Research Horizons


New Leader for Biomedical Informatics: Eneida A. Mendonca, MD, PhD

Eneida A. Mendonca, MD, PhD, a highly regarded pioneer in employing natural language processing to improve health and healthcare, has been selected as the Rieveschl chair of Biomedical Informatics and division director of Biomedical Informatics at Cincinnati Children’s.

Mendonca was selected after an extensive search chaired by Jareen Meinzen-Derr, PhD, MPH, co-director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training (CCTST), and John Hogenesch, PhD, interim director of the Division of Human Genetics. Mendonca will begin her new role in June 2022.

She comes from the Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis, where she serves as vice president for Research Development and director of the Clem McDonald Center for Biomedical Informatics. Mendonca is also a professor of pediatrics and professor of biostatistics and health data sciences at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Photo of Umberto Tachinardi
Umberto Tachinardi, MD, MS

Mendonca’s husband, Umberto Tachinardi, MD, MS, also will be coming to Cincinnati, where he will serve as Associate Dean for Health Informatics and Chief Digital Health Officer at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He also will serve as Chief Digital Health Officer and Vice President at UC Health.

Tachinardi currently serves as interim President and CEO of the Regenstrief Institute and as Assistant Dean for Clinical Informatics at IU.

Read UC’s announcement.

  • More than 100 peer-reviewed publications
  • Elected fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Medical Informatics and the International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics
  • Serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Health Informatics, International Journal of Biomedical Informatics and JAMIA Open
  • Former elected secretary of the American Medical Informatics Association board of directors
  • Former chair of the NIH’s Biomedical Computing and Health Informatics study section
  • Co-author of “Artificial Intelligence in Health Care: The Hope, The Hype, The Promise, and The Peril,” a recent National Academy of Medicine publication that is viewed as a reference for all stakeholders involved in the application of AI for healthcare

A native of Brazil, Mendonca holds a medical degree from the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil and earned a PhD in biomedical informatics from Columbia University in New York.

Mendonca’s research focuses on developing automated semantic and statistical methods to extract biomedical data from patient records while maintaining patient privacy. She studies ways to generate new research knowledge from electronic health records data, social and environmental data, and patient generated data. Her research also explores how to apply health informatics to support clinical practice, health prevention at population level, and translational research.

Mendonca is funded by CDC, PCORI and NIH. Recent projects include the understanding of diabetes burden in children and adolescents, computable social phenotyping, and health disparities in pediatric cancer and respiratory diseases.

She has been involved in many multi-institution projects, including a NIH-funded Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) study and the Children’s Respiratory Research and Environment Workgroup (CREW), where she uses informatics tools to harmonize data among several large cohorts, combining clinical data, social determinants of health, behavior, and biological markers, among others.

“Healthcare and research are increasingly reliant on and driven by advances in informatics and data sciences,” says Tina Cheng, MD, PhD, chair of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, director of the Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation, and chief medical officer for Cincinnati Children’s. “The Division of Biomedical Informatics is critical to our clinical, research and innovation enterprise. We are thrilled to have Dr. Mendonca join us and to have Dr. Tachinardi’s partnership at UC.”

Photos courtesy of the Regenstrief Institute.