MURFREESBORO — The director of MTSU’s Data Science Institute has been named WPC Healthcare’s first visiting scholar.
Dr. Todd Gary’s appointment to the Visiting Scholars Program was announced May 10. His time with the program, which began March 1, will take place at the Brentwood, Tennessee, headquarters of WPC Healthcare, a provider of professional services and predictive analytics solutions for health care.
The program hopes to better prepare interested students for the data science workforce and help industry experts and academics share and learn from each other’s research.
“MTSU is honored to have been selected as the first university to participate in this program and we agree that Dr. Gary is an excellent choice for the first scholar,” said Dr. Jackie Eller, interim vice provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies.
“MTSU is building a strong technical capacity in data science and analytics that supports faculty research and graduate degree programs in computational sciences, health care informatics, biostatistics, quantitative psychology and computer information systems with a business intelligence and analytics concentration,” Eller added. “We have great confidence in the value and future success of this collaborative relationship.”
The Data Science Institute falls under the Office of Research and College of Graduate Studies.
Gary is working with Damian Mingle, chief data scientist for WPC Healthcare, and his team, providing research support on groundbreaking projects that leverage data science to deliver practical solutions addressing the major clinical, financial and operational concerns of health care organizations.
Gary said he’s honored to be a part of the Visiting Scholars Program, in both “representing MTSU and to work with WPC Healthcare and Damian Mingle.”
“I enjoy working on the kinds of complex problems they strive to solve: saving lives and reducing healthcare costs,” Gary added. “I hope to use this experience to help students become successful data scientists and to demonstrate the mutual value of this unique university/industry data science collaborative program.”
Gary holds a doctorate in molecular biology from Vanderbilt University and has extensive expertise in data science and deep ties to the data science community in the Middle Tennessee region. He completed a research fellowship in the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt and a NASA sabbatical in astrobiology at UCLA, working with bioinformatics pioneer Jim Lake.
The program began out of interactions between the company and Gary at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center in fall 2015 where Mingle presented to faculty from MTSU, Tennessee State University and other local universities interested in data science.