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MEDICINE MIDWAY UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

on the

S P R I NG 2014

Biological Sciences Division

Team Science How Russell Szmulewitz, MD’03, and Donald Vander Griend, PhD’05, are translating science into medicine to beat prostate cancer


Dean’s Letter

Dear Colleagues,

E Very few people have made such a profound, lasting and positive impact — on their students and colleagues, and on their field of study — as Janet Rowley.

Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD The Richard T. Crane Distinguished Service Professor Dean of the Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs The University of Chicago

arlier this spring, family, friends and colleagues gathered in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel to honor the magnificent life and legacy of Janet Rowley, LAB’42, PhB’44, SB’46, MD’48, the Blum-Riese Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine, Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, and Human Genetics. Her discoveries changed the way cancer was understood, opened the door to effective targeted therapies and created a model that still drives cancer research. Janet was an inspiration to generations of scientists at the University of Chicago and around the world. Themes from her career — persistence, collegiality and the mentorship and support of young researchers — run throughout the stories in this issue of Medicine on the Midway. The University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences has long played a leading role in understanding the basic biology of cancer and developing new treatments. Our cover story looks at the research partnership of cancer biologist Donald Vander Griend, PhD’05, director of urological stem cell research, and physician scientist Russell Szmulewitz, MD’03. Together, their work covers the spectrum of bench-to-bedside translational research as they investigate new strategies for treating advanced prostate cancer. Vander Griend and Szmulewitz are both past recipients of Cancer Research Foundation (CRF) Young Investigator Awards, which support promising young researchers as they develop the scientific track record needed to compete successfully for large grants. On page 20, writer Stephen Phillips tells the fascinating story of the CRF and one family’s remarkable impact. This year, we celebrate the 60th anniversary of our partnership with the CRF, launched by Maurice Goldblatt; led for many years by Stan Goldblatt, Maurice’s son, who also served as the founding chair of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees; and now under the capable direction of Alexandra Nikitas, Stan’s daughter and Maurice’s granddaughter. Over the years, the CRF has propelled the careers of dozens of UChicago cancer researchers. One of the young scientists who received early support from the CRF was Janet Rowley. Also in this edition: David Meltzer, MD’93, PhD’92, and the innovative Hospitalist Scholars Training Program receive national recognition from the Association of American Medical Colleges; Doriane Miller, MD’83, launches a new consultation service to help researchers reach and engage underserved populations; and Pritzker School of Medicine students participate in mentored research on our campus and around the globe. We note with sadness the passing of several other distinguished faculty members with deep and long-standing ties to the University: J. Terry Ernest, MD’61, PhD’67, the Cynthia Chow Professor Emeritus and former chair of ophthalmology and visual science; Herbert C. Friedmann, PhD’58, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, who for almost 50 years taught biochemistry to our College and graduate students; Sidney Schulman, MD’46, SB’44, the Ellen C. Manning Professor Emeritus of Neurology and former section chief of neurology; and Francis Howe Straus II, MD’57, SM’64, professor emeritus of pathology, who helped train many of the leading surgical pathologists in the country. Their contributions will benefit human life for years to come.


TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S

Cover Story 14 Prostate cancer affects one in six American men. The bench-to-bedside research partnership of cancer biologist Donald Vander Griend, PhD’05, and physician-scientist Russell Szmulewitz, MD’03, is guided by Szmulewitz’s firsthand experiences in the clinic. Together, the researchers are investigating new strategies for treating advanced disease. PHOTOS BY ROBERT KOZLOFF

Features 14

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The AAMC recognizes an innovative University of Chicago Medicine program that supports young hospitalists in scholarly pursuits.

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Michael Brownstein, MD’66, SB’62, reflects on a career providing life-changing surgery to the transgender community.

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The story of the Cancer Research Foundation and the remarkable impact of three generations of the Goldblatt family. Alexandra Nikitas, MBA’97, CRF executive director, right.

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Pritzker School of Medicine’s footprint extends throughout the globe as students, faculty and philanthropists join forces with local communities to address health issues.

How a new consultation service launched by Doriane Miller, MD’83, is helping researchers reach and engage underserved populations.

Departments 8 Healing art, body art: A guide to two new exhibits on campus

Letter from the Dean

35 Class Notes Hear from your classmates, near and far

Midway News

35 In Memoriam

2 Major gifts support metastasis research, new nanofabrication facility

9 Diabetes researcher Donald Steiner, MD’56, SM’56, awarded the Alumni Medal

40 Remembering Janet D. Rowley, LAB’42, PhB’44, SB’46, MD’48

Pritzker News 3 BSD students awarded prestigious fellowships 30 Match Day 2014 results 7

Neurobiologist Peggy Mason, PhD, teaches a popular MOOC (massively open online course) on the brain and behavior

32 Pritzker Poetry Contest 33 Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and Gold Humanism Honor Society inductees

Spring 2014 Volume 67, No. 1 A publication of the University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences Division. Medicine on the Midway is published for friends, alumni and faculty of the University of Chicago Medicine, Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine. University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and Biological Sciences Executive Leadership Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD, the Richard T. Crane Distinguished Service Professor, Dean of the University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine, and executive vice president for Medical Affairs for the University of Chicago T. Conrad Gilliam, PhD, the Marjorie I. and Bernard A. Mitchell Distinguished Service Professor, dean for basic science, Biological Sciences Division Sharon O’Keefe, president of the University of Chicago Medical Center Holly J. Humphrey, MD’83, the Ralph W. Gerard Professor in Medicine, dean for medical education, Pritzker School of Medicine

uchospitals.edu/midway

Editorial Committee Chair Chris Albanis, AB’96, MD’00 Lampis Anagnostopoulos, SB’57, MD’61 Arnold Calica, SM’61, MD’75 Melina Hale, PhD’98 Noah Schwartz, MS2

Jerrold Seckler, MD’68 Coleman Seskind, AB’55, SB’56, SM/MD’59 Madeleine Shapiro, MS4 Jack Stockert, AB’05, MBA’10, MD’10

Editor Anna Madrzyk

Assistant Editor Gretchen Rubin

Email us at momedit@uchospitals.edu Write us at Editor, Medicine on the Midway The University of Chicago Medicine 950 E. 61st St., WSSC 320, Chicago, IL 60637

Editorial Contributors Kevin Jiang Thea Grendahl Catherine Julitz Christou Caroline Kraft John Easton Ellen McGrew Laura Ramos Michael McHugh Hegwer

Photo Contributors Dan Dry Robert Kozloff Jean Lachat Barbara Nitke/ Winston & Strawn LLP Bruce Powell

Paul Schlismann Brian Simons Argonne National Laboratory Medical & Biological Sciences Alumni Association

Stephen Phillips Tiffani Washington Matt Wood

Pritzker School of Medicine Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

Design Stacy Sweat Designs

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Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility announced

Midway News

PHILANTHROPY

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PHOTO COURTESY OF LUDWIG CANCER RESEARCH

Ralph Weichselbaum, MD, left, and Geoffrey Greene, PhD

Transformative gift for cancer research The University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences received $90 million from Ludwig Cancer Research, part of a $540 million gift shared equally with five other pre-eminent institutions. The Ludwig Center at UChicago Medicine & Biological Sciences focuses on metastasis research under the direction of Geoffrey Greene, PhD, the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor and chair of the Ben May Department for Cancer Research, and Ralph Weichselbaum, MD, the D.K. Ludwig Professor and chair of the Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology. The gift will allow the Ludwig Center to expand its scope and scale and recruit outstanding research scientists. “Although metastasis is the leading cause of cancer deaths, accounting for 80 to 90 percent of cancer mortality, it has only recently become a major focus of research,” Weichselbaum said. “This will enable us to learn more about its basic biology and to use that knowledge to develop new therapies.” The gift adds to a $20 million endowment in 2006 that created Ludwig Centers at each of the six chosen institutions — UChicago, Dana-Farber/ Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Stanford University. Ludwig Cancer Research’s total commitment to cancer research to date has now reached $2.5 billion. 2

he University of Chicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering will build a major new facility for nanoscale fabrication within the William Eckhardt Research Center, supported by a $15 million gift from the Pritzker Foundation. With an advanced toolset and enough space for a wide range of projects, the 12,000-square-foot Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility will support work on new applications in computing, health care, communications, smart materials “We believe the new and more. “I am deeply grateful to the nanofabrication facility Pritzkers, whose generosity will benefit the Institute for Molecular holds great promise for Engineering and the University, breakthroughs that and enhance Chicago as a hub for discovery and innovation,” said can transform fields University of Chicago President of study and improve Robert J. Zimmer. “We believe the new nanofabri- human life.” cation facility holds great promise Thomas J. Pritzker for breakthroughs that can transform fields of study and improve human life,” said Thomas J. Pritzker, on behalf of the Pritzker Foundation. “We understand that this kind of project can’t be done piecemeal. It takes a significant investment, and we believe this facility will be an important contribution to greater Chicago’s innovation ecosystem.” The gift brings the total Pritzker Foundation contribution in support of the Institute for Molecular Engineering to $25 million. The William Eckhardt Research Center, a major new home for physical sciences and molecular engineering located on Ellis Avenue, is scheduled to open in early 2015. It will house the Institute for Molecular Engineering, along with other faculty offices and laboratories. The building was specially engineered to account for the particular needs of a large, below-ground clean room. The creation of the Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility will fulfill the vision for a multidisciplinary, state-of-the-art facility that will provide distinct advantages. “In size, in the variety of work it can support and in the technology of the toolset, the Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility will be a regional and national resource the day its doors open,” said Matthew Tirrell, the Pritzker Director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/1k6qCJk.

CORRECTION

Among his many honors, the late Joel G. Schwab, MD, received the Doroghazi Clinical Teaching Award in 2012. The award was established by Robert Doroghazi, MD’77, immediate past president of the Alumni Council of the Medical & Biological Sciences Alumni Association. In the Fall 2013 issue of Medicine on the Midway, the award was listed incorrectly as the Pritzker School of Medicine Outstanding Clinical Teaching Award.

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION


M A R I N E B I O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y A F F I L I AT I O N

BSD and MBL retreat focuses on ways to team up for research, education A group of 240 scientists, faculty members and students from the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and the University of Chicago, including Argonne National Laborator y, explored ideas for joint scientific research and educational programming at a retreat in February on the University campus. Researchers got to know their colleagues through panel sessions, five-minute “lightning talks” on current research, roundtables and spontaneous side sessions. The MBL-UChicago retreat was the largest joint scientific meeting since the two institutions launched their historic affiliation in July 2013. “There is so much energy around the affiliation, and intellectual vigor to make it work,” said Neil Shubin, PhD, the Robert R. Bensley Distinguished Service Professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy and senior advisor to the president and vice president for research and for national

Victoria Prince, PhD, professor of organismal biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago and associate dean and director of the Office of Graduate Affairs, and Joel Smith, PhD, assistant scientist and associate director of education at the Marine Biological Laboratory, chat before the retreat.

laboratories at UChicago. “It’s wonderful to see the exchange of ideas and exuberance emerge.” The retreat was one step in an ongoing process of discussion and engagement that will result in creating meaningful programs that capitalize on the institutions’ complementary strengths, Shubin said. A second retreat was planned for May at the MBL in Woods Hole, Mass. In March, the University and the MBL announced the first two PHOTO BY ROBERT KOZLOFF recipients of the Frank R. Lillie Research Innovation Awards: University of Utah neuroscientist Erik M. Jorgensen, PhD, and cell biologist Clare Waterman, PhD, of the National Institutes of Health. The grant program, the first formal research opportunity between the University and the MBL since the affiliation, provides funding for novel collaborative projects based at the MBL that will lead to transformative biological discoveries.

M E D I C I N E O N T H E M I D W AY

N AT I O N A L S C I E N C E F O U N D AT I O N

Download the free Medicine on the Midway mobile app

BSD graduate students awarded NSF research fellowships

The new Medicine on the Midway app is available for download in the App Store. • Compatible with iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch • Instant access to the current issue and recent back issues • Zoom and search • Embedded videos and links to web pages, podcasts and social media • Developed by GradMags, a University of Chicago Booth School of Business startup Visit the App Store or use this link: http://bit.ly/16rRYk8.

UChicago Cancer Conversations is a new blog featuring posts from cancer researchers, physicians and clinicians.

Join the conversation at CancerConversations.uchospitals.edu.

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our graduate students in the Biological Sciences Division and three students in the BSD/PSD biophysical sciences program have been awarded 2014 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. This prestigious fellowship provides students with stipends and tuition aid for three years. The students are Hector Acaron Ledesma, biophysical sciences; Adam Hardy, integrative biology; Alyssa Harker, biochemistry and molecular biophysics; Joshua Riback, biophysical sciences; Darcy Ross, integrative biology; Joel Smith, ecology and evolution; and Kevin Song, biophysical sciences.

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L E A R N I N G H E A LT H S Y S T E M C H A L L E N G E A W A R D

Midway News

Helping young physicians pursue scholarship Innovative Hospitalist Scholars Training Program receives AAMC award BY MICHAEL MCHUGH

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ven before Jeanne Farnan, MD’02, MPHE, began her internal medicine residency, she knew she wanted medical education to be a focus of her career. But at the time, there were no fellowship-type programs that gave young physicians entering hospital medicine the protected time needed to build an academic career while gaining clinical experience. Many physicians coming out of residency are so overwhelmed with the demands of caring for patients that they have little time to devote to scholarship — or anything else. The lack of academic opportunities and the rigors of clinical care have led to high rates of burnout and turnover among hospitalists — a growing field of medical specialists increasingly relied upon by health systems to efficiently care for patients. This state of affairs prompted David Meltzer, MD’93, PhD’92, chief of the section of hospital medicine, to found the Hospitalist Scholars Training Program in 2005. Vineet Arora, MD, MA’03, associate professor of medicine, and Chad Whelan, MD, former associate professor of medicine, joined Meltzer as mentors. The innovative two-year program combines reduced clinical responsibilities with protected time for young physicians to further their scholarship with a master’s-level degree and to become leaders in research, medical education and quality improvement.

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PHOTO BY ROBERT KOZLOFF

Dana Edelson, MD’01, MS’07, left, and Jeanne Farnan, MD’02, MPHE, were the first two scholars in an innovative University of Chicago Medicine training program founded by David Meltzer, MD’93, PhD’92.

“There’s no question my career trajectory would have been completely different if I had not been given the opportunity to do this program.” Dana Edelson, MD’01, MS’07

Last fall, the Association of American Medical Colleges recognized Meltzer and the program with a Learning Health System Challenge Award, one of only five awarded nationally. “The program really changed the way I thought about what I wanted to do,” said Farnan, one of the first two hospitalist scholars. In practice, the program puts the “academic” in academic medical center and has made the University of Chicago Medicine’s hospital medicine section one of the top scholarly sections in the country. Farnan earned a master of health professions education degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2009.

