History of BMIR

Our History

The Center for Biomedical Informatics Research has a long history at Stanford.

We began in 1979 as the Medical Computer Science (MCS) group of the Stanford Knowledge Systems Laboratory (KSL).  Today, BMIR is an active part of the Stanford School of Medicine, performing informatics research, educating the next generation of researchers, and collaborating across departments on challenging problems of human health and healthcare.

The 2020s began with major health care challenges: (1) the race to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic and the need for planning ahead for emerging infectious diseases (with implications for diagnosis, treatment, care, public policy and health care resources), and (2) heightened concern for inequities and social determinants of health.

BMIR fully expects to continue to make valuable contributions to science, health, and health care. Our blend of expertise in informatics and our tight connection with the clinical enterprise make us well positioned to continue making advances that lead to new computational methods while also delivering real-world benefits to biomedicine.


“There is enormous opportunity for skilled informatics researchers to have a substantial impact on the biggest health and science questions and challenges that can improve future human health and our healthcare systems.

— Andrew Gentles, computational biologist, researcher, and assistant professor, BMIR