Richard Larson, MD Wins the American Society of Hematology’s Stratton Medal

Richard Larson,MD , Professor of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology) and Director of the the Hematologic Malignancy Program  has been named  as the recipient of the American Society of Hematology’s (ASH)  2019 Henry M. Stratton Medal for his seminal contributions to clinical hematology research. Dr. Larson’s  career has been dedicated to the design and leadership of groundbreaking therapeutic trials for patients with leukemia, and he has made significant strides in understanding the genetic basis of leukemia and translating these insights into more effective treatments for patients. Dr. Larson led the Leukemia Committee of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB), now called the … Read More

Charting a map to the heart: Researchers receive grant to create a cell atlas of the human heart

Two University of Chicago scientists are part of an international team of researchers awarded a three-year, nearly $4 million grant to define every cell type in the human heart. The grant is part of $68 million in funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) to support the Human Cell Atlas, an international effort by experts in biology, computation and medicine to map all of the cells in the human body. The resulting cellular and molecular map will help researchers better understand what goes wrong when disease strikes. “The idea is to build a reference atlas to learn about the normal state … Read More

Mark Siegler, MD founder of the clinical medical ethics field, will step down from the MacLean Center

After 35 years of creating and running the world’s leading clinical medical ethics fellowship program, Mark Siegler, MD, will step down as founding director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago Medicine. Siegler will assist with the transition to his successor while he continues to practice medicine as a general internist at UChicago Medicine, as he’s done for more than 50 years. He will continue to direct the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence. “It is my hope that the MacLean Center, and the field of clinical medical ethics, both flourish going forward,” said Siegler, the recipient of many … Read More

SHARE Network gets $3.75 million to help older adults on the South Side

The federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will give the University of Chicago Medicine’s SHARE Network $3.75 million to continue its initiatives and partnerships that help older adults on the South Side and beyond. The financial award, through a grant known as the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP), guarantees $750,000 a year through 2024. The money will be used to continue educational and outreach efforts, such as training practitioners and caregivers about older adult health, providing free community health presentations, and linking those in need to resources on everything from dementia or delivered meals to opioid addiction. “As our … Read More

2019 Department of Medicine Award Recipients

The Department of Medicine is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 faculty awards. Special Awards  Elbert Huang,MD (General Internal Medicine)- Arthur Rubenstein,MD Faculty Mentorship Award Megan Husingh Scheetz,MD (Geriatrics/Palliative Medicine)- Leif B. Sorensen Faculty Research Award Neda Laiteerapong,MD(General Internal Medicine)- Leif B. Sorensen Faculty Research Award Kamala Cotts,MD (General Internal Medicine)- Diversity Award Clinical Service  Awards: Productivity Awards: Mary Hammes,MD(Nephrology)- Procedure Activity John Purakal,MD (Emergency Medicine)- Evaluation & Management Corey Tabit,MD (Cardiology)- Patient Visits Nicole Stankus,MD (Nephrology)- Overall Clinical Activity Award Tamar Polonsky,MD (Cardiology)- Outstanding Clinical Service Award Bryan Smith,MD(Cardiology)- Overall Clinical Excellence (New Faculty) Award Sonali Smith,MD … Read More

A protein too big to be ignored as a potential drug target for reversing blood diseases

Previously published in At The Forefront, June 7, 2019  It all started with a simple question: “How do cells communicate with the outside world to sense their environment?” The pursuit of the answer turned out to reveal far more than what Amittha Wickrema, PhD, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, had dreamed. Focusing on how the production of red blood cells is triggered, Wickrema and his long-time collaborators Amit Verma, MD, from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Chuan He, PhD, the John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry at UChicago, identified a key protein that could serve as … Read More

POLO trial for advanced pancreatic cancer: a new standard of care

As previously reported in At The Forefront on June 3, 2019 Treatment with the drug olaparib significantly reduced the risk of disease progression or death from metastatic pancreatic cancer, according to findings from the recently completed, international, phase-III POLO (Pancreas cancer OLaparib Ongoing) trial. Olaparib (trade name LYNPARZA, jointly developed and commercialized by AstraZeneca and Merck) is a PARP inhibitor. It targets cancer cells that have a defect in DNA damage repair. Progression-free survival, the primary endpoint in this study, was 7.4 months on the olaparib arm, and 3.8 months on the placebo arm. From 6 months onwards, more than twice the proportion … Read More

Large genome-wide association study is first to focus on both child and adult asthma

Originally published in The Forefront on May 7, 2019 Asthma, a common respiratory disease that causes wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath, is the most prevalent chronic respiratory disease worldwide. A new study, published April 30, 2019 in Lancet Respiratory Medicine, is the first large investigation to examine the differences in genetic risk factors for childhood-onset and adult-onset asthma. This genome-wide association study (GWAS) found that childhood-onset asthma was associated with nearly three times as many genes as adult-onset asthma. Genes associated with adult onset asthma were a subset of those associated with childhood-onset asthma, nearly all with smaller effects on … Read More

Treatment option to restore natural heartbeat could be on the horizon for heart failure patients

Originally published in The Forefront, May 10, 2019 A new therapy to re-engage the heart’s natural electrical pathways – instead of bypassing them – could mean more treatment options for heart failure patients who also suffer from electrical disturbances, such as arrhythmias, according to research led by the University of Chicago Medicine. In a first-ever pilot study, called the His SYNC trial, researchers compared the effectiveness of two different cardiac resynchronization therapies, or treatments to correct irregularities in the heartbeat through implanted pacemakers and defibrillators. The current standard of care, known as biventricular pacing, uses two pacing impulses in both lower chambers, whereas … Read More

2019 BSD Distinguished Faculty Award Winners

Congratulations to the following Department of Medicine faculty who were selected as recipients of Distinguished Faculty Awards by the Biological Sciences Division. DISTINGUISHED CLINICIAN Kathleen Mullane, DO, PharmD Professor of Medicine Senior Award DISTINGUISHED LEADER IN PROGRAM INNOVATION Valerie Press, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine Junior Award DISTINGUISHED EDUCATOR/MENTOR Shannon Martin, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine Clinical Sciences Award DISTINGUISHED LEADER IN COMMUNITY SERVICE AND ADVOCACY Mai Pho, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine Junior Award Rita Rossi-Foulkes, MD Associate Professor of Medicine Senior Award     FACULTY PHYSICIAN PEER ROLE MODEL AWARD Helen S. Te, MD Professor of Medicine  THE FRANCIS STRAUS … Read More