At the Forefront of Medicine
The University of Chicago Medicine has continued to improve in U.S. News & World Report’s annual survey of the country’s best hospitals. Nine adult specialties were recognized as being among the best in the country in the 2020 annual U.S. News and World Report rankings.
The Nine specialties include gynecology (#12), gastroenterology and GI surgery (#13), endocrinology (#19), urology (#22), nephrology (#23), cancer (#24), orthopaedics (#32) otolaryngology (#35) and pulmonology (#49)
Two additional Adult Specialties, Geriatrics and Neurology and Neurosurgery and Seven high performing procedures or conditions were also ranked — Heart Failure, Aortic Valve Surgery, Heart Bypass Surgery, COPD, Lung Cancer, Colon Cancer Surgery, and Knee Replacement Surgery.
In the U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Children’s Hospitals survey, the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital was also ranked among the best in Two specialties in 2020: Pediatric Diabetes & Endocrinology as well as Pediatric Gastroenterology & GI Surgery.
According to U.S. News & World Report's 2021 “Best Grad Schools” survey results, the Pritzker School of Medicine is the highest-ranked medical school for research and primary care in Illinois. Nationally, Pritzker is ranked for research (#17) and for primary care training (#24).
UChicago Medicine faculty advance the forefront of health every day by bringing research to reality and advanced care closer to our patients. Below is a selection of notable highlights from 2020:
- U.S. News & World Report ranked UChicago Medicine’s adult endocrinology No.19 and pediatric endocrinology No. 47 for its 2020 “Best Hospitals” survey.
- Isabel Casimiro, MD, PhD, was appointed as instructor of medicine for Adult and Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism.
- At the end of 2019, George Bakris, MD, was awarded the Irvine Page–Alva Bradley Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Heart Association BP Council.
- Graeme Bell, PhD, was awarded the City of Hope 2020 Arthur Riggs Award for Excellence in Basic and Translational Sciences in Diabetes.
- Antonio Bianco, MD, PhD, was awarded the 2020 John Stanbury Pathophysiology Medal from the American Thyroid Association and the 2020 Merck Pinchera Prize from the European Thyroid Association. He also co-wrote the most up-to-date guidelines on the use of LT4/LT3 combination therapy for the treatment of hypothyroidism: "Evidence Based Use of LT4/LT3 Combinations in Treating Hypothyroidism: A Consensus Document.”
- Matthew Brady, PhD, chair for the Committee on Molecular Metabolism and Nutrition (CMMN) at the University of Chicago Medicine, obtained a new NIH grant to study the effects of chronic pubertal stressors on mammary gland biology and cancer risk (with Martha McClintock, PhD and Suzanne Conzen, MD).
- Laura Dickens, MD, collaborated with the section of Maternal-Fetal Medicine to establish the University of Chicago Diabetes in Pregnancy Program (DIPP), a centralized specialty care program for patients with pre-gestational type 1 or type 2 diabetes in pregnancy or a new diagnosis of gestational diabetes.
- Alexandra Dumitrescu, MD, PhD, Antonio Bianco, MD, PhD, Samuel Refetoff, MD, and colleagues, identified the first identification of deiodinase gene mutations in man. The paper is titled, “Human Type 1 Iodothyronine Deiodinase (DIO1) Mutations Cause Abnormal Thyroid Hormone Metabolism.” Thyroid. In press.
- Raghavendra Mirmira, MD, PhD, was appointed as director for the Translational Research Center and the associate vice-chair for Translational Research for the department of medicine at UChicago Medicine. He also developed a blood test that showed children with either obesity or type 1 diabetes have evidence of dying β cells, and showed that first-degree relatives of children with type 1 diabetes have evidence of β cell death, too. “Circulating unmethylated CHTOP and INS DNA fragments provide evidence of possible islet cell death in youth with obesity and diabetes”- Clinical Epigenetics July 2020.
- Louis Phillipson, MD, PhD, director, Kovler Diabetes Center, University of Chicago, completed his term as President for Science and Medicine of the American Diabetes Association at the end of 2019 and organized the ADA Chicago COVID-19 Discussion group.
