Recent News From UIC Medicine

Recent news from the Department of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago



American Liver Foundation Great Lakes Division hosted its annual clinical debates

On March 3, 2016, the American Liver Foundation Great Lakes Division hosted its annual clinical debates between the major medical centers in Chicago. Clinical debatesThe debates covered three controversial topics in hepatology. Six institutions lined up for the clinical debates this year: Rush University, Loyola University, Stroger Hospital, Northwestern University, Indiana University and University of Illinois at Chicago.
The UIC program was represented by second year fellows: Dr. Joseph Schowalter and Dr. Nikhil Martis and mentored by Dr. Sean Koppe. The UIC fellowship team, with the support of a large number of faculty and fellows from UIC, won their debate against Northwestern arguing that a patient with type 2 diabetes and advanced NASH fibrosis with BMI greater than 35 should not undergo treatment with bariatric surgery as a primary treatment for NASH. 

Nephrology is Awarded Partnership

Dr. James Lash, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology, was awarded a partnership under the International Society of Nephrology Sister Renal Center Program in collaboration with Instituto Nacional de Cardiologia "Ignacio A. Chavez" in Mexico City. 

This program focuses on building education, research, and clinical collaborations between the two centers. Through collaboration with Dr. Magdalena Madero, Dr. Lash is in the process of recruiting a cohort of Mexicans with chronic kidney disease into an observational study.

Visit our Division of Nephrology here


Dr. Sun is Awarded The American Physiology Society 2016 International Opportunity Program Award

Dr. Jun SunDr. Jun Sun, Associate Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, received an American Physiology Society 2016 International Opportunity Program Award to organize a 2-day international microbiome symposium and workshop entitled “East Meets West: Advances in Gut Microbiome effects on Pathophysiology of Human Diseases”. This symposium will be held on March 5 and 6th, 2016, in Yangzhou, China.

Dr. Sun was also invited to be the American Cancer Society Ambassador to advocate for cancer research. Congratulations Dr. Sun!    

11th Annual Clifford G. Pilz, MD Memorial Lecture

On March 15, 2016 the Department of Medicine hosted the 11th annual Clifford G. Pilz, MD Memorial Lecture. The Pilz Lectureship Series was initiated to recognize more than 40 years of service by Clifford G. Pilz, MD ’45, to the Veterans Administration West Side Medical Center (now the VA Jesse Brown Medical Center) and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. 

During his long and distinguished career, Dr. Pilz’s dedication as a physician and teacher advanced the knowledge and enriched the lives of countless medical students, residents, fellows and postgraduates at UIC and the VA.

 Dr. Pilz memorial
   Left to right: Patricia W. Finn, MD, Subhash Kukreja, MD., Robert A. Ganz, MD, George T. Kondos, MD

In honor of Dr. Pilz’s memorial, Dr. Robert A. Ganz, Chief of Gastroenterology at Abbott- Northwestern and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota, gave a lecture titled, “GERD 2016: Myths, Mechanisms, Medications and Magnets – Did the University of Illinois Have it All Figured Out in 1983?”

Dr. Ganz completed his undergrad, medical degree, internship and internal medicine residency at the University of Illinois College of Medicine and Hospital. He also had the opportunity to train under Dr. Pilz.

Chicago Commissioner of Public Health Presents Grand Rounds

On March 1, 2016, Julie Morita, MD, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public health gave a talk titled, “Making a Healthier Chicago” during the Department of Medicine Grand Rounds.   Julie Morita, MDDr. Morita touched on many factors that affect health and interventions that the Department of Public health is implementing. Dr. Morita addressed preventing influenza, provider interventions and partnerships, creating a tobacco free generation and how the City of Chicago will address socioeconomic factors that affect health.

To watch the entire talk click here

News from Academic Internal Medicine and Geriatrics

Polick, Anne

Dr. Anne Polick, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, was recently recognized by a UI staff member for her hard work and dedication. The letter of recognition read, “Dr Polick, since starting as a primary care doctor at the UIC Dialysis program, has gone far and beyond her duties, showing a strong concern for her patients, often seeing them at chair side, and always willing to answer any questions and address any concerns that a patient may raise. 

She has spent many hours dealing with patients when she did not need to, and has shown a level of compassion that you don't see very often anymore.”

