BIDS-BCHSI Research Xchange Forum — Special Kickoff Event

Innovate For Health


Maryam Vareth

Health and Life Sciences Lead, Co-Director, Innovate For Health initiative, Affiliated Researcher, Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, UCSF School of Medicine, Affiliated Researcher, Data Science Institute, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Maryam Vareth leads BIDS’ data science research efforts in the Health & Life Sciences.  Dr. Vareth is a Co-Director of the Innovate For Health initiative, a collaboration among UC Berkeley, UCSF, and Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. As an experienced engineer, researcher, and data scientist, she applies mathematics, statistics and physics to solve unmet needs in healthcare to enhance patients’ experience during their medical journey. She is an advocate for “data-driven” medicine, and in particular for linking medical imaging data with medical diagnostics and therapeutics to extract clinically-relevant insights through the use of open research and open source practices.  Dr. Vareth received her BS and MS training in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) from UC Berkeley, where she was awarded the prestigious Regent’s and Chancellor’s Scholarship.  She completed her PhD through the joint UC Berkeley-UCSF Bioengineering program as a National Science Foundation Fellow, where she was awarded the Margaret Hart Surbeck Endowed Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Research for her work on developing new techniques and algorithms for the acquisition, reconstruction and quantitative analysis of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Imaging (MRSI), with the goal of improving its speed, sensitivity and specificity to improve the management of patients with brain tumors.  She conducted her post-doctoral fellowship at UCSF, combining structural, physiological and metabolic imaging data from large clinical trials to quantitatively characterize heterogeneity within malignant brain tumors.

David Mongeau

Former Executive Director

David Mongeau, now the Founding Director of the School of Data Science at the University of Texas at San Antonio, was the Executive Director of BIDS from April 2018 to June 2021. During that time, in collaboration with the Faculty Director and Faculty Council, he set strategic direction and oversaw the BIDS research, training, and outreach. He also led the institute’s industry and foundation relations and its engagement with other UC and global research institutes, all toward the overarching mission at BIDS to create and deploy data science methods, practices, and technologies to enable discovery. Previously, David co-led the data analytics institute at Ohio State; worked at Battelle, where he championed its proposal for an AI and cybersecurity company, now Covail; and worked for many years at Bell Labs – starting on the team that introduced the first C++ compiler and UNIX System V and leaving after building a global business and technology consulting practice, now part of Nokia Bell Labs Consulting. David earned his undergraduate degree at Carnegie Mellon University, and later earned a graduate degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Purdue University. Many of his interests lie beyond data science, embracing the humanities and arts.

Haley Hunter-Zinck

BIDS Alum – Data Science Health Innovation Fellow

Haley Hunter-Zinck joined BIDS and BCHSI/UCSF in Fall 2019 as part of the first cohort of Data Science Health Innovation Fellows in the Innovate For Health program.  She earned a Ph.D. in Computational Biology from Cornell University in 2014. She completed a postdoc in medical informatics at the VA Boston Healthcare System and continued at VA Boston between 2017 to 2019 as a researcher focusing on applying machine learning to emergency department and hospital flow problems.

Stephanie Eaneff

BIDS Alum – Data Science Health Innovation Fellow

Stephanie Eaneff is a data scientist with expertise at the intersection of public health and and public policy. She joined BIDS and BCHSI/UCSF in Fall 2019 as part of the first cohort of Data Science Health Innovation Fellows in the Innovate For Health program, having previously worked on a variety of interdisciplinary research teams including PatientsLikeMe, the New York Times machine learning team, Gryphon Scientific, and Talus Analytics. Steph holds a master’s degree in statistical practice from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from UCLA.

Lowry Kirkby

BIDS Alum – Data Science Health Innovation Fellow

Lowry Kirkby, now a computational neuroscientist with Rune Labs, joined BIDS and BCHSI/UCSF in Fall 2019 as part of the first cohort of Data Science Health Innovation Fellows in the Innovate For Health program. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Oxford, and her PhD in Biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley. She completed her postdoctoral research in Neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco, where she studied large-scale electrical recordings of the human brain to understand how neural circuits are altered in depression and anxiety.

Laurens Kraal

BIDS Alum – Data Science Health Innovation Fellow

Laurens Kraal joined BIDS and BCHSI/UCSF in Fall 2019 as part of the first cohort of Data Science Health Innovation Fellows in the Innovate For Health program.  He received his Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from UCSF, during which he was also involved with multiple life-sciences startups. Most recently, Laurens held product and data roles at a microbiome diagnostics company. Laurens is passionate about making health data available, understandable, and actionable.