- Samuel Refetoff, MD and colleagues authored journal article “Prenatal Treatment of Thyroid Hormone Cell Membrane Transport Defect Caused by MCT8 Gene Mutation.” The first partial rescue of the neurodevelopmental defects in MCT8 deficiency by intra-amniotic injection of T4 to provide TH to a fetus with MCT8 deficiency. In press
- Celeste Thomas, MD, launched “Medically and Socially Complex Diabetes,” as a series for ECHO-Chicago. She also served as an expert for Webinar for American Heart Association’s “Know Diabetes by Heart” campaign.
- Tamara Vokes, MD, and colleagues authored “Association of Vitamin D Status and Other Clinical Characteristics With COVID-19 Test Results” - JAMA Netw Open. September 2020. The publication suggests that Vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for development of COVID-19.
- Our faculty have published many protocols and guidelines for digestive diseases care during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
- David T. Rubin, MD, Russell D. Cohen, MD and colleagues. AGA Clinical Practice Update on Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Expert Commentary. Gastroenterology. July 2020.
- Vivek N. Prachand, MD, Mitchell C. Posner MD, John J. Fung, MD, Jeffrey B. Matthews, MD and colleagues. Medically Necessary, Time-Sensitive Procedures: Scoring System to Ethically and Efficiently Manage Resource Scarcity and Provider Risk During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. August 2020.
- Dejan Micic, MD, Carol Semrad, MD, and Elizabeth Wall, RD. Nutrition Support in the ICU- A Refresher in the Era of COVID-19. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, September 2020.
- David T. Rubin and colleague. Coronavirus and Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Management Strategies for the Practicing Clinician.The American Journal of Gastroenterology. October 2020.
- David T. Rubin, MD, and colleagues. SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination for Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Recommendations from an International Consensus Meeting. Gut. (In press).
- David T. Rubin, MD, was awarded the 2020 Sherman Prize for his dedication to advancing the field of Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and IBD.
- Andrew Aronsohn, MD, was appointed chair of the Practice Guidelines Committee for the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).
- Yalini Vigneswaran, MD, who joined UChicago Medicine in fall 2019, expanded her practice to Orland Park and will be launching a comprehensive Esophageal Diseases Center.
- Kinga Skowron Olortegui, MD, joined the Section of Colorectal Surgery. Her clinical practice expands options for colorectal patients both at our main Hyde Park location at Orland Park.
- Led by Lauren Gleason, MD, PhD the South Shore Senior Center achieved national recognition by the John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement as an Age-Friendly Health Center.
- The Supporting Healthy Aging Resources and Education (SHARE) Network (PI Katherine Thompson, MD) has trained 440 local primary care providers through ECHO-Chicago, held 26 community-based events, and developed dementia caregiver support groups in area churches.
- Geriatrics faculty, in collaboration with ECHO-Chicago and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, implemented a COVID training series for over 200 Illinois nursing homes.
- Megan Huisingh-Scheetz, MD, spearheaded an inaugural virtual aging research conference featuring two nationally-renowned keynote speakers and 44 investigators across the University of Chicago Medicine Biological Sciences Division.
- Palliative medicine specialist, Sandy Tun, MD, expanded the co-management ambulatory model with surgical oncology through offering services to persons undergoing evaluation for Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy.
- We established the Center for Women’s Integrated Health to provide a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to women’s care. Led by Monica Christmas, MD, this multi-disciplinary team includes experts in gynecology, endocrinology, sleep medicine, and dermatology to determine the most effective, integrated care plan for women.
- The Center for Reproductive Medicine and Fertility is expanding and we are proud of their success rates and wide scope of services. From fertility testing and diagnosis to infertility treatment, our physicians are skilled in the most advanced procedures for patients who are planning to grow their family, or to support those who are having challenges conceiving due to underlying health conditions, including recurrent pregnancy loss.
- With the recent addition of nationally-recognized geneticist Ryan Longman, MD, our Fetal Neonatal Care Center will continue to provide advanced diagnostic techniques, care coordination, and treatment for complex fetal disorders and anomalies. Invasive testing, including chorionic villus sampling, is available. The multi-disciplinary team includes maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialists, pediatric surgeons, specialized NICU care, and a dedicated nurse navigator to guide and support families.