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

Today she is an associate professor of medicine as well as director of clinical skills education, director of curricular evaluation and medical director of the Clinical Performance Center at the Pritzker School of Medicine. “The holy grail of medical education is to be able to teach someone something that will impact the outcome for others,” she said. Farnan’s colleague in the first year was Dana Edelson, MD’01, MS’07, assistant professor of medicine. Edelson originally had planned to double board in internal and emergency medicine. After completing her internal medicine residency, she spent a year


G R A D U AT E S C H O O L R A N K I N G S

researching in-hospital cardiac arrests. The more she studied the cases, the more she realized many of these events were preventable. And she wanted to pursue her research further. “Serendipitously, at the moment that I realized I didn’t want to continue on the path I was on, there was a new path opening up,” said Edelson, who earned her master of science degree in health studies from UChicago. “There’s no question my career trajector y would have been completely different if I had not been given the opportunity to do this program, and I’m forever grateful.” Edelson’s research into cardiac arrests and resuscitations over the past decade identified several key indicators that reliably predict a possible arrest, thus enabling clinicians to intercede before it happens. Her work has also made her a recognized leader in this area. Last year, Edelson was appointed director of rescue care and resiliency at UChicago Medicine, a position that allows her to take the lessons learned from her research and translate them into clinical practice to decrease cardiac arrest rates and improve survival for patients experiencing acute clinical deterioration. In addition to Edelson and Farnan, about 20 other physicians have gone through the scholars program, and all graduates have remained in hospital medicine. In its early years, most of the young physician-scholars had completed their residencies at UChicago Medicine. That number has fallen to about one-third as the program’s national reputation has grown. It now attracts young physicians from across the country. “It’s a win-win for everybody: The section gets people who want to do clinical work but also good academic work, and the scholars get a clinical job with great experience, plus research mentorship and the time to do that research,” said Farnan.

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Pritkzer, BSD rank No. 1 in state and among top in nation School of Medicine and executive vice president for Medical Affairs at the University of Chicago. “These results should be a source of pride for us all.” Last year, Pritzker tied for No. 8 with three other research-focused schools, Columbia University, Duke University and University of Michigan. Pritzker ranked ahead of a number of excellent schools in the 2015 edition of the annual rankings, including UCLA, University of Michigan, University of California-San Diego, Cornell University, Vanderbilt University, University of Pittsburgh and Northwestern University, among others. Pritzker did particularly well in National Institutes of Health research funding per faculty member, placing fifth in the country. It continues to attract top students, placing second in selectivity in the latest rankings, versus fourth last year and 41st in 2004.

The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine placed 11th out of the 153 ranked medical schools in the latest U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools listing, while the PhD programs in the Biological Sciences Division ranked 14th in the country. In both categories, the University of Chicago had the leading programs in Illinois. Of note, in the category of ecology/evolutionary biology programs, UChicago tied for fourth with Stanford University, behind the University of California-Berkeley, Cornell University and University of CaliforniaDavis. “These rankings continue to reflect the high regard in which the University of Chicago is held nationally for the training of both medical and PhD students, and they are based primarily on the quality and accomplishments of our faculty and students,” said Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD, Dean of the Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker

AMA RESIDENT AND FELLOW SECTION

Fellow takes on national role

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ina Shah, MD, MPH, a second-year fellow in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine, will head a group of approximately 38,000 young physicians as the new chair of the Resident and Fellow Section of the American Medical Association. Shah, named chair-elect in November 2013, begins her term as chair in June 2014. Tina Shah, MD, MPH In this national leadership role, Shah wants to focus on developing policy that affects residents and fellows both as trainees and as physicians.

One area of interest is the physical and mental health of young physicians. “My plan for our section is that we investigate the barriers to access of care for ourselves, the trainees, because this is integral to us helping our patients,” Shah said. She also would like to concentrate on fostering a sense of civic duty among young physicians. She believes the best way to achieve this is through some form of organized medicine, such as the AMA, which gives physicians a more powerful voice in effecting important changes for their patients than they would otherwise have as individuals.

MEDICINE ON THE MIDWAY

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NEUROBIOLOGY

Midway News

Team sheds light on a new mechanism behind Alzheimer’s disease

PHOTO COURTESY OF THINAKARAN LAB

Neuroscience graduate student Celia Fernandez, left, postdoctoral fellow Virginie Buggia-Prévot, PhD, and Gopal Thinakaran, PhD, professor of neurobiology, neurology and pathology.

BY KEVIN JIANG

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indings by UChicago researchers about a key enzyme in the development of Alzheimer’s disease point to a new way of targeting an important protein for therapies. In a study published in Cell Reports, Gopal Thinakaran, PhD, professor of neurobiology, neurology, and pathology, and his team described how the enzyme beta-secretase 1 (BACE1) utilizes a unique, previously unknown transportation system in the brain. A hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid plaques are formed from protein fragments known as beta-amyloid, which is toxic to neurons. BACE1 plays a key role in this process. The enzyme is known to travel along nerve projections and accumulate in the junctions between neurons, where it initiates the production of beta-amyloid. Led by postdoctoral fellow Virginie Buggia-Prévot, PhD, and neuroscience graduate student Celia Fernandez, Thinakaran and his team devised a way to track BACE1 movement. They labelled BACE1 with a jellyfish-derived yellow fluorescence protein, allowing them to visualize and record in real time the dynamic movement of BACE1 through neurons with a microscope. Through a series of remarkable videos, the team found that BACE1 was transported in a manner never before seen. The enzyme traveled back and forth from the cell body of the neuron down the axon, a long projection that sends electrical signals to other neurons. But BACE1 moved in only one direction along dendrites, the multibranched neuronal projections that receive electrical impulses from other

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PHOTO COURTESY OF THINAKARAN LAB

BACE1 enrichment (in yellow) in neuron terminals in the hippocamus of the mouse brain. The hippocampus is essential for new memory formation. Early abnormalities in BACE1 localization contribute to Alzheimer’s disease pathology.

neurons. Searching for the underlying mechanism of this unique transportation system, the researchers found that BACE1 resides and travels in small bubbles known as endosomes and that a group of proteins known as EHD regulates this movement. When EHD was blocked, BACE1 transport was reduced. Importantly, this reduced the levels of beta-amyloid as well.

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The team hopes to develop a comprehensive understanding of this transport system, what role it plays in Alzheimer’s disease, and how it might some day be controlled in order to reduce amyloid burden in the brain. “Understanding the details regarding the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in beta-amyloid production is a topic of central importance in Alzheimer’s disease research,” Thinakaran said.


NEUROBIOLOGY

A friend in need is a friend indeed, even for rats BY KEVIN JIANG

In 2011, Peggy Mason, PhD, professor of neurobiology, made international headlines when she and her team proved experimentally that rats have a rat version of empathy. They showed that not only can rats perceive the distress of others, they can even share in that distress and act in response to the distress. Free rats liberated rats trapped in clear plastic restrainers and appeared to find this as rewarding as chocolate treats. But a big question remained: Would rats extend empathy toward strangers? It turns out that they will, with one caveat. In a study published in the journal eLife, Mason, postdoctoral fellow Inbal Ben-Ami Bartal, PhD, and their team showed that, for rats, the motivation to help a stranger requires prior social interactions with the stranger rat’s strain. The researchers worked with two rat strains, one albino and the other a nonalbino rat with a black-hooded coat pattern. Free rats, which were always albino, were first tested with trapped albino strangers and were found to consistently help these strangers. When free albino rats were tested with a black-hooded stranger, however, they did not help. Seeing evidence of the importance of strain, the team housed albino rats with black-hooded cage mates and repeated the

PHOTO BY KEVIN JIANG

Inbal Ben-Ami Bartal, PhD, and Peggy Mason, PhD, study pro-social behavior in rats.

experiment. In this scenario, the albino rats readily helped their cage mates. The team then looked to see if albino rats that had been housed with just one black-hooded cage mate would help black-hooded strangers. These rats did free trapped black-hooded strangers, suggesting that rats will help strangers as long as they are familiar with the strain of the individually unfamiliar rat. Curious if this applied to a rat’s own strain, the team fostered newborn albino

rats with black-hooded mothers and litter mates. With no exposure to other albino rats following birth, fostered rats helped trapped black-hooded strangers but not albino strangers. “Rats are apparently able to categorize others into groups and modify their social behavior according to group membership,” Ben-Ami Bartal said. “Genetic similarity or relatedness to another individual really has no influence at all.”

Neuroscience for all Peggy Mason, PhD, professor of neurobiology, has taught neuroscience to medical students at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine for decades. Now, she is embarking on a completely different experience: teaching neurobiology to anyone, and everyone. Launched April 28, Mason’s massively open (and free) online course (or MOOC), “Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life,” will guide thousands of registered students through the inner workings of the brain. Mason aims to explain how the nervous system produces behavior and to dive into the brain’s anatomy and communication systems. Her goal is for students to have a better understanding of how we perceive

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the outside world, move our bodies voluntarily, stay alive and play well with others. Although the topic is deeply complex, Mason has structured the course to be accessible to everyone, even those whose last course in biology was decades ago. The only required background for the course? An interest in the brain. “The whole MOOC movement has tapped into a deep feeling within me to engage the general public in talking about the nervous system,” Mason said. “Just call me a neuro-evangelist!” Enrollment stays open. To sign up or for more information, visit coursera.org/course/neurobio. — Kevin Jiang

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HEALING ART

Midway News

Hospital installation promotes healing environment

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ore than 60 pieces from Healing Arts renowned artists are now Free enriching the lives of patients, On permanent view visitors and staff at the University The Center for Care and Discovery of Chicago Medicine Center for Visit uchospitals.edu/ccd-art to Care and Discovery. The permadownload a brochure with a nent art installation, displayed self-guided tour of this exhibit. on six floors throughout the new hospital, showcases the work of more than 27 diverse talents in a variety of media. The exhibit was designed and collected in partnership with the Healing Arts Program, an organization committed to the restorative power of the arts at UChicago Medicine & Biological Sciences.

“The forefront of medicine includes recognizing the importance of making patients, visitors and staff feel comfortable and supported in the environment. Art has many innate attributes that people respond to in a positive way.” Monica Hork Coordinator, Healing Arts Program UChicago Medicine

“Water: Pebble Beach #512,” oil on panel by Louise LeBourgeois, is one of more than 60 works in a permanent installation in the University of Chicago Medicine Center for Care and Discovery.

BODY ART

Works examine relationship between art and medicine

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Detail from Giulio Cesare Casseri’s “Tabulae anatomicae,” 1627. Rare Book Collection, The University of Chicago Library.

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multivenue exhibition, co-curated by two University of Chicago Medicine physicians, explores anatomical representation from artistic and scientific perspectives throughout history. It includes more than 60 works — drawings, manuscripts, sculptures, engravings and radiographic images — dating from the Renaissance to today. “Imaging/Imagining the Human Body in Anatomical Representation” is jointly presented in three parts by the Special Collections Research Center, Smart Museum of Art and John Crerar Library. Brian Callender, MD’04, AM’98, AB’97, assistant professor of medicine, and Mindy Schwartz, MD, professor of medicine, curated the exhibit. Stephen Thomas, MD, assistant professor of radiology, and Adam Schwertner, MS4, collaborated on the project.

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Imaging/Imagining the Human Body in Anatomical Representation Free On view until June 20, 2014 • Special Collections Research Center (The Body as Text) • Smart Museum of Art (The Body as Art) • John Crerar Library (The Body as Data)

“It was striking comparing a several-centuries-old, artist’s rendition of human vasculature to the real thing collected from current medical imaging studies.” Adam Schwertner, MS4


ALUMNI WEEKEND

P E D I AT R I C S L E E P M E D I C I N E

University to honor Steiner, Kass

Poor sleep may accelerate cancer growth

Leading biochemist Donald Steiner, MD’56, SM’56, will receive the Alumni Medal at the 73rd annual Alumni Awards Ceremony on June 7. The Alumni Medal, the University of Chicago’s highest honor, recognizes achievement of an exceptional nature in any field, vocational or voluntary, covering an entire career. The University of Chicago Alumni Association and the Alumni Board of Governors announced the award. Steiner, a member of the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Medicine, has won international acclaim for his groundbreaking research on diabetes. His studies led to the discovery of proinsulin and preproinsulin, precursors that enable insulin’s production in the body, and facilitated the development of synthetic human insulin for diabetes therapy. Steiner has published nearly 400 peer-reviewed Donald Steiner, papers, and his work has been cited more than MD’56, SM’56 10,000 times by other researchers. He is the recipient of many international awards and honorary doctorates, and he has been a treasured teacher, mentor, and friend of many students, postdoctoral fellows and colleagues in the Biological Sciences Division, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and Kovler Diabetes Center. Leon Kass, LAB’54, SB’58, MD’62, will receive the Professional Achievement Award, which Leon Kass, LAB’54, honors alumni for outstanding achievement in SB’58, MD’62 any professional field. Kass has dedicated more than four decades of his life to exploring and defending the meaning of humanity in an age of modern biology. Early in his career as a biomedical researcher, he identified a host of moral questions raised by new biotechnologies and sought to address these queries through deeper philosophical inquiries into human nature and its relation to the human good. A self-described humanist, Kass has written numerous articles and books. He is a founding fellow of the Hastings Center. From 2001 to 2005, he was chair of the President’s Council on Bioethics and remained a member until 2007. For more information on the awards ceremony or other Alumni Weekend events, visit alumniweekend.uchicago.edu.

