcare and wellness revolutionized through use of bio digital twin technologies that provide for optimal, individualized therapies. Our approach to achieving this takes advantage of biomedical engineering principles, modeling and simulation, data sciences, and various computational methods, including artificial intelligence.

Joe Alexander, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.C.

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