- Internationally-renowned reproductive endocrinologist Arthur F. Haney, MD, has retired from UChicago Medicine after performing thousands of transabdominal cerclage procedures; assisting patients with cervical insufficiency in maintaining full-term pregnancies. His colleague and protégé Laura Douglass, MD, who has worked with Dr. Haney since 2009, has taken over as Director of the Transabdominal Cerclage Program and will continue to provide the specialized service.
- Our women's cancer team is the largest gynecologic oncology group in the region, with multidisciplinary expertise in complex ovarian and vulvar cancer surgery and management, hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), advanced minimally invasive surgery, and the largest portfolio of clinical trials available for gynecologic oncology patients. Our institution is the only center in the geographic area with adoptive cellular therapy trials open for women’s cancer. Our faculty have achieved national recognition: Division Director, S. Diane Yamada, MD, is President-Elect of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, and our newly recruited Cancer Center Director, Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, is an internationally-renowned gynecologic oncologist recognized for his immunotherapy work.
- In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the heart transplant program was able to transplant 45 patients including five heart-kidneys, two heart-livers and one triple-organ. The team completed 28 transplants from July to December, which is the program’s greatest number of transplants performed in a single six-month period. While volume is a notable metric, it’s important to highlight the program maintained a one-year survival well above the national average and successfully offered transplants to patients turned away by other centers.
- Valluvan Jeevanandam, MD, James K. Liao, MD, Matthew Sorrentino, MD, Michael H. Davidson, MD, and Roderick Tung, MD, were named “Top Doctors” in the Chicago area based on a selective annual list published by Chicago magazine.
- Cardiologist and heart failure expert Sean Pinney, MD, was named Co-Director of the Heart and Vascular Center and Director of the Advanced Heart Failure, Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program. His arrival will help our program continue to develop innovative approaches that will enhance long-term outcomes for our patients.
- We offer some of the most comprehensive and innovative robotic approaches available anywhere in the world, including the multi-vessel totally endoscopic coronary artery bypass (TECAB) surgery. In August 2020, Husam H. Balkhy, MD, and his team performed their 1,000th robotic heart surgery since he started the program at UChicago Medicine seven years ago.
- Michael Earing, MD, was named Section Chief of Pediatric Cardiology and Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease program. In these roles, Earing will utilize his expertise to enhance the the care of children and adults with structural heart defects throughout Chicagoland.
- Francis Alenghat, MD, PhD, received the Harold S. Geneen Charitable Trust Award for Coronary Heart Disease Research on the role of lipoprotein lipase on regulating macrophage function. He was also awarded grants from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association.
- We significantly expanded our Bloodless Cardiac Surgery Program, which allowed us to serve over 80 patients, including multiple bloodless heart transplants and other procedures.
- The interventional cardiology group initiated the implant of the WATCHMAN device. This left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) implant device prevents stroke-causing blood clots from escaping from your heart.
- Gaurav Upadhyay, MD, and Francis Alenghat, MD, PhD, served as investigators in a research study, led by investigators from Mayo Clinic, to gather electrocardiogram (ECG) data from COVID-19 patients with the goal to noninvasively diagnose COVID-19 from the use of ECGs alone. Our center’s participation provided important representation from our South Side community.
- Roderick Tung, MD, performed the first cardioneural ablation procedure in the nation to ‘rewire’ the heart and prevent recurring fainting spells. The procedure treated recurring sudden drops in heart rate and blood pressure that had been causing a patient to faint at least once every two months for most of their life.
- Luka Pocivavsek, MD, PhD, joined the vascular surgery group as a physician-scientist. His research focuses on endograft interfacial stability, aortic fragility and tissue elasticity.
- Ross Milner, MD, Co-Director of our renowned Center for Aortic Diseases, one of the most comprehensive centers for aortic conditions, was named Editor-in-Chief of Vascular.
- The Heart and Vascular Center was ranked as the 29th best cardiology hospital in the world and the best in Illinois, according to the independent 2021 ranking of the World’s Best Specialized Hospitals, conducted by Newsweek/Statista.
- Our Woodlawn and Kenwood Home Dialysis Units have received five-star levels (the highest possible) by CMS. This marks the first time a Home Dialysis unit has ever been star rated.
