The Indiana University Board of Trustees approved Friday the appointment of Arthur Owora, assistant professor in the Indiana School of Public Health-Bloomington (IUSPH-B), to the position of Gallahue Family Professor in Child Development. This comes on the heels of his receiving a Regenstrief Institute Pilot Program Award, which he and Dr. Colin Rogerson will use to study and reduce bias in electronic pediatric health records.
The "retrospective cohort study," entitled "Quantifying and reducing bias in the prediction of pediatric asthma using electronic health records," will take place over the course of a year. Drs. Owora and Rogerson will use algorithms to determine whether childhood asthma is predicted more frequently in minority populations.
The Gallahue Family Professor in Child Development award, established by IUSPH-B Dean Emeritus David Gallahue, recognizes Owora's "outstanding collegiality, scholarly acumen, and promise as a research leader" in children's wellness.
"I am thrilled to see this honor bestowed on one of our outstanding faculty," says Douglas Landsittel, chair of the school's Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. "I am also grateful to Dean Gallahue for his generosity in establishing the professorship, and confident that Dr. Owora will use the opportunity to greatly enhance his contributions to public health and research in childhood health."
Owora's background includes a Master of Public Health and a Ph.D. in biostatistics and epidemiology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center—as well as a postdoctoral fellowship at the Children's Hospital Research Institute at the University of Manitoba.
"This professorship will help support my research in leveraging electronic health record data to better understand the origins of childhood developmental problems," Owora says. "I am very excited and appreciative of this award, and I thank Dean Gallahue for his generosity!"
During David Gallahue's tenure as dean (2002–2007), IUSPH-B grew to become the third-largest academic unit on Indiana University's flagship Bloomington campus. An expert on child physical health and motor development, he wrote two major multi-edition textbooks published in seven languages, spoke at universities in more than 20 countries and received the 2020 IU Bicentennial Medal along with his mentor and Dean Emeritus Tony Mobley.
"Ellie and I first met as undergraduates at IU," says Gallahue, referring to his wife, with whom he established the professorship. "After completing graduate degrees elsewhere, we returned to this great university, where I spent my entire academic career. Indiana University offers so many opportunities for intellectual and personal growth; paying our blessings forward just seemed the right thing to do. Dr Owora personifies all that we envisioned in helping junior faculty reach their full potential."
"The school is so grateful for Dean Emeritus and Ellie Gallahue's generosity in establishing this award and professorship that both honors our faculty and promotes research in an area that could not be more important: the future of our children," says Dean David B. Allison. "I hold Dr. Owora not only in high regard as a scholar, but especially in high regard as a good-hearted human being, colleague, and professional. It is truly a gift to be able to work with and benefit from generous spirits like David Gallahue, Ellie Gallahue, and Arthur Owora."
Learn more about the Regenstrief Institute at regenstrief.org. And to learn more about the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, visit publichealth.indiana.edu.