Read more research news on the Science Life blog sciencelife.uchospitals.edu

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oor-quality sleep marked by frequent awakenings can speed cancer growth, increase tumor aggressiveness and dampen the immune system, according to University of Chicago Medicine researchers. “Fragmented sleep makes the tumor more aggressive,” said David Gozal, MD, the Herbert T. Abelson Professor, chair of pediatrics and physician-in-chief at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital. “Fortunately, our work suggests at least one drug target: toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4).” Gozal, an authority on sleep apnea, was struck by two recent studies linking apnea to increased cancer mortality. So he and colleagues decided to measure the effects of disrupted sleep on cancer using mice. During the day — when mice sleep — a quiet, motorized brush moved through half of the cages every two minutes, forcing those mice to wake up and then go back to sleep. The rest of the mice were not disturbed. After seven days, both groups of mice were injected with tumor cells. All mice developed palpable tumors within nine to 12 days. Four weeks after inoculation, tumors from mice with fragmented sleep were twice as large and far more aggressive than those from mice that slept normally. The difference appeared to be driven by tumorassociated macrophages (TAMs), a hallmark of the immune system’s response to cancer. Some TAMs, labeled M1, promote a strong immune response and can eliminate tumors. Others, known as M2, suppress the immune response and promote the growth of blood vessels that feed the tumor. Well-rested mice had more M1-type TAMs; they had relatively little TLR4. Sleep-fragmented mice had many more M2-type TAMs; they had high levels of TLR4. “This study validates the link between perturbed sleep and cancer outcomes,” Gozal said. The study was published in January in the journal Cancer Research. — John Easton

uchospitals.edu/midway

MEDICINE ON THE MIDWAY

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Midway News

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Building relationships through research Consultation service helps researchers reach and engage underserved populations BY TIFFANI WASHINGTON

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mportant strides have been made in understanding, treating and preventing many diseases that disproportionately impact certain populations. But historically, medical research has often quietly conceded a persistent gap: effective engagement of the communities that could benefit most from the findings. Doriane Miller, MD’83, associate professor of medicine, and her team at UChicago Medicine’s Center for Community Health and Vitality are working to shift the norms for research conducted on Chicago’s South Side and, ultimately, improve health outcomes. Launched last fall, the Community Engagement Consultation Service (CECS) offers counsel and support to UChicago Medicine researchers interested in securing community participation in their projects. The service is available to Biological Sciences Division faculty, residents, fellows, medical and graduate students, and their collaborators. Miller, a general internist and researcher who has worked in underserved communities for more than two decades, is a staunch advocate for mutually beneficial researcher/community relationships. Because of her unique insight, she has often been asked how to best reach and engage various populations.

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PHOTO BY BRUCE POWELL

Doriane Miller, MD’83, associate professor of medicine and director of the Center for Community Health and Vitality.

“Researchers should not participate in what I call ‘helicopter research,’ in which you swoop into a community, land, do whatever you’re going to do, then quickly pull the helicopter out, taking what you need for your research without sharing resources, findings or recommendations with the community.” Doriane Miller, MD’83

“Thinking about this within the context of our Institute for Translational Medicine, we began to ask ourselves how we could generate a service for our colleagues that is robust and helps facilitate their scholar-

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

ship,” Miller said, “and how could we do this in a way that also is respectful of the principles of community engagement we practice here through the Center for Community Health and Vitality.” Those principles are respect for community, generation of trust, equitable partnerships, sharing of resources and transparency. “Researchers should not participate in what I call ‘helicopter research,’ ” said Miller, “in which you swoop into a community, land, do whatever you’re going to do, then quickly pull the helicopter out, taking what you need for your research without sharing resources, findings or recommendations with the community. “We want our researchers to start working with community-based organizations at the conception of their research question so that the partner can be a source of not just


data and patients, but of advice on how to operate in a particular setting.” That notion rings true in one of the first CECS successes. In fall 2012, Miller received a call from Tina Desai, MD, clinical associate professor of surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine and attending surgeon at NorthShore University Health System. Desai had been awarded a grant to study peripheral vascular disease in urban populations. The South Side’s higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, smoking and other risk factors made it fertile ground for the study, and the health screenings would benefit the participants. Miller tapped her team’s community relations director, George Smith Jr., MPH, and his vast South Side networks to identify a partner for the project. Mather LifeWays, a community center tailored to seniors in the Chatham neighborhood, fit the bill. “I felt confident that Mather would be receptive to collaboration,” said Smith. “The director had a lot of questions — not because she was skeptical, but because she wanted to be open and honest about the best approach to securing participation.” The partnership proved fruitful. Nearly 80 people were screened, and Desai gained valuable data about access to follow-up care for vascular disease, outcomes and the roles ethnicity, socioeconomic status or geography may play. Now the surgeon and her team hope to make similar inroads in other Chicago communities, particularly those with large Hispanic populations. Resources like CECS, she said, are key. “Anytime you’re doing community-based research, it’s critical to have people with ties to that community help orchestrate the research,” Desai said. For Smith, the CECS is not about constructing single interactions. His goal is to nurture lasting, meaningful relationships to ultimately improve the health of UChicago Medicine’s South Side neighbors. “The community wants to play a role in finding solutions,” said Smith. “Many of our community partners are also interested in doing research. It’s a win-win.” For more information on CECS or to submit a request for consultation, visit uhi. uchospitals.edu/community-engagementconsultation-service. uchospitals.edu/midway

CHICAGO BIOMEDICAL CONSORTIUM

BSD students named CBC Scholars

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wo University of Chicago graduate students have been named 2014 Chicago Biomedical Consortium Scholars. Leah Mayo, neurobiology, and Michael Gebhardt, microbiology, each will receive a grant of $4,000 a year for up to two years for academic pursuits such as travel to conferences. The program provides a leadership forum for students from the CBC universities — the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Chicago — to advance the mission of fostering collaboration and excellence.

Michael Gebhardt

Leah Mayo

LINDAU FELLOWSHIPS

Two students headed to Nobel laureate meeting in Germany

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wo Biological Sciences Division students received Lindau Fellowships to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting this summer in Germany. Erika Moen, cancer biology, and Leah Mayo, neurobiology, will be among approximately 600 young researchers from almost 80 countries at the meeting dedicated to Physiology or Medicine. More than 35 Nobel laureates are planning to attend. For the first time since the meeting’s inception in 1951, the participants include more young female researchers (52 percent) than males (48 percent).

T R AV E L AWA R D

Three students chosen for new BSD Recruitment Travel Award

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raduate students Daniela Palmer, evolutionary biology; Agnieszka Misiura, biochemistry and molecular biophysics; and Aashish Jha, human genetics, are the first recipients of a new Biological Sciences Division Recruitment Travel Award. The award allows recipients to combine attending a national conference with recruiting students to our graduate programs. The awardees attended the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting, the Biophysical Society meetAgnieszka Aashish Jha ing and the Annual Drosophila Daniela Palmer Misiura Research Conference.

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ALUMNI PROFILE

Midway News

Transformative medicine Michael Brownstein, MD’66, SB’62, helped hundreds of patients become the men they wanted to be BY LAURA RAMOS HEGWER

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hen Michael Brownstein, MD’66, SB’62, embarked on a career in plastic surgery, he never imagined he would become internationally known for providing life-changing surgery to the transgender community. But when a transgender male patient came to his office seeking a more male-appearing chest, Brownstein performed the surgery and found it fascinating. “I got good results, and the practice grew because patients appreciated that they had access to care in a setting that was compassionate and nonjudgmental,” Brownstein said. For the next 40 years, Brownstein’s San Francisco-based practice was limited almost exclusively to female-to-male “top surgery,” and he became one of the world’s leading experts in two types of bilateral chest reconstruction. The more common procedure was a simple mastectomy with nipple and areolar reconstruction. The other was a subcutaneous mastectomy, or “keyhole operation,” which was reserved for smallbreasted patients. “Every procedure was different because every patient was different, and some were very challenging because of the size or shape of the patient’s chest,” said Brownstein, who performed as many as 200 surgeries a year. The age of his patients also varied widely, from adolescents

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PHOTO BY PAUL SCHLISMANN

Michael Brownstein, MD’66, SB’62, is writing a memoir about his work with the transgender community.

to adults in their 70s. Early in Brownstein’s practice, some of his peers in the medical community frowned upon the care he provided to transgender patients, a problem he blames on a lack of understanding. “People assume caring for transgender and gender non-conforming

patients is difficult. It’s not. What’s challenging is dealing with others, such as families, insurance companies and other health care professionals.” Eventually, many colleagues came to accept that he was serving an unmet need. “My patients are real people who need a surgical

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procedure to bring their physical body in line with their gender,” Brownstein said. Brownstein’s practice grew significantly with the rise of the Internet, and patients from as far as Europe, South America, Asia and the Middle East sought his expertise. He also trained other surgeons on the techniques he developed for bilateral chest reconstruction, including several residents from the University of Chicago Medicine who shadowed him. Brownstein served on the board of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and earned honors from the city and county of San Francisco for his service to the transgender community. When Brownstein retired in 2012, he was flooded with notes from grateful patients. Today, he lives with his wife, Denise Grant, in Sedona, Arizona, where he is writing a memoir about his work with the transgender community. This summer, he will return to San Francisco to speak at an event honoring the life of noted transgender activist Lou Sullivan, a former patient who died of AIDS in 1991. Brownstein believes caring for this underserved population was one of the most rewarding aspects of his career. “The patients were appreciative and grateful, which is one of the reasons I enjoyed the practice so much, and why it was so meaningful,” he said.


LEADERSHIP NEWS

A R G O N N E N AT I O N A L L A B O R AT O R Y

Chin elected to head SGIM

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PHOTO COURTESY OF ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY

Peter B. Littlewood, PhD, new director of Argonne National Laboratory.

Littlewood named Argonne director Peter B. Littlewood, PhD, professor in physics, the James Franck Institute, and the College at the University of Chicago, has been appointed director of Argonne National Laboratory. As associate laboratory director for physical sciences and engineering at Argonne, Littlewood fostered a multidisciplinary approach to new materials, involving teams that united materials science, physics, chemistry and computation. U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz strongly endorsed Littlewood’s appoint-

ment, which followed a national search. Littlewood, who came to Argonne from the University of Cambridge, has an international reputation as an accomplished scientist and a record of strong leadership in guiding scientific organizations. He is a fellow of the University’s Institute for Molecular Engineering, the Royal Society of London, the Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society. He holds six patents and has published more than 200 articles in scientific journals.

BSD students awarded research support everal Biological Sciences Division graduate students have been awarded research fellowships. Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards were awarded to Nicholas Banovich, human genetics; Alan Chang, cancer biology; Natalia Gonzales, human genetics; Daniel Leventhal, cancer biology; Justin Mark Lunderberg, Interdisciplinary Scientist Training Program; and Jason Torres, molecular metabolism and nutrition.

uchospitals.edu/midway

McDade to lead state’s physicians

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R E S E A R C H AWA R D S

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arshall Chin, MD, MPH, the Richard Parrillo Family Professor of Healthcare Ethics in the Department of Medicine, is the new president-elect of the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) for the 2014-2015 year. Chin, associate chief and director of research in the Section of General Internal Medicine, was elected by the national medical society’s 3,000 members, who are the general internal medicine faculty at the country’s medical schools and teaching hospitals. Chin also is associate director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics. He will become SGIM president in 2015-2016.

Angika Basant, cell and molecular biology, was awarded a two-year predoctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association. Jared Salisbury, computational neuroscience, received a Chateaubriand Fellowship, a grant offered by the Embassy of France in the United States that allows doctoral students enrolled in American universities to conduct research in France for up to nine months.

illiam A. McDade, MD’90, PhD’88, associate professor of anesthesia and critical care and deputy provost for research and minority issues, was elected president of the Illinois State Medical Society. He is a former president of both Chicago Medical Society and the Chicago Society of Anesthesiologists. He serves as a director with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and is chair-elect for the American Medical Association’s Council on Medical Education.

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Translating science

Basic scientist Donald Vander Griend, PhD’05, and clinician Russell Szmulewitz, MD’03, investigate new strategies for preventing and treating prostate cancer 14

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION


into medicine BY JANE KOLLMER

n his sixth floor laboratory, Donald Vander Griend, PhD’05, studies the development of the prostate and how stem cell genes involved in development impact the initiation of prostate cancer, a disease that affects one in six American men. Sharing his lab space is Russell Szmulewitz, MD’03, who sees patients every day whose cancer has spread. His research focuses on the process by which prostate cancer spreads and evolves to become castration resistant. Together, Vander Griend and Szmulewitz are on a mission to develop new strategies for treating advanced disease. They are using a cell imaging technology called flow cytometry to isolate and study circulating tumor cells as a way to predict if a therapy is working. “Russ and I have a very symbiotic translational relationship,” said Vander Griend, assistant professor of surgery and director of urological stem cell research. “His firsthand experiences in the clinic guide us toward research experiments that are most likely to benefit a patient in the long term. We function so well as a team because he provides the clinical know-how.” Their research partnership is an example of the team science approach to cancer research at UChicago Medicine. Rather than a single researcher chipping away at a problem, a group of individuals with diverse scientific backgrounds working synergistically is thought to make a faster and larger impact on complex diseases such as cancer.

Both researchers are past recipients of the Cancer Research Foundation’s Young Investigator Awards — Vander Griend in 2009 and Szmulewitz in 2011. For more on the foundation, please see the story on page 20.

Donald Vander Griend, PhD’05, left, and Russell Szmulewitz, MD’03 PHOTOS BY ROBERT KOZLOFF

uchospitals.edu/midway

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Vander Griend not only has made it his life’s work to illuminate the culprit behind prostate cancer, but he has a strong commitment to training the next generation of scientists. The roots of his dedication go back to the research experiences he had at a young age.

Inspired beginnings As an undergraduate in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Vander Griend was interested in science and medicine, but he did not see himself going to medical school. Research, however, fit with the way his mind worked. Around that time, UChicago had just started its graduate program in cancer biology. In 1998, Vander Griend joined its second class. “That was a really neat program because it was a good middle ground for doing science and helping people,” he said. His interest in cancer research was sparked by an internship experience the summer after his junior year of college. He worked in the lab of UChicago Medicine prostate cancer expert Walter M. Stadler, MD. “I loved it,” Vander Griend said. “It was a

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The researchers’ work on circulating tumor cells (CTCs) is an example of the team science approach that is laying the groundwork for improved prostate cancer treatment and prevention strategies. great environment for me to grow in.” In those days, Stadler, who is now the Fred C. Buffett Professor of Medicine and Surgery, chief of hematology/oncology, associate dean for clinical research, and director of the genitourinary program, frequently collaborated with Carrie RinkerSchaeffer, PhD, now professor of surgery, medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology, who worked on metastasis and prostate cancer. The two served as early mentors for the budding scientist and wrote letters that helped him get into graduate school. Vander Griend plunged into his PhD training with piqued curiosity. Under Rinker-Schaeffer’s mentorship, he studied prostate cancer metastasis and, for the first time, had the opportunity to watch surgeries and interact with patients. “This was a great way to get my hands dirty in translational research,” he said. He knew then that he wanted to stay focused on prostate cancer, a real and common problem that demanded a solution. A defining moment came at the end of his graduate education career, when he was awarded the Charles B. Huggins Lectureship. For this, he was required to present eight lectures to a general audience. He chose

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

the title “Everything You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer.” Many of the men who attended the lectures interrupted with their own stories, and Vander Griend reminded them he was not a doctor giving medical advice, but rather summarizing the latest statistics. “That forced me to learn everything I needed to learn about prostate cancer and explain it to people who were facing the disease,” he said. The next stop along his journey as a scientist was a postdoctoral fellowship. From 2005 to 2009, Vander Griend trained with a large team of scientists from various disciplines at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. His mentor, John T. Isaacs, PhD, professor of oncology, is one of the foremost leaders of the field.

