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Featured News

Women in Cardiology

Cardiology has traditionally been a male-dominated subspecialty. Nationally only 15-20% of trainees and 10% of cardiologists in private practice are women but the American College of Cardiology (ACC) has been working to correct gender disparities through the “Women in Cardiology” Section (WIC).

Joan Briller, MD 
Joan Briller, MD

Joan Briller, MD, FACC, FASE, FAHA (professor of medicine) was recently named Illinois State Champion to help promote needs of women cardiologists at all levels from residents interested in cardiology, fellows in training, and faculty.

UIC hosted the first WIC dinner on November 21st in conjunction with Rush University Medical School. Twenty-one women from all of the major Chicago medical schools and suburban training programs attended. Mutual needs and aspirations were discussed along with a presentation about women in leadership by Diane Wallis, former ACC governor.

If other women medicine or residents would be interested in participating, please contact Joan Briller at

Recipient of the Thomas J. Layden Endowed Professorship in Digestive and Liver Diseases 


Ceremonies were held in October for the investiture of Barbara Jung, MD as the recipient of the Thomas J. Layden Endowed Professorship in Digestive and Liver Diseases.

Barbara Jung
Barbara Jung, MD

 Dr. Jung, associate professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology was honored by Dean Dimitri T. Azar and Dr. Patricia W. Finn as well as her husband and daughter.


Dean Schraufnagel as Chair of the ATS Foundation


Dean Schraufnagel, MDThe American Thoracic Society (ATS) has appointed Dean Schraufnagel as Chair of the ATS Foundation. This is a near perfect appointment by ATS given the breadth of Dr. Schraufnagel’s association with ATS. In the 80s, he played a key role in his local ATS chapter and then in the Council of Chapter Representatives. In the 90s, he helped the Society expand its communication efforts, particularly in electronic communications. In the 2000s, he served as the first ATS web editor before being elected secretary-treasurer. He also served as ATS president in 2010-11. In addition to his work on the ATS Foundation board of trustees, he serves as senior deputy editor of the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. He recognizes that a big part of his latest appointment will be convincing other Society leaders of the need to make the Foundation an important part of their philanthropy.





News & Events in the
Department of Medicine


Division of Hematology and Oncology Milestones

The Division of Hematology and Oncology will achieve a milestone with their Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Program. The program will reach its highest volume this fiscal year with 82 transplants. Volume, as depicted in the graph below, has almost doubled over the past 4 years.


This achievement could not have occurred without the phenomenal team of doctors, nurses, PharmD, BMT coordinators, data manager and Stem Cell Lab staff. A key role played in attaining this accomplishment was that of Dr. Pritesh Patel, Assistant Professor and Associate Director of BMT.

In addition to the higher volume, the BMT program had 7 publications, completed an investigator-initiated phase 1 clinical trial in multiple myeloma, continues to experience an increase in the number of transplanted sickle cell patients and has several translational research projects supported by private fundings.

The growth of FMT reflects the growth of the entire Hematology segment of the Division, both in hematologic malignancies and in sickle cell. A larger margin of growth is anticipated.


Grant for Sickle Cell Research

The NIH recently announced funding for a grant titled Improving Sickle cell care in Adolescents & Adults in Chicago (ISAAC). ISAAC is a multi-institutional, national program led by UIC. It is a collaboration among UI Health, Sinai Health System and the Institute of Design of the Illinois Institute of Technology here in Chicago, the University of Illinois at Peoria, and the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. ISAAC is one of seven centers funded nationwide by a special, sickle cell disease-focused NHLBI program. The grant covers costs over a six-year period.


A research team of five principal investigators and nine co-investigators will lead ISAAC. The principal investigators from UI Health are Victor Gordeuk, MD, director of the UI Health Sickle Cell Center, Lewis Hsu, MD, PhD, director of the pediatric sickle cell program at UI Health, and Jerry Krishnan, MD, PhD, Associate Vice Chancellor for Population Health UI Health. 