- Our department has two major centers of excellence: one in hereditary kidney diseases, focusing on autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) and one in kidney stones or nephrolithiasis and idiopathic hypercalciuria.
- We continue to provide outstanding renal in-patient care to patients with cancer, heart and liver problems with excellent patient outcomes for 30 day survival and discharge-to-homes that are significantly better than the national average, receiving scores of 5/5 for both categories from the 2020-2021 US News & World Report.
- Our faculty have received numerous accolades:
- Hatim Hassan, MD was named one of Illinois Science and Technology Coalition’s “Researchers to Know” for “Fighting Disease” regarding oxalate and kidney stones in relation to the microbiome.
- Michelle A. Josephson, MD was elected counselor of the American Society of Nephrology.
- Ben Ko, MD was elected to the National ASN Work Force Committee.
- Bharathi Reddy, MD was elected to the Board of Directors for ESRD Network 10.
- Arlene Chapman, MD received the Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize for excellence and leadership in Polycystic Kidney Disease.
- Fredric Coe, MD was named one of the 2020 Chicago Magazine Top Doctors in Nephrology.
- Samantha Gunning, MD is leading a new Transitional Care Unit, providing tailored treatments for patients new to dialysis, with more frequent provider interaction and a patient-centric education curriculum.
- In collaboration with NANI (Nephrology Associates of Northern Illinois and Indiana), our fellows now receive specialized interventional nephrology training allowing them the opportunity for ASDIN certification.
- Bakhtiar Yamini, MD, was appointed as Interim Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery, effective January 1, 2021. A respected scientist, Yamini has received continuous extramural funding from the NIH, ACS and other private sources since 2003. Work from Yamini’s lab has been published in multiple high-impact scientific journals, including Molecular Cell, Science Translational Medicine and Nature Communications. We welcome him to this new role and thank David Frim, MD, PhD, for his service as the preceding Chief of the Section of Neurosurgery and continued contributions to pediatric neurosurgery at UChicago Medicine and Comer Children’s Hospital.
- The UChicago Medicine Neurocritical Care Unit is excited to be the first in Chicago to bring a portable MRI device to patients’ bedsides for better understanding of the early effects of traumatic brain injuries.
- UChicago Medicine is the first hospital in the Chicagoland area to use the new Percept PC DBS system to treat patients with movement disorders.
- Both UChicago Medicine and Comer Children’s Hospital have Level 4 Epilepsy Centers — the highest classification granted by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. We are the only integrated pediatric and adult program in Illinois, offering seamless care from infancy through adulthood.
- We are one of the leading centers to offer MRI-guided laser ablation to treat various forms of epilepsy and brain tumors in both adults and children. Our renowned physicians were among the first in the world to perform a laser ablation procedure for OCD, as presented to the American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery.
- Our neurosurgery program is one of few in the country to provide comprehensive care for both children and adults with CNS congenital anomalies. In addition, we are home to nationally known programs for adults and children with neurofibromatosis and tuberous sclerosis.
- We are the Regional Coordinator Center for Chicago StrokeNet trials. We are one of 29 sites nationally that oversees the conduct of leading-edge trials in acute stroke, stroke prevention and recovery. UChicago Medicine also received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has awarded Issam Awad, MD, a $3.2 million grant for the development of blood biomarkers of cavernous angiomas with symptomatic hemorrhage, including optimization and validation at multiple sites.
- Our Cerebral Cavernous Malformation (CCM) program is one of six national Centers of Excellence designated by the Angioma Alliance.
- We have been designated a Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) Center of Excellence by the CURE HTT Foundation, one of 22 in North America.
- Our Ataxia Center, which is one of 16 in the U.S., is home to internationally renowned experts in neurogenetic disorders who collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including physiologists, neuro-imagers and geneticists, to care for patients with neurogenetic disorders, gait and balance disorders and ataxias.
- Our deep brain stimulation (DBS) program continues to lead the way in using the procedure to treat patients who have movement disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, dystonia or essential tremor.
- We are a designated Information and Referral Center by the American Parkinson Disease Association for our excellence in state-of-the-art patient care and our quest to find improved therapies through high-level research.
