Dr. Marina Sirota from UCSF was elected as the 2017 recipient of the AMIA New Investigator Award. This award recognizes an individual for early informatics contributions and significant scholarly contributions on the basis of scientific merit and research excellence. The criteria for nomination include significant scientific productivity in informatics, multiple significant scientific publications and demonstrated commitment to AMIA.
Marina is currently an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Computational Health Sciences at UCSF. Prior to that she was the Lead Research Scientist in the Division of Systems Medicine at Stanford University and has worked as a Senior Research Scientist at Pfizer where she focused on developing Precision Medicine strategies in drug discovery. She completed her PhD in Biomedical Informatics at Stanford University, where her graduate work focused on predicting drug-disease relationships based on gene expression to identify novel therapeutic indications for known drugs. Her research interests lie in developing computational integrative methods and applying these approaches in the context of disease diagnostics and therapeutics. Her primary focus is on leveraging and integrating different types of omics and clinical data to better understand the role of the immune system in disease. Dr. Sirota’s research experience in translational bioinformatics spans over 10 years during which she has co-authored over 35 scientific publications. Since graduating from Stanford, Dr. Sirota has published her work in a number of high-impact journals including Nature Communications, JCI, PLoS Computational Biology, Science Translational Medicine, and of course, JAMIA. In 2014, she also co-authored a book entitled “A Bioinformatics Guide for Molecular Biologists” which is meant to be a hands-on tutorial for investigators who are interested in incorporating data analysis and integration into their research. Dr. Sirota is particularly interested in developing computational methods and using them to understand immune tolerance in the context of autoimmune disease and non-response (pregnancy, organ transplant, cancer). Her laboratory (https://sirotalab.ucsf.edu) is funded by several National Institutes of Health including NIA, NLM, NIAMS, Pfizer, March of Dimes and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. As a young leader in the field, she has been invited to give talks at the international, national, and regional level by prestigious institutes and universities, including the NIH, Transplantation Society, Festival of Genomics, and the Biomarker Summit, as well as for companies including Circuit Therapeutics, RevMed, 23andMe, DNANexus, Pfizer, Affymetrix, and Novartis.