C-Path’s Ramona Walls Promoted to Executive Director of Data Science

TUCSON, Ariz., October 20, 2022 — Critical Path Institute (C-Path) has named Ramona L. Walls, Ph.D., as Executive Director of Data Science within C-Path’s Data Collaboration Center (DCC).

Walls joined C-Path in December 2020 as a Data Scientist in Ontologies, Standards, and Metadata (OSM). In 2021 she was promoted to Associate Director of Data Science, where she led a new OSM team that introduced the use of ontologies for data integration within C-Path.

Walls will oversee multiple efforts including work in C-Path’s Data and Analytics Platform, expansion and modernization of C-Path’s data integration pipeline to encompass new data types, and the development of a rare disease knowledge graph.

“We are fortunate to have incredible depth and breadth of talent throughout the C-Path team,” said Rick Liwski, C-Path’s Chief Technology Officer and DCC Director. “Ramona has proven herself to be an invaluable and innovative leader in the field of data science and she is an ideal fit to drive the organization’s data strategy and vision, while also supporting our world-class team of data scientists.”

As Executive Director of Data Science, Walls is responsible for leading the Data Science team, which aims to increase the FAIRness (findable, accessible, inoperable and reusable) of data by developing and integrating semantic standards, tools for consumption and sharing of data, performing data transformations that increase data accessibility, and by performing analyses that transform data into information — all core components of C-Path’s expertise.

Prior to joining C-Path, Walls was Assistant Research Professor in the Bio5 Institute of the University of Arizona, where her research focused on semantic data integration, ontology design, and management of large and dispersed datasets. She has been Principal Investigator on multiple grants from the National Science Foundation and other funders and has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers in fields as diverse as rare diseases, environmental health, evolution, biodiversity, sustainability, and space situational awareness.

Walls is on the steering committee of the Clinical Research Data Sharing Alliance (CRDSA), is a board member and active technical contributor to the Genomics Standards Consortium (GSC), and is a founding member of the OBO Foundry Operations Committee. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Resource Management and Horticulture at Penn State and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Stony Brook University. After a postdoc at the New York Botanical Garden, she joined the iPlant Collaborative, now CyVerse, where she led initiatives related to integrating, managing, and publishing big data.

For more information on C-Path’s Data Collaboration Center, visit https://c-path.org/programs/dcc.


About Critical Path Institute
Critical Path Institute (C-Path) is an independent, nonprofit organization established in 2005 as a public and private partnership. C-Path’s mission is to catalyze the development of new approaches that advance medical innovation and regulatory science, accelerating the path to a healthier world. An international leader in forming collaborations, C-Path has established numerous global consortia that currently include more than 1,600 scientists from government and regulatory agencies, academia, patient organizations, disease foundations, and hundreds of pharmaceutical and biotech companies. C-Path U.S. is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, C-Path in Europe is headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands and C-Path Ltd. operates from Dublin, Ireland with additional staff in multiple other locations. For more information, visit c-path.org.

Critical Path Institute is supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and is 54.2% funded by the FDA/HHS, totaling $13,239,950, and 45.8% funded by non-government source(s), totaling $11,196,634. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, FDA/HHS or the U.S. Government.


Kissy Black