Coming full circle In 2009, Vander Griend returned to Chicago and his alma mater as an assistant professor. He received a warm welcome from his former mentor, Rinker-Schaeffer, who offered him some of her lab space. He marvels that his career has had many “full circle” moments. For one, he now teaches classes he used to take. In this next phase of his career, he forged a name for himself as a go-to basic scientist in prostate cancer at UChicago Medicine and is leading many studies on the stem cells involved in prostate development and their potential links to cancer initiation. One of his recent studies showed that an embryonic stem cell regulator called Sox2 plays a different role in prostate cells than in stem cells. His lab found that Sox2 is critical for the growth cells that emerge after hormone therapy. These findings could reveal new research paths in the search for pros-


tate cancer treatments. Little did Vander Griend know that his chosen field of study would become very personal when two family members were diagnosed. In 2008, his father-in-law developed a rare form of prostate cancer called ductal cancer. Vander Griend asked a well-respected pathologist at Johns Hopkins to analyze the case, and he identified it as an even rarer subtype. This changed the course of treatment because that specific cancer was not particularly aggressive. His 60-year-old father-in-law was operated on at UChicago Medicine by Arieh L. Shalhav, MD, professor of surgery, chief of urology and director of minimally invasive urology. Then, in 2011, Vander Griend’s father was diagnosed with prostate cancer and also opted for surgery. Throughout both ordeals, they turned to the expert in the family for guidance. “I didn’t want to tell them what to do, but I gave them the most pertinent materials so they could make informed decisions,” he said. Both men are doing well, but it was still hard to watch his loved ones go through major surgery, with its side effects. The experience added a personal perspective to his career and caused him to think more about prevention. “If there are some simple interventions we can devise to keep cancer from starting and even delay cancer for 10 to 15 years, that will have a significant impact on the population,” he said. Thus, one direction of his research is to figure out how the prostate normally works and how cancer initiates so that one can intervene in the process. “All the genes we’re interested in are good treatment targets in advanced cancer and also seem to have a role in cancer initiation,” he said.

Training the next generation When Vander Griend took on two graduate students in his lab, he transitioned from the mentee to the mentor. The students relied on Vander Griend’s guidance at first, but, now in their fifth year, they have matured into productive scientists and drive their own research projects. uchospitals.edu/midway

Vander Griend often remembers how much one summer in Stadler’s research lab shaped his career. Because of this experience, he is enthusiastic about any opportunity to inspire those who are interested in entering cancer research. In addition to training graduate students, Vander Griend has hosted high school students in his lab to expose them to research. He spends as much handson time as he can afford mentoring and interacting with his students. “Fundamentally, the reason why I’m in academia and not industry is because I like training and teaching,” he said. “Also, I believe the most productive labs are the ones where people learn the most.”

Productive partnerships UChicago Medicine has a rich and storied tradition of breakthroughs in urologic cancer, notably the Nobel Prize-winning research of the late Charles B. Huggins, MD, that led to the discovery of hormonal therapy for prostate cancer. Today, physicians and researchers like Szmulewitz and Vander Griend carry on that tradition of high-quality investigation of prostate cancer in search of improved treatment for patients. As a basic scientist, Vander Griend conducts many of his studies on animal models, while Szmulewitz, assistant professor of medicine, uses clinical trials to test new therapies on patients. Together, their work represents the full spectrum of bench-to-bedside translational research. One of their highest priorities is to further their research on circulating tumor cells (CTCs). “Prostate cancer spreads mostly to the

b ones, making it very difficult to obtain tumor tissue to figure out what treatments the person needs,” said Vander Griend. “We are taking the patient’s blood to isolate cancer cells and analyzing their protein and genetic profile in order to personalize the therapeutics based on the person’s biology.” Szmulewitz’s lab has developed a novel method of studying CTCs that involves flow cytometry equipment capable of sorting and analyzing the cells in one step. The translational impact of this work is promising. Patients with advanced disease have more of these CTCs in their blood, and Szmulewitz can use them as clues for how to approach treatment. For now, CTCs are primarily being used as a research tool, but they could one day be used regularly by clinicians. Vander Griend’s lab uses CTCs to test the clinical relevancy of their experiments, and Szmulewitz is leading a U.S. Department of Defense-sponsored clinical trial that incorporates CTCs. Vander Griend said, “CTCs are a good example of the team science approach that MEDICINE ON THE MIDWAY

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PHOTO BY ROBERT KOZLOFF

Graduate student Edwin Reyes

is laying the groundwork for improved therapeutics and prevention strategies for patients with prostate cancer.”

Facing funding challenges Important discoveries are being made every day at UChicago Medicine, but taking those and moving them into patient treatment isn’t easy. One obstacle to progress is a lack of funding, the lifeblood that sustains research and a scientist’s career. “I have a ton of ideas and we’re always coming up with more, but most of our decisions are based on what’s sustainable and what’s going to lead to patient impact,” said Vander Griend. 18

“The most productive labs are the ones where people learn the most.” Donald Vander Griend, PhD’05

Last fall’s government shutdown and budget sequester only exacerbated the competition for federal funds. On average, Vander Griend spends 10 to 15 hours a week writing grant applications, which he

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

could have spent reading the literature, training scientists, writing papers and running experiments. “With only the top 10 percent of submitted grants being funded, you have to spend a lot of time on grants.” Vander Griend recently received a research project grant (R01) from the National Institutes of Health. For a total of $1.6 million over five years, he will be able to further study Sox2. However, he worries about the longterm impact of the funding climate because fewer people are staying in science and choosing to be educated as scientists. “It’s a fun time to be a scientist — there are so many new technologies that are


Helping others to succeed in science Science wasn’t always an interest for Edwin Reyes. Growing up in California, Reyes was surrounded by poverty, gangs and low graduation rates. But his parents, political asylees from El Salvador, steered him out of trouble and emphasized the importance of education. After graduating from community and state college, Reyes returned to his community and taught high school biology for two years. “I want to be an example for students with my background,” said Reyes. He is now a fifth-year graduate student in the Committee on Immunology and pursuing his thesis research in prostate cancer in the lab of Donald Vander Griend, PhD’05, assistant professor of surgery. Reyes’ research focuses on the putative cancer stem cell marker CD133 and its role in cell proliferation. “Edwin is learning how to fundamentally be a scientist, so he can pick an area to study and excel in it,” Vander Griend said. After graduation, Reyes plans to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in cancer immunology and eventually run his own lab. Meanwhile, Reyes feels grateful for the opportunities he’s been given. “If it weren’t for federally funded programs geared toward helping minorities in sciences, I wouldn’t be here,” he said. He is involved in several organizations

coming down the pipeline,” he said. “Science can move ahead so fast and then there’s this roadblock of funding, which is frustrating.” As a result, many scientists rely on donor support now more than ever. Philanthropic dollars can bolster experiments that improve a grant’s chances of being funded by the National Institutes of Health. The preliminary body of research that helped Vander Griend garner major federal support was made possible by seed funding from generous benefactors The Alvin H. Baum Family Fund, the late John R. Stanek, the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation Women’s Board and others. uchospitals.edu/midway

that help underrepresented minorities succeed in science. Last year, he was an invited panel speaker at the Ivy League Plus program in San Juan, Puerto Rico, encouraging students to pursue graduate education at UChicago. “I want to let people know it will be okay, even if you struggle,” he said. “When I was going through college, it was really encouraging to see other minority students who were getting graduate degrees. Because where we come from, we’re the first in our family. When somebody says, ‘Look, I’m here, and I’m doing it,’ that gives you hope.”

Szmulewitz also relies on philanthropy to support his bench-to-bedside research. Early-stage projects such as Szmulewitz’s CTC work are kept sustainable by a handful of donors, including some of his patients with advanced prostate cancer. Vander Griend and Szmulewitz pool their philanthropic funds to keep their collaborative research alive. Another challenge of translating basic science to clinical application is the lack of business know-how. Both researchers have established a relationship with UChicago’s Center for Technolog y Development and Ventures, a group that works closely with investigators to build bridges from research to practical

— Jane Kollmer

applications. For prostate cancer, that could mean the development of a new biomarker that predicts which cases are aggressive and which are indolent. However, testing a biomarker requires enormous sample sets, a kit that works the same way wherever it is used, and product development. Or, a molecular pathway could show promise as a therapeutic target in the lab, but rigorous testing through clinical trials is still needed to evaluate the target and design effective ways of delivering the therapy. Vander Griend said, “The key to successful translation is confidence that the drug or biomarker is going to make a difference in helping people.” MEDICINE ON THE MIDWAY

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Stanford J. (Stan) Goldblatt, LAB’54, EX’58

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PHOTO BY BARBARA NITKE COURTESY OF WINSTON & STRAWN LLP


Angel Investors BY STEPHEN PHILLIPS

lexandra (Zanna) Nikitas, MBA’97, makes a point not to meet scientists at the North Side office of the Cancer Research Foundation (CRF). Instead, she visits their workplaces. “I never host; it’d be wasteful to take them out of their labs,” explained Nikitas, the foundation’s executive director. “My job is to help them be more productive.” Nikitas’ father, Stanford J. (Stan) Goldblatt, LAB’54, EX’58, calls cancer research “the family business.” Before Nikitas took the helm in 2009, Goldblatt was the driving force behind the CRF. “She and I delight in the science,” said Goldblatt, also a University trustee for 35 years and founding chair of the University of Chicago Medical Center’s Board. It’s a passion — rooted in heartbreaking loss and the redemptive power of generosity, vision and hard work — that has propelled the CRF over 60 years. Run through the pantheon of UChicago cancer research greats and chances are you’ll find the hand of the CRF: Leon O. Jacobson, MD’39 (advisor); Janet D. Rowley, LAB’42, PhB’44, SB’46, MD’48 (grantee); Charles B. Huggins, MD (grantee and advisor). The list goes on. Growing up in Hyde Park, Goldblatt encountered these and other celebrated UChicago figures. His father Maurice founded the CRF in 1954. “He loved to hang around with scientists,” said Goldblatt. Many were guests around the family dinner table or even fishing companions. For some, the breakthrough for which they would become famous was still just a gleam in their eye. Rowley won the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom for identifying the genetic mutations behind chronic myelogenous leukemia. But in the 1960s she Continued on page 22

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SPECIAL COLLECTIONS RESEARCH CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO LIBRARY

Maurice Goldblatt, right, shown here in 1947, accepts a $10,000 check for the Cancer Research Foundation fundraising drive from Chicago executive Rudolph W. Glasner.

How one family’s bold vision and unstinting support helped launch the careers of an honor roll of University of Chicago Medicine cancer researchers MEDICINE ON THE MIDWAY

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“They look for dedicated, driven, innovative scientists, give them the means to pursue their research, then get out of the way. That was the guiding philosophy of Maurice Goldblatt in founding the CRF and it’s the philosophy that Stan, Merle, Zanna and other members of the Goldblatt family have perpetuated over many years.”

Richard L. Schilsky, MD’75 Former chief of hematology/oncology, University of Chicago Medicine; chief medical officer, American Society of Clinical Oncology; recipient of CRF Young Investigator Award (1986) and Fletcher Scholars Award (1989)

Young investigator

Jane Churpek, MD A 2012 Young Investigator Award enabled Jane Churpek, MD, assistant professor of medicine, to mount the largest investigation conducted to date into genetic mutations behind therapy-related leukemias after breast cancer. Churpek’s Young Investigator Awardfunded study, on which a paper is pending, added to growing evidence that certain inherited mutations denote susceptibility to these “second” cancers. Her findings support the importance of genetic counseling and increased surveillance for these patients.

PHOTO BY ROBERT KOZLOFF

Continued from page 21

was another unproven, undercapitalized researcher. “She needed equipment and my father gave her a couple thousand dollars — her first outside research support,” Goldblatt recalled. Over the years, the CRF offered “seed capital” to myriad young researchers facing the same predicament as Rowley — long on ideas, energy and promise, but short on resources and the track record of results traditional funding agencies look for. In 1986, the foundation institutionalized this focus, inaugurating the Young Investigator Award (YIA). “They launched the careers of dozens of UChicago researchers,” said Michelle M.

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“Funding is tight for all scientists and especially young investigators. This award has given me the data I need to apply for National Institutes of Health grants.”

Le Beau, PhD, director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. Goldblatt compares CRF awards to the angel investments venture capitalists make in promising start-ups. “It’s pump-priming for smart scientists with good ideas.” This takes its cue from his father’s retail mindset, he said. Before cancer research became the family business, it was dry goods. Maurice and brother Nathan (aided by siblings Joel and Louis) built a retail empire. Together, they bootstrapped Goldblatt Brothers from a single store opened in 1913 on Chicago’s North Side to a large regional chain. They were a team: Nathan, the savvy merchan-

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diser; Maurice, the financial brains. Also together, they navigated challenges. When national behemoth Woolworth’s moved in on their turf, the brothers mounted a sale that undercut and stole their out-of-town rival’s thunder. But there was one challenge they couldn’t surmount. In April 1944, Nathan was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. “This was my first experience . . . dealing with a situation where the top authorities . . . reported ‘no hope,’ ” a devastated Maurice wrote. That November, Nathan died at 49. With his passing, Maurice “lost heart for the business,” recounted Goldblatt. “He knew he had to step away from Continued on page 26


Mid-career scientist

Kenan Onel, MD, PhD Kenan Onel, MD, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics, used his 2012 Fletcher Scholars award to apply ideas from Darwinian population genetics to the problems of drug resistance and disease relapse in leukemia. Tracking cancer cells in zebrafish — the first time this “model” species has been used this way — Onel hopes ultimately to pinpoint mechanisms behind drug-resistant cells as targets for new drugs. Onel was a YIA recipient in 2004.

“The Cancer Research Foundation is not afraid to take chances. They’re always looking for opportunities to be transformative.” PHOTO BY BRUCE POWELL

Cancer biologist

Paula Hurley, PhD’04 Paula Hurley, PhD’04, received a 1999-2000 Bernice Goldblatt Fellowship as a graduate student in cancer biology at the University of Chicago. Today, she is an assistant professor of urology and oncology at Johns Hopkins University. Using early prostate development as a model system for understanding prostate cancer, Hurley and her team recently identified a gene associated with aggressive forms of the disease.

“The Goldblatt Fellowship offered me the freedom to choose a lab for my thesis based on my interests without having to worry about funding. . . . All the contributions I have made and will make as a scientist started with this fellowship.” PHOTO BY BRIAN SIMONS, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY

uchospitals.edu/midway

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The Goldblatt Family Highlights from a Century of Impact

1950 Maurice is appointed to the National Cancer Advisory Council, charged with counseling the National Cancer Institute on cancer policy and funding.