- The Centers for Multiple Sclerosis, Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) and Autoimmune Brain Disease provide patients across the country with comprehensive and coordinated care for MS and demyelinating diseases using the latest advanced treatments. Our physicians were also instrumental in developing the first FDA-approved MS therapy, interferon-beta, and have helped to develop many of the newest therapies in MS.
- Our neurotrauma program, now in its third year following the opening of the University of Chicago Level 1 trauma center, continues to treat hundreds of patients with blunt and penetrating brain and spine injuries. This year, based in part on our unique experience as a high volume trauma center serving the South Side of Chicago, the neurotrauma program has published several high impact manuscripts in the Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery, the Journal of Neurotrauma, the Journal of Critical Care, and World Neurosurgery. Topics have included surgical management, coagulopathy and neurovascular injury in penetrating brain injury.
- The Margaret Hackett Family Program (MHFP) at UChicago Medicine is one of the few entities in the country dedicated to providing comprehensive care for both children and adults with central nervous system (CNS) congenital anomalies. The program seeks to create a centralized source of information regarding CNS congenital anomalies, so patients and families can find resources to better understand their diagnoses and options. The MHFP is also driving research focused on advancing the understanding of CNS congenital anomalies with the hope of developing improved treatments.
- Our neuroscience researchers received a $3.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help develop robotic arms patients can control with their minds that receive sensory feedback from attached prosthetic hands. The grant for the visual prosthesis device recently received FDA approval to move into the human subject testing phase.
- Sonali Smith, MD, was recently appointed as Chief of the Section of Hematology/Oncology at UChicago Medicine. Her other leadership position includes Co-Leader for the Cancer Service Line. She is the first woman to hold the position at our institution.
- Olufunmilayo Olopade, MD, Director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and Global Health was named to this year’s list of Giants of Cancer Care.
- S. Diane Yamada, MD, Chief of the Section for Gynecologic Oncology, was voted President-Elect for the Society of Gynecologic Oncology and will begin her one-year term as SGO President after the 2021 SGO Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA.
- Neil Hyman, MD, Chief of the Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery and Co-Director of the Center for Digestive Diseases is currently serving as President, American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.
- Michelle M. Le Beau, PhD, received the 2020 AACR-Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research by the American Association for Cancer Research. Le Beau also received the 2020 Henry M. Stratton Medal from the American Society of Hematology for her contributions to basic research in leukemia.
- Hania Al-Hallaq, PhD, was named to the 2020 Fellow class of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine for significant contributions to the advancement of medical physics, and Stanley Liauw, MD, was recognized by the American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) as a Fellow based on service to ASTRO and contributions to radiation oncology.
- Marisa Alegre, MD, PhD, and Thomas Gajewski, MD, PhD, have been elected to the Association of American Physicians (AAP). The AAP is an honorific, elected society of America’s leading physician-scientists who exemplify the pinnacle of impactful contributions to improve health.
- UChicago Medicine has been gifted $10 million to establish the David and Etta Jones Center for Cellular Therapy, directed by Michael Bishop, MD, and Thomas Gajewski, MD, PhD, which will unite researchers to focus on emerging forms for cancer treatment, such as T-cell treatments like CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) T-cell therapy. The Cellular Therapy and Transplant Program was also recently recognized for its above average survival outcomes in the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program network as reported by CIBMTR.
- At the outset of the pandemic, a group of UChicago Medicine surgeons, led by Vivek Prachand, MD and including cancer faculty Peter Angelos, MD, PhD, Nishant Agrawal, MD, Mitchell Posner, MD, and Jeffrey B Matthews, MD, created an algorithm to identify medically necessary surgeries and other procedures that should not be delayed, also known as Medically Necessary Time Sensitive (MeNTS) Prioritization. The MeNTS system has been endorsed by the American College of Surgeons and has been widely adopted across the country.
- Andy Liao, MD and Xavier Keutgen, MD recently launched the Multidisciplinary Neuroendocrine Tumor Clinic, in which patients are seen by medical and surgical oncologists at the same time, reducing visits to the medical center. These same physicians regularly meet with other NET experts to determine the best treatment plan for the patient.
- The University of Chicago Pediatric Cancer Data Commons (PCDC) is bringing the power of precision medicine to children with high-risk, hard-to-treat and relapsed leukemia as part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s LLS PedAl (Pediatric Acute Leukemia) clinical trial.
