SC CTSI Welcomes Neuroscientist and Informatics Expert Daniella Meeker

Daniella Meeker, PhD, will serve as director of the Clinical Research Informatics program within SC CTSI.

August 05, 2014

As USC enters a period of major investments in “big data,” including massive digital repositories and new academic programs in data science, the Keck School of Medicine of USC is welcoming a new faculty member to join its own informatics efforts. In addition to helping build a world-class Biomedical Informatics program, Daniella Meeker, PhD, will also serve as director of the Clinical Research Informatics program within SC CTSI. In this new role, Dr. Meeker will oversee the development of comprehensive infrastructure for clinical research data within Keck and its academic and clinical care partners.


Dr. Meeker comes to USC with valuable experience from RAND, a policy research institution, where she was an information scientist and a faculty member in the Pardee RAND Graduate School. She first joined RAND as a distinguished fellow in 2005 after completing a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Chicago, a PhD in Computation and Neural Systems from the California Institute of Technology, and a Master’s in Health Services Research from UCLA.

“She brings a wealth of experience and expertise in accessing clinical data for clinical research,” said Tom Buchanan, MD, vice dean for research at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and director of SC CTSI.

Dr. Meeker currently holds a fellowship from Merkin Brain and Health Policy Innovation Program, a joint initiative between the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics that supports scientists studying the intersection of neuroscience and health policy.

Dr. Meeker has established herself as a leader in the emerging field of clinical research informatics, which is the application of information technology to the biomedical sciences. She recently co-authored two reports for the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute on best practices in the design, implementation, and use of collaborative data networks.

This expertise is fitting with SC CTSI’s major new Data Exploration, Warehousing and Archiving for Researchers (DEWARS) initiative, which Dr. Meeker will lead. The initiative aims to aggregate patient records across USC and CHLA healthcare systems to enable a broad range of clinical research. DEWARS will provide the opportunity for investigators with appropriate approval to explore existing data to test hypotheses and identify potential participants for clinical studies.

“Our scholars and trainees would benefit greatly from the research opportunities provided by a data warehouse,” said Jonathan M. Samet, MD, MS, Distinguished Professor and Flora L. Thornton Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of USC, Director, USC Institute for Global Health, and Director of the SC CTSI Education, Career Development, and Ethics program.

In addition to her new role as Director of Clinical Research Informatics for SC CTSI, Dr. Meeker will conduct her own research as a new faculty member in the USC Department of Preventive Medicine. Her interdisciplinary research has focused on clinical data networks, neural prosthetics, and health behavior, among other topics.

Dr. Meeker was recently recognized as a local star in LA Weekly’s People 2014 issue. Describing her as “the superbug warrior,” the magazine highlighted her innovative work on antibiotic prescription behavior among physicians.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Meeker to this new and exciting position to help us transform clinical research at USC.

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important - All publications resulting from the utilization of SC CTSI resources are required to credit the SC CTSI grant by including the NIH funding acknowledgment and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.