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Arnold School of Public Health

Chen Liang named DATA Scholar by National Institutes of Health

February 10, 2023 | Erin Bluvas,

The Office of Data Science Strategy (National Institutes of Health) has selected health services policy and management assistant professor Chen Liang to join the Data and Technology Advancement (DATA) National Service Scholar Program. Highly selective (only seven researchers were chosen from across the country), this program is designed to support data/computer scientists/engineers who improve public health by tackling challenges related to biomedical data.

“Dr. Chen is an excellent data science researcher who has been devoting his expertise to investigating infectious diseases, including COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS, at USC,” says health promotion, education, and behavior professor Xiaoming Li, who leads the South Carolina SmartState Center for Healthcare Quality (CHQ) and the USC Big Data Health Science Center. “He is committed to contributing his knowledge and experience to national service and will be a great addition to this program.”

As a biomedical informatics researcher, Liang extracts data from the growing number of electronic health records (EHR) available to learn existing patterns and trends and inform solutions to address public health challenges. He uses novel methods (e.g., EHR modeling, artificial intelligence, machine learning) for bringing this data to the surface and revealing the trends and insights concealed within – all while maintaining confidentiality/anonymity of patients.

Dr. Chen is an excellent data science researcher who has been devoting his expertise to investigating infectious diseases, including COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS, at USC.

Xiaoming Li

The emergence of big data as a way to advance public health requires a high level of mathematical expertise, but its potential applications and impacts are infinite. USC is leading the way in this field through its Big Data Health Science Center, where Liang is a fellow.

“I am committed to making a significant contribution to the field of data-driven health science research, particularly in the application of data science and artificial intelligence for infectious diseases, maternal health, and systemic diseases,” Liang says. “I look forward to gaining insights about national research priorities and how data science can better aid health sciences.”

Liang joined the Arnold School in 2019 and has since been awarded $10 million, together with colleagues, in competitive funding. He currently leads two NIH R21 grants – one as part of a nationwide effort to identify and characterize long COVID and another aimed at understanding HIV and COVID-19 coinfection.

Liang studied electrical and information engineering at Soochow University, where he also completed a master’s degree in psychology. He earned a Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics at the University of Texas Health science Center. In 2022, he was selected as a fellow in the American Medical Informatics Association.


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