Marco Ramoni


My dear and brilliant colleague, Marco Ramoni, died unexpectedly last week. This is not the venue for personal recollections, so I provide the academic sketch here as well as an invitation for contributions to a prize in his honor.

Marco Ramoni, PhD, Associate Professor and Medicine at Harvard Medical School and research faculty at Children’s Hospital, Boston and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Most recently the Director, Biomedical Cybernetics Laboratory, Harvard Medical School, Director, NLM Fellowship in Biomedical Informatics, Children's Hospital Informatics Program., and Associate Director of Bioinformatics, Harvard - Partners Center for Genetics and Genomics. He was also the Director of the course “Biomedical Informatics” at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, core faculty of the course Genomic Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a member of the curriculum committee of the Cellular and Molecular Medicine track of the Medical Physics and Medical Engineering graduate program at Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. He was co-founder of Bayesware LLC, a software company developing machine-learning programs based on Bayesian methods.

He received a PhD in Biomedical Engineering and a BA in Philosophy (Epistemology) from the University of Pavia (Italy) and his postdoctoral training from McGill University, Montreal (Canada). He held academic and visiting positions at the University of Massachusetts, the University of London (United Kingdom), the Knowledge Media Institute (United Kingdom), and the University of Geneva (Switzerland). He was author of well over 100 publications in genetics, biomedical informatics, statistics and artificial intelligence.

The AMIA Board of Directors, at the urging of Dr. Ramoni’s colleagues, devoted friends and family, this week established the Marco Ramoni Fund, to support an award in Marco’s honor to be presented each year at the AMIA Summit on Translational Bioinformatics (TBI). The award will be presented to the author who submits a paper at the meeting that best exemplifies the spirit and scholarship of Marco F. Ramoni, PhD. To read more about Dr. Ramoni and the new Marco F. Ramoni Fund, click here.


Let our data go

In principle we have access to our own healthcare data. In practice, it is frequently laborious, costly and at least inconvenient and sometimes impossible. In that context as noted by my colleague Keith Strier, we have some good news from the federal government.

In the very first PCHRI conference, when I facilitated the business section, one of the few truly memorable take-aways for me was coming to the conclusion that what we really needed was a “download” button on EHRs. It seemed so simple, but unachievable. Yet, here we are, the first major public initiative to install a download button. It’s nice to see if come full circle.


Perhaps the government will mandate that all developers and vendors of electronic health records must follow suit.


Should your email be archived?

Who will make sure that the pearls of your scholarship, scattered throughout your email and other electronic files will survive and be studied? Or should such digital ephemera be allowed to be composted in the big electronic bit bucket in the sky? These and other questions will be addressed June 9th at the Harvard Digital Scholarship Summit.