Emergency department maintains HIV screening despite pandemic interruptions

While other medical systems across the country failed to maintain HIV screening volumes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Chicago Medicine maintained screening volumes by including universal HIV screening alongside COVID-19 testing in its busy emergency department, according to a new report published April 12 in JAMA Internal Medicine. Through targeted efforts to maintain infrastructure and enthusiasm for HIV screening, the number of HIV tests remained at pre-pandemic levels while the rate of acute HIV diagnoses actually increased. Widespread screening to diagnose individuals newly infected with HIV is a key part of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) plan … Read More

Halina Brukner,MD & Michelle Le Beau,PhD- 2021 Gold Key Recipients

Halina Brukner, MD, Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine) and Dean for Medical Education, and Michelle Le Beau, PhD , the Arthur and Marian Edelstein Professor (Hematology/Oncology), have been selected as recipients of the Medical & Biological Sciences Alumni Association’s  2021 Gold Key Award in recognition of their many years service to the Department of Medicine, Biological Sciences Division and The University of Chicago. Dr. Brukner has served the University of Chicago, the BSD, the Department of Medicine and the Section of General Internal Medicine for 35 years as an outstanding clinician, educator and leader.  She completed her medical school education at New … Read More

Medicine faculty named to Chicago magazine’s list of Exceptional Women in Medicine

Chicago magazine recently released its list of Exceptional Women in Medicine that includes nearly 30 faculty from the Department of Medicine. Cardiology- Jeanne De Cara Dermatology- Diana Bolotin, Victoria Barbosa, & Arlene Ruiz de Luzuriaga Endocrinology/Pediatric  Endocrinology- Tamara Vokes, Christine Yu, Diane Deplewski GI: Helen Te, Carol Semrad Geriatrics/Palliative Medicine: Stacie Levine, Monica Malec Hematology/Oncology: Simona Chivu, Gini Fleming, Lucy Godley, Olwen Hahn, Hedy Kindler, Rita Nanda, Toyosi Odenike, Funmi Olopade, Sonali Smith, Wendy Stock Infectious Diseases: Kathleen Mullane Internal Medicine: Diane Altkorn, Deborah Burnet, Kamala Cotts , Mindy Schwartz, Monica Vela Nephrology- Mary Hammes Pulmonary/Critical Care- Mary Strek The … Read More

Olufunmilayo Olopade,MD Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade,  the Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics and the founding director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and Global Health, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.  Dr. Olopade joined the Department of Medicine/Section of Hematology/Oncology in 1991 where she specializes in cancer risk assessment and individualized management for the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. She is recognized as a pioneer in cancer genetics, and her contributions have shed light on the origins and heterogeneity of breast cancer in diverse populations across the African Diaspora. Her laboratory was … Read More

Vineet Arora,MD- Appointed Dean for Medical Education

Vineet Arora,MD, the Herbert T. Abelson Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine) has been appointed as Dean for Medical Education  of the Biological Sciences Division effective July 1, 2021. Dr. Arora received a BA from Johns Hopkins University and MD from Washington University Medical School. She completed her residency in internal medicine, a year as chief resident, and fellowship in general internal medicine at the University of Chicago, and received a master’s from the Harris School of Public Policy. In 2005, she joined the UChicago faculty. Dr. Arora is currently the Herbert T. Abelson Professor of Medicine, Assistant Dean for … Read More

Study suggests high vitamin D levels may protect against COVID-19, especially for Black people

A new research study at the University of Chicago Medicine has found that when it comes to COVID-19, having vitamin D levels above those traditionally considered sufficient may lower the risk of infection, especially for Black people. The study, published in JAMA Open Network on March 19, retrospectively examined the relationship between vitamin D levels and likelihood of testing positive for COVID-19. While levels of 30 ng/ml or more are usually considered sufficient, the authors found that Black individuals who had levels of 30 to 40 ng/ml had a 2.64 times higher risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than people … Read More

2021 Janet Rowley Research Day Poster Winners

Congratulations to the 2021 Janet Rowley Research Day Best Poster Winners:  Faculty: Basic Research: Xue Gao, PhD (Hem/Onc): “Selective signaling importance of “functionless” lyso-PAF, an inactive form of platelet activating factor, in cancer with mutant Nras” Clinical Research: Kimberly Stanford, MD (Emergency Medicine):“Increased Diagnoses of Acute HIV Infection in Patients Screened in the Emergency Department During the COVID-19 Pandemic” Health Services Research: Maria Pyra,PhD (IDGH) :“HIV PrEP Persistence among Black Ciswomen”  Trainees: Basic Research: Yanhong Cui,PhD (Dermatology): “Autophagy of the m6A mRNA Demethylase FTO is Impaired by Low Arsenic Exposure to Promote Tumorigenesis” Clinical Research: Alaa Kassir,MD (Emergency Medicine): “ … Read More

Blase Polite,MD shapes Illinois policy to ensure clinical trial coverage for Medicaid users

Clinical trials offer important treatment options for some patients and, now, newly passed legislation permits low-income Illinoisans to participate at no extra cost. Researchers design clinical trials to safely test new drugs, devices, vaccines or ways of using known treatments. Well-structured clinical trials require the collection of large sample sets. If a clinical trial leaves out segments of the population, disparities in care could worsen. “In order to get broad representation in clinical trials and achieve health equity, we need to remove as many barriers as possible,” said Blase Polite, MD, a medical oncologist at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. … Read More

Study finds gender disparities on National Institutes of Health study sections

Investigators at the University of Chicago Medicine have found that women are less likely to be represented as chairs and reviewers on study sections for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), based on data from one review cycle in 2019. The results, published on Feb. 15 in JAMA Network Open, have implications for the distribution of federal scientific funding. The NIH is the top source of federal funding for biomedical research in the U.S., providing critical support and guidance on the nation’s research programs. The study sought to understand the gender distribution on NIH study sections, where scientific experts meet several times … Read More

2021 Janet Rowley Research Day – Schedule of Virtual Activities

Schedule of Events The Research Day keynote address, trainee presentations and award ceremony will take place on Tuesday, March 9 beginning at noon.  Nobel Laureate, Gregg Semenza, MD, PhD, the C. Michael Armstrong Professor of Genetic Medicine, Pediatrics, Oncology, Medicine, Radiation Oncology and Biological Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine & Director, Vascular Program, Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering will serve as the keynote speaker.  Dr. Semenza’s talk entitled “Hypoxia-Inducible Factors and Cancer Progression” will be followed by short presentations by the 4 trainee “best poster” winners.  Winners of the faculty “best posters” will be announced immediately after.     … Read More