- Jing Chen, PhD recently joined the Department of Medicine, Section of Hematology/Oncology where he also serves as inaugural Director of the newly established Cancer Metabolic Research Center and Director of Basic and Translational Research in the Section of Hematology/Oncology.
- Over 50 Peer-Reviewed Publications, Textbook Chapters, and Meeting Presentations
- Peter Veldman, MD accepted a multi-year appointment to the American Academy of Ophthalmology Ophthalmic Technology Assessment Committee
- Steven Quan, OD was elected to serve on the board of the special interest group, the Academic Medical Center Optometrists, for the American Academy of Optometry
- Seenu Hariprasad, MD was referenced in the Chicago Magazine’s Top Doctor Issue
- Mary Qiu, MD was accepted into the prestigious American Glaucoma Society and is currently writing a textbook on Neovascular Glaucoma
- In our second year as a level I adult trauma center, we remain the busiest trauma center in Chicago (by a factor of more than 2). Our volumes doubled in the summer of 2020 compared to those during the same period in 2019. The department performed more than 1,400 adult trauma surgeries, including over 300 for ballistic injuries to the musculoskeletal system. The faculty and residents on the service have applied the knowledge gained through those surgeries to generate unique scholarly projects that have begun to gain national recognition. We have just initiated a search to further expand our trauma faculty, as Drs. Daryl Dillman, Jason Strelzow and Miguel S. Daccarett are extremely busy.
- Our region-leading programs in robotic total joint replacement and robotic spinal instrumentation surgery continue to expand and gain recognition. Drs. Hue Luu, Tessa Balach, Sara Wallace, Kenneth Chakour and Aravind Athiviraham provide patients amazing care using this leading-edge technique. Drs. Michael J. Lee and Mostafa El Dafrawy have extensive expertise in robotic spinal instrumentation, which shortens surgical and recovery times while enhancing quality and safety of major spinal surgery.
- We have also introduced innovative computer-assisted surgical technology to other clinical programs. Dr. Sherwin Ho is now expert in using computer-assisted technology in hip arthroscopy to guide bone resection for more precise surgery and improved outcomes for treatment of hip impingement. Drs. Lewis Shi and Nick Maassen use computer-assisted technology in complex shoulder replacement surgery, leading to more accurate positioning of implants that will improve outcomes and the longevity of shoulder replacement surgery.
- We have invested in a substantial expansion of our pediatric orthopaedic program. Dr. Laura Lewallen and Dr. Clarabelle DeVries – who joined Dr. Chris Sullivan this year – have brought new energy and unparalleled expertise to our pediatric orthopaedic programs. These additions have positioned us for a major expansion of our children’s orthopaedic programs, and we shall soon become a destination for children with orthopaedic conditions and injuries.
- At the outset of the pandemic, a group of UChicago Medicine surgeons led by Vivek Prachand, MD and co-authors Peter Angelos, MD, PhD, Nishant Agrawal, MD, Mitchell C. Posner, MD, and Jeffrey B. Matthews, MD, created an algorithm to identify medically necessary surgeries and other procedures that should not be delayed, also known as Medically Necessary Time Sensitive (MeNTS) Prioritization. The MeNTS system has been endorsed by the American College of Surgeons and widely adopted throughout the country.
- The Section of OHNS has a total of $5.9 million in active research grant funding. This includes innovative research initiatives led by Nishant Agrawal, MD, Michael B. Gluth, MD, Jayant M. Pinto, MD, and Dana L. Suskind, MD.
- Our cochlear implant program, under surgeons Michael B. Gluth, MD, Terence Imbery, MD, and Dana L. Suskind, MD, has continued to grow as the highest volume cochlear implant center in the Chicagoland area that provides comprehensive services to both adults and children.
- Our distinguished faculty members have continued to contribute to the field of Otolaryngology, with Fuad Baroody, MD, coediting a book on Pediatric Rhinosinusitis this past year. This joins the previous publications including “The Chronic Ear”, co-authored by Michael B. Gluth, MD, a comprehensive textbook on chronic ear infection and related ear surgery. Zhen Gooi, MD, and Nishant Agrawal, MD, previously also published a textbook entitled “Difficult Decisions in Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery”.