1954

Setting Up Shop

1913 Maurice and Nathan Goldblatt, 21 and 19 respectively, set up shop at Chicago and Ashland Avenues in Chicago’s Polish-Ukrainian community — the genesis of the Goldblatt Brothers department store chain. 1 91 0

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SPECIAL COLLECTIONS RESEARCH CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO LIBRARY

Goldblatt Brothers department store, 1955

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Maurice launches the Cancer Research Foundation as a vehicle for his own fundraising for cancer research. He immerses himself in the science, trolling University labs. He is a quick study and possesses “wonderful intuition,” says daughter Merle Goldblatt Cohen. One of the first grantees is Charles B. Huggins, MD, who would win the 1966 Nobel Prize for his work establishing the role of hormones in many cancers. Huggins later becomes an advisor to the CRF.

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Nathan Goldblatt Dies A check from the Cancer Research Foundation for more than $1 million is presented by Maurice Goldblatt, right, and business community leaders to University of Chicago Chancellor Robert M. Hutchins, left, in 1947.

1944 Following a short illness, Nathan dies from pancreatic cancer. Maurice quits the business to devote himself to philanthropy and fundraising for cancer research. “He saw it as his next job,” says granddaughter Lisa Schenkman.

1960

1961 Learning of plans to connect Chicago Lying-in Hospital with the medical center campus, Maurice underwrites construction of the linking building — the Goldblatt Pavilion.

1946-7 Maurice pledges $1 million to cancer research at the University of Chicago. The gift goes toward building the Nathan Goldblatt Memorial Hospital for Neoplastic Diseases. Maurice also launches a fundraising drive for cancer research at the University that nets more than $1 million in under two months — almost double its target. SPECIAL COLLECTIONS RESEARCH CENTER, THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO LIBRARY

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THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION


1973

Cancer Center Established The University is named a National Cancer Institutedesignated Cancer Center — one of eight such sites nationwide. John Ultmann, MD, the center’s inaugural director, described the CRF’s support as pivotal: “Because of the track record the University of Chicago had developed in cancer research, stimulated in part through private support provided by the Cancer Research Foundation, we became one of the first federally funded cancer research centers in the nation.” 1970

1986

2004

The CRF makes a $1 million gift to establish the Bernice Goldblatt Fellowship (named for Maurice’s wife), awarded annually to first-year graduate students in cancer biology at UChicago.

The CRF establishes the Bernice Goldblatt Pediatric Pharmacogenetics Program to apply the University’s burgeoning expertise in the genetic basis of cancer drug response to children. The initiative is focused on determining the molecular determinants behind responses to drugs in kids with sarcoma.

First Young Investigator Award The CRF inaugurates the Young Investigator Award (YIA), a series of grants, now worth $75,000, given to promising early-career cancer scientists.

1980

Early 1980s Smitten with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Maurice visits the General Electric factory in Milwaukee where the machines are made and has a scan taken of his brain. He totes around the resulting image to show UChicago physicians, and in 1983 commits $1.3 million to help install the first MRI facility at the medical center.

1984 Maurice Goldblatt dies; Stan Goldblatt becomes chairman of the CRF.

uchospitals.edu/midway

1997

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Stan Goldblatt served as the founding chair of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees.

1989 With a bequest from Eugene and Dorothy S. Fletcher, the CRF creates an innovation grant, the Fletcher Scholar award, now worth $100,000, for mid-career investigators. “With things changing as rapidly as they are, it’s crucial for senior scientists to be able to switch focus; this enables them to do that,” Stan says.

2007 Alexandra Nikitas, Stan’s daughter, takes the helm at the CRF, marking the succession of the third generation of the Goldblatt family to the foundation. “Zanna is committed and passionate about the research,” says Jane Churpek, MD, a 2012 YIA recipient. ”It’s palpable how excited she is, and it makes you feel like you have a partner in the work — that’s unique and exciting.”

2000

PHOTO BY JEAN LACHAT

Alexandra Nikitas, executive director of the Cancer Research Foundation

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2020

2005

2009-13

The Cancer Research Foundation Program in Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer Prevention and Control is launched with $1.5 million from the CRF. The initiative builds the infrastructure for a broad-based program in GI cancer research and care.

The CRF pioneers a new form of cancer research with the $3 million Interdisciplinary Leukemia Project, bringing together a team of investigators bridging multiple disciplines. It encompasses six interlocking projects across which investigators are encouraged to collaborate to tap synergies and break new ground.

2013

Cancer Breakthrough Leveraging prior CRF-supported research, the Interdisciplinary Leukemia Project solves a long-standing riddle, identifying the genetic mutation behind chromosomal “deficiencies” observed in patients with therapy-related leukemia. Supplementary CRFfunded work already underway is using the finding to move closer to prospective new therapies for this cancer. MEDICINE ON THE MIDWAY

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Continued from page 22

the business to find out why Uncle Nate passed,” said daughter Merle Goldblatt Cohen. In his early 50s, Maurice embarked on a second act — using his fortune and raising funds from others to support research into the disease that killed his brother. “Sometimes through tragedy we the living can turn a corner and give new meaning to our lives,” he wrote. In 1946, Maurice announced a $1 million gift to establish the Nathan Goldblatt Memorial Hospital for Neoplastic Diseases at the University of Chicago. More than money, though, Maurice offered time and passion, committing personally to help raise the balance of construction costs. Buoyed by his success raising money for the University and a burgeoning national profile as a cancer research champion, Maurice launched the CRF as a vessel for his own fundraising. Goldblatt Brothers had pioneered a new kind of discount department store catering to bargain-hungry immigrants streaming in to U.S. cities. In the same vein, the CRF looked for new approaches to funding cancer research. In 1989, the CRF spotted another pocket of need and corresponding opportunity in addition to young investigators. At the top of their game, mid-career scientists are a font of ideas, but they risk jeopardizing their existing funding by striking out in a fresh direction. The Fletcher Scholar awards, introduced that year, give senior scientists leverage to get their bright ideas off the ground. Former hematology/oncology chief Richard L. Schilsky, MD’75, now chief medical officer at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, credits his Fletcher Scholar award with helping him establish a cancer pharmacology program that blossomed into an institutional flagship. “The CRF goes where the good ideas are,” Schilsky said. The foundation keeps an ear open for these by cultivating close ties with researchers. This proximity allows it to place informed bets on smart people, said Kenan Onel, MD, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics and another grantee (see ‘Midcareer scientist’ on page 23). “The model is high risk-high reward, but founded on 26

CRF support to date 145 Young Investigators

14 Fletcher Scholars

19 Bernice Goldblatt Fellows

$710,350,196 Federal funding subsequently secured by Young Investigators and Fletcher Scholars

Return on investment:

$86 for every $1 invested by the CRF

(Note: Figures do not include 11 Young Investigators and 1 Fletcher Scholar named at other institutions.)

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intimate institutional knowledge.” “Being close in, we see opportunities,” said Goldblatt. Once it does, the CRF moves quickly. “Federal agencies and large foundations have strict ideas about funding and often require information unconnected to a project’s value,” Nikitas said. “We talk to the people doing the work — it’s a focus our donors have told us is important by funding us for years.” “Our mission is to spur research that results in scientific watersheds — transformational events,” she said. Le Beau’s 1993 Fletcher Scholar award certainly achieved this goal. “It completely changed the scope of research I could do in leukemia,” she said. The award was also a link in an unbroken chain of CRFfunded work that resulted, last year, in a breakthrough. In February 2013, pathology instructor Megan McNerney, MD’07, PhD’05, and Kevin White, PhD, director of the Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology, reported their discovery of a genetic mutation implicated in therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia. The finding capped a 40-year quest, reaching from Rowley through Le Beau to McNerney. The common denominator? The CRF. It was a supporter of Rowley’s speculative early work in the 1970s and the catalyst for Le Beau’s contributions during the 1990s based on techniques she acquired as a Fletcher Scholar. Finally, it was the force behind the Interdisciplinary Leukemia Project from which McNerney and White’s eureka moment — leveraging Rowley’s and Le Beau’s prior work — sprang. The genealogy exemplifies the CRF’s contributions to cancer research at UChicago — its interest in novel research and young investigators, commitment to scientists’ development, and the compounding effect of sustained support over time. Thanks to the CRF, McNerney is not letting the grass grow under her feet. As a 2013 CRF Young Investigator, she’s now working with Le Beau to determine how the mutation she and White found has its deadly effect. What they learn could inform drugs to target these mechanisms and offer help to thousands. The story of the CRF’s next 60 years of impact starts right here.


PHOTO COURTESY OF KUNMI SOBOWALE, MS4

Kunmi Sobowale, MS4, in Vietnam, where he was working to help train community health care workers to deliver mental health services.

A prescription for global health BY STEPHEN PHILLIPS

Mental health services are in short supply in Vietnam, a nation with only one psychiatrist for every 300,000 people. Among those hardest hit are the mentally ill poor. “People in poverty are more likely to have traumatic life events that increase their risk for depression, while people with schizophrenia, for example, are more likely to face discrimination and reduced economic opportunity,” said Kunmi Sobowale, MS4. Sobowale is taking a year off from his studies at the Pritzker School of Medicine on a National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center Global Health Fellowship at Da Nang Psychiatric Hospital on Vietnam’s central coast. Here, he is working with nongovernmental organizations to train community health care workers to deliver services that make up for the shortfall of skilled specialists and uchospitals.edu/midway

Pritzker’s footprint spans the world as medical students, faculty and philanthropists join forces with local communities to address health problems to reach women facing the dual burden of poverty and mental illness. “We’re using psychotherapy to improve mood, but we’re also focused on livelihood-related problemsolving: The women are acquiring skills to deal with their depression and escape poverty,” said Sobowale. He hopes the approach — based on programs in India, Zimbabwe and Uganda — can be extended to other resource-constrained settings in

Asia and beyond. Sobowale is one of 20 second-, third-, and fourth-year students enrolled in Pritzker’s Global Health Scholarship Track. The program was launched in 2009 in response to a groundswell of interest from students, said Christopher Sola Olopade, MD, MPH, professor of family medicine and medicine, and newly appointed director of international programs at Pritzker. Besides their clinical education, global health students undergo training in the social sciences and other fields related to health care in developing nations. The core of the program is service-based learning and research out in the field. Half a world away, the work Sobowale’s classmate Liese Pruitt, MS4, is doing in Nigeria could mean the difference between life and death for breast cancer patients in Africa’s most populous nation. Typically women are diagnosed with breast cancer MEDICINE ON THE MIDWAY

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PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER SOLA OLOPADE, MD

Philanthropist Susie Kiphart and Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MD, the Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics, in Ghana. The Center for Global Health works with local resources and systems, Kiphart says. “It’s about partnership.”

after the disease has advanced to stage 3 or 4, when only palliative care to extend life and manage pain may be possible. Moreover, the cost of these interventions is prohibitively expensive in a low-income nation where health care costs must be borne out-of-pocket. As a result, many patients are forced to discontinue treatment. On prior trips, Pruitt — based at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria’s premier teaching hospital — delved into the reasons behind the delay in diagnosis. Interviewing physicians and patients, she discovered many of the women had been misdiagnosed earlier. Now, supported by a yearlong Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Clinical Research Mentorship Grant, she is enlisting 1,000 health workers in a study that will clarify understanding of breast cancer among Nigeria’s medical workforce. “With this knowledge, we can design appropriate education programs,” she said. Both students said the opportunity to do such wide-ranging work in global health attracted them to Pritzker. “So many international health interven28

PHOTO BY ARNIE KANTER

Chicagoans Susie and Dick Kiphart, here with Christopher Sola Olopade, MD, MPH, director of internatonal programs at the Pritzker School of Medicine, have been involved in Ghana for more than a decade, building 78 wells and investing in schools and a mother-child clinic.

tions fail because they try to transplant things from elsewhere without taking cultural context into account,” said Pruitt, who studied anthropology and biology at Stanford University. “I wanted somewhere that would let me do social science

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

as well as medical research. Pritzker was really enthusiastic about bringing those together.” The students’ work forms part of a wider Center for Global Health, a pan-University program under which faculty and students


A. Ning Zhou, MS4, and John Schneider, MD, MPH

PHOTO COURTESY OF LIESE PRUITT, MS4

Liese Pruitt, MS4, left, received a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for her study clarifying understanding of breast cancer among Nigeria’s medical workforce.

are tackling pressing problems in international health. Its research footprint now spans 17 sites worldwide. Projects underway include research in Nigeria into smoke inhalation from indoor wood-fire cooking, a practice linked to 4 million deaths globally and environmental degradation from deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change. As well as cataloging the health effects, the ongoing intervention study has economic and policy implications that are encouraging social ventures into producing ethanol stoves as a clean alternative fuel source. “We’re creating jobs and improving health and the environment,” said Sola Olopade, the center’s clinical director, who’s spearheading the work. This commitment to collaboration and pushing beyond fact-finding to practical solutions resonated with Dick and Susie Kiphart. The Chicago couple has been involved in Ghana for more than a decade, building 78 wells and investing in schools and a mother-and-child clinic. In 2011, they formed a partnership with the Center for Global Health to amplify the impact of their work. Since then, they have donated $1.5 million to the center. Now, they’re driving additional fundraising for it. “There’s a time for emergency services and direct aid, but what they do is different,” said Susie Kiphart. “They work with local resources and systems, and listen uchospitals.edu/midway

to people to help them do what they do better — it’s about partnership.” Another core principle is reciprocity. As well as sending Pritzker students abroad, the center brings physicians and students from partner sites to the University of Chicago to acquire skills. And this reciprocity extends to knowledge. Global health involves more than simply transferring knowledge from developed nations to developing ones, said Sola Olopade. It’s a two-way street: “The solutions to many of our problems are in these countries.” Exemplifying this information exchange is the work of Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MD, the Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics, and Associate Dean, Global Health. Her breast cancer research in Nigeria and among women of African descent in Brazil, the Caribbean and the United States — a cohort overlooked in traditional studies — is informing new, more inclusive prevention and care strategies that stand to benefit women globally. “We’re changing the model from one-size-fits-all to trying to understand all forms of the disease,” she said. This makes global health a scientific imperative, not just a moral one, said Susie Kiphart. “We can’t understand disease unless we collect data from multiple groups. We’re dependent on the rest of the world in ways we don’t think about.”

Tapping sociology to stem HIV in India In southern India, HIV infection among men who have sex with men is about 30 percent. John Schneider, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine and epidemiology, has been applying network epidemiology approaches and bioinformatics to find better ways to halt the spread of HIV. In a recent paper co-authored by A. Ning Zhou, MS4, the researchers show how they were able to use cell phones to create a more accurate picture of the social networks of high-risk community members. The team worked with high-risk community members to extract contact list data from the SIM cards of their cell phones and used that data to help identify men who span multiple networks. Targeting outreach to these individuals can extend the reach of education and prevention. “I’m looking from 3,000 feet,” Schneider said. “I want to keep the patients in front of me healthy, but I also want to help those they’re connected to. It’s a network approach to medicine.” — Stephen Phillips

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Pritzker News

M AT C H D AY 2 0 1 4

PHOTOS BY BRUCE POWELL

Teddy Hart, MS4, and wife Jenna wait to open his envelope, which held the news that he matched in general surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine.

