Tech & Health

April 20, 2023

Malin receives a Vanderbilt distinguished service award

Bradley Malin, PhD, has received one of Vanderbilt University’s top honors, the Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor Award.

Bradley Malin, PhD

by Bill Snyder

Bradley Malin, PhD, internationally known for his contributions to electronic health record privacy research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has received one of Vanderbilt University’s top honors, the Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor Award.

Named for Vanderbilt’s fifth chancellor, the Alexander Heard Award recognizes scholarship that contributes to the analysis and solution of significant problems of contemporary society. It was presented by current Vanderbilt Chancellor Daniel Diermeier during the university’s Spring Faculty Assembly on April 10.

“Bradley’s research looks to maximize the potential of the massive amounts of data we generate by making it available on a broad scale — but to do so without violating the rights of the people to whom the data corresponds,” Diermeier said in presenting the award.

“He works to develop practical solutions to preserving privacy — with a particular focus on health information — drawing on methods from computer science, biology, policy analysis and economics,” the chancellor said. “As Bradley has put it, he is working to bring us better health through data, analytics, and policy.”

“I have been fortunate that that I have had the opportunity to develop theories of privacy into real world systems that are enabling novel biomedical research,” Malin said. “With all of the amazing work done by our faculty, it is a very humbling experience to receive such an honor.”

Malin is Accenture Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Biostatistics and Computer Science, vice chair for Research Affairs in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, and founder and director of the Vanderbilt Health Data Science Center.

He earned his PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. In 2006 he joined the faculty at Vanderbilt, where he has played a significant role in the development of BioVU, the world’s largest DNA biobank based at a single academic institution that is linked to de-identified patient health records.

At the national level, Malin serves the All of Us Research Program, the National Institutes of Health precision medicine initiative, as co-chair of its Committee on Access, Privacy, and Security. He also is a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Malin is a recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, a fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

He was nominated for the Heard Award by Peter Embi, MD, MS, chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics, and VUMC senior vice president for Research and Innovation.

Previous recipients from the School of Medicine are David Rabin, MD, W. Anderson Spickard Jr., MD, Virginia Shepherd, PhD, Kathryn Edwards, MD, Kevin Johnson, MD, MS, and William Schaffner, MD.