Gondy Leroy: Interdisciplinary Research and Bioinformatics

July 12, 2023

The University of Arizona Department of Management Information Systems (MIS) is top ranked and uniquely housed in a business school, the Eller College of Management. It’s also where one would find Associate Dean and Professor, Gondy Leroy. Leroy emphasizes how the department's unique placement exposes students to research projects and research opportunities within a business school. MIS engages in cutting-edge research where master's students, once graduated, often are employed as data scientists and doctoral students conduct advanced data science research. Leroy highlights the department's consistent growth in enrollment, attracting students with a passion for research and data-driven problem-solving.

Gondy Leroy at Eller photo

In addition to her responsibilities as a professor and associate dean, Leroy makes time to mentor students including two high school UArizona BIO5 KEYS summer interns and an undergrad with the UArizona PHIRE program that is co-directed by Vignesh Subbian and Kacey Ernst. Her three summer mentees work hands-on in the lab collaboratively with the UArizona Valley Fever Center for Excellence using Python programming with electronic health records. Leroy notes, “The goal is that they learn Bioinformatics and do something completely different from their current educational environment.” 

Interdisciplinary teams are key to the success of research according to Leroy. This approach enables Leroy’s research projects to address real-world problems through a diverse range of perspectives and expertise providing opportunities to collaborate with students and faculty from various disciplines including the iSchool, computer science, linguistics, psychology, communications, public health, medicine, and MIS.

A current major project focuses on leveraging electronic health records to improve early autism diagnosis and referrals. Additionally, her team is working on developing an online editor that simplifies medical information. They have recently shifted their focus from text to audio. The projects include a leveraging of and comparing with the field of AI language models like ChatGPT. Leroy suggests, “I think we need to do a better job at educating students about what ChatGPT can and cannot do and learn how to use it as a tool. Education should not be just using it, but also understanding it.”

Leroy is writing a soon to be published article about the need for interdisciplinary representative teams working on projects on real problems with real data or as Leroy hinted, “an article about problems and solutions that are not fake-based on fake data.”

In her spare time, Leroy volunteers with the Humane Society, demonstrating her passion for animals. Professor Gondy Leroy can be reached via email at gondyleroy@arizona.edu.

Tina L. Johnson