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 2021 annual U.S. News and World Report rankings.
Four additional Adult Specialties, Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, Neurology and Neurosurgery, Geriatrics and Orthopaedics and Twelve high performing procedures or conditions were also ranked — Heart Failure, Aortic Valve Surgery, Heart Attack, Heart Bypass Surgery, COPD, Lung Cancer, Colon Cancer Surgery, Diabetes, Kidney Failure, Knee Replacement Surgery, Pneumonia and Stroke.
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 Four specialties in 2022: Pediatric Cancer, Neonatology, Pediatric Urology and 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 2021:
- This year, U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) ranked UChicago Medicine’s adult endocrinology No.14 and pediatric endocrinology No. 46 in its 2021-2022 “Best Hospitals” survey.
- Rajesh Jain, MD, was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine for Adult and Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. Dr. Jain is an expert in osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease.
- The Kovler Diabetes Center, directed by Louis Philipson, MD, PhD, celebrated its 15th anniversary. The Kovler Diabetes Center is globally renowned for scientific discoveries to enhance the health and lives of patients with diabetes.
- George Bakris, MD, Director, Comprehensive Hypertension Center, was awarded the 2021 National Kidney Foundation of Illinois Lifetime of Service Award.
- Our department successfully renewed its NIH T32 training grant under the direction of Raghavendra Mirmira, MD, PhD, and Graeme Bell, PhD. This grant, which is in its 47th year of funding, trains the next generation of physician-scientists.
- Dr. Mirmira was appointed deputy editor of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism and editor of ENDO2021 Highlights, a summary of research presented at the Endocrine Society’s Annual Meeting in 2021.
- Antonio Bianco, MD, PhD, and Alexandra Dumitrescu MD, PhD, completed a Phase 1 clinical trial of slow-release liothyronine, which could result in being one of the first significant advances in the treatment of hypothyroidism since the development of synthetic levothyroxine.
- Fonseca TL, Garcia T, Fernandes GW, Nair TM, Bianco AC. Neonatal thyroxine activation modifies epigenetic programming of the liver. Nat Communications. 2021 Jul 21;12(1):4446.
- Anderson-Baucum E, Piñeros AR, Kulkarni A, Webb-Robertson B-J, Maier B, Anderson RM, Wu W, Tersey SA, Mastracci TL, Casimiro I, Scheuner D, Metz TO, Nakayasu ES, Evans-Molina C, Mirmira RG. Deoxyhypusine synthase promotes a pro-inflammatory macrophage phenotype. Cell Metabolism. 2021 Sep 7;33(9):1883-1893.e7.
- Bakris GL, Agarwal R, Anker SD, Pitt B, Ruilope LM, Rossing P, Kolkhof P, Nowack C, Schloemer P, Joseph A, Filippatos G, FIDELIO-DKD Investigators. Effect of Finerenone on Chronic Kidney Disease Outcomes in Type 2 Diabetes. New England Journal of Medicine. 2020 Dec 3;383(23):2219–29.
Many UChicago Medicine team members received national recognition and honors including:
- Janice Colwell, APN, received the National Magnet Nurse of the Year award.
- David T. Rubin, MD was elected as Deputy Chair of the International Organization for the Study of IBD (IOIBD)
- Carol E. Semrad, MD, received the Master Endoscopist Award from the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE).
- Uzma Siddiqui, MD, now leads the UChicago Medicine Center for Endoscopic Research and Therapeutics.
- Helen S. Te, MD, received the American Society of Transplantation’s Physician of Distinction Award during the Annual Transplant Congress.
Faculty members continued publications of their research including the following:
- Study in twins identifies fecal microbiome differences in food allergies
- A new research study describes a new endoscopic classification system for J pouches (“The Chicago Classification”)
- Expression of obesity-associated genes correlate with metabolic and behavioral changes linked to obesity
- Restoring gut microbes missing in early life dysbiosis can reduce the risk of colitis in genetically prone mice.
- Monica Malec, MD, and Stacie Levine, MD, FAAHPM, were both named to Chicago Magazine’s Top Doctors List.
- 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. Dr. Gleason also accepted into the Tideswell AGS Emerging Leaders in Aging Program.
