Nicholas Anderson and James Marcin named co-directors of CITRIS Health

Collage of three photos: A woman kneeling next to an older woman, helping her fill out paperwork at a computer; two women in lab coats walking on the UC Davis Health campus; two older people smiling at one another, with one of them sitting in a wheelchair holding a tablet computer.

CITRIS and the Banatao Institute welcome Nicholas Anderson, the Robert E. Cardiff Endowed Professor in Biomedical Informatics and the health informatics division chief in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of California, Davis, and Dr. James Marcin, professor of pediatrics and the vice chair for pediatric clinical research at UC Davis, as co-directors of the CITRIS Health initiative. 

Anderson and Marcin join CITRIS Health Executive Director David Lindeman to strengthen multicampus collaboration in response to new innovations in technology, data science and policy. Together, the leadership team plans to align the initiative’s strategic priorities with UC Davis Health and create productive partnerships with private industry, peer institutes and patients. 

Nicholas Anderson, an expert in biomedical informatics and health data science, has had a long-standing connection with CITRIS Health. He is a member of the Transatlantic Telehealth Research Network (TTRN), an international, interdisciplinary program established between CITRIS and Aalborg University in Denmark to advance innovation within telehealth. As a principal investigator of projects supported by CITRIS Seed Awards in 2014 and 2015, he explored real-time data analytics of critical care instrumentation such as ventilators. 

In 2016, through a state-funded effort to accelerate precision medicine research, Anderson led a team that included Lindeman and other CITRIS researchers in a $1.2 million project to explore personalized mobile health data to improve chronic disease management and care.

Anderson’s current focus is on the implementation of new health technology into communities and broadening access to clinical and personal health data. He is also actively involved with the collaboration between CITRIS Health and the First Affiliated Hospital at Sun Yat-sen University (FAH-SYSU) in Guangzhou, China, which provides health informatics training opportunities to early-stage researchers.

Anderson also serves as the chair of the health informatics graduate group in the UC Davis Department of Public Health Sciences, and the director of biomedical informatics research for the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC).

“The connections I have leveraged through CITRIS have aided both my personal research and broader health data science research and training at UC Davis. I have benefited from access to world-class faculty, a range of regional collaborations, and international partnerships in both Europe and Asia,” said Anderson. “CITRIS has provided a unique community in which to introduce and incubate novel interdisciplinary partnership. I am particularly interested in expanding the opportunities for students and trainees at all levels across CITRIS campuses and initiatives.”

A bioengineer, health services researcher, health policy consultant and physician in the pediatric intensive care unit, James Marcin is committed to applying technological solutions to health care challenges. Under the mentorship of past CITRIS Health Director Thomas Nesbitt, he has implemented digital health and telehealth innovations to help address disparities in access to quality care, particularly among underserved populations in California. 

In 2012, with support from CITRIS seed funding, Marcin brought together a multicampus team to address hearing loss among newborns in rural areas. The researchers designed custom audiology tools for the telehealth environment and optimized transfer of large amounts of data. Their work saw international effects through a CITRIS global collaborator, the Philippine-California Advanced Research Institutes (PCARI) program, as the Hearing for Life (HeLe) Project

Marcin currently serves as the director of the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology (CHT) and an advisor to the UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research (CHPR) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Marcin said he values CITRIS’s ability to convene multidisciplinary teams. As the initiative’s co-director, he hopes to foster collaboration among scientists, clinical teams and frontline clinicians. “These partnerships are not always easy to create, but they are critical to success when advancing solutions that translate into a healthier future,” he said. 

“We’re thrilled to have Nick Anderson and James Marcin join the CITRIS leadership team, and we look forward to advancing digital health innovation through the lens of their expertise,” said Camille Crittenden, CITRIS’s executive director. 

Anderson and Marcin’s appointments are effective July 1. They succeed Thomas Nesbitt, UC Davis emeritus associate vice chancellor for strategic technologies and alliances, who served as CITRIS Health director from 2011–22. 

“We’re grateful to Tom Nesbitt for providing more than a decade of foundational leadership and for being the driving force behind many innovative programs of CITRIS Health,” said Costas Spanos, director of CITRIS and the Banatao Institute.