Former Students


Brett Cropp

Koko Takatori

Koko received her B.A. in Psychology from Wellesley College in 2007. Captivated by the power of visualization in understanding and communicating complex scientific concepts during her Pre-Med years, she went on to obtain her Certificate in Science Illustration from UC Extension Santa Cruz in 2008, where she was introduced to the concept of patient education. She has worked at biomedical visualization studios in New York and Tokyo as a creator of digital information aids for patients and doctors. She came to realize, however, that such generalized information aids tend to result in passive learning and usually lack means of assisting the patients to take further action. At DHSI, she will apply her background in psychology and visualization to explore the effective integration of Personal Health Records in clinical workflow to help empower patients, and to evaluate its impact on collaborative medicine. She would also like to explore ways to offer the technology to mental health populations and chronically ill patients who also manifest associated psychological pathologies.

Koko will be joining DHSI as a Fulbright Grantee from Japan, pursuing M.Sc. in Health Sciences Informatics Research.


Melissa Bell

I was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico and am currently living in Dallas. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences from the University of New Mexico. I’ve worked as a Medical Technologist, Biosafety Officer, and currently a Safety Specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center. I’m interested in Health Informatics as a new career field because it allows me to blend the diversity of my background and my public health interest into one field. I have a particular interest in Patient Safety, Project Management and Clinical Decision Making.I’m honored to be accepted into the program and look forward to being a part of Johns Hopkins.

Tarsha Darden

Dr. Darden received her medical degree from University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She performed post-graduate work at Eastern Virginia Medical School. She has worked as a primary care physician and medical director for the electronic health system, ConnectCare, for Bon Secours Hampton Roads. She has interests in lifestyle medicine, public health informatics, telemedicine, and voice recognition software.

Ilene Hollin

Ilene Hollin Portrait

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Health Policy and Management
Bloomberg School of Public Health

Ilene Hollin is a doctoral candidate in Health Economics and Policy at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. She received her BA in American studies and international and global studies from Brandeis University in 2005 and her MPH in Effectiveness and Outcomes Research from Columbia University in 2009. Prior to arriving at Hopkins, Ilene worked as research manager for the Healthcare Innovation and Technology Lab in New York City. Ilene’s research interests include the impact of health economics and policy on clinical decision-making as it affects rare diseases and the development of orphan drugs, as well as on informatics and decision analytic tools. She will be working with Drs. John Bridges and Harold Lehmann. Ilene's other research interests include bioethics, international comparisons, and patient-centered research methods.  

Adetola Olateju

Medical doctor with over two years’ experience in preventative medicine, health services policy and administration. Specific focus on grants management in resource poor countries and alleviation of preventable diseases. Proven ability to lead and build teams, also utilizing personal capacity and high energy to achieve results.

I am convinced that through a degree in the Medical Informatics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, I would be fortified with the tools essential to confront the various challenges facing our health care information management systems, thus further endowing me with the resources to practice medicine with a vision and providing solutions to medical data processing, storage and retrieval.

Dragos Stefan-Dogar

Theodore Toth

Theodore Toth received his B.S. in Biology from Georgetown University in May 2012. His prior research experience at the Lombardi Cancer Center involved the investigation of the role of EGFRvIII and CXCR4 in human cancers, as well as the elucidation of the mechanisms involved in tumor progression, metastasis and drug resistance. He also has experience working at Georgetown's Protein Information Resource.

Theodore will be pursuing his M.S. in Applied Health Science Informatics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He hopes to apply this to improve clinical research and patient care through the adoption and utilization of clinical information systems. After completing his studies at Hopkins, he plans to attend medical school and become a physician.

Laura Vail

Joe Warren

Joe Warren Portrait

My background is completely healthcare. I started at the lowest level cleaning utility rooms and taking bodies to the morgue. And somehow ended up in the arena of systems and information technology, where I installed and managed applications. I have worked for healthcare providers, software & hardware vendors, and consulting firms focused on defining systems needs and implementing information solutions in healthcare environments. These solutions ranged from the general accounting areas to hospital information systems to ancillary systems such PACs, pharmacy, and laboratory. I have seen systems evolve from just feeding the billing system to today’s valuable decision support systems and evolving medical records for clinicians.

