2018 Department of Medicine Distinguished Service Award Recipients

Linda Druelinger,MD, Professor of Medicine & Chief, Section of Emergency Medicine and Michelle Le Beau, PhD ,the Arthur and Marian Edelstein Professor and Director of the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center were honored with the Department of Medicine’s 2018 Distinguished Service Award . The Distinguished Service Award was launched in 2006 to recognize senior level faculty for their outstanding contributions to the clinical, research and educational missions of the Department of Medicine. The awards were presented by Everett Vokes,MD, Chair of the Department of Medicine at the Annual Awards ceremony.

Dr. Druelinger arrived at the University of Chicago in 1986 for her emergency medicine residency training and joined the faculty of the Department of Medicine in 1990. Over the course of her career,  she  has been lauded for her outstanding mentorship and teaching skills. Dr. Druelinger  was the 2010 recipient of the Pritzker School of Medicine Leonard Tow Gold Humanism Award and in 2007 she was chosen as the recipient of the Doroghazi Clinical Teaching Award and elected as a Master in Pritzker’s Academy of Distinguished Medical Educators. Dr. Druelinger has been chosen four times as a Favorite Faculty by the Pritzker graduating class and five times as Teacher of the Year by the Emergency Medicine residents. As a result of her leadership, the Emergency Medicine rotation consistently has been one of the highest-rated clerkships in the medical school.

In 2012, Dr. Druelinger was appointed Chief of the Section of Emergency Medicine. Since that time she has demonstrated outstanding leadership and academic vision for the Section. This is was most evident over the past year with the opening of the new adult Emergency Room in December 2017.  Dr, Druelinger,  along with Dr. Tom Spiegel, Medical Director of the Adult Emergency Department, worked tirelessly on behalf of the Department and UCM to plan, organize and execute the successful opening of the new adult ED 6 months ago and the Trauma Center in May.  This included many meetings and hiring of eight new faculty to staff the new ED as well as overseeing many operational improvements in workflow and efficiency to accommodate the increased patient volumes, all while continuing to lead the Section’s educational ( including a very successful residency match)  and research activities.

Dr. Le Beau arrived at the University of Chicago in 1981 as a postdoc fellow in Janet Rowley’s lab. In 1983 she was hired as a research associate (instructor/assistant professor) in the section of hematology/oncology. In 1986 she was appointed to the faculty of the Department of Medicine rising to the rank of tenured professor in 1997.  In 2004 she was named as the director of the University of Chicago Cancer Center where she was responsible for three successful grant renewals (most recently in May 2018) and securing a “comprehensive” designation for the cancer center. She also developed a strategic plan for the center for optimal use of its talent and resources and has fostered the careers and training of dozens of young scientists. The UCCCC grant totaling $4.4M in annual total costs (about $3.0M direct costs)  is currently in its 43rd  year of continuous funding.

In 2011 Dr. Le Beau was named as the Arthur and Marian Edelstein Professor. She recently served as President of the Associate of American Cancer Institutes and as a member of the board of directors for the AACR and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Dr. Le Beau  is a recognized leader in cancer research.  Her entire career has been dedicated to the cytogenetic and molecular analysis of the hematological malignancies.  She has been recognized for her work in identifying recurring cytogenetic abnormalities, in defining the genetic subsets of leukemia, in identifying the genetic pathways that lead to myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and therapy-related myeloid neoplasms (t-MN), and on the application of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for clinical diagnostics and gene mapping. In this regard, she was appointed as the cancer genetics expert for MDS and myeloid neoplasms for the 2008 and 2015 revisions of the WHO Classification of Tumours of Haematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissues.  She has published more than 410 peer-reviewed papers, and has been continuously funded by the NCI since 1986

In her capacity as Director of the Cancer Cytogenetics Laboratory at the University of Chicago, she directs a CLIA-approved and CAP-certified cancer diagnostics laboratory.