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The Meso Foundation Board of Directors: Suellen Crano, PhD

Meet Michael J. Becich, MD, PhD, Director

Michael J. Becich, MD, PhDMichael J. Becich, MD PhD is a board certified Pathologist and is currently Distinguished University Professor and Chairman of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He is jointly appointed in Pathology, Bioengineering, Information Sciences/Telecommunications and Clinical/Translational Research. He is Associate Director for Cancer Informatics of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (see ) as well as Associate Director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (see Dr. Becich’s research interests are focused on the interface between clinical informatics and bioinformatics, particularly in the use of biobanking as a key tool to enable translational research. His research is funded by the NCI, NCATS, NHLBI, NLM and PCORI, and includes clinical phenotyping of patients for genome wide association studies/next generation sequencing, tissue banking informatics, clinical informatics and bioinformatics with a special emphasis on data sharing. Dr. Becich has over 150 publications and the majority relate to tissue banking informatics as a critical research enabler. The National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank (see funded by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) since 2006 is the most recent example of the “open” data sharing information platforms coupled with innovative tissue and blood/DNA sharing work flows that Dr. Becich has developed over the years. Dr. Becich and his team have been national leaders in tissue banking, honest broker practices, HIPAA compliant de-identification of clinical data and the accompanying biomedical informatics to enable translational research utilizing biospecimens. For a full research profile see Examples of his highest impact publications in tissue banking informatics are included below:

84. Becich, M.J. The role of the Pathologist as tissue refiner and data miner: The impact of functional genomics on the modern pathology laboratory and the critical roles of Pathology Informatics and Bioinformatics. Molec Diag. 2000;5(4):287-299.

126. Becich M.J. Lessons Learned from the Shared Pathology Informatics Network (SPIN): A Scalable Network for Translational Research and Public Health. J Am Med Inform Assoc.2007 Jul-Aug;14: 534-535.

128. Mohanty S.K.; Mistry A.T.; Amin W.; Parwani A.V.; Pople A.K.; Schmandt L.; Winters S.B.; Milliken E.; Kim P.; Whelan N.B.; Farhat G.; Melamed J.;Taioli E.; Dhir R.; Pass H.I.; Becich M.J. The development and deployment of Common Data Elements for tissue banks for translational research in cancer - an emerging standard based approach for the Mesothelioma Virtual Tissue Bank.BMC Cancer. 2008 Apr 8;8:91.

130. Amin W.; Parwani A.V. ; Schmandt L.; Mohanty S.K.; Farhat G.; Pople A.K.; Winters S.B.; Whelan N.B.; Schneider A.M.; Milnes J.T.; Valdivieso F.A,; Feldman M.; Pass H.I.; Dhir R.; Melamed J. and Becich M.J. National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank: a standard based biospecimen and clinical data resource to enhance translational research. BMC Cancer 2008, Aug. 13;8(1):236. PMC 2533341

134. Dhir R.; Patel A.A.; Winters S.; Bisceglia M.; Swanson D.; Aamodt R.; Becich M.J. A multidisciplinary approach to honest broker services for tissue banks and clinical data: a pragmatic and practical model. Cancer. 2008 Oct 1;113(7):1705-15. PMID: 18683217, PMC 2745185

141. Amin W, Singh H, Pople AK, Winters S, Dhir R, Parwani AV, Becich MJ. A decade of experience in the development and implementation of tissue banking informatics tools for intra and inter-institutional translational research. J. Pathology Informatics. 2010 August 10, 2010:1:12. PMC 2941965

143. Wilson RA, Chapman WW, DeFries SJ, Becich MJ, Chapman BE. Automated ancillary cancer history classification for mesothelioma patients from free-text clinical reports. J Pathol Inform 2010;1:24. PMC 2956176

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