J Am Med Inform Assoc 7:439-443 doi:10.1136/jamia.2000.0070439
  • Focus on Intersections with Bioinformatics
  • Viewpoint

The Interactions Between Clinical Informatics and Bioinformatics

A Case Study

  1. Russ B Altman
  1. Affiliation of the author: Stanford University, Stanford, California
  1. Correspondence and reprints: Russ B. Altman, MD, PhD, Stanford Medical Informatics, Stanford University, 251 Campus Drive, MSOB X-215, Stanford, CA 94305-5479; e-mail: 〈russ.altman{at}
  • Received 11 May 2000
  • Accepted 31 May 2000


For the past decade, Stanford Medical Informatics has combined clinical informatics and bioinformatics research and training in an explicit way. The interest in applying informatics techniques to both clinical problems and problems in basic science can be traced to the Dendral project in the 1960s. Having bioinformatics and clinical informatics in the same academic unit is still somewhat unusual and can lead to clashes of clinical and basic science cultures. Nevertheless, the benefits of this organization have recently become clear, as the landscape of academic medicine in the next decades has begun to emerge. The author provides examples of technology transfer between clinical informatics and bioinformatics that illustrate how they complement each other.


  • This work was supported in part by NIH grants LM-05652, GM-61374, and LM-06422 from the National Library of Medicine; by grant DBI-9600637 from the National Science Foundation; and by the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation and Sun Microsystems.

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