- 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. She also received the American Geriatrics Society 2021 Arti Hurria Memorial Award for Emerging Investigators in the Subspecialties of Internal Medicine that are Focused on the Care of Older Adults.
- 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.
- Shellie Williams, MD, was named as a Fellow, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (FAAHPM).
- Stacie Levine, MD, FAAHPM, received the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Gerald H. Holman Distinguished Service Award.
- Huisingh-Scheetz M, Wroblewski K, Waite L, Huang ES, Schumm LP, Hedeker D. Variability in Hourly Activity Levels: Statistical Noise or Insight into Older Adult Frailty? Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2021; Sept 13;76(9): 1608-1618. PMID:33049032.
- Beiting K, Huisingh-Scheetz M, Walker J, Graupner J, Martinchek M, Thompson K, Levine S, Gleason L, Management and Outcomes of a COVID-19 Outbreak in a Nursing Home with Predominantly Black Residents. JAGS. 2021 Mar 19. doi: 10.1111/jgs.17126. PMID 33739444.
- Martinchek M, Beiting K, Walker J, Graupner J, Huisingh-Scheetz M, Thompson K, Gleason L, Levine S. Weight Loss in COVID-19 Positive Nursing Home Residents. JAMDA. Doi.org/10/1016/j.jamda.2020.11.031. PMID 33352194.
- Mozer C, Gilbertson J, Robinson M, Kelemen L, Kostas T. Understanding the Roles of Physical Therapists on the Care Team: An Interprofessional Experience for First-Year Medical Students. Journal of Interprofessional Practice. 2021 24(1-5).
We have the most comprehensive and innovative Robotic Heart Surgery Program in the world, offering multi-vessel totally endoscopic coronary artery bypass (TECAB) surgery, valve repair and replacement, surgery to correct atrial fibrillation and pericardiectomy.
We have the largest Bloodless Cardiac Surgery Program in the country, providing heart transplants, left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), complex valve cases and reoperative sternotomies.
The Heart and Vascular Center was ranked as the 21st best cardiology hospital in the world and the best in Illinois, according to the independent 2022 ranking of the World’s Best Specialized Hospitals, conducted by Newsweek/Statista.
UChicago Medicine's cardiology & heart surgery specialties were ranked as high-performing in U.S. News & World Report's 2021-22 Best Hospitals survey results.
Francis Almeda, MD, Michael H. Davidson, MD, Jeanne DeCara, MD, Roberto M. Lang, MD, James K Liao, Atman P. Shah, MD, Matthew Sorrentino, MD, R. Parker Ward, MD, John E. Blair, MD, Jonathan D. Paul, MD, Husam H. Balkhy, MD, Valluvan Jeevanandam, MD, Ross Milner, MD and Christopher Skelly, MD, were named “Top Doctors” in the Chicago area based on a selective annual list published by Chicago magazine.
- For only the second time in the world, Peter Warnke, MD, and a team of UChicago Medicine neurosurgeons performed a laser hemispherectomy surgery on an 11-year-old boy with epilepsy, stopping his seizures. This is a powerful example of the care offered at UChicago Medicine and Comer Children’s Hospital, which are both Level 4 Epilepsy Centers — the highest classification granted by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. We are also currently the only epilepsy center in Chicago conducting three major national epilepsy trials including laser ablations and responsive neurostimulation, in both adults and children. These are the SLATE Trial, RESPONSE Trial and the NAUTILUS Trial, all of which are open for enrollment.
- Our work on biological predictors of epilepsy surgery outcomes was prominently featured on the cover of the December issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery.
- 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, and we have recently added a directional laser system allowing us to individually shape the laser ablations to the patient’s tumor contour.
- Our renowned physicians were the first in the world to perform a laser ablation procedure for OCD and we published the largest series of long-term outcomes and predictors for therapeutic success in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.
