Posts tagged with Awards and Recognition

Prestigious faculty and student awards


Bernard Roizman, the Joseph Regenstein Distinguished Service Professor of Virology in the Departments of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology, received the National Academy of Sciences’ 2017 Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology for “his many seminal contributions to understanding the mechanisms by which herpes viruses replicate and cause disease.” The award will be presented in April.

Michaela Gack, Associate Professor of in the Department of Microbiology, received a 2017 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science. The prizes were established “to encourage and support young immigrants who have already demonstrated exceptional achievements, and who often face significant challenges early in their careers.” Michaela, a native of Germany, is studying how the intricate interplay between viruses and the host's immune system impacts the outcome of viral infection and disease.

Thomas Gajewski, Professor in the Department of Medicine and the Ben May Cancer Institute, has been awarded an Outstanding Investigator Award by the National Cancer Institute. These awards support scientists who demonstrate remarkable productivity in cancer research. The award guarantees $600,000 in direct costs per year for seven years, providing financial stability to encourage investigators to take on long-term projects with significant potential. Tom is a pioneer in the field of cancer immunotherapy.

Vineet Arora, Associate Professor of Medicine and Assistant Dean for Scholarship and Discovery, was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, an honor society of physician-scientists who translate findings in the laboratory to advance clinical practice. Vinny has made seminal contributions to the understanding of optimizing patient handoffs and managing resident fatigue during long shifts. She will be inducted in April.

Four colleagues have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. The 2016 Fellows are: Geoffrey Greene, the Virginia and D. K. Ludwig Professor and Chair of the Ben May Department for Cancer Research; Zhe-Xi Luo, Professor in Organismal Biology and Anatomy; Clifton Ragsdale, Professor in Neurobiology and Organismal Biology and Anatomy; and Jonathan Staley, Professor in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology. The new Fellows will be honored later this month at the AAAS meeting in Boston.

Paul Chang, Professor of Radiology, has received the Radiological Society of North America’s highest honor, the Gold Medal. An internationally recognized expert in the field of imaging informatics, he was a pioneer in creating rapid methods of moving digital radiology images and led many research and development projects related to imaging informatics and enterprise-wide informatics challenges.

Sarah Cobey, Assistant Professor in Ecology and Evolution, was awarded the Neubauer Faculty Development Fellowship in the College for 2016-2017.  The fellowship recognizes assistant and associate professors in the College’s instructional programs for effective teaching and mentorship.

I would also like to recognize third-year Pritzker student Santiago Diaz, one of five students in the country awarded an AAMC Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarship. The scholarship, awarded by the AAMC, aims to advance Dr. Nicken’s “lifelong commitment to supporting the educational, society, and health care needs of racial and ethnic minorities.” Santiago was chosen for his accomplishments both within and outside of the classroom regarding the elimination of health care disparities.

Please join me in congratulating them.

Medical Center honors

I am proud to note that the University of Chicago Medical Center was selected to receive the Voluntary MBE/WBE Program of Year award from the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA). This prestigious award recognizes the medical center’s work with minority- and women-owned business enterprises under the leadership of Joan Archie, Executive Director of Construction Compliance. Minority- and women-owned businesses are integral to our long-term goals and we are proud to work with these firms to help drive economic opportunity in our community. Congratulations to Joan and other members of our Facilities, Planning Design and Construction group led by Marco Capicchioni. FPD&C also received the Project of the Year award in the category of New Construction/Suburbs (above $20 million) from the Construction Industry Service Corporation (CISCO) for the Center for Advanced Care at Orland Park.  

The University of Chicago Medicine is the first Comprehensive Pulmonary Hypertension Care Center in Illinois to be recognized by the Pulmonary Hypertension Association’s accreditation program. The goal of the program is to improve outcomes for patients with pulmonary hypertension, a debilitating disease of the circulation of the lung. Accreditation means a program meets a set of criteria established by the PHA’s Scientific Leadership Council and the PHCC Oversight Committee, which is composed of global leaders in the field of pulmonary hypertension.

Grants awarded for children’s health

Comer ED

Our commitment to the community includes caring for its more vulnerable members, including children. This is important work, and I’m pleased that two large federal grants will advance faculty members’ efforts to improve the lives of children and their families.

A five-year, $2 million federal grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration supports a new program to provide screening and mental health care for children and families who have been affected by violence in the community. Under the program, Comer Children’s will screen ED and PICU patients for trauma exposure, regardless of whether they're being treated for violent injuries. Patients and families will be offered support, counseling and intervention.

Bradley Stolbach, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, is the PI. You may read more about the University of Chicago Medicine REACT (Recovery and Empowerment After Community Trauma) program and Dr. Stolbach’s work here.

The National Institutes of Health is launching a seven-year initiative called Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO). ECHO will follow more than 50,000 children nationwide to study how exposure to a range of environmental factors in early development influences the health of children and adolescents. Researchers at the University of Chicago will receive approximately $5 million during the first two years.

Neonatologist Erika Claud, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, will head one of the ECHO pediatric cohorts, which includes NorthShore University Health Services and academic medical centers in Boston, San Diego and Tampa. Her team will study how the microbiome affects neurodevelopment of preterm infants from birth to school readiness. Kate Keenan, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, will work with colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh to understand how exposure to environmental stress prior to conception might alter the mother’s capacity to regulate stress during pregnancy, leading to deficits in the neurodevelopment of her children.

Patient quality and safety


Our 10th “A” rating from The Leapfrog Group reflects our broad commitment to providing safe patient care, and could not have been achieved without the contributions of faculty and staff throughout the organization. The University of Chicago Medicine is one of only 72 U.S. hospitals to have received an “A” ranking in every report since the semi-annual survey began. This is a remarkable achievement, and I thank you all for your hard work, skill and dedication to quality, safe care. 

Shaping the future of graduate medical education


I am very pleased that the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has selected the University of Chicago Medicine as one of eight institutions to participate as a Pathway Innovator in its Pursuing Excellence in Clinical Learning Environments program. The Pursuing Excellence initiative is a four-year program aimed at transforming clinical learning environments where residents and fellows pursue training in their specialties.

As one of the Pathway Innovators, we will serve as a model for our peers and take a leadership role in shaping policies that will help transform graduate medical education. Our interest in this initiative stems from our desire to transform our clinical learning environment, and also to expose our residents to a health care delivery system that functions at the highest level.

The ACGME will provide funding for four years to allow our residents and nurses to build upon quality and safety initiatives already underway here at the University of Chicago.

“One of the biggest challenges with doing this type of work is that both residents and nurses have a lot of great ideas, but they often lack time and the ability to roll up their sleeves to execute,” said Vineet Arora, MD, MAPP, Director of GME Clinical Learning Environment Innovation. “This is where the grant comes in, to help pay for support resources to catalyze that work.”

Vinny has led a very talented team, whose members are listed below, that allowed us to secure this honor. I commend her work and that of her colleagues, whose vision of integrating graduate medical education with our ongoing quality and safety initiatives has made the University of Chicago an exemplar in shaping the future of patient care:

  • Jeanne Farnan, MD, MHPE, Assistant Dean of Curricular Development and Evaluation
  • Kristen Hirsch, Director of GME Operations, Accreditation, and Strategy and Innovation
  • Holly Humphrey, MD, Dean for Medical Education
  • Michael Simon, MD, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education
  • Debra Albert, MSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Krista Curell, JD, RN, Vice President, Risk Management, Patient Safety & Compliance
  • Michael Howell, MD, MPH, Chief Quality Officer
  • Stephen Weber, MD, Chief Medical Officer

I look forward to further innovation to come from this initiative over the next four years.

Faculty members honored for excellence

I am pleased to share some of the prestigious honors — both institutional and external — awarded recently to our colleagues.

Maryellen Giger, PhD, adds to her recent string of honors with the 2016 EMBS Academic Career Achievement Award. The Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society recognized Maryellen with its annual award for her outstanding and pioneering contributions to computer-aided diagnosis.

Two BSD faculty members received awards from the University for their outstanding contributions as teachers and mentors. Daniel McGehee, PhD, received a 2016 Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Nicholas Hatsopoulos, PhD, was awarded a 2016 Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring.

Finally, two of our colleagues— Michael Howell, MD, MPH, and Stacy Tessler Lindau, MD, MAPP — have been named to the second class of the Aspen Institute’s Health Innovator Fellows program.  The fellowship was created in 2015 to strengthen the leadership of innovators across the U.S. health care system and to connect, inspire, and challenge them to create new approaches that will improve the health and well-being of all Americans. It is extremely unusual to have two fellows chosen from the same institution in one year.

Please join me in congratulating them.