New faculty Q&A with Matthew Churpek, MD, MPH, PhD

Matthew Churpek, MD, MPH, PhDMatthew Churpek, MD, MPH, PhD

Visiting Associate Professor
Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Medical School: Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC
Graduate School: Master of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC; PhD, Epidemiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Residency: University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL (Internal Medicine)
Fellowship: University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL (Pulmonary and Critical Care)

Joined the Department of Medicine as a faculty member: August 2019

What is your primary professional focus in any or all of our mission areas (clinical, research, and/or medical education)?
I run a data science lab that develops prediction models using machine learning and electronic health record data, which we then implement in hospitals with the goal of improving patient outcomes. My primary focus has been clinical deterioration, cardiac arrest and sepsis, but we are also working on models for acute kidney injury and other conditions.

What drew you to UW-Madison and the Department of Medicine?
My wife, who is a new faculty member here in the Division of Hematology, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care, went here for college, and we have a lot of family in the area. It was this, plus the vibrant and growing data science community, supportive leadership, and incredible opportunities for collaboration across the university, that ultimately drew me here.

What are you most excited about during your first year with the department in this role?
I am most excited about building new relationships and collaborations with members of the department and throughout the university.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
When I’m not working, I love playing with our three children, running, playing tennis and watching college football.

Favorite piece of advice from a mentor or inspiring figure in your life?
One of my favorite quotes is the famous, “Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.” It can apply to common activities in science, such as designing experiments, writing, giving presentations, and creating figures, as well as to life itself. Especially with three kids at home, it’s easy to get overextended, so remembering that it’s ok to say “no” to extra commitments and to keep your life schedule as “simple” and free as possible goes a long way to decreasing stress and increasing happiness.