The Department of Medicine recently awarded the 2020 Arthur Rubenstein Faculty Mentorship Award to two excellent mentors: Dr. Monica Peek, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Section of General Internal Medicine, and Dr. Mark Ratain, the Leon Jacobson Professor of Medicine in the Section of Hematology/Oncology. The recipients were announced on September 15, 2020 at a virtual Departmental awards ceremony.
Dr. Peek is an outstanding health services researcher dedicated to advancing health equity. She has a long-standing track record of mentorship that has been integral in the development of academic physicians focused on health disparities and community health. She has influenced the careers of dozens of students, housestaff, and faculty, shaping the trajectories of physicians committed to academic careers focused on diabetes, health disparities, shared decision-making, and/or community health. Her tremendous knowledge about health inequity, expert skills in research methods, unwavering dedication to her mentees, and vibrant personality make her an incredibly successful mentor
Dr. Mark Ratain has dedicated a significant portion of his career to mentoring the next generation of scientists in oncology and clinical pharmacology. He is an international leader in phase I clinical trials, pharmacogenetics and clinical trial methodology. He served as program director of the T32 training grant in clinical pharmacology for over 25 years making it one of the most established training programs in clinical pharmacology in the world. Dr. Ratain has directly mentored countless hematology/oncology and clinical pharmacology fellows. His enthusiasm for scientific discovery and clinical research is “truly infectious”. He has an incredible ability to “inspire and energize his mentees to achieve excellence and is always looking for ways to give exciting and personalized opportunities to trainees and junior faculty”. His legacy continues to be the academic success of his mentees – all who have benefited from his “relentless dedication to raising creative questions and answering them using a common-sense approach”. Dr. Ratain’s approach to development truly came to the forefront in the COVID-19 crisis, and it has helped make the University of Chicago a world-leader in the realm of clinical trials where he worked in securing early access to studies of remdesivir and was instrumental in leading the idea of low-dose tocilizumab in the treatment of COVID-19.
The award is given annually in honor of Dr. Arthur Rubenstein who served as Chair of the Department of Medicine from 1981-1997. He is well known for his inspirational mentorship and this award was established in his honor in 2007 to recognize a single member of the faculty who exemplifies the role of a mentor to students, housestaff and faculty in their development of academic physicians. Past winners (last 5 years) include: David Meltzer (2015), Wendy Stock (2016), Graeme Bell ( 2017), Vineet Arora (2018), Elbert Huang (2019).