My work in the healthcare field has also given me the great opportunity to work in the U.S., Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, where I have had the chance to learn about numerous healthcare systems and see many providers at work in various environments.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to see the policy side of the U.S. healthcare system by first working in a non-governmental organization focused on prevention through evidence-based medicine and now working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the Special Assistant to the Deputy Director in the Center for Global Health, who is teaming with USAID and the State Department on the Global Health Initiative ( I believe these recent experiences have broadened my perspective on the impact of government programs to improve the health of all populations, but now it is time for me to return to my roots - the informatics side of health systems – and to get the formal education that the Applied Health Sciences Informatics program offers. Hopefully, the program will give me the knowledge, both technical and managerial, to step into my next successful career move. A step into some position which will allow me to develop innovative ways for practical application of sharing information -- with the ultimate goal of improving direct care, managing diseases, and helping increase the focus on prevention.


Danning He

Danning received her B.Sc. from Fudan University in China majoring in biotechnology. Her research work in the Chinese Academy of Sciences concentrated on network analysis of human diseases through integrating gene expression and biomolecule interaction data. However, she hopes to expand her work to broader issues of data integration as applied to biomedical and clinical research. She has particular interest in electronic medical records and social networks.

Shuangchao Ma

We use statistical methods to correlate genotype with TSPO – radiotracer binding affinity. Our hypothesis is that gene mutation causes varies TSPO protein formation, and as a result there is bias associates with the radiotracer binding affinity measurement. Our goal is to exclude these biases.

In detail, genomic DNA was obtained from peripheral leukocytes,using high salt extraction methods. The polymorphism rs6971 was genotyped variously using a TaqMan assay on demand C_2512465_20. The allele T147 was linked to Vic and the allele A147 was inked to FAM. Polymerase chain reaction reactions were performed in a 96-well microtiter-plate on a GeneAmp PCR System 9700 (Applied Biosystems). After PCR amplification, end point plate read and allele calling was performed using an ABI 7900 HT (Applied Biosystems) and the corresponding SDS software (v2.2.2, Applied Biosystems). Radiotracer binding affinity measurement is carried out in the Brain Sciences Institute at Johns Hopkins.

Xiaoli Wu

Xiaoli received his B.Sc. in Biological Sciences from Fudan University in China. His prior research work at Center for Evolutionary Biology at Fudan University was developing an inverse docking system for drug targets identification and analyzing animal evolutionary issues. He is experienced in Perl, Java, HTML/CSS and MySQL.

Xiaoli is going to pursue his M.Sc. in Health Science Informatics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. His research interests lie on health system development and management, with the goal of improving the utility rate of healthcare data in China. He plans to become a technician or consultant in health system management. In his spare time, he is a big fan of basketball.

After graduated from DHSI, Xiaoli was enrolled in AstraZeneca's Global Information Service Grads Program and started his first rotation as an associate informatician at AZ's Innovation Center China (ICC) in Shanghai. He works in the company's RDI & ISIT team and his current work includes supporting company's knowledge engineering projects for drug development and analyzing EHR data colleted from Chinese hospitals which provides intelligence to the different departments accross the organization.

Yang Wuyang

Yang Wuyang is a medical student from Capital Medical University, Beijing. He majored in neurosurgery, mainly concentrating on cerebrovascular disease, and finished his rotation in Beijing Tiantan Hospital, which is the largest neurosurgical center in China. His major interest lies in the clinical application of imaging systems and clinical decision support.


Gloria Opoku Boateng

I was born in Berrien Springs, Michigan, but I spent the past 12 years of my life in Ghana, West Africa. I received my BSC computer Science from Valley View University, Ghana in 2010 where I concentrated my studies on Health IT. 

In my final year of college I researched the current situation of medical IT in Ghana, studying both physician and health centre-attitude towards health records and the potential of implementing a full-fledged technological health system.

With my findings and the exposure I had to health care facilities and data storage, I realized that Ghana as a country has to do more to understand information needs, design information models, deploy systems, and evaluate their impacts in the health sector.

