Meharry Medical College Announces New School of Applied Computational Sciences

School will support Meharry’s expansion within research and health sciences, providing valuable academic programs for students across the country

SACS academic programs

Nashville, Tenn. (March 29, 2021) — Meharry Medical College today announced the launch of its School of Applied Computational Sciences (SACS) which will offer Master of Science degrees in Data Science and Biomedical Data Science, beginning in August 2021. The College is taking a critical step toward advancing scholarship in computational sciences and supporting the industry through academic research by establishing the SACS—the fourth of Meharry’s academic schools.

With the emergence of massive data across the country, the broader field of computational sciences has tremendous applications for health care education, discovery and delivery throughout several industries, businesses and government agencies. The School will be focused on creating impactful academic research programming that will enhance health care and technology communities and solve complex problems in health care—especially those that impact underserved populations.

“Data science will play an increasingly important role in health care delivery and the discovery of new interventions,” said Dr. James E.K Hildreth, Meharry President and CEO.  “The new school, part of a transformative strategic plan, will allow us to equip our students and faculty to apply the power of data science to the goal of achieving health equity.”

The School will serve as the center of Meharry’s computational sciences academic training and research, elevating all of Meharry’s major data sources in a structured data ecosystem. In addition to its Master of Science degrees in Data Science and Biomedical Data Science, a Doctoral degree in Biomedical Data Science will be available in the Fall of 2022.

Meharry began work in this domain with the establishment of its Data Science Institute—dedicated to studying medical, social and environmental issues and trends that impact the health of minority and underserved populations—in the Fall of 2018. The Data Science Institute was then elevated to become the School of Applied Computational Sciences.

“The School of Applied Computational Sciences will foster a culture of discovery, learning and engagement that will expand the impact of our research enterprise beyond Meharry’s campus,” said Dr. Fortune Mhlanga, founding Dean of the School of Applied Computational Sciences. “Our initiatives in research, combined with our developing partnerships in many industries, will enrich the academic experience with opportunities for students to apply their learnings to solve real business problems.”

Dr. Mhlanga will oversee the School’s strategy and the execution of student and faculty recruitment, academic programs, industry and research partnerships and growth. An experienced advocate in the computational sciences space, he led the effort to establish the College of Computing and Technology at Lipscomb University and developed similar programs at other institutions including Faulkner University and the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre in Zimbabwe. 

The SACS leadership has recruited accomplished faculty passionate about applying data science to combat countless disease states and help business leaders in health care, tech and other industries make strategic decisions. Additionally, the School will be supported by an esteemed Advancement Council which will facilitate a breadth of industry relationships, determine new paths of study and bolster visibility. The Council includes computing and technology professionals representing industry, business, government agencies, institutions of higher learning and data science leaders in several industries.

The SACS is currently accepting applications for the Fall 2021 academic year. Interested students can apply at

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