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Photo of Matthew Cowperthwaite, PhD


Division Director of Clinical Research & IRB Chair,
St. David's HealthCare


Matt Cowperthwaite is the Division Director of Clinical Research at St. David’s HealthCare and leader of the St. David’s HealthCare Office of Research. The Office provides administrative and operational support to clinical research at St. David’s HealthCare hospitals, as well as oversight of research activities across St. David’s HealthCare. Matt has active research experience in big-data analytics, including the use of routinely collected healthcare data to develop real-time predictors and detectors for deployment in the hospital setting. He joined St. David’s in 2008 to launch and lead the development of a neuroscience research program that grew to become the largest and most productive hospital-based program in Austin. Briefly, he served as Biomedical Informatist at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at UT – Austin, where he led the Center’s efforts and programs in the biomedical computing space.

Matt holds a Bachelor of Science in Plant Biology, magna cum laude, from the University of Maryland – College Park, and a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from The University of Texas at Austin. His research interests have long included statistical modeling and simulation of naturally and artificially selected nucleic acid secondary structures. The research started during his dissertation is currently being translated to the arena of cancer genetics, for which his group has published several recent papers.


Clinical research regulation, genomics, biostatistics, and data science


  • BS – Plant BIology, University of Maryland (1996)
  • PhD – Cellular and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas at Austin (2008)

Research Interests

My research interests are in the analysis and utilization of “big data” in the healthcare space to improve patient safety and outcomes. I also have interests in the application of evolutionary theory and population genetics tools to cancer genetic data.