I am particularly interested in how we can leverage the latest technologies and practices to directly empower and benefit healthcare facilities, patients and health workers. I aim to one day work with (or create) a health and patient focused company with the attitude of researching to aid health information system development and strengthen low and middle-income countries.

I hope to become an informaticist and then to leverage the implementation and efficiency of medical technology around the Globe 

My goals include helping set up efficient HIT implementation and public health data integrity, especially in underserved or marginalized communities around the world. 

I hope to eventually get a PhD degree in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Ida Ganao

Ida has over 10 years of experience as a Software Developer, specializing in Microsoft Access Applications, with comprehensive understanding of the life cycle of software development. As an IT consultant, she has worked for a variety of industries from housing and healthcare to agriculture and border patrol, where she gained a unique perspective on how to approach software application design based on business industry.

Heather Halvorson

Brendan Kroepsch

Brendan Kroepsch comes to Johns Hopkins University by way of the University of Colorado—Boulder, where his professional life began with a B.S. in Business Information Systems complimented by a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Studies in 2004. Brendan’s eye for opportunity, keen interest in health information technology (IT), and desire to work globally drew him to Kansas City, MO-based Cerner Corporation upon graduation. Brendan’s work at Cerner can be described as a series of professional and international firsts. On assignment in London for six months, he trained clinical end-users from the United Kingdom’s National Health Service on the intricacies of Cerner’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems, and also helped develop the first set of Web-based tutorials to go with them. Upon returning stateside, Brendan transitioned to testing UK-specific EHRs in the first Cerner group dedicated to doing so. It was during this testing that Brendan discovered an affinity for hospitals’ “front line” – the fast-paced Emergency Department – as well as Cerner’s IT solution for Emergency Departments, FirstNet. Brendan then focused on implementing FirstNet, as a Solution Architect, responsible for all phases of the job, in a diverse set of hospitals at home and abroad. Brendan’s projects took him as far as Dubai, where he spent a year setting up the first comprehensive EHR system for the United Arab Emirates' Ministry of Health. At Johns Hopkins, Brendan intends to build on this experience with coursework and research that combine his interests in health care, technology, and international enterprise. With the support of the Division of Health Sciences Informatics, Brendan hopes to move into a new career as an HIT Sub-Specialist focused on the technological side of Medical Tourism.

David Onime

Divya Ravi

Divya Ravi Portrait

Divya holds a Bachelors degree in Information Technology from the Vellore Institute of Technology, India, where she graduated as the University gold medalist. She spent a semester in Germany as an exchange student and research intern at the L3S Research Center, Leibniz University in Hannover. As a Microsoft Student Partner, she has led various novel technology awareness efforts.

Divya is deeply passionate about healthcare and has taken up health informatics related projects during the course of her undergraduate studies. She had a stint as a summer intern at iSOFT, India, where she worked on the National Health Services (NHS), UK project. Her major motivation towards studies in Applied Health Informatics has been her desire and ambition to work on an area which would better the lives of people the world over. She envisions being a global healthcare practice lead/healthcare strategic consultant leveraging the SME skills that she would acquire through this program.

On a personal note, having travelled over ten countries, Divya immensely enjoys backpacking and trotting the globe. She is also passionate about blogging, poetry writing, and playing the violin.

Michael Tien, MPH

Michael Tien Portrait

Michael Tien has worked as a web programmer, software tester, and freelance coder for many years.  He received a BA in Cognitive Science from Hobart College in 2006 and MPH in Global Health Leadership from the University of Southern California in 2008.   After graduating with his MPH, Michael worked as a research instructor in the department of occupational therapy at USC.  He was primarily responsible for overseeing informatics processes on the Pressure Ulcer Prevention in Spinal Cord Injury NIH study.   While at Hopkins, Michael wishes to integrate his past experience and knowledge to create informatics systems that utilize dynamic network analysis to improve research and patient care.  He hopes to pursue a doctorate.

Hanjie Wang

Hanjie Wang Portrait

Hanjie Wang is a Chinese medical student certified by ECFMG. He did much research on the treatment of autoimmune diseases by alternative medicine. His book was published by Elsevier last year. He thinks that alternative medicine provides great second opinions in treating autoimmune diseases and minimizes side effects brought by traditional western medicine. Hanjie is interested in developing a database of most human beings' health information so that everyone can access his/her private Electronic Medical Record just like a bank account. This will improve clinical care and facilitate scientific research tremendously. Hanjie also believes that cloud computing will bring revolutionary change in Telemedicine. He focuses on digitalizing and standardizing Telemedicine system, especially in developing countries. Many people will receive the best medical care without traveling abroad with this new technology.

Hanjie enjoys traveling and various outdoor sports in his spare time. Volunteering in charity organization is one of his biggest hobbies.

Fay Wong

Fay Wong Portrait

Fay Wong completed the Master of Science in Applied Health Sciences Informatics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (JHSOM) in 2012. She also holds degrees in medicine, computer science and mathematics. She received her clinical, dry lab and wet lab training primarily on molecular, genetic, systematic and biophysical studies in cancer, cardiovascular disease, aging and development at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Chinese Academy of Science, No.3 Hospital of Peking University, BGI-SZ (Beijing Genome Institute at Shen Zhen) and Hong Kong.

In cooperation with Chinese Academy of Science-German Max Planck Society Partner Institute, Fay successfully developed the hydrogen-peroxide-specific ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) indicator in monitoring the dynamic redox state with both adenovirus and lentivirus in vivo under physiological condition, which will be further developed as an organelle-specific fluorescent transgenic mice to deepen ROS study on live mammals.

Before coming to JHSOM, Fay served as a Biomedical Engineer in charge of Telemedicine Project and Medical Officer specialized in VCG (VectorCardioGraphy) in an International Medical Equipment Company in Singapore. Fay also got involved in a joint program with JHSOM, SGH (Singapore General Hospital) and Singapore DOD (Department of Defense) doing clinical trial on cardiac diseases and had an opportunity to practice in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and community clinics.

Fay has won numerous academic honors and awards such as in “SONY” National Electronic Design Contest, China Mathematical Modeling Competition as well as International ICM (Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling) hosted by US NSA (National Security Agency) and NSF (National Science Foundation). Fay was also selected to Princeton-China Exchange Program at Princeton University, Harvard, MIT, Yale, Columbia, University of Chicago and etc. The softwares written by Fay was highlighted by Sunplus Technology CO., LTD to whom the technology was transferred.

Fay’s research focuses on personalized/individualized medicine spanning from NGS (Next Generation Sequencing), GWAS (Genome-Wide Association Study), human (epi)genomics, imprinting, genetic variant detection and clinical decision making. Fay has a long standing interest in developing software and hardwares to predict and auto-diagnose the development of complicated medical conditions with real-time data monitoring by medical equipment through implementing algorithms in AI (Artificial Intelligence) and statistics, based on background and knowledge in medicine, mathematics, computer science and electronics.


Hon Weng Chong, Visiting Scholar, University of Melbourne

Hon Weng Chong is a third year medical student from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Hon is a hobbyist programmer, gadget geek and video game enthusiast. His current field of interest is in the therapeutic use of online video games in pediatrics and is currently involved with the projectHOPE initiative at Johns Hopkins Children's Center. Being a hobbyist programmer Hon develops iPhone and Web applications in his spare time. He is experienced in PHP, JavaScript, HTML/CSS, C and Objective-C programming languages.

Eric Chow, MS Applied

Eric Chow Portrait

Eric received his BASc from the University of Toronto in Canada in Industrial Engineering specializing in healthcare systems engineering. His research work at a major trauma center in Toronto has focused primarily on clinical process optimization through the application of genetic algorithms and simulation in the operating rooms. Later, Eric went to the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom to pursue his MSc in Decision Sciences where he consulted to the NHS while working with a healthcare transformation firm.

Eric's research interests are focused on the application of optimization and artificial intelligence to support real-time resource allocation decisions in healthcare, ultimately with the goal of improving safety, access and quality of care for patients. In his free time, he enjoys mountain climbing and cycling.