- This year we launched the UChicago Medicine Telestroke Network, which enables onsite and remote stroke experts to work collaboratively in real-time to diagnose and treat stroke patients as quickly as possible, reducing stroke-related disabilities. We are the National Institutes of Health Regional Coordinator Center for Chicago StrokeNet trials that oversees the conduct of leading-edge trials in acute stroke, stroke prevention and recovery. The Comprehensive Stroke Center at UChicago Medicine also received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus with Honor Roll Elite and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Quality Achievement Award.
- 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. UChicago Medicine has performed the most procedures in Illinois using the Percept PC DBS system to treat patients with movement disorders. We were also the first hospital in Chicago to implant a directional DBS electrode in combination with a recording impulse generator, allowing to uniquely fine tune deep brain stimulation to the individual patient’s symptoms (Percept PC combined with Sensight electrodes).
- 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. Tao Xie, MD, PhD, was recently awarded a grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation to conduct research on the clinical disease course and healthcare access of Black patients with Parkinson’s Disease.
- 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 neurotrauma program, now in its fourth 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. Due to 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 Journal of Critical Care, Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery, the Journal of Neurotrauma, the Journal of Neurocritical Care, and World Neurosurgery. Topics have included intracerebral hemorrhage, acute brain injury and thrombolysis.
- 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. In addition, we are home to nationally known programs for adults and children with neurofibromatosis and tuberous sclerosis.
- Vascular neurologist Tareq Kass-Hout, MD, performed UChicago Medicine’s first Solitaire X 3MM procedure on a patient. The Solitaire X is a unique overlapping stent retriever-based technology that restores blood flow and retrieves clots from occluded blood vessels in the brain for patients experiencing acute ischemic stroke (AIS) due to a large vessel occlusion (LVO).
- James Brorson, MD, Adil Javed, MD, PhD, Thomas J. Kelly, MD, Richard Kraig, MD, PhD, James A. Mastrianni, MD, PhD, Shyam Prabhakaran, MD, MS, Anthony Reder, MD, and Raymond Roos, MD, were named “Top Doctors” in the Chicago area based on a selective annual list published by Chicago magazine.
- In June, Everett Vokes, MD, Chair of the University of Chicago Department of Medicine assumed the position of President of American Society of Clinical Oncology.
- Sonali Smith, MD, Section Chief of Hematology/Oncology, was appointed the first female chair of the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Smith’s appointment was featured as the cover story of Pulse, an LRF publication that provides the latest updates on lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia research, awareness and education.
- Adekunle "Kunle" Odunsi, MD, PhD, an expert in immunotherapy and vaccine therapy for cancer, was appointed director of the UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Odunsi will also serve as Biological Sciences Division Dean for Oncology and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Chicago.
- Olufunmilayo Olopade, MD, Director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and Global Health, received the William L. McGuire Memorial Lecture Award at the 2021 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
- Marina Chiara Garassino, MBBS, an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies, joined the faculty as Professor of Medicine. Dr. Garassino specializes in thoracic tumors, including lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer, as well as thymic malignancies.
- For patients with certain subtypes of aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the High-Risk Lymphoma Clinic was launched to bring together an interdisciplinary team of experts who work to quickly evaluate patients and provide access to the latest research advances.
- Composed of a team of nationally-recognized hematopathologists, the Complex Acute Leukemia and Myeloid Malignancies Clinic (CALMM) was launched to offer expert care, which offers expert care for patients diagnosed with myeloid malignancies. CALMM also provides patients with expedited access to our transplant and cellular therapy program for those considering stem cell transplant as a treatment option.
- The Thymoma and Thymic Malignancies Program was launched, bringing together a team of experts from thoracic surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, neurology and immunology to provide coordinated, thorough care for all types of thymic diseases.
- The Limited Metastatic Cancer Program was launched to offer stage 4 patients new treatment options by testing metastatic disease at the molecular level, which determines which patients are most likely to benefit from localized, aggressive treatment – alone or in combination with personalized comprehensive treatments.
- Xavier Keutgen, MD, received a Cancer Foundation Research Young Investigators grant and a North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society grant to study the role of the tumor suppressor MEN1 in DNA repair and its relationship with the estrogen receptor alpha in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.