Flying high Members of Pritzker’s Class of 2014 find out where they will land for the next phase of their training BY THEA GRENDAHL CHRISTOU

F

or Teddy Hart, MS4, a flying enthusiast and distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Match Day 2014 signaled liftoff for the next phase of his unique career. Hart, who will attain the rank of captain when he receives his medical degree this June, was given the opportunity to pursue civilian training as an active duty military member instead of a deferred/inactive status.

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His next planned maneuver is a residency in general surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine. After a fellowship in trauma/critical care surgery, he plans to continue his Air Force career as a surgeon. His long-range goals include a second career as a surgeon at an academic medical center. “I’d like to help educate teams that support trauma operations in deployments to provide compassionate care to wounded warriors,” Hart said. “And I hope to further

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research and contribute to advances in the field of surgery through my clinical work.” The most popular specialties chosen by members of the Class of 2014 were internal medicine (25 percent), pediatrics (10 percent), anesthesiology (10 percent), general surgery (7 percent), and emergency medicine, family medicine and psychiatry (6 percent each). Again this year, every University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine student matched with a residency program.


Learning the rewards of research BY THEA GRENDAHL CHRISTOU

T

he University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine offers its students many opportunities to engage in research under the mentorship of top physicianscientists.

CAMILLE PETRI, MS4 “I think Pritzker’s emphasis on research is unparalleled,” said Camille Petri, MS4. “I was propelled by the support of my mentors and by their confidence in my abilities.” In her first research project at Pritzker, Petri worked with Ravi Salgia, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, pathology and dermatology and vice chair of translational research, to characterize the epidemiology of a particular translocation found in non-small cell lung cancer and to develop a lab-based protocol for identifying the translocation in tissue samples. Under the guidance of Peter H. O’Donnell, MD’03, assistant professor of medicine, she helped define and prove a previously unreported side effect associ-

“I am really proud of all of you and our career advisers and the entire staff of the Pritzker School of Medicine for everything that makes it possible for me to congratulate you on being 100 percent matched,” Holly J. Humphrey, MD’83, the Ralph W. Gerard Professor in Medicine and dean for medical education, told the cheering students. Pritzker students matched at many of the best programs in the country even in the most competitive disciplines. The hospitals accepting the most Pritzker recruits to their categorical/advanced programs were University of Chicago Medicine (19), Harvard University-affiliated hospitals (8), University of California, San Francisco (6), Vanderbilt University (4) and Washington uchospitals.edu/midway

The experiences of three Class of 2014 members — Camille Petri, Vikrant Jagadeesan and Madeleine Shapiro — illustrate the high-quality research conducted by Pritzker students. The students’ research was facilitated by the Scholarship and Discovery curriculum, which began in 2009 ated with a type of chemotherapy used in stem cell transplant. The paper was published in Leukemia and Lymphoma. Petri also pursued an interest in medical education research through Pritkzer’s Medical Education Scholarship Track. Mentored by Shalini Reddy, MD, associate professor of medicine, she engaged in researching a one-year study of reflective writing with formal feedback for first-year medical students. “This study helped define the effects of reflective writing on medical students’ professional development, and it highlighted some impactful experiences that occur during first year,” she said. Petri presented this work at the 2013 Association of American Medical Colleges annual meeting. “I see myself staying in academic medicine and making education a priority in my clinical practice,” said Petri, who will do her internal medicine residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

University in St. Louis-affiliated hospitals (4). The University of Chicago’s residency programs also fared extremely well, attracting superb candidates from top medical

and requires Pritzker students to conduct mentored scholarly work during their 4-year degree program. All three students matched at Harvardaffiliated hospitals for residency and plan to pay it forward by becoming mentors themselves someday.

MADELEINE SHAPIRO, MS4 “I started medical school saying I was done with research,” said Madeleine Shapiro, MS4, who completed her undergraduate degree in human evolutionary biology at Harvard University. But when she saw health literacy among the research offerings available through the Pritzker Summer Research Program, she reconsidered. Shapiro worked with Valerie Press, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine, to evaluate a tool for rapid clinical assessment of health literacy among hospitalized patients. The duo presented their preliminary findings at several national forums. Shapiro was co-first author of the final report published in the Journal of Health Continued on page 32

schools. Of note, internal medicine’s 41 new residents include 11 underrepresented minorities. Students, along with their families and friends, packed Billings Auditorium for Match Day festivities that included a slideshow of current and baby photos of the Class of 2014. Nicholas Ludmer, MS4, one of the Pritzker Chiefs, taught his classmates a series of dance moves he made up to signal whether they are heading north, south, east, or west, or staying in the Midwest for their residencies, which they practiced amid much laughter. “We’re going to be getting requests from medical schools around the country to teach that dance,” Humphrey said. MEDICINE ON THE MIDWAY

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Pritzker News

Continued from page 31

VIKRANT JAGADEESAN, MS4

Communication and the first author of a letter to the editor in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. The project led to further research into the prevalence of poor vision among hospital patients and how it affects health literacy and overall quality-of-life issues. “I took a leap in exploring clinical research and found it really rewarding,” she said. Shapiro especially appreciated the relationship developed with Press over the course of their work together. “Dr. Press challenged me to explore the world of research,” said Shapiro, who will do her residency in medicine and pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital. “She gave me the reins of the research project, which allowed me to figure things out on my own. But she was always an incredible resource.”

Throughout all his four years at Pritzker, Vikrant Jagadeesan, MS4, assisted Sandeep Nathan, MD, MS, associate professor of medicine, who is leading an investigation on the use of intravascular ultrasound during human coronary stent implantation at the University of Chicago Medicine. He received the John D. Arnold, MD’46, Scientific Research Prize for his work and Nathan, the analogous award for research mentorship. “My background in bioengineering drew me to research in intravascular ultrasound,” said Jagadeesan. His work led to first-author presentations at five national conferences, including the American College of Cardiology

annual meeting. He credits his mentors for stepping in with encouragement as well as demanding thorough preparation. “Through their critical analysis of my writing and speaking,” he said, “I began to build self-confidence in highpressure situations.” In an ot h e r re s e arch e n d e avor, Jagadeesan investigated how a didactic radiation oncology curriculum affected fourth-year students’ decision to pursue the specialty. This project is driving his desire to become a mentor someday. “The application of rigorous research methods in areas of education is important in the training of future generations,” said Jagadeesan, who matched in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “I love the idea of dividing my time between teaching, patient care, and research.”

ANNUAL POETRY CONTEST

Well-versed in compassion

A

third-year Pritzker School of Medicine student and a pediatrics resident are the winners of the 2014 Pritzker Poetry Contest. Now in its third, year, the contest is dedicated to inspiring humanism in medicine through poetry about compassionate patient care. The contest is open to all members of the University of Chicago community who are involved in patient care. This year, more than 100 poems were submitted. The Pritzker Poetry Contest is sponsored by Rama Jager, MD, in conjunction with University Retina and Macula Associates. All of this year’s finalists can be read at https://aaa-uruk04. cri.uchicago.edu/psompoetry/. We are proud to share this year’s first prize winning poems. First place winner: Six-word poem entry Dropped Beats by Jasmine Dowell, MD’11, pediatrics resident A broken heart divided, leaves two

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First place winner: Open poem entry A Name by Alexandra Garnett, MS3 I ask her for her full name and the year that she was born, I ask her where she lives and who resides at home, I ask about her current health, of aching joints and belly pains, I ask about her diet and the food that fuels her veins. I ask of juvenile ailments, though she struggles to recall, I ask about her parents’ death: At what age? And how? I ask of sordid details from a youth gone past – Times long forgotten, buried and forgiven, by most but not us. I ask of her travels, her employment, and her sleep, And bit-by-bit she offers up these pieces of her life Because a body’s secrets are no longer hers to keep, Now portions of a record, scribed by a stranger’s pen. I smile politely and turn to leave, our encounter at its end, But at the door I take pause, as something in me stirs. I catch her eye and offer up one brief beholden look, For it seems strange that in exchange for everything I took, The only thing I’ve shared with her is a name she’d not quite heard.

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F O U R T H -Y E A R S T U D E N T S H O N O R E D

Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

S

eventeen University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine students were inducted into the University of Chicago Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Students are selected based on academic excellence, capacity for leadership, compassion and fairness in dealing with one’s colleagues. William C. Dement, MD’55, PhD’57, Lowell W. and Josephine Q. Berry Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and chief emeritus of the Stanford University Division of Sleep, was the keynote speaker at the ceremony. While on campus, Dement also delivered the Department of Medicine Grand Rounds lecture, “The History of Sleep Medicine: From Chicago to the World.” The AOA Class of 2014 elected the following faculty, residents and alumni to the Illinois Beta Chapter (University of Chicago): Faculty: Lolita Alkureishi, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics; and Peter Angelos, MD, PhD, Linda Kohler Anderson Professor of Surgery. House staff: Noura Dabbouseh, MS, SM’09, MD’11, Department of Medicine; Andrea Loberg, MD’12, Department of

The Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society induction ceremony was held this spring. From left, first row: Camille Petri, Michelle Fletcher, Margaret Distler, PhD, William C. Dement, MD’55, PhD’57, Jasmine Taylor, Elizabeth Poli. Second row: Holly J. Humphrey, MD’83, Teresa Murray, Lisa Sun, Madeleine Shapiro, Maureen Beederman, Vikrant Jagadeesan, Adam Cifu, MD, Ashley Brouillette, Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD. Third row: Matthew Stutz, Adam Schwertner, Hannah Snyder, Joseph Lamplot, David Arnolds, PhD, Theodore (Teddy) Hart.

Obstetrics and Gynecology; James “Kevin” Hall, MD, Department of Medicine. Alumni: Brian Callender, AM’98, MD’04, assistant professor of medicine; and Husain Sattar, MD’01, associate professor of pathology. The AOA medical students honored

Mark Talamonti, MD, a member of the Department of Surgery at NorthShore University Health System, with the Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award, which recognizes a community physician who contributes with distinction to the education and training of clinical students.

Students named to Gold Humanism Honor Society

E

ighteen students from the Class of 2014 were named to the Gold Humanism Honor Society, which honors fourth-year medical students for excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service. Lolita Alkureishi, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, and Vikrant Jagadeesan, MS4, received the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Awards for Faculty and Student, respectively.

Attending the Gold Humanism Honor Society induction ceremony were, from left, first row: chapter advisor Mindy Schwartz, MD, Vanessa Rivas-Lopez, Hannah Snyder, Ryan Swearingen, Nicholas Ludmer, Jessica Portillo, MPH, Holly J. Humphrey, MD’83. Second row: Helio Zapata, Jasmine Taylor, Erica MacKenzie, Vikrant Jagadeesan, Katie Richards, Jonathan Garneau, Madeleine Shapiro. Third row: Matthew Stutz, Asad Qadir, Maureen Beederman, Albert Ning Zhou, Alan Schurle, Theodore (Teddy) Hart. uchospitals.edu/midway

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Class Notes NEWS

Alumni, get the latest news and stay connected with your classmates through the Medical & Biological Sciences Alumni Association (MBSAA) website at medbsd.uchicago.edu/alumni.

REUNION IS COMING UP JUNE 6-7, 2014 Attention alumni emeriti and those from the Classes of 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009. Reunion is coming up in June 2014. So that you stay up to date, be sure to submit your current contact information at medbsd.uchicago.edu/alumni/get-involved/update-your-info.

1950s Leong Tan, MD’58, was honored as a 50-year member of the San Francisco Medical Society and for a lifetime of providing high-quality care for the underserved and improving health care delivery in the Chinese-American community. In 1988, he retired from the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center, where he was chief of the urology department. He has led a very active retirement, mentoring UCSF urology residents, for which he was chosen to receive the prestigious UCSF William Smart Award for excellence in clinical teaching in 1991; volunteering as a consultant to North East Medical Services (NEMS), which honored him

2 0 1 3 -1 4 A lu m n i Co u ncil Rene Mora, PhD’88, MD’89, President Robert Doroghazi, MD’77, Immediate Past President Michael H. Silverman, MD’73, Vice President and Chicago Partners Chair Paul R. Rockey, MD’70, Reunion Chair Dean Rider, MD’78, Regional Chair Chris Albanis, AB’96, MD’00, Editorial Committee Chair Diane Altkorn, MD’82 Diana Chung, MD’92 Lawrence Cutler, MD’80 Amy Derick, MD’02 Mark Ferguson, MD’77 Sanford A. Garfield, PhD’74 Melina Hale, PhD’98 David Holtzman, PhD’67, MD’68 Maga Jackson-Triche, AB’71, MD’75, MSH Julian Katz, MD’62 Michael W. Kaufman, MD’72 Si-hoi Lam, AB’76, MD’80 Dennis Lee, MD’91 Ernest E. Mhoon, MD’73 Doriane C. Miller, MD’83 Jacqueline Moline, AB’84, MD’88 Daniel Rosenblum, SB’62, MD’66 Patricia Simmons, MD’77 Donald Steiner, MD’56, SM’56 Jack Stockert, AB’05, MBA’10, MD’10 David Whitney, MBA’78, MD’80 Lifetime Members: L.D. Anagnostopoulos, SB’57, MD’61 Arnold B. Calica, SM’61, MD’75 Coleman Seskind, AB’55, SB’56, MD’59, SM’59 Russ Zajtchuk, SB’60, MD’63

as volunteer of the year in 1990; and co-founding the SOAR Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to helping deserving impoverished students in China pursue an education. Tan and his wife, Margaret, MS’58, celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary in June 2013, and they have two sons and four grandchildren. The couple are avid travelers and have visited more than 70 countries.

1990s Monica B. Vela, MD’93, associate professor of medicine and associate dean for multicultural affairs for the Pritzker School of Medicine, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Herbert W. Nickens Award by the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM). The Nickens Award is given to an individual with exceptional commitment to cultural diversity in medicine or improving minority health. Vela is a recognized leader in scholarship and education related to health care disparities and diversity in medicine. In 2006, she piloted and implemented an innovative new curriculum in health care disparities that is now a required course in the Pritzker curriculum. She plays an active role in the recruitment and support of students underrepresented in medicine. As the associate vice chair for diversity in the Department of Medicine, she works to improve recruitment, retention, scholarship, leadership and mentorship of residents, fellows and faculty in an environment of cultural awareness and sensitivity. She has made a major impact by increasing cultural diversity in medicine and improving minority health.