Dr. Bleasdale Talks About Zika Virus

Dr. Bleasdale videoDr. Susan Bleasdale, Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, was interviewed by ABC News on the Zika Virus. Spring break is approaching, which means warm weather vacations for many Chicagoans. Doctors predict some of the people who go to infected countries in the Caribbean or South America will come back with Zika. Dr. Bleasdale made it clear that as people return, and develop symptoms, it has to be awareness of the physicians to test for the virus.

here to view video 


Venous Thromboembolism: Is YOUR patient at risk?

On March 16, 2016, Dr. Joseph Caprini, Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and Louis W. Biegler Chair of Surgery at NorthShore University HealthSystem gave a talk on Venous Thromboembolism (VTE). The Department of Medicine co-sponsored the event. This event was held in the Moss auditorium.

New Chief of Medicine at Jesse Brown VA

Dr. Jeffrey RyanDr. Jeffrey Ryan has been appointed Chief of Medicine at the Jesse Brown VA Hospital. Dr. Ryan has had a long relationship with the Department of Medicine. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical School in 1997 and completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Illinois Hospital. He then completed a chief residency with the University of Illinois.

Dr. Ryan has practiced primary care at the Jesse Brown VA since completion of his chief residency and went on to become the chief of primary care, followed by the associate chief of staff for ambulatory care. Dr. Ryan is committed to the tradition of supporting outstanding chiefs of medicine and the mission of the VA and University. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Ryan. 

"Introduction to Health Disparities, Health Literacy, and Cultural Competency" Course Offered by the Office of Health Literacy

A course titled “Introduction to Health Disparities, Health Literacy, and Cultural Competency” taught by Dr. Paula Allen-Meares, chancellor emerita, professor of medicine and executive director of the Office of Health Literacy is Dr. Paula Allen Mearesunder development with the advice and assistance of Drs. Olga Garcia-Bedoya, Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar, and many others. The course was be offered to students and faculty in all of the health science colleges on March 14th-17th, 2016.

Benefits of getting a colonoscopy



Dr. Barbara Jung, Associate Professor and Chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, was quoted in an article on the benefits of getting a colonoscopy by Chicago Health. Dr. Jung weighed in on the benefits of getting a colonoscopy and cautioned that screenings should not be put off because once colon cancer spreads beyond the colon, it can be very deadly. The article can be read here:

Dr. Jung was also featured on the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System website highlighting our mission. Dr. Jung talked about what inspires her, her passion for developing the next generation and her reason for choosing to work at UI Health. To view the full interview visit:


Health Disparities in Respiratory Medicine

Dr. Finn

Dr. Patricia Finn, Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Medicine recently co-authored a book chapter in Health Disparities in Respiratory Medicine entitled “Where Do We Go from Here? Improving Disparities in Respiratory Health”. This book discusses health disparities in respiratory medicine and suggests methods to reduce them. The chapter co-authored by Dr. Finn focuses on health disparities and health equality that adversely affect groups of people who have experienced greater obstacles to health based on characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion, pursuing environmental justice and a healthy lifestyle.

News from Hematology Oncology


Dr. Damiano Rondelli, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Hematology Oncology, was highlighted for his specialty, Bone Marrow Transplant, on the UI Health website. Dr. Rondelli highlights that we are the only center in Chicago that can do a stem cell transplant in patients with sickle cell disease without using any chemo-therapy. Dr. Rondelli believes life is a gift and that our responsibility is to make sure that gift is preserved.
To view the full interview visit:

News from Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Dr. NikhilFor years the American Liver Foundation Great Lakes Division has hosted the Academic Debates, a CME accredited educational program for the medical community of the Great Lakes region. The purpose of this program is to address controversial issues pertaining to liver disease treatment, current and best practices, and new research in hepatology. Pairs of fellows representing six of the Great Lakes region’s premier Liver Centers are selected by a highly-regarded mentor from each of their respective institutions. 

Dr. Joseph Schowater
During the program fellows debate their position and are judged by members of the American Liver Foundation Great Lakes Division’s Medical Advisory Committee.
This year, Dr. Sean Koppe, Associate Professor, has selected second year GI fellows, Dr. Nikhil Martis (pictured top) and Dr. Joseph Schowalter (pictured bottom) to represent UIC in the debates. Competitors include Rush University, Loyola University, Stroger Hospital, Indiana University, and Northwestern University. The Debates will take place on Thursday, March 3, 2016, from 5:30-9:30pm at the Union League Club, Chicago. Best wishes to Drs. Koppe, Martis, and Schowalter! 

Please click here for more information



Dr. Paula Allen Meares