- Steven Chmura, MD, PhD, is the principal investigator on a phase 1 clinical trial, working with Aditya Juloori, MD, Ralph Weichselbaum, MD, Everett Vokes, MD, Matthew Koshy, MD, and Wenbin Lin, PhD, from the Department of Chemistry. The clinical trial is evaluating the use of a patented technology from the University of Chicago to improve the immune response created by radiation therapy in advanced tumors.
- Kiran Turaga, MD, is leading a unique prospective study to identify a group of patients with metastatic cancer of the upper gastrointestinal and biliary tract that may benefit from sequential surgical procedures or radiation, compared to the current standard of care of chemotherapy treatment alone.
- Over 50 peer-reviewed publications, textbook chapters and meeting presentations.
- We increased our daily patient care to three clinical sessions of four hours (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) to maximize our availability, while respecting evolving social distancing guidelines.
- We expanded glaucoma care for our patients, by hiring Maxwell Medert, MD, who will start in July, 2022.
- Asim Farooq, MD and James Reidy, MD, published the textbook Blepharitis: A Comprehensive Clinical Guide.
- We opened a state of the art surgical training lab for our residents, incorporating the latest in surgical simulation, including both an EyeSi simulator as well as a wide array of synthetic surgical models from Bioniko.
- In our third year as a Level I adult trauma center, we remain the busiest trauma center in Chicago (by a factor of more than 2). Our department performed more than 1,500 adult trauma surgeries, including over 330 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 are garnering national recognition. We have a search under way to further expand our trauma faculty, as Daryl Dillman, MD, MPH, Jason Strelzow, MD, and Miguel S. Daccarett, MD, are extremely busy.
- Our region-leading programs in robotic-assisted orthopaedic surgery continue to expand and gain recognition. Hue Luu, MD, Tessa Balach, MD, Sara Shippee Wallace, MD, MPH, and Aravind Athiviraham, MD, provide patients total joint replacement care using this leading-edge technique. Michael J. Lee, MD, and Mostafa El Dafrawy, MBBch, have extensive expertise in robotic spinal instrumentation, which shortens surgical and recovery times while enhancing the quality and safety of major spinal surgery. Sherwin Ho, MD, is now an expert in using computer-assisted technology in hip arthroscopy to guide bone resection for more precise surgery. Lewis Shi, MD, and Nick Maassen, MD, use computer-assisted technology in complex shoulder replacement surgery, leading to more accurate positioning of implants.
- We have invested in a substantial expansion of our pediatric orthopaedic program. Laura Lewallen, MD, and Clarabelle DeVries, MD — who joined Christopher Sullivan, MD, MPH, this year — have brought new energy and unparalleled expertise to our pediatric orthopaedic programs. These additions have positioned us for a major expansion, and we are currently searching for the next faculty member to join our pediatric orthopaedic surgery team.
- We have made excellent progress in making the collection of patient-reported outcome (PRO) instruments part of our routine patient care. Under the leadership of Jeffrey G. Stepan, MD, MSc, Kelly Hynes, MD, Jennifer Moriatis Wolf, MD and Jason A. Strelzow, MD, this technology has had a large impact on our patients and will be generalized to all our providers and patients in the next year.
OHNS faculty members Nishant Agrawal, MD, Elizabeth Blair, MD, Michael Gluth, MD, Jayant Pinto, MD, Louis Portugal, MD, and Andrea Shogan, MD, were named to Chicago magazine’s list of Top Doctors for 2021. Fuad Baroody, MD, and Dana Suskind, MD, were also named to Chicago magazine’s list of Top Doctors for Pediatric Otolaryngology.
Dr. Suskind, Founder and Co-Director of the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health, has authored a second book titled “Parent Nation: Unlocking Every Child’s Potential, Fulfilling Society’s Promise”, coming in April 2022. The book addresses the societal inequities, worsened by the pandemic, in the care and development of our children and how the science of foundational brain development can be used to improve support offered to children and their parents, ultimately leading to a more prosperous and equitable future.
