Duke Health's 1st chief data scientist to focus on AI

Michael Pencina, PhD, has been named the inaugural chief data scientist of Durham, N.C.-based Duke Health.

The new position will focus on advancing artificial intelligence in healthcare and leveraging Duke Health's recent AI and data partnerships with Microsoft and Nference, the health system said.

"In the current era of rapid expansion of AI and data science, we created this new role in recognition of the need for a well-articulated strategy for Duke Health that spans and connects both our academic and our clinical missions," Duke Health CEO Craig Albanese, MD, and Mary Klotman, MD, executive vice president for health affairs, said in an Aug. 29 news release. "Dr. Pencina will facilitate a strategic planning process to best align our priorities and resources and to build upon Duke's national leadership in trustworthy AI."

Dr. Pencina joins a growing number of health system C-suite leaders focusing on AI and data science. He is currently the director of Duke AI Health, which studies AI in healthcare, and vice dean for data science and a professor of biostatistics and bioinformatics at Duke University School of Medicine. Prior to joining Duke in 2013, he was director of statistical consulting for Harvard Clinical Research Institute in Boston. He has a doctorate in philosophy from Boston University.

He will report to Dr. Klotman, Chief Digital Officer Jeffrey Ferranti, MD, and Chief Medical Officer Richard Shannon, MD.

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