- Led by laryngeal surgeon Brandon Baird, MD, UChicago Medicine launched a voice center that treats the full spectrum of voice disorders, as well as expanded its multidisciplinary airway center that focuses on airway narrowing and cancer. The voice center also exclusively offers office-based laser procedures for vocal cord lesions and injections for vocal cord paralysis. Both centers treat the most complex cases from across the nation, providing a holistic approach to voice care and personalized treatment.
- Cancer: Our team is leading the Pediatric Cancer Data Commons — a global initiative to bring the power of precision medicine to children with high-risk, hard-to-treat and relapsed leukemia as part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Pediatric Acute Leukemia clinical trial.
- Cardiology: We are proud to announce that Michael Earing, MD joined Comer Children’s as Section Chief of Pediatric Cardiology and will be a key member of our collaboration in the Chicagoland Children’s Health Alliance to continue our work in building a stronger network of care.
- Allergy and Immunology: Christina Ciaccio, MD, MSc, associate professor of pediatrics and medicine, was a principal investigator of a landmark clinical trial that led to approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of the first oral immunotherapy treatment for peanut allergy in children and teens.
- Diabetes and Endocrinology: Siri Greeley, MD, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics and medicine, leads a team of clinicians and researchers at Comer Children’s Hospital and Kovler Diabetes Center that are recognized as international experts on monogenic diabetes.
- The Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) was funded by the Urban Health Initiative in Spring 2020 and will be funded by UChicago Medicine in 2021. The DRP has focused on relieving burnout and secondary traumatic stress in healthcare workers at UChicago Medicine caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing community violence. Royce Lee, MD, Fabiana Araujo, PhD, and Candice Norcott, PhD, are active trainers in this program, which emphasizes peer-to-peer resilience training adhering to evidence-based practice.
- A new forensic restoration unit at UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial Hospital provides crucial mental health services for defendants found unfit to stand trial.
- Based on 10 years of NIH funding, Elliot S. Gershon, MD and his research team successfully obtained grant funding from the National Institute of Mental Health to predict treatment response in psychosis to the neuroleptic Clozapine by using neurobiological measurements and patient categorization.
- The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience was the first department in the medical center to move our care to a virtual platform. Our general clinics and specialty clinics handled an exceptional volume as the pandemic increased demands for mental health services. Although we have not had time to design a controlled trial of the effect of virtual care on the patient experience, anecdotal reports from our patients have been overwhelmingly positive. We were able to lead in this area and continue to provide care for our patients in Chicago and NW Indiana.
- The Section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry established the Recovery and Empowerment After Community Trauma (REACT) clinic, which is part of the REACT program, a SAMHSA grant-funded National Child Traumatic Stress Network program founded to provide trauma-informed mental health services for children and families affected by community violence. The REACT clinic is an interdisciplinary clinic focused on providing trauma-informed psychological and psychiatric needs assessment, as well as linkages to trauma-focused psychotherapy, psychiatric medication management, and social work services for children and families impacted by community violence.
- Our section launched a pilot study examining the effects of oxidative stress and glutathione in children and adolescents who have autism. This study might open the door for new approaches in understanding the environmental effects and the psychopathology of autism.
- We are leading the institution-wide implementation of universal suicide risk screening in the children’s hospital by utilizing the Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) tool. We have launched a study in the University of Chicago Medicine’s Comer Children’s Hospital Emergency Department for suicide prevention (PED-SAFE).
- Our expert physicians take a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating complex, chronic and rare lung diseases. Our interstitial lung disease program directed by Mary E. Strek, MD, is a regional referral center and among one of the three Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Care Centers in Illinois. Our COPD/Asthma program directed by Steve White, MD, cares for those patients with refractory disease. Cystic fibrosis (CF) program directed by Edward “Ted” T. Naureckas, MD, remains one of the largest adult CF programs in the Chicago area. Our lung transplant program led by Renea Jablonski, MD, has grown with the addition of Maria Lucia Madariaga, MD, to the surgical team.
- Our interventional program co-directed by Septimiu Murgu, MD, and D. Kyle Hogarth, MD, has expanded its clinical volume with the addition of Ajay Wagh, MD. We are the leading center in the U.S. for bronchoscopic lung volume reduction and bronchial thermoplasty. We are also the leading center in the Midwest for robotic endoscopy, and the second hospital in the country to offer the procedure.