Our head and neck oncology team continues to have a meaningful impact on the management of head and neck cancer by providing a full spectrum of innovative clinical trials. The team, including Dr. Agrawal, Dr. Blair, and Zhen Gooi, MD, presented on multiple topics at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago. Topics included:
- Prediction models to optimize treatment of HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer
- A phase II study of a topical patch to locally deliver high concentrations of chemotherapy (PRV111) as a treatment for oral squamous cell carcinoma
- Two OPTIMA II studies looking at risk/response adaptive de-escalated locoregional therapy for HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer with the development of an ultra-sensitive detection and quantification of HPV DNA in the plasma of patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma
As part of a new multidisciplinary effort, OHNS, Pulmonary Medicine, and Thoracic Surgery have developed a collaborative system for treating complex airway patients. Brandon Baird, MD, and Dr. Blair are leading upper airway experts for our Complex Airway Center, which provides interdisciplinary approaches to patients with the most complex breathing disorders.
Our rhinology and skull base providers, which include Dr. Pinto, Christopher Roxbury, MD, and Nadia Caballero, MD, launched a new COVID-19 smell loss clinic that focuses on providing patients with state-of-the-art evaluation for difficult smell and taste problems. The clinic offers ways to deal with post-viral smell loss informed by leading research in the field, including major studies performed at UChicago Medicine. As featured in Kaiser Health News and The Washington Post.
Our Cochlear Implant Program, which includes Dr. Gluth, Terence Imbery, MD, and Dr. Suskind, was the first center in the nation to demo the newly released commercial version of an intraoperative electrocochleography system used to guide cochlear implant array electrode insertion with real-time electrophysiological feedback.
Our OHNS section has over $5 million in active National Institutes of Health (NIH) and non-NIH research grant funding. This includes innovative research initiatives led by Dr. Agrawal on somatic mutations in tissue and saliva as prognostic and screening biomarkers for oral premalignancy; Dr. Gluth on human temporal bone laboratory resource for basic and applied inner ear sciences; Dr. Pinto on air pollution and Alzheimer's dementia – neuropathologic and olfactory mechanisms in multi-ethnic longitudinal cohorts; and Dr. Suskind on "Any Time is 3Ts Time," a community-driven suite of online, print and in-person resources designed to raise awareness of the 3Ts: Tune In, Talk More and Take Turns.
The Leapfrog Group named UChicago Medicine a "Top Teaching Hospital" for 2021. Resident education remains a top priority, and our residents continue to be involved in a variety of clinical and research initiatives. Our section recently completed a renovation of the Temporal Bone Lab, which includes state-of-the-art drilling stations that provide space for learning and development.
- Cancer: Tara O. Henderson, MD, MPH, has been named the new Service Line Chief of Pediatric Cancer and Blood Diseases at the Chicagoland Children’s Health Alliance (CCHA), a collaboration between University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital, Advocate Children’s Hospital and Pediatrics at NorthShore University HealthSystem. The renowned cancer specialist and researcher will also become Section Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation at UChicago Medicine.
- Cancer: New research published by the UChicago Medicine Pediatric Oncology Team looked at the immune response of patients with childhood neuroblastoma. The study published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer uncovered dramatically different immune profiles in tumors from different patients and showed that a strong immune response was tied to increased survival from neuroblastoma.
- Cancer: Funding of the Pediatric Cancer Data Commons global initiative continues as the team works to bring the power of precision medicine to children with many types of childhood cancer. Samuel L. Volchenboum, MD, PhD, MS published this recent overview, titled: Pediatric Cancer Data Commons: Federating and Democratizing Data for Childhood Cancer Research.
- Cardiology: The team in the Moskowitz Lab continue their work identifying genetic factors that contribute to the increased risk of congenital heart defects in infants with Down syndrome.
- Gastroenterology: We are proud to announce that Ritu Verma, MD has been named President-Elect for the Society for the Study of Celiac Disease. This honor builds on the work Dr. Verma does as Medical Director of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, which was one of the first in the nation.
- Allergy and Immunology: Christina E. Ciaccio, MD, MSc, has been appointed as Director by the Board of Directors of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology for a five-year term.
- Critical Care: Comer Children’s was designated as a Pediatric Critical Care Center by the Illinois Department of Public Health. This designation joins the Level I Pediatric Trauma Center certification in place in 1990 to recognize the strength of Comer in caring for all sick and injured patients, not just those involved in trauma.