2000s Chemen Tate, MD’04, recently was elected to the board of directors for the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA). AMWA is a nearly 100 yearold medical association for women physicians, residents, and students, and

those interested in women’s health. A vibrant multispecialty organization dedicated to advancing women in medicine and improving women’s health, AMWA empowers women to lead in improving health for all within a model that reflects the unique perspective of women. Tate will serve a two-year term on the board. She is an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Indiana University School of Medicine.

2010s Elizabeth King, MD’10, was awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Aging for the research proposal “Geriatric Specific Risk Metrics and Adverse Outcomes in Older Kidney Transplant Recipients.” As part of the award, she will be pursuing a PhD in clinical research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Daniel Matute, PhD’11, was awarded the Theodosius Dobzhansky Prize from the Society of the Study of Evolution. The prize is an extremely prestigious award for early-career evolutionary biologists. Matute, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago, begins a new position as assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in fall 2014. He studies genetic changes associated with speciation in Drosophila and has published 20 papers in journals that include Evolution, Cell, Science, PNAS and PLoS Biology.

Faculty News Two Biological Sciences Division faculty members are among a diverse group of 178 scholars, artists and scientists awarded 2014 fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Lainie Ross, MD, PhD, is the Carolyn and Matthew Bucksbaum Professor of Clinical Ethics and a professor of pediatrics, medicine and surgery. She is an associate director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics and co-director of the Institute for Translational Medicine. Ross plans to spend her fellowship term working on a book tentatively titled “From Peapods to Whole Genomes: Incidental Findings and Unintended Consequences in a Post-Mendelian World.” Joe Thornton, PhD, is a professor in the departments of Human Genetics and of Ecology & Evolution. Thornton, who is known for resurrecting ancestral genes and tracing the mechanisms by which proteins evolve new functions, plans to write a book on the functional synthesis of molecular biology and evolution.

In Memoriam 1940s Buel L. Sever, MD’43, aka Doc Sever, died peacefully at home in University Place, Washington, on February 4, 2014. He was 95. Making house calls in Fircrest, Washington, and spreading the word about the new doctor in town in the early 1950s wasn’t easy, but his private practice as a GP who also performed general surgery and delivered babies for multiple generations grew throughout the years. Sever practiced in Europe and Japan during World War II and finally in Fircrest for 35 years, with privileges at all Tacoma area hospitals. After his retirement in 1987, he remained interested in medicine and was a longtime member of the Pierce County Medical Society and supporter of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and Washington State University. Sever was a captain in the U.S. Army and served as a physician on the hospital trains in Europe. He was called to the unsettling yet unique command as a physician to the Nazi war criminals during the Nuremberg Trials in 194546. He was never sure why they called him to the task but thought perhaps it was because he studied German in school. Needless to say, he learned a lot, grew in knowledge, wisdom and character through the extreme circumstances of war and post-war, and was very excited to settle down back in the States with his wife, Luana, who passed away in 2012, to start a family and to practice medicine. Sever also loved the game of golf, was active at Fircrest Golf Club before arthritis took over and accomplished seven (witnessed) holes in one! From Sever to young students and physicians: Keep following your dreams, study and work hard, pray and never give up.

1950s Joseph Robert “Bob” Bloomfield, MD’52, died May 24, 2013, in Torrance, California. He was 89. A British national living in Shanghai, Bloomfield was imprisoned in an internment camp run by the Japanese during World War II. After college and medical school in the United States, he practiced family medicine in Torrance for almost four decades. As chief of staff of Riviera Community Hospital, Bloomfield also served on the board of directors when the hospital merged with Torrance

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In Memoriam

Sidney Schulman, MD’46, SB’44 idney Schulman, MD’46, SB’44, the Ellen C. Manning Professor Emeritus of Neurology at the University of Chicago, died at his Hyde Park home on January 31, 2014, from complications following a fall. He was 90. Schulman was a highly respected clinician and a leading authority on the thalamus, often described as the “switchboard” of the brain because it relays sensory and motor impulses to the cerebral cortex for processing. He grew up in Chicago and did his internship at the University of Chicago Medical Center, followed by two years of military service as chief of pediatrics at Rodriguez General Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He returned to the medical center in 1949 for his neurology residency and fellowship. He served as section chief of neurology from 1966 to 1975. In the 1950s and ’60s, he performed important research, often inspired by his patients, on the impact of various neurological disorders or infections of the thalamus. His work carefully correlated anatomical damage with loss of function. He also developed animal models to study the role of the thalamus in the acquisition and storage of short-term memories. Schulman’s national reputation brought him to the attention of Princeton Hospital pathologist Thomas Harvey, MD, who performed the autopsy on Albert Einstein after his death in 1955. In the 1960s, Harvey asked Schulman to analyze slices of the thalamus in the hope that it might provide clues about the physicist’s unusual cognitive abilities. He sent Schulman pieces of tissue, carefully sectioned and stained for microscopic study. The tissues proved disappointingly normal, and Schulman sent them back. Years later, Harvey sent Schulman several additional samples from the brain, as a gift. In 1965, Schulman was elected president of the Central Society for Neurological Research and served as secretary and then president of the Chicago Neurological Society from 1962 to 1965. He also served as an examiner for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and vice chairman of the task force on research for the joint committee of the American Neurological Association and the American Academy of Neurology. In 1975, Schulman took a sabbatical year at Harvard’s Boston Children’s Hospital. When he returned to campus he shifted his focus away from research and patient care to concentrate on sharing his knowledge of neuropathol-

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Memorial Hospital (now Torrance Memorial Medical Center) and was chief of family practice. He was a founder of the South Bay Squash Racquets Club. His wife, Joyce Grace (Jedlicka) Bloomfield, PhB’46, died July 26, 2013. Survivors include two daughters, a son and two grandsons. Richard H. Evans, MD’59, SB’56, died on Jan. 20, 2013, of heart disease at age 78. Meticulous and highly skilled, yet also modest and compassionate, Evans had young doctors flocking to his operating room to learn, veteran doctors seeking his care for their loved ones and scores of patients singing his praises. Evans came to the University of Chicago at age 15 and never left. He stayed at the University for medical school, ascended to chief resident and even met his wife,

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“It was a gift to watch him do a neurological exam. There was no one so thorough or careful.” Louis Cohen, MD’53, SB’49, professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Chicago ogy, illustrated by his vast collection of slides, with neurology residents, and teaching students in the College. He soon became known for a popular class he developed for undergraduates titled Neurology and Kant’s Theory of Knowledge. His central theme was to combine Kant’s 18th-century theory of cognition with current understanding of the nervous system, a blend that, he noted, “holds up well indeed.” In addition to

Roberta, at a coffee shop on campus. The couple raised their three children in Hyde Park. Before building his career at Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center, Evans spent two years as a U.S. Air Force surgeon, treating wounded soldiers from Vietnam. In his early days at Michael Reese, he also worked part time as a Cook County coroner, seeking a way to give dignity to those who had died violently or in poverty. He was considered a master in the operating room and a kind and skilled mentor. His practice focused on cardiothoracic and thyroid surgery, and, over the years, he trained hundreds of doctors. While at Reese, he was also on the staff at the University of Chicago in thoracic surgery during the tenure of David Skinner, MD, as chair of surgery. Evans was known for his intellectual curiosity and breadth of knowledge and interests, including art, history, music and theater. A perfect day for him featured time tinkering with gadgets and electronics, a trip to a

his research, he was a revered teacher. Students referred to Schulman as inspirational and thorough, and they admired the respect he had for students and residents, often making them feel like peer colleagues. In 1997, he was selected as one of the first to receive the Norman Maclean Faculty Award, which recognizes senior faculty who have made outstanding contributions to teaching and to the student experience of campus life. He retired in 1993 but continued to write and teach in the College for more than 10 years. Schulman’s wife, Mary, died in 2011. He is survived by three children: Samuel, Patricia, and Daniel, and eight grandchildren. Donations in Dr. Schulman’s memory may be sent to University of Chicago Gift and Record Services, Dr. Sidney Schulman Memorial, 5235 S. Harper Court, Chicago, IL 60615. Checks should be payable the University of Chicago Medicine with “Dr. Sidney Schulman” in the memo line.

hardware store, a meal at a diner or deli, reading and a stretch outside. A loving father and husband, he lost his only son, Michael, to colon cancer in 2004. Evans is survived by his wife, Roberta; daughters Elizabeth and Susan Evans; daughter-in-law BethAnne Jacob; and five grandchildren. Thomas B. Hill, MD’50, died June 11, 2013. He was born in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, to Luther Boone Hill and Lena Pearl McCord Hill and lived there until he enrolled at the University of Chicago in 1939. His education was interrupted by World War II, during which he served in the U.S. Army Air Force as a meteorologist. It was during his aviation cadet training that Hill met and married Josephine Todhunter Still in 1943 in New York City. After the war, he completed his

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

medical training at the Univeristy of Chicago through the GI Bill and did his residency at Blodgett Memorial Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was a solo general practitioner in Lowell, Michigan, from 1951 to 1963, leaving to enter the student health service at Michigan State University, where he practiced for 19 years at Olin Health Center. He also served as an assistant to the dean in the College of Human Medicine for admissions and student affairs in the formative years of the medical school. In retirement, he enjoyed community gardening with the Garden Project, genealogy, collecting books by Lowell authors and traveling. His wife of 61 years, Josephine, died in 2004. He began voice lessons in 2005 and gave many concerts for his friends at Independence Village. Hill is survived by his two daughters, Peggy and Merry Jo, and Merry Jo’s husband, Celestino Hernandez.


Faculty

Herbert C. Friedmann, PhD’58 He gave more lectures than anyone else and introduced undergraduates to biochemistry in a compelling and memorable way. erbert C. Friedmann, PhD’58, an authority on bacterial enzymes, the biosynthesis of vitamin B12 and the history of biology, and a role model for rigorous and effective teaching, died January 13, 2014. He was 86. Friedmann, an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, taught biochemistry to college and graduate students at the University of Chicago for almost 50 years. He maintained an active research lab for the first half of that career, then gradually shifted his energies from laboratory research to teaching and writing on the history of biology. Friedmann was born in 1927, in Mannheim, Germany, “nine years after the end of World War I,” he noted in a memoir, “and 12 years before the beginning of World War II.” On November 10, 1938, the second day of Kristallnacht, the Nazis picked up his father and sent him to Dachau. He was released 10 days later, thanks to his wife, who traveled to the concentration camp with proof of a visa to India. At the time, some Jews still were being allowed to emigrate. A German professor working in Bombay (now Mumbai) helped the elder Friedmann secure work caring for patients with skin diseases, including syphilis and leprosy. The family settled in Madras. The younger Friedmann grew up in India, earning his bachelor’s in chemistry at the University of Madras in 1947. After completing his PhD at the

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Nelson A. Moffat, MD’55, died July 29, 2013, in Dousman, Wisconsin. He was 82. A U.S. Army veteran, Moffat practiced urology and held leadership positions at the Marshfield Clinic for almost 30 years, retiring in 1992. For seven years, he served on the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board. A registered piano technician, Moffat also rebuilt, repaired and tuned pianos. His wife, Joan (Burkhart) Moffat, AM’53, died in 2010. He is survived by a daughter, two sons, a sister and four grandchildren. Daniel Offer, MD’57, professor emeritus in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and editor emeritus, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, passed away on Mercer Island, Washington, on May

uchospitals.edu/midway

University of Chicago, he worked as a research associate at the University for a year, followed by a two-year fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. His publications include a book on the history of enzymology; a 65-page treatise on the career of Theodore Escherich, for whom the ubiquitous bacterium E. coli was named; and a short paper listing his “Fifty-six laws of good teaching,” a quick reference containing sound advice for any instructor. Friedmann returned to Chicago as a research associate in physiology in 1960 and began his studies of vitamin B12 and its role in bacterial nucleotide synthesis. In 1964, he was named an assistant professor of biochemistry and was later promoted to associate professor. In 1978, he was one of two University faculty members awarded the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Based on letters of nomination from students, the award is among the most treasured by faculty. Student assessments of Friedmann remained favorable for his entire career. He retired in 2009 at the age of 82, and his last reviews from students were glowing. He is predeceased by his son, Martin, U-High’83; and survived by his wife, Joan; their daughter, Elisabeth Pryor, U-High’80, and her husband, Patrick; and two grandchildren, Eric, U-High’13, and Amalia, MSW’11.

13, 2013. He was 83 and died of natural causes. Offer was a major force in adolescent psychiatry, a beloved professor at Northwestern and a scholar whose books continue to remain classics in the field. Despite living on dialysis for the previous 13 years, he continued to travel internationally and enjoyed his retirement, his family and his scholarly interests. He co-authored the book “Dialysis Without Fear,” generously offering information and support to others based on his own experience. Offer trained in psychiatry at Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, where he eventually rose to the position of department chair, which he held for 10 years. He was elected president of both the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training and the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry, and was a “founding father” of both organizations. Offer attained the rank of professor at the University of Chicago and then joined the faculty

of Northwestern University in 1990. He assumed emeritus status in 2008. He was a gifted and popular teacher, focusing on both normal adolescents and adolescent patients. Offer’s longitudinal study of normal high school boys — one of the most successful ever in length of follow-up (more than three decades) and retention of subjects — challenged the established wisdom that “adolescent turmoil” was a required developmental phase to reach a normal adulthood. His 1969 book, “The Psychological World of the Teenager”, and the 1975 “From Teenage to Young Manhood: A Psychological Study” remain classics. In all, he published 12 scientific books and monographs, 68 scientific articles and three psychological tests and interpretive manuals. His paper, “The Altering of Reported Experiences,” published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in June 2000, is required reading for those who wish to understand the vagaries of memory. Offer is survived by his wife, Marjorie; a son, Raphael; two daughters, Tamar Yehoshua and Susan Szafir; and six grandchildren, Shir Yehoshua, SB’13, Ron Yehoshua, College Class of 2017, Isabelle and Chloe Offer, and Liliana and Stella Szafir. Sheldon Wolfe, MD’56, died Aug. 17, 2013, in Berkeley, California. He practiced and taught psychoanalysis and psychiatry in San Francisco and Berkeley until his retirement in 2006. Wolfe was a member of the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis and an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. He was a beloved member of the Berkeley Community Chorus. At his 50th medical school reunion, he spoke of his passion for the University of Chicago, “which so wonderfully nurtured my intellectual and character development during six important years of my youth.” He is survived by Nancy, his wife of 56 years; his children Ann, David, Mark and Gail; his sister, Barbara Faber; and 10 grandchildren.

1960s George Borge, MD’63, a psychiatrist, died August 7 in Burr Ridge, Illinois. He was 74. After serving as a staff psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental Health and doing psychiatric research, Borge joined Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital outside of Chicago in 1976 as chief of psychiatry services. He developed a biological psychiatry laboratory at the hospital where doctors used brain scans of veterans to help with their treatment. He also was the psychiatry department chair at what is now Vanguard MacNeal Hospital. Retiring from Hines in 1999, Borge then maintained a private practice. He is survived by his wife, Renee; two daughters; a son; a sister; and five grandchildren.

