Funding Panel

This year's funding panel features 3 funding agency/foundation representatives.

Each representative will briefly present their agency/foundation, what their priorities are, how they align with the interests of the ICHI community, and the basics of how to engage with them.

The rest of the time will be spent taking questions from the audience and having all (or a subset as appropriate) of the representatives answer them.

This really ought to be an opportunity for participants to get to know the agency/foundation, understand the missions, and hopefully find a few matches (not necessarily on the spot, but open a dialogue that can be continued offline).

Panel Speakers


Valerie Florance, Ph.D.


Dr. Valerie Florance is an Associate Director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), NIH. There, she directs NLM’s Extramural Programs Division, with overall responsibility for research, training, career development, small business and resource grant programs. NLM’s grant programs focus on development of novel informatics and data science methods and approaches to meet needs in biomedical and behavioral research relating to human health. She also serves as program director for NLM’s highly-regarded university-based training programs in biomedical informatics and data science. 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. She is an elected member of the American College of Medical Informatics.


Aidong Zhang, Ph.D.


Dr. Aidong Zhang is a SUNY Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo where she served as Department Chair from 2009 to 2015. She is currently on leave and serving as Program Director in the Information & Intelligent Systems Division of the Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering, National Science Foundation. Her research interests include data analytics/data science, bioinformatics, and health informatics, and she has authored over 300 research publications in these areas. Dr. Zhang currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (TCBB). She served as the founding Chair of ACM Special Interest Group on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology and Biomedical Informatics during 2011-2015 and is currently Chair of its advisory board. She is also the founding and steering chair of ACM international conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology and Health Informatics. She has served as editor for several other journal editorial boards, and has also chaired or served on numerous program committees of international conferences and workshops. Dr. Zhang is an IEEE Fellow.


Mona Shah, Ph.D.


Mona Shah joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2014 as a program officer in the Research-Evaluation-Learning unit. Drawing on her deep commitment to research and its potential to impact health and health care, she praises the Foundation’s work in making its extensive research accessible to the public and policymakers alike. As both a researcher and expert in health policy, Shah is involved in the process of understanding and measuring key health and health care issues essential to the Foundation’s overarching strategy to move our nation toward a Culture of Health.
Most recently, Shah served as associate director of federal relations at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) in Washington. In this role she led and executed the organization’s strategy related to prevention, access to care, safety net programs and health disparities. Previously, as ACS CAN’s senior policy analyst, she managed a cancer prevention portfolio and led evaluation of health care reform efforts focused on prevention, early detection, and disparities.
Her prior experience included leading epidemiologic research at the United States Military Cancer Institute, the New York City Department of Health, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Public Health. Her published research covers cancer incidence and mortality, tobacco use, obesity, asthma, and utilization and access to clinical prevention services.
Shah earned her PhD in epidemiology from George Washington University, her MPH in epidemiology from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and her BA in Biology and Society from Cornell University.

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