- The Chicagoland Children’s Health Alliance collaboration with Advocate Children’s Hospital, UChicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital and Pediatrics at NorthShore University HealthSystem continues to grow with the addition of pediatric neurology, neurosurgery, and pediatric gastroenterology added this year. These specialties join Pediatric Cancer and Blood Diseases, Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery and Pediatric General Surgery as part of the overall alliance.
- Neonatology: Under the leadership of Erika Claud, MD, the Center for the Science of Early Trajectories (SET) launched to research how infant health can impact an individuals’ health throughout their lifetime. This multidisciplinary work includes a focus on the impact of health inequities and socioeconomic factors in preterm birth and infant development outcomes, including how stress and nutrition can impact lifelong development.
- Neurosurgery: In February 2021, Peter Warnke, MD, performed an eight-hour laser functional hemispherectomy surgery on an 11-year-old patient. The patient had suffered a stroke at birth, causing him to lose function of the left side of the brain resulting in epilepsy-generating zones. The minimally invasive surgery was performed for only the second time in the country and has been successful at stopping the patient’s seizures.
- Urology: Comer Children’s Hospital Pediatric Urology is the lead site for the multicenter Prospective study “Robotic Ureteric Reimplantation: The Surgical Treatment for the Primary Vesicoureteral Reflux.” This is a collaborative effort with CHOP, NYC Cornell, Cincinnati Children’s, Seattle Childrens, Baylor Children’s, Riley Children’s Indiana and Emory Atlanta.
- In 2021, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science department received one new R01, awarded to co-PIs Elliot S. Gershon, MD, and Sarah Keedy, PhD. This award funds a clinical trial in psychotic disorders that will test whether certain medications normalize brain activity in a subset of patients. This promises to move the field of psychiatry toward using biology and precision medicine approaches in diagnosing patients and selecting treatments for them.
- Andrea C. King, PhD, along with Harriet De Wit, PhD, published a landmark paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry reporting on findings from a 10-year study of factors that contribute to the development of alcohol use disorder. King A, Vena A, Hasin DS, deWit H, O'Connor SJ, Cao D (2021). Subjective responses to alcohol in the development and maintenance of Alcohol Use Disorder. Am J Psychiatry, 178, 560-571. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.20030247.
- Dr. King’s work and lab were also featured in UChicago Magazine: https://mag.uchicago.edu/science-medicine/measure-pleasure
- In 2021, our 10 core research faculty averaged an output of 17 peer-reviewed publications in topics including insights into mechanisms of psychopathology and advances in treatment (e.g., in eating disorders, compulsive behavior disorders, depression, psychosis, addictions); mental, behavioral and social factors contributing to health disparities among underserved racial or sexual minority groups; and the pandemic’s effects on mental health.
- Our Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship continues to attract top candidates and has created partnerships with community programs, such as Compass Health Center, where our fellows participate in multidisciplinary teams to provide high-quality care in a partial hospitalization setting.
- Our section expanded treatment for patients affected by community violence through the Recovery and Empowerment After Community Trauma (REACT) clinic, which is part of the REACT program. 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.
- Child and Adolescent Psychiatry implemented a universal suicide risk screening in UChicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital by utilizing the Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) tool. We have started recruiting patients in the Comer Children’s Hospital Emergency Department for a suicide prevention study (PED-SAFE).
- Ayodeji Adegunsoye, MD, studies the role of genetics in interstitial lung disease to improve disease classification and clinical outcomes.
- William F. Parker, MD, uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to create a fair and efficient allocation system for scarce healthcare resources (e.g., organs for transplant, mechanical ventilators).
- Nathan Schoettler, MD, PhD, an expert in lung immunology and genetics, investigates the role of T cells in asthma.
- David Wu, MD, PhD, conducts cutting-edge basic research by combining cellular metabolism with flow sensing to understand the mechanisms of vascular dysfunction in ARDS.
- In addition, Bhakti Patel, MD, has also received funding from NIH to identify ICU patients who are most likely to benefit from early mobilization.