1980s Jay J. Listinsky, MD’82, PhD’79, died September 9, 2013. Throughout his life, academic interests truly drove his career. Listinsky was very interested in the role of alpha-L-fucose in biological processes including neoplasia and proudly called himself a “FREELANCE SCIENTIST,” with “Practice Limited to Alpha-L-Fucose” on his business card. He was the first member of his family to attend college, obtaining his bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from the University of WisconsinMadison, where he acquired his lifelong interest in scientific investigation. He went on to earn a PhD in pharmacology at the University of Chicago. The prospect of applying basic science to clinical problems intrigued him, leading him to pursue a medical degree, also at the University of Chicago, where he met his future wife, Catherine M. Listinsky, MD’78, an associate professor of pathology at Case Western Reserve University. He completed residency training in diagnostic radiology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, followed by a fellowship in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in the biochemistry laboratory of Robert Bryant, PhD. Listinsky served on the radiology faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham from 1988 to 2003, starting as a body imager and developing clinical expertise in mammography. During that time, he forged a collaboration with the laboratory of Gene Siegal, MD, PhD, in the pathology department to pursue his basic research interests, the role of fucose in cancer and biology. In 2003, he accepted a faculty position at Cleveland Clinic and moved to University Hospitals Case Medical Center in 2006. In April 2007, he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He underwent an umbilical cord stem cell transplant that extended his life another six years, giving him time to continue his work, including rejoining the UAB faculty as an adjunct assistant professor of pathology shortly before his death. Listinsky is remembered as a dedicated scientist, a creative and generous collaborator, a devoted husband to Catherine and the beloved father of their two daughters, Jennifer and Betsy Jean.

2010s Katherine (Katie) Lynn Karas, MS2, passed away peacefully on April 4, 2014 after a long battle with cancer. Katie Karas, 25, was an MD candidate for the Pritzker School of Medicine Class of 2016. A graduate of Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Illinois (2006) and Dartmouth College (2010), she was

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In Memoriam

awarded the Edward R. Perkins Literature Prize while majoring in English at Dartmouth. At Pritzker, she worked on the Childhood Cancer Survivors Study and was deeply involved in the Pritzker Community Service Fellowship and Mission Nutrition. Her dedication to her studies and the community were matched by her commitment to her classmates, serving as a leader for the 2013 Pritzker Formal as well as a team leader for orientation. Most of all, Katie impressed everyone with her warmth, eloquence and generosity. She will be greatly missed by her professors and friends at the Pritzker School of Medicine. Katie’s mother, Kathleen (Kathy) Karas, is also a member of the University of Chicago community, serving as the Director of Protocol Operations for the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) from 1995 to 2010. Katie is survived by her mother; father, Joseph Karas; brother, Joseph A. Karas; and grandmother, Anna Karas. Memorials may be sent to the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine Scholarship Fund (http://medbsd.uchicago.edu/alumni/ give/annual-fund-gifts) or the Lurie Children’s Hospital Foundation (https:// www.luriechildrens.org/en-us/about-us/ Pages/our-foundation.aspx).

Faculty Robert S. Daniels, MD, former dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and the Louisiana State University School of Medicine, died October 28, 2013, of complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 86. Daniels received his bachelor’s degree and MD from the University of Cincinnati, graduating first in his medical school class. Following his psychiatry residency in Cincinnati, he came to the University of Chicago, where he was a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry from 1957 to 1971 and acting chair from 1963 to 1966. He also served as associate dean for social and community medicine. He pursued additional training in psychoanalysis, graduating from the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis in 1968. He returned to Cincinnati in 1971 and was named chairman of psychiatry following the retirement of Maurice Levine, MD, whom he considered an important mentor. In 1981, Daniels, who at the time was the dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, was named acting senior vice president of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, retaining his position as dean. He was appointed senior vice president in October 1982 and remained in that position until 1985. He received the Drake Medal, which honors physicians who have made long-lasting contributions to the University of Cincinnati and gained national reputations in their fields. In 1986, he left Cincinnati to become dean of Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans.

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J. Terry Ernest, MD’61, PhD’67

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. Terry Ernest, MD’61, PhD’67, the Cynthia Chow Professor Emeritus and former chair of ophthalmology and visual science at the University of Chicago, died Dec. 26, 2013, in Chicago after a long illness. He was 78. Ernest was a physician-scientist who broke ground in cell transplantation for eye diseases. His seminal work on ocular blood flow influenced a generation of researchers studying the retina and glaucoma. His work in macular degeneration and its potential treatment by cell transplantation helped establish underlying concepts for stem cell therapy and has had an impact on numerous other fields of medicine. In 1997, Ernest led a team that performed the world’s first fetal retinal pigment epithelial cell transplantation, an experimental procedure that aimed to treat age-related macular degeneration. His efforts to develop innovative therapies for the disease, which affects millions around the world and is the major cause of blindness in the elderly, led Time magazine to declare him a “Hero of Medicine” in the fall of that year. Ernest received his medical degree and PhD from the University of Chicago. He served as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during the Vietnam War and was based at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland from 1967 to 1970. In 1985, he rejoined the University as professor and chair of ophthalmology and visual

science, a position he would retain until 2004. “Terry Ernest was one of the first faculty from the medical center to join us and work closely with the ethics center,” said Mark Siegler, MD’67, the Lindy Bergman Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Surgery and founding director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics. “When Terry began thinking of ways to treat macular degeneration using transplanted cells, he came to the MacLean center and requested a ‘research ethics consultation.’ This was an approach to new, cutting-edge research ideas that we had launched at the University a few years before and that became a national standard in later years. Terry was a pioneer in using the consultation (service) and remained involved in the activities of the ethics program until he retired. He was a wonderful, caring physician, a gentleman, and a great colleague.” Ernest received numerous

awards during his career, including a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health, a Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Award and an Honor Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He was included in Chicago magazine’s “Best Doctors” list in 2001 and was a member of many societies, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Ophthalmological Society. His greatest legacy may be his teaching. “He was a guiding light for me in entering this amazing field of ophthalmology,” said Chris Albanis, MD’00, AB’96, clinical associate of ophthalmology and visual science at the University of Chicago Medicine, who served as a resident during Ernest’s tenure as chair. “He not only taught me diagnostic skills, but how to be a good doctor: Sit at eye level, listen to the patient, try to be the last one to leave the room as the patient will always have something to share as they leave.” Ernest is survived by his daughter, Sarah Terry McMahon, and granddaughters Sadie, Malley and Kimberly. He was preceded in death by another daughter, Kimberly. Donations in Dr. Ernest’s memory may be sent to University of Chicago Gift and Record Services, Dr. J. Terry Ernest Memorial, 5235 S. Harper Court, Chicago, IL 60615. Checks should be payable to the University of Chicago Medicine with “Dr. J. Terry Ernest” in the memo line.

“Terry was a role model, mentor and a great friend. He influenced so many of us by his enthusiastic spirit, love for science and patients and a genuine passion for teaching.” Samir Patel, MD, co-founder and president of Ophthotech Corporation and former associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Chicago

He retired in 1995. Daniels is survived by sons Stephen Daniels, U-High’69, MD’77, and Allen Daniels, U-High’71, AM’77; daughters Lynn and Judy; and seven grandchildren. Donations in Dr. Daniels’ memory may be sent to University of Chicago Gift and Record Services, Dr. Robert S. Daniels Memorial, 5235 S. Harper Court, Chicago, IL 60615. Checks should be payable to the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine with “Dr. Robert S. Daniels” in the memo line. David W. Talmage, MD, died peacefully at home on March 6, 2014, at age 94. Talmage was born in a small town in Korea, where he was raised by his Presbyterian missionary parents and his beloved Grandmother Emerson. He graduated

from Davidson College in 1941. His medical studies were accelerated as a result of World War II, and he graduated from Washington University School of Medicine in 1944. From 1945 to 1947, he served as a medical adviser to the Korean government for the U.S. Army. In 1952, Talmage joined the University of Chicago as assistant professor of medicine. He stayed until 1959, when he left to begin a distinguished, 40-year career at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. His professional work earned him much acclaim. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1976, served on the Council of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and was president of the American Association of Immunologists and the American Academy of Allergy. His honors include a Distinguished Service Award from the University of Chicago in 1967, the Sandoz Immunology Prize in 1995, the Sewall

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

Award from the University of Colorado in 1996 and the prestigious Bonfils-Stanton Award in 2003. A research scientist and prolific writer, he was the author of more than 150 articles in scientific journals. Talmage married the love of his life, LaVeryn Talmage, in 1944 and stayed devoted to her until her death in 2013. With LaVeryn, he raised their five children, travelled the world and distinguished himself in his career. Talmage was a peacemaker above all and was remarkably patient and loving. He gave everyone the benefit of the doubt and counseled respect for all humans, and was a humble person despite his many accomplishments. He was a steadfast supporter of education and provided significant support for his children’s and grandchildren’s higher educations. He is survived by his children, his grandchildren, his sister and many nieces and nephews.


Faculty

Francis Howe Straus II, MD’57, SM’64 rancis Howe Straus II, MD’57, SM’64, professor emeritus of pathology at the University of Chicago, died at his home at Mackinac Island, Michigan, on January 8, 2014, at age 81. He spent his entire career, from medical school to retirement, at the University of Chicago. Straus was born in Chicago and graduated from Harvard University. Following his internship and a United States Public Health Fellowship, he completed his residency at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics. His family had multigenerational connections to the University of Chicago, medicine and biology. His father was a surgeon and his mother graduated from the University’s former joint medical program with Rush Medical College in 1926. In 1955, while in medical school, Straus married Lorna Puttkammer, SM’60, PhD’62, daughter of a University of Chicago Law School professor. In 1963, while serving as the chief resident in pathology, he was appointed an instructor in pathology. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1965, associate professor in 1971 and professor in 1978. He helped train many of the leading surgical pathologists in the country. He was nationally known for his work on thyroid pathology and also made significant contributions to the understanding of other endocrine and urologic disorders. Although he published two books —”Hypoparathyroidism” and “Essentials of Surgical Pathology” — authored 12 book chapters and contributed to nearly 100 research papers, Straus thought of himself primarily as a teacher and a clinician. He taught courses in basic pathology and surgical pathology to medical students for decades and was selected by the medical students as one of the school’s 20 best teachers 15 times in the

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1970s and ’80s. For three decades, he and his wife, Lorna, developed and co-taught a popular course on mammalian anatomy and physiology for third- and fourth-year students in the College. He was active in the University’s Medical Staff Organization, serving as its vice president from 1977 to 2001, and was associate director for surgical pathology from 1977 to 2003. Throughout his career, Straus took on many additional professional roles. He served as president and on the board of directors for the Chicago unit and the Illinois division of the American Cancer Society, for which he was honored with the 2006 St. George Award, the society’s highest distinction for volunteer service. He also lectured widely on endocrine and surgical pathology. Straus’ colleagues consistently praised his professional skills and treasured his friendship; they emphasized his dedication to teaching and the kindness and thoughtfulness he brought to clinical encounters. His philosophy of life, he wrote in a letter to the alumni association, was to help society “by being creative and precise in my practice and teaching.” Straus passed his vibrancy onto his children; his son Christopher is credited with starting the storied Scavenger Hunt on campus. He is survived by his wife, Lorna; their four children: Francis III; Helen, MD’90, SB’86, attending physician in emergency medicine at the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County; Christopher, MD’92, AB’88, associate professor of radiology at the University of Chicago Medicine; Michael; and two grandchildren. For information on making a donation in Dr. Straus’ memory to the Eleanor Humphreys Visiting Surgical Pathologist Fund, please see the letter on this page from Lorna Straus.

“He was an outstanding pathologist, a valued colleague, a wonderful friend and the kindest and most thoughtful person. He played an important role in defining the pathogenesis of several endocrine diseases. One of our papers on papillary thyroid cancer, for example, has been cited nearly 900 times.” Edwin Kaplan, MD, professor of surgery

A letter from Lorna Straus, SM’60, PhD’62

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edical practitioners at the University of Chicago in the 1940s and 50s,

It was my husband’s hope that others would consider supporting this fund.

particularly those in pathology and surgery, will recall Eleanor Hum-

Additional support of this fund can expand the scope internationally, securing

phreys, MD. From her appointment as the first director of the University’s new

visits from the very best surgical pathologists from around the globe, giving

Surgical Pathology Laboratory in 1946 until her retirement in 1958, Humphreys

future practitioners a truly “world class” education. If you wish to make a gift in

diagnosed every surgical specimen at the University of Chicago Hospitals. She

support of the Eleanor Humphreys Visiting Surgical Pathologist Fund, please

also spent many hours teaching surgeons, medical students, residents and staff,

mail a check to the following address: Attention: Josh Levine, The University of

all while maintaining creative educative relationships. Her long working hours

Chicago, 5235 S. Harper Court, 7th Floor, Chicago, IL 60615. Please make the

were often 7 a.m. to midnight many days of the week. She was exceptionally

check out to The University of Chicago, and in the memo line of the check write

knowledgeable, respectful, and kindly, and liked learning about families and

Eleanor Humphreys. If you have any questions, please contact Josh Levine at

children.

773-702-0885 or josh.levine@uchicago.edu.

To honor Dr. Humphreys, my late husband — Francis Straus II, MD’57, SM’64 —

Warmest regards,

endowed the Eleanor Humphreys Visiting Surgical Pathologist Fund. This fund will bring some of the nation’s top surgical pathologists to the University of Chicago on an annual basis to lecture and work with faculty, fellows, residents

Lorna P. Straus, SM’60, PhD’62 Professor Emerita in Organismal Biology and Anatomy and the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division

and staff on methods for teaching the most advanced practices in surgical pathology.

uchospitals.edu/midway

MEDICINE ON THE MIDWAY

SPRING 2014

39


Faculty

In Memoriam

Janet D. Rowley, 1925-2013 anet Davison Rowley, LAB’42, PhB’44, SB’46, MD’48, the Blum-Riese Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine, Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and Human Genetics at the University of Chicago, died from complications of ovarian cancer on December 17, 2013, at her home in Hyde Park. She was 88. A pioneer in connecting the development of cancer with genetic abnormalities, Rowley made a series of fundamental discoveries, beginning in the 1970s, which demonstrated that specific chromosomal changes caused certain types of leukemia. Her findings changed the way cancer was understood, opened the door to development of drugs directed at the cancer-specific genetic abnormalities and created a model that still drives cancer research today. “Very few people have made such a profound, lasting and positive impact — on their students and colleagues, and on their field of study — and I know no one who has done so much with such style and grace and true modesty,” said Kenneth S. Polonsky