ISAAC co-investigators from UI Health include Michael Berbaum, PhD, biostatistician for the Institute for Health Research and Policy, Joseph Colla, MD, emergency medicine specialist, Molly Martin, MD, MAPP, pediatrician and health disparities researcher, Robin Shannon, MS, RN, Clinical Instructor in the College of Nursing, and Robert Winn, MD, Associate Vice Chancellor for Community Based Practice.


An advisory group consisting of representatives of patients, families, patient advocacy groups, schools, colleges, community health centers and the leadership of collaborating institutions will provide input to the ISAAC program. David Loffing, Chief Operating Officer of University of Illinois Hospital, and the Chief Medical Officer of the Sinai Health System are key members of the advisory group.


2016 Internal Medicine Interns

On June 24, 2016, the Division of Academic Internal Medicine and Geriatrics welcomed a new class of interns.

 2016 IM interns
2016 Department of Medicine Internal Medicine Interns.




UI Employee Recognition Program – Care Award

 Dudek Award
Pictured left to right:
Lisa Stigger, Sue Hammerschmidt, Dr. Bharati Prasad, Dr. George Kondos, Dr. Dean Schraufnagel, Dr. Steven Dudek, Dr. Patricia Finn, Alejandra Martinez, and Krystle Stewart

On July 14th, Dr. Steven Dudek was recognized by the UI Employee Recognition program for his compassion and patience with a family of a very sick 37-year old man struggling with difficult decisions related to end of life care options.

Dr. Dudek explained in simple terms the clinical issues in a way that the family understood and was very gentle in discussing end of life treatment options. He did not rush any of the conversation and unwaveringly answered questions.

The Care Award was bestowed on Dr. Dudek for his compassion and professionalism in taking care of this family during a very difficult time for them. His kind and gentle communication with this family helped them get through a trying time.



Pasquale Ciaglia Memorial Award in Interventional Medicine is awarded to Dr. Kevin Kovitz

KovitzDr. Kevin Kovitz received the prestigious Pasquale Ciaglia Memorial Award in Interventional Medicine at the recent American College of Chest Physicians annual meeting in Los Angeles.

The award honors a CHEST member well-known for his or her work in interventional medicine, such as clinical state-of-art innovations, economic impact, invention, interventional critical care, research opportunities, and/or a host of other interesting facets of interventional medicine.



Physician Of The Year 2016 Award

Drs. Jacobson, Sean Koppe, and Carissa Tyo have been nominated for Physician of the Year 2016. This trio is part of a group of 12 that have been nominated. The announcement will be made on August 31st from 12:00pm – 1:00pm Room 1135 of UI Hospital.

Please join us in congratulating this trio of deserving doctors on their nomination.

Jeff Jacobson  Sean Koppe Carissa Tyo
Jeff Jacobson
Pulmonary, Critical Care
Sean Koppe
Carissa Tyo

Thank You from Urbana-Champaign

William Galanter, MDDr. William Galanter recently spoke at Grand Rounds on the Urban-Champaign campus. His topic, Inpatient Pain Control: Characteristics and treatment simulation, received very positive feedback from the attendees. Dr. Galanter also gave Subspecialty rounds on Pre-operative risk stratification.

The Urbana-Champaign Department of Internal Medicine was appreciative of Dr. Galanter’s service to their program. Collaborations such as this are indicative of the common bond between the campuses.


New Member – Clinical and Integrative Cardiovascular Sciences Study Section

DarbarDespite an extremely busy schedule, Dr. Dawood Darbar recently accepted an invitation to serve as a member of the Clinical and Integrative Cardiovascular Sciences (CICS) Study Section at the NIH Center for Scientific Review. His term began on July 1, 2016 and will end on June 30, 2020. Members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors.

Membership on a study section offers a unique opportunity to contribute to the national biomedical research effort. Study sections review grant applications submitted to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), make recommendations on these applications to the appropriate NIH national advisory council or board, and survey the status of research in their fields of science. Dr. Darbar’s participation in the study section will help assure the quality of the NIH peer review process, and we congratulate him on this prestigious appointment.

NIH Study Section Service

BoniniThe National Institutes of Health, Center for Scientific Review selected Dr. Marcelo Bonini to serve as a member of the Systemic Injury by Environmental Exposure Study Section (SIEE).

Members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors. 


International Society for Cellular Therapy Meeting, Singapore 2016

Nadim MahmudNadim Mahmud, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology, and Director of UI Hospital Stem Cell Laboratory (Blood & Marrow Transplant Program) was an invited speaker for the 22nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) in Singapore. Dr. Mahmud chaired a session titled “Challenges in in vivo experiments in cell based therapies”. In the same session he delivered a talk titled “Test of genotoxicity of expanded human cord blood cells both in small and large animal models”. Dr. Mahmud’s research is focused on cord blood stem cell expansion to improve stem cell transplantation as well as role of epigenetic signals to eradicate leukemia stem cells as a curative therapeutic approach.

He also delivered a talk titled “Accreditation as a risk reduction measure: focus on cell therapy programs in Asia”. He is involved in leadership roles in ISCT and also serves as a Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) Accreditation Committee member and inspector for blood and marrow transplant programs in North America and cord blood banks around the world. FACT is a non-profit corporation for accreditation in the field of cellular therapy.


2016 AGA Elsevier Pilot Research Award

Dr. Barbara Jung, Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology was awarded the 2016 AGA Elsevier Pilot JungResearch Award from the American Gastroenterology Association Research Foundation.

This research initiative award for $25,000 for one year is offered to investigators to support pilot research projects in gastroenterology or hepatology related areas.
Dr. Jung’s research on Activin as a Therapeutic Target and Prognostic Marker in Pancreatitis is a pilot project to support a new collaboration between Dr. Jung and Dr. Fantuzzi to explore the role of Activin in potentiating pancreatitis and further whether intervention in the Activin signaling pathway may provide therapeutic options for pancreatitis patients.

Dr. Jung will be recognized at the Research Recognition Celebration at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) on Sunday May 22.


Students Show Support for Sickle Cell Center

First-year students from UIC College of Medicine and College of Pharmacy showed support and recognition of the value of our Sickle Cell Center in the Chicago community by organizing a charity auction in November. 

Sickle Cell The students donated half of the proceeds, a total of $2,564, to the Sickle Cell Center, which provides treatment and support services for patients with sickle cell disease, a disorder of the hemoglobin. The rest of the auction proceeds will go towards the UIC Match Day celebration, which is when medical students across the country find out their residency placements.

The donation was made to spotlight the importance of the Acute Care Treatment Center, a branch of the hospital’s sickle cell program that treats patients suffering from chronic pain episodes.

Click here to read the full article.

UIC News
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Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) awards $13.7 million contract to Dr. Krishnan


Dr. Jerry KrishnanDr. Jerry Krishnan, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, has             been awarded a four-year, $13.7 million contract from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to lead a multi-center clinical trial of two drugs used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 

Dr. Krishnan, along with co-principal investigators Dr. Robert Wise of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and John Walsh, co-founder and president of the COPD Foundation will lead this clinical trial at 50 U.S. centers. 

The trial will compare the benefits and risks of two medications currently used to treat COPD — roflumilast, an anti-inflammatory, and azithromycin, an antibiotic. Congratulations to Dr. Krishnan and his colleagues on receiving this prestigious research award from PCORI. To read more visit:


Meet our Division Chiefs!

 Rachel Caskey MD   Darbar    Kukreja
Rachel Caskey, MD
Chief, Division of Academic Internal Medicine and Geriatrics
  Dawood Darbar, MD, MBChB, FACC, FAHA, FHRS
Chief, Division of Cardiology
  Subhash Kukreja, MD
Interim Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Barbara Jung, MD
Chief, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
  Damiano Rondelli, MD
Chief, Division of Hematology/ Oncology
  Richard Novak, MD
Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases
  Dudek   Swedler 
Jose A.L. Arruda, MD
Chief, Division of Nephrology
  Steve Dudek, MD
Chief, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep & Allergy 
  William Swedler, MD
Chief, Division of Rheumatology  


Dr. Joseph Schowalter