A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO DIAGNOSING AND TREATING LUNG DISEASE
- Our Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) program directed by Mary E. Strek, MD, is among one of three Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Care Centers in Illinois. As part of the ILD program, we have launched a post-COVID pulmonary clinic led by Ayodeji Adegunsoye, MD.
- A pulmonary drug toxicity clinic established under the supervision of Renea Jablonski, MD, focuses on the care of patients with pulmonary complications from cancer therapy.
- Our cystic fibrosis (CF) program remains one of the largest adult CF programs in the Chicago area and is directed by Edward “Ted” T. Naureckas, MD.
- Our Pulmonary Hypertension Center of Comprehensive Care remains the top program in the Chicago area. Led by Remzi Bag, MD, it provides comprehensive care and access to new therapies through clinical trials.
- Our interventional pulmonary (IP) program continues to be the largest in the Chicago area. Septimiu Murgu, MD, D. Kyle Hogarth, MD, and Ajay Wagh, MD, MS, provide state-of-the-art diagnostic approaches and treatments to our patients. Options include robotic bronchoscopy, augmented fluoroscopy guidance, bronchoscopic lung volume reduction, and bronchial thermoplasty.
- We are the leading center in the Midwest and among the top five centers in the U.S. for bronchoscopic lung volume reduction for patients with COPD. Our IP team is the first in the world to use tomosynthesis by combining robotic bronchoscopy with augmented fluoroscopy to increase diagnostic yield and aid in local therapeutics (radioactive seeds).
- The University of Chicago Medicine provides expert clinical care in all rheumatic diseases. Providers in our section are experts in musculoskeletal ultrasound and excel in management of inflammatory arthritis. Our physicians have additional national membership in academic societies for myositis, lupus and spondyloarthritis, and are at the forefront of care of these disorders.
- Over the years, strong working relationships have been forged across different specialties. Patients seen at UChicago Medicine work with a multidisciplinary team to ensure there is a unified plan to address all organ involvement. This is exemplified by our Lupus Program, where there is direct collaboration with dermatology and nephrology, and the Myositis Center, which provides expert pulmonary care.
- Our team is highly qualified to address rare diseases, where there are active research initiatives to improve knowledge, such as management of complicated immune processes triggered by cancer therapies. We partner with our Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center to ensure our patients receive specialist input regarding their joint pain treatment.
- We have clinicians based in Hyde Park, River East and Orland Park, with plans for continued expansion into the suburbs. There are on-site and off-site infusion centers, as well as specialized pharmacy teams to expedite drug approvals and deliveries. These services ensure that patients receive smooth and efficient execution of the treatment plan and close monitoring for side effects and complications of treatment.
- Also notable is the exciting and fundamental work by the Gounari Lab in demonstrating a central role for inflammatory T regulatory cells in inflammatory bowel disease and dysplasia and the Alegre Lab in illuminating the interplay between pregnancy and immune tolerance.
- Our Rheumatology section continues to be a highly productive research enterprise with over $9 million in funding for 2021 and several high-impact publications in Immunity, Nature Immunology and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. We would like to first highlight two notable contributions in COVID research. Patrick Wilson, MD, in an extensive series of elegant studies, demonstrated how infection with SARS-CoV-2 can select for a humoral response largely driven by non-neutralizing viral epitopes. In contrast, vaccines are much more effective in driving effective, neutralizing immunity. These data provide a compelling rationale for vaccine use even in those previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. Also, this last year Pankti Reid, MD, MPH, launched a phase 2 clinical trial of low-dose tocilizumab in the treatment of COVID-19 patients (COVIDOSE2), to determine if early use can mitigate the subsequent cytokine release syndrome.
- Dugan Haley L, Stamper Christopher T, Li Lei, Changrob Siriruk, Asby Nicholas W, Halfmann Peter J, Zheng Nai-Ying, Huang Min, Shaw Dustin G, Cobb Mari S, Erickson Steven A, Guthmiller Jenna J*, Stovicek Olivia, Wang Jiaolong, Winkler Emma S, Madariaga, MD Maria Lucia, Shanmugarajah Kumaran*, Jansen Maud O, Amanat Fatima, Stewart Isabelle, Utset Henry A, Huang, PhD Jun, Nelson Christopher A, Dai Ya-Nan, Hall Paige D, Jedrzejczak Robert P, Joachimiak Andrzej, Krammer Florian, Diamond Michael S, Fremont Daved H, Kawaoka Yoshihiro, Wilson Patrick C. Profiling B cell immunodominance after SARS-CoV-2 infection reveals antibody evolution to non-neutralizing viral targets. Immunity. 2021, 54(6):1290-1303.
