Founding Division Chief of Computational Health Sciences, Dr. Rui Zhang, to develop first-of-its-kind informatics framework for reducing improper dietary supplement use.
Dr. Rui Zhang

The majority of U.S. adults take dietary supplements (DS), assuming they are effective and safe, but that isn't always the case - and in some instances, DS usage can lead to adverse effects and consequences. To ensure DS are being used safely and correctly requires the creation of an informatics framework that will help us to better understand both the efficacy and safety of DS.

Principal Investigator, Rui Zhang, PhD, FAMIA, Founding Chief of the Division of Computational Health Sciences, recently received notice of the renewal of the research project titled, "A Translational Informatics Framework to Mine Efficacy and Safety of Dietary Supplements." Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)'s National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health (NCCIH) and in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, the renewal R01 award totaling ~$3.1 million will allow for the continuous development of an innovative translational informatics framework to advance DS knowledge using multimodal data sources and innovative AI approaches to enable multi-site electronic health record-based DS research.

This is the first project to develop a translational informatics framework to advance DS knowledge using multimodal data sources and enable us to understand how patients (e.g., depression patients) use DS using real-world multi-site EHR data. 

The research will focus on building on Dr. Zhang's prior project, which focused on developing DS terminology using online resources and finding potential drug-supplement interactions from biomedical literature, a previous R01 award funded by NCCIH during 2017-2022. It will center on creating an enhanced DS knowledge base (eDISK) as well as developing a translational informatics framework (iDISK-Mine) using new informatics approaches to further DS research using real-world, multi-site EHR data. 

The successful completion of this project will provide a first-of-its-kind informatics framework with the necessary tools and resources for DS clinical and translational research that will play an imperative role in achieving the ultimate goal of reducing an individual patient's risk of improper DS use. 

Congratulations, Dr. Zhang!