CCTR welcomes David Fenstermacher, Ph.D.

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David Fenstermacher, Ph.D.
David Fenstermacher, Ph.D.

David A. Fenstermacher, Ph.D., has joined Virginia Commonwealth University as its new chief research information officer.

Fenstermacher has a joint appointment between VCU and the VCU Health System and will be housed in the VCU Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR). His appointment highlights the increasingly critical role that bioinformatics, biomedical informatics and information technology will play in VCU’s expanding research endeavor. As a senior level individual with a strong background in research informatics, health information systems and clinical research, Fenstermacher will lead VCU’s clinical and translational informatics programs.

“David will be instrumental in the role of chief research information officer,” said Frank Macrina, Ph.D., vice president in the VCU Office of Research. “He will lead enterprise efforts that support VCU’s strategic plan, Quest for Distinction, and the university’s vision as the nation’s premier urban, public research university. He has an impressive record of success in informatics research as well as a strong record of accomplishment in scholarly activities.”

In his role, Fenstermacher will coordinate clinical research informatics activities between the academic and medical center components and be responsible for leading efforts to ensure informatics systems support and advance the research objectives and mission of VCU and the health system. He will work directly with researchers to document, analyze and translate their needs into technical designs and informatics solutions.

“I am looking forward to collaborating with basic, translational and clinical researchers at VCU to determine their needs for data management and analytic services to support the emergence of personalized health care, and working with VCU Health System IT and VCU IT to develop novel information systems to realize that vision,” said Fenstermacher. “It is imperative in today’s research environment to promote the effective use of informatics technologies across multiple research disciplines to transform new scientific and health care data into knowledge that will lead to innovative treatments for both chronic and acute diseases. Overall, the goal is to support VCU’s translational research program and to closely work with VCU scientists, clinicians and IT professionals to accelerate the use of evidence-based medicine for the betterment of human health.”

Coming from the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute and the University of South Florida where he served as chair and associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, Fenstermacher began in his new role at VCU on Aug. 26.

Prior to his work at the Moffitt Cancer Center, Fenstermarcher was the director of the Biomedical Informatics Facility at the University of Pennsylvania and the director of the Center for BioInformatics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As an expert in bioinformatics, he has worked on numerous federally funded grants, written and contributed to peer-reviewed journal articles and has been invited to give lectures around the world. Fenstermacher received a bachelor’s degree from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and earned his Ph.D. in the curriculum in genetics and molecular biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“On behalf of the VCU Center for Clinical and Translational Research staff, I welcome Dr. Fenstermacher to VCU and to Richmond. We are excited to have an informatics expert of his caliber here as he begins in his role to support and expand the growth in translational research taking place at VCU,” said John Clore, M.D., associate vice president for Clinical Research, director of the VCU CCTR and professor of Internal Medicine in the VCU School of Medicine.