Master's | In-person

Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics

Preparing for your Capstone Project

  • The project is a degree requirement and is completed during the last three quarters of their program.
  • Put into practice the knowledge and skills you have learned during your coursework.
  • Opportunities:
    • Expand your knowledge: work on a biomedical informatics research question, develop a health informatics solution, improve processes.
    • Network with other health informatics professionals and organizations.

Capstone Goals

  • Work on real world problems.
  • Complete relevant research.
  • Analyze and understand data from many sources.
  • Improve organizational processes.
  • Network.
  • Fine tune professional skillsets.
  • Write a UChicago caliber academic paper.
  • Effectively communicate and present your findings.

Capstone Course Sequence

  • MSBI 39901 Capstone Proposal.
  • MSBI 39902 Capstone Implementation.
  • MSBI 39903 Capstone Writing & Presentation.
  • All are 100-unit *remote* courses.
  • Each course will have individual assignments and students are assessed quality grades.
  • MSBI 39903 requires students to write an academic paper and presentation to summarize their Capstone research and results.

Registering for Capstone Proposal

  • Students will begin the capstone experience in the last 3 quarters of their program.
  • For full-time students, this means capstone projects start in their second quarter.
  • Capstone Proposal is the first course in the three-course capstone sequence.
  • Capstone Proposal is only offered in the Winter and Summer quarters.

Capstone Matching

  • MScBMI Project Portfolio.
  • Corporate Sponsored Projects.
  • Academic Sponsored Projects.
  • Sponsors submit proposals via project survey.
  • Student Proposed Sponsored Projects.
  • Independently proposed projects must have project sponsor.
  • Student or sponsor must complete project survey.
  • Students will be surveyed about their preferences and matched to a project at the beginning of the Winter/Summer quarter
  • Students are matched to projects based on a few factors
    • Project interest
    • Required skillset
    • Sponsor sign off
    • Catalog projects will be assigned to two students, who will work as a team
    • Team members must all adhere to the same capstone schedule
  • The Capstone administrator/team will make a formal introduction between the matched sponsor and students
  • Projects are then matched to Scientific Advisors based on Advisor expertise. Advisors may be MScBMI lecturers and other experts affiliated with the program.
  • Once all introductions are made, students become responsible for all aspects of project going forward
    • Project management
    • Communication plan and meeting schedule
      • Team members
      • Project sponsors
      • Scientific Advisors
      • Capstone Instructors

Scientific Advisors

  • Every capstone project is assigned two Scientific Advisors, a primary advisor and a secondary advisor.
  • Both advisors grade the final paper and presentation, due in third Capstone course, MSBI 39903.
  • Projects are matched to Scientific Advisors based on Advisor expertise.
  • The Primary Advisor is the most hands-on advisor and main person who provides feedback, revision suggestions, and grades.
  • Students should plan to meet with their Primary Advisor at least three times per quarter.
  • The Secondary Advisor main role is to grade your primary assignments.
  • Students should invite Secondary Advisor to meetings and meet with them at least once per quarter to keep them updated on your project's status and progress.

Student Expectations

  • Capstone Student Guidance Document – review.
  • Communication
    • Regular, open, effective communication with project team

      • Project partner
      • Instructor(s)
      • Sponsor(s)
      • Advisor(s)
  • Use UChicago.edu email to communicate; check email and voicemail frequently
  • Professionalism – you are representing not only yourself, but your team, MScBMI, University of Chicago
  • Escalate and discuss issues, early and often
    • Project team – project partner/teammate, sponsor(s), advisor(s)
    • Instructors
    • MScBMI administrative team

Student Agreement/Checklist

  • Attended or watched recording of Capstone Overview Information Session
  • Attended or watched recording of Capstone IRB Information Session
  • Updated resume and uploaded to MSBI 39901 course Canvas site
  • Completed CITI Training
  • Set up AURA account for project IRB review – if necessary
  • Will monitor UChicago.edu email account pre-quarter and during breaks
  • Will fulfill all project guidelines. Commitment to work effectively with project team member to:
  • Complete all class assignments and Capstone deliverables on time
  • Fully document project scope and expectations with project sponsor
  • Regularly meet each quarter with Capstone instructional team, sponsor, and scientific advisors to discuss project updates and any challenges
  • Provide routine updates to sponsor and scientific advisors
  • Escalate any issues immediately to instructional team
  • Send final paper and PowerPoint presentation to sponsor and scientific advisors • Invite sponsor to capstone showcase
  • Heritability Analysis of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Pathway Genes in Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

    • Sponsor: Matthew Dapas, PhD, Northwestern University
  • Establishing Interoperability: Bridging MedDRA and ICD-10 for the Classification and Analysis of Clinical Trials Information
    • Sponsor: Omid Shabestari, MD, PhD, AbbVie
  • Identifying Disease-Relevant Cell Types in Rheumatoid Arthritis Using an Integrative scRNA-Seq & GWAS Approach
    • Sponsor: Matthew Dapas, PhD, Northwestern University
  • Design of a Relational Database Supporting Data Integration from Disparate Clinical Systems to Empower Understanding of Patient Health
    • Sponsors: Casey Rand, MS, Lurie Children’s Hospital
    • Ankur Bhargava, MD, MPH, MS, UChicago Medicine
  • Developing Digital Biomarkers via Automated Functional Assessments to Identify and Track Functional Decline in Geriatric Patients
    • Sponsors: Brigitte Anderson, MBA, MS, Orange Vista, LLC
    • Terrance Walless, PT, DPT, MBA, Smyl Fitness Rx
  • Ambulatory Space Utilization – Data Driven Optimization
    • ​​​​​​​Sponsor: Douglas Dirschl, MD, UChicago Medicine
  • Cancer Clinical Trials Accruals Dashboard Short Abstract
    • Sponsor: Lauren Wall, MS, UChicago Medicine
  • An Analysis of the Electronic Case Reporting (eCR) Implementation Status and Methods for Public Health Surveillance in Chicago
    • Sponsor: Sharad Crosby, MS, Chicago Department of Public Health
  • Deep Learning Detection of Morphological Signatures Associated with Tobacco Use and Disease Recurrence from Histology in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma
    • Sponsor: Alexander Pearson, MD, PhD, UChicago Medicine
  • Machine Learning for Improved Diagnosis of Pulmonary Embolism in the Emergency Department
    • ​​​​​​​Sponsor: David Beiser, MD, UChicago Medicine
  • Differential Gene Expression Analysis of Novel Therapies in a Neuroblastoma Xenograft Model
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Sponsor: Sonia Hernandez, PhD, UChicago Medicine