- Strohbehn Garth W, Heiss Brian L, Rouhani, PhD Sherin J*, Trujillo Jonathan A*, Yu Jovian*, Kacew Alec J*, Higgs Emily F, Bloodworth Jeffrey C, Cabanov Alexandra*, Wright Rachel C, Koziol Adriana, Weiss Alexandra, Danahey Keith*, Karrison, PhD Theodore G*, Edens, MD Coughi C*, Ventura, MD Iazsmin B, Pettit Natasha N, Patel, MD Bhakti*, Pisan, MD Jennifer, Strek, MD Mary E*, Gajewski, MD Thomas F*, Ratain, MD Mark J*, Reid, MD, PhD Pankti D. COVIDOSE: Low-dose tocilizumab in the treatment of Covid-19. 2020, medRxiv [Preprint]. Update in: Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2020 Nov 18
- Quandt Jasmin., Arnovitz Stephen*., Haghi Leila*., Woehlk Janine., Mohsin Azam., Okoreeh Michael*., Mathur Priya.S*., Emmanuel Akinola Olumide*., Osman Abu*., Krishnan Manisha., Morin Samuel .B., Pearson Alexander T*., Sweis, MD Randy F..*, Pekow, MD Joel.*, Weber, MD, PhD Christopher.R., Khazaie Khashayarsha., Gounari Fotini*. Wnt-β-catenin activation epigenetically reprograms T reg cells in inflammatory bowel disease and dysplastic progression. Nature Immunology. 2021, 22:471-484.
- Suah Ashley N*, Dong-Kha V Tran, Khiew Stella Hw*, Andrade Michael S, Pollard Jared M, Young James S, Yin Dengping*, Chalasani Geetha, Alegre Maria-Luisa*, Chong Anita S*. Pregnancy-induced humoral sensitization overrides fetal-specific T cell tolerance. Journal Clinical Investment., 2021, 131(1):e140715. *co-senior authors.
- We successfully performed close to 100 high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) procedures to treat prostate cancer. Beginning in January, the HIFU procedure received its own CPT code and became increasingly available for patients.
- UChicago Medicine became the first center in Illinois to offer outpatient blue light cystoscopies which is now embedded in our routine TCC Follow-up.
- In February 2022, we will be launching our Men’s Wellness program. This initiative aims to improve the quality of life and overall well-being of men. Our multidisciplinary team will be staffed by Urology, Cardiology, Pulmonary, Endocrine, Internal Medicine and Orthopedics.
- Our High-Risk and Advanced Prostate Cancer Clinic has become a routine resource for referred patients. This clinic is staffed with multidisciplinary team of specialties that provide comprehensive cancer care.
- Parth Modi, MD, was selected as one of three physicians to serve as Bucksbaum Institute Junior Faculty Scholars. Junior Scholars are provided academic and research opportunities during their term to support their advancement as clinical, research and teaching leaders.
- Omer Raheem, MD, joined our practice in September with a focus on men’s sexual health and infertility. Dr. Raheem is fellowship trained from the UW Medicine in andrology and men’s sexual health. He is spearheading the development of our multidisciplinary Men’s Wellness program.
- Luke Reynolds, MD, and Dr. Modi began offering transperineal prostate biopsies, which provide the same diagnostic accuracy while reducing complications such as bleeding and infections. Drs. Modi and Reynolds are using this technique for the vast majority of their biopsies, performing them with local anesthesia in clinic and in the OR with sedation, as needed.
- Sarah Faris, MD, began offering robotic simple prostatectomy for the surgical management of enlarge prostates weighing over 100grams. Dr. Faris is also the principal investigator for a multi-site 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 after penile prothesis implantation.
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