- Our faculty have made substantial contributions to our understanding and management of pulmonary disorders, including management of critically ill patients, ARDS, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, asthma and sleep medicine.
- Our grant portfolio continues to grow with over 9.7 million dollars in annual support. This includes new NIH funding to study COVID-19-induced humoral immunity, mechanisms of T cell selection and application of novel approaches to understand human inflammation.
- The Section has had several high impact papers, including:
- Fotini Gounari, PhD and colleagues. TCF-1 and HEB cooperate to establish the epigenetic and transcription profile of CD4+CD8+ thymocytes.Nature Immunology. November 2018. Demonstrate a novel mechanism by which the epigenetic landscape of developing T lymphocytes is determined by critical transcription factors.
- Malay Mandal, PhD, Fotini Gounari, PhD and Marcus R. Clark, MD, CXCR4 Signaling directs Igk recombination and the molecular mechanisms of late B lymphopoiesis. Nature Immunology. September 2019. This is the first demonstration of a direct role for a chemokine receptor in determining a cell fate decision.
- Marcus R. Clark, MD and colleagues. Novel specialized cell state and spatial compartments within the germinal center. Nature Immunology, April 2020. This paper rewrites the canonical model of the germinal center.
- Patrick Wilson, PhD and colleagues. Polyreactive broadly neutralizing B Cells are selected to provide defense against pandemic threat influenza viruses. Immunity. October 2020. This work demonstrates the central role of antibody polyreactivity in conferring broad protection against influenza, and by extension, other viral infections.
- Marisa Alegre, MD, PhD was elected to the American Association of Physicians (AAP), which is a prestigious organization for physician scientists who have made substantial contributions to medicine and biology.
- Successfully performed more than 60 high-intensity focused ultrasound (HiFU) procedures to treat prostate cancer. Beginning in January 2021, the HiFU procedure will receive its own CPT code and become increasingly available for patients.
- UChicago Medicine is the first center in Illinois to offer outpatient blue light cystoscopies.
- Luke Reynolds, MD, joined our practice in July 2020 with a focus on kidney stones and benign prostate disease. Dr. Reynolds is fellowship trained from the University of Toronto in endourology, laparoscopic/robotic surgery and renal transplant.
- Parth Modi, MD, MS, joined our practice in August 2020 with a focus on bladder, prostate and kidney cancers. Dr. Modi’s research interests are focused on healthcare policy and improving the delivery of healthcare in the United States. Dr. Modi completed his fellowship training at the University of Michigan in urologic oncology.
- Sarah Faris, MD, is the Principal Investigator for a multisite investigator-initiated randomized controlled clinical trial, “The CUPID Trial: Collaborative Urological Prosthetics Investigation Directive Research Group.” The purpose of this study is to look at the effectiveness of oral antibiotics post penile prothesis implantation.
Why Choose UChicago Medicine
We are advancing the forefront of health every day by bringing research to reality and advanced care closer to our patients. Welcome to the forefront.
Awards & Accreditations
UChicago Medicine is continually recognized as a leader in medicine — both in patient care and research.
Learn why we are at the forefront of medicine.
UChicago Medicine is committed to improving health and wellness in the communities where our neighbors live, work, learn and play. Through valued partnerships, UChicago Medicine leverages the strengths and talents of existing community relationships to address chronic conditions and other complex health needs on Chicago's historic South Side and in our Southland region.
Expertise & Experience
UChicago Medicine is one of the nation's leading academic medical institutions. We have been at the forefront of medical care since 1927, when we first opened to patients.
Quality & Safety
At UChicago Medicine, providing highly effective, safe patient care is central to everything we do. Here, teams of experts work together to ensure we follow the highest standards for quality care — from preventing infections and continuously improving surgical care to achieving high success rates and patient volumes for even the most complex procedures.
Research & Innovation
UChicago Medicine is home to physicians who are pioneers in their fields, bringing research to reality and making the extraordinary possible. From breakthroughs in immunotherapy to game-changing orthopaedics, we bring you the most advanced health care treatments.