Funding Panel Speakers


1. Dr. Aidong Zhang

National Science Foundation, Smart and Connected Health Program


Dr. Aidong Zhang is currently on leave from State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo and serving as a program director in the Information & Intelligent Systems division of the Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering, National Science Foundation. Dr. Zhang is a SUNY Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at SUNY-Buffalo. Her research interests include data mining, bioinformatics, health Informatics, multimedia and database systems, and content-based image retrieval. She is an author of over 280 research publications in these areas. She has chaired or served on over 150 program committees of international conferences and workshops, and currently serves on several journal editorial boards. Dr. Zhang is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award and State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor's Research Recognition award. Dr. Zhang is an IEEE Fellow.


2. Dr. Valerie Florance

Director, NLM Extramural Programs, Heads NLM’s Extramural Programs Division, which is responsible for the Library’s grant programs. Coordinator for NLM informatics training programs


Valerie Florance, Ph.D., is an Associate Director of the National Library of Medicine, NIH. There, she directs NLM’s Extramural Programs Division, with overall responsibility for research, training and resource grant programs in biomedical informatics and data science. She serves as program director for NLM’s highly-regarded university-based training programs in biomedical informatics. Dr. Florance is a member of the Executive Committee for the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative. Before coming to NLM in February 2001, she spent 3 years leading a visioning project undertaken at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to help the association’s members understand the power of computers and networks for managing health information. Before that, she held faculty and administrative positions at three U.S. academic medical centers. She has graduate degrees in medical anthropology and biomedical information sciences, and was elected to the American College of Medical Informatics in 2005.


3. Dr. Vinay Pai

The Division of Health Informatics Technologies (DHIT) of the National institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, NIH


Dr. Pai obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Florida State University in 1997. Dr. Pai’s research interests have been wide-ranging with a primary focus on developing biomedical imaging using a range of modalities. He worked on Ultrasound Contrast Agents, Cardiac MRI Navigators and Steady-State MRI during a staff fellowship posting at the Laboratory of Cardiac Energetics, NHLBI, NIH, under the mentorship of Dr. Han Wen. Subsequently, as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiology at New York University, he worked on high Temporal Resolution Multi-echo Fast MRI for Cardiac Imaging and Hyperpolarized Helium-based Lung Imaging, besides working with Dr. Leon Axel on Cardiac MRI Tagging.

After a short stint as Assistant Professor at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, where he obtained funding from the CM Baldwin Breast Cancer Foundation to develop spot compression elastomammography, he returned to the NIH as a Staff Scientist in the Imaging Physics Laboratory, NHLBI. In this position, he worked on developing an image processing technique, PCATMIP, with Dr. Han Wen, for improving signal-to-noise in diffusion-weighted MRI primarily for cardiac and other non-neuro applications. He also worked on using Microcomputed Tomography Techniques for imaging the coronary wall in mice and for Visualizing X-ray Contrast Media.

Dr. Pai has six (6) approved patents and one (1) patent application pending.


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