About Meharry

Meharry Data Science Center

Amy M. Andrade, MS, is the Senior Advisor to the President on Technology & Innovation, Assistant Vice President for Research at Meharry Medical College. Amy serves as the Founding Director of the Data Science Center and provides leadership to ensure it achieves its core objectives. In addition to Ms. Andrade, there is an inter-collaborative team of faculty and staff around this initiative:

  • Amy M. Andrade MS, PMP – Enterprise/Technology Architect & Analytics      
  • Stephanie Bailey M.D., MS – Population & Public Health
  • Wansoo, Im, Ph.D. – Community Mapping and Geospatial Information Technology
  • Paul Juarez, Ph.D. – Environmental Exposures on Pathways to Health (Exposome)
  • Sidd Pratap, Ph.D. – Bioinformatics
  • Lena Walker-Winfree, MS – Project Manager


The DSC will focus on the following areas:

• Teaching – The DSC is collaborating with Meharry's schools of dentistry, graduate studies and research and medicine to develop a curricular "thread" that utilizes inter-professional education and small group learning. This thread provides an introduction to the concepts of big data science, precision medicine, and population health management. Learners develop the basic competencies to understand the impact of "big data" on their individual disciplines.

• Research – The DSC brings together the major data sources at Meharry into a structured data ecosystem to allow aggregation, integration, and analysis. The data resources draw from more than 25 sources in the schools of medicine, dentistry and graduate studies and research. The data will be housed in a cloud storage environment that will facilitate aggregation and will provide a valuable data lake utilizing hadoop as the infrastructure framework. We have contracted with Clearsense, a company that specializes in data management analytics, to build the data ecosystem in which all of the data and analytics will reside.

• Support of clinical operations – The DSC incorporates clinical data from the outpatient faculty practices of Meharry and from Nashville General Hospital. These data cover a significant percentage of the population in the greater Nashville area and provide insights into the care and factors that contribute to health inequities. Using the cloud storage environment, the DSC will be able to add this to information from various biorepositories and genomic data to provide a robust opportunity to apply big data analytic techniques to the problem of health inequity.

• Public health – The DSC has aggregated the data from the "public health exposome." The exposome database incorporates publicly available health and environmental data at the neighborhood level. This data includes air quality metrics, crime statistics, information on access to affordable housing, violence, poverty and availability of grocery stores, liquor stores or other retail outlets. This dataset has been used to examine the socioenvironmental and social determinants of health triggers for various chronic diseases.