Breakthroughs, the newsletter of the Feinberg School of Medicine Research Office

March 2024 Newsletter

Philip Silberman

Supporting Research Infrastructure at Feinberg

Read a Q&A below

Staff Profile

Philip Silberman is the manager of research analytics at Feinberg. 

He received his BA in mathematics and computer science from Boston University and his master’s in pure and applied mathematics at Indiana University Bloomington.  

In his current role, Silberman supports a broad variety of research projects and streamlining clinical data monitoring and use. 

Where is your hometown?  

I was born and raised right here in Chicago. I grew up in Lakeview and currently reside in Logan Square with my wife, Shannon, my toddler, Abraham, and my evil cats, Leon and Lula. 

What led you to Northwestern?   

I was drawn to Northwestern primarily because I was able to apply analytical thinking and programming skills towards a positive goal in medical research. My background is in mathematics, so problem solving is always front of mind. Being able to solve new problems on a daily basis is a perfect match for me and keeps me engaged and light on my feet, so to speak. In addition, being able to contribute towards the betterment of people is a big motivation and very important to me, personally. 

What are you currently working on?   

I am currently working on a variety of research projects across Feinberg, including the eMERGE study, NU IMPACT and All of Us. In addition, I support the Augusta Webster Office of Medical Education (AWOME) in building out a medical education data warehouse, reporting for the Feinberg Finance team and compliance metrics for Feinberg leadership. Our team expanded greatly in the last few years so I am also working on expanding our internal documentation, building a more robust code repository and creating dashboards to better monitor our throughput. Excitingly, we are also involved in a few pilot studies looking to leverage LLMs and AI in order to investigate its capabilities. 

How does your work support the research enterprise at Feinberg?   

Pretty much everything I do is in support of the research enterprise at Feinberg. The main function of my team is to provide clinical data to investigators so our day-to-day is primarily devoted to supporting research. I also manage the training and compliance for our Research Power User community. I train and work with about 60 Power Users scattered throughout Feinberg who use EDW resources to provide clinical data for various department-specific research projects. Lastly, I provide reports for Northwestern Medicine’s Office of Research to ensure proper compliance between NM and Feinberg. 

Why do you enjoy working at Northwestern?  

Two big reasons: the people and the problem solving. Many of my team members have been here for a long time and we’ve built great relationships over my nearly nine years at Northwestern. I think each new research project presents a different set of challenges and I take a lot of pleasure in trying to solve each new set of problems. There’s a lot of satisfaction to be had in coming up with the best solution and it really does not get old!