Yang C. Fann

Yang C. Fann, Ph.D.

Director, Intramural IT and Bioinformatics Program


Dr. Fann joined NINDS in 2002 as the Director of the Intramural IT and Bioinformatics Program overseeing the information technology support services and infrastructures as well as developing biomedical informatics research programs. In addition to his role at NINDS, he has been a principal investigator on the Informatics Core of Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM) working on building the informatics infrastructure for the National Traumatic Brian Injury (TBI) Study, a collaborative research program of the DoD and NIH.  His bioinformatics group has been developing several database tools, such as Stem Cell Database, EvoPrinter and EncoMPASS as well as several internal clinical applications to catalyze the neuroscience research. His development of an integrated information management system, Clinical Informatics and Management System (CIMS), supporting intramural clinical and bioinformatics research which includes the Protocol Tracking and Management System (PTMS), has been adopted by the NIH Institutional Review Board (IRB) to electronically manage the protocol submission, review and approval process and significantly improves the efficiency of clinical research management. Currently, PTMS is used by many institutions in US and foreign countries, such as Taiwan, South Africa, Vietnam, Philippine, Brazil and China.

In 2010, his innovative creation of Purchasing On-line Tracking System (POTS) to streamline and transform scientific procurement administration was quickly adopted by the NIH community, and won him the first ever HHS Innovates Award presented by the Secretary of HHS. In addition to his roles and responsibilities at NINDS, Dr. Fann serves on many NIH advisory and steering committees including the NIH IT Budget Advisory Committee (ITBAC), Clinical Center IT advisory committee, NIH IT Management Committee, NIH High Performance Computing Working group and Co-chair the Biomedical Translational Research Information System (BTRIS) Steering Committee, to name a few.

Recently, he has co-led an international collaborative team with Dr. Matthew McAuliffe at Center for Information Technology (CIT) to build a reusable and sustainable Integrated Biomedical Informatics System (IBIS) and informatics infrastructure named BRICS, Biomedical Research Informatics Computing System, to support and catalyze biomedical research and data sharing. The project was built based on existing applications and tools at NIH for scientific administration, clinical research study management and biomedical data repository (or data warehouse) with modular tools such as common data elements (CDE), global unique identifiers (GUID), and data import/export validations as well as patient reported outcomes based on PROMIS API.  The BRICS has been used in several key external and NIH wide research networks such as DoD’s The Federal Interagency Traumatic Brain Injury Research (FITBIR), NINDS’s Parkinson's Disease Biomarkers Program (PDBP), and NEI eyeGENE. The BRICS has also received many industrial and government awards.

Dr. Fann is currently an associate editor for Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine Journal by Elsevier. He has received numerous NINDS and NIH Director’s Awards for his contributions in scientific and administration support to the NIH community.  His current research interests are computational biology, bioinformatics, clinical research informatics, and applying information technology such as machine learning and artificial intelligence to advance translational biomedical research.

Selected Recent publications:

  1. Y.C. Fann, “Enhancing patient care and outcomes through innovative informatics systems and tools”, Comp. Meth. and Prog. in Biomed. 158, A1 (2018)
  2. Jung-Chun Lin; Yuan-Chii Lee; Tse-Hua Tan; Yu-Chih Liang; Huai-Chia Chuang; Yang C. Fann; Kory R. Johnson; Ying-Ju Lin “RBM4-SRSF3-MAP4K4 splicing cascade modulates the metastatic signature of colorectal cancer cell” BBA - Molecular Cell Research, v1865, p259-272 (2018)
  3. Xinjing Wang; Wadih M Zein ; Leera D'Souza; Chimere Roberson; Keith Wetherby; Hong He; Angela Villarta; Amy Turriff; Kory R Johnson; Yang C Fann, “Applying next generation sequencing with microdroplet PCR to determine the disease-causing mutations in retinal dystrophies” BMC Ophthalmology, 17, 157 (2017). PMID: 28838317
  4. Jung-Chun Lin, Yuan-Chii Lee, Yu-Chih Liang, Yang Fann, Kory Johnson, and Ying-Ju Lin; “The impact of the RBM4-initiated splicing cascade on modulating the carcinogenic signature of colorectal cancer cells", Nature Scientific Report, 7, 44204; doi: 10.1038/srep44204 (2017)
  5. Xianlai Chen; Yang C Fann; Matthew McAuliffe; David Vismer; Rong Yang; “Checking Questionable Entry of Personally Identifiable Information Encrypted by One-Way Hash Transformation”, JMIR Medical informatics, 5(1), e2, 2017 (PMID 28213343)
  6. Lin, C.H., Fann, Y.C. Liou, D.M. “An exploratory study using an openEHR two level modeling approach to represent common data elements”, J. Am. Med. Info. Assoc. v0. Pp1-12, 2016.