New Investigator: James McClay, M.D.

January 26, 2016

Image with caption: James McClay, M.D.

James McClay, M.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC's 2015 Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

  • Name: James (Jim) McClay, M.D.
  • Title: Associate professor, UNMC Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine
  • Joined UNMC: 2001
  • Hometown: Traverse City, Michigan

Research focus:
Biomedical and health informatics

Describe your research briefly in layman's terms.
Health research and medical care generate data at an exponentially growing rate. We work at the intersection of information science and health care to capture, manage, and apply that data to generate biomedical knowledge. Our team is applying those skills to conduct national comparative effectiveness research trials.

How does your research contribute to science and/or health care?
Every patient encounter should contribute to improving health care through a virtuous cycle of continuous learning. Our work with the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Network (PCORnet) is developing the national "learning health system" by developing the infrastructure for ongoing research into the comparative effectiveness of health interventions.

What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you, professional or personal?
Failure is an option. Even a great hockey player only scores about a quarter of the shots on goal.

List three things few people know about you.

  • I played saxophone in the University of Michigan Marching Band.
  • This isn't my first career. I worked for years in the health care industry before coming to UNMC.
  • I grew up around the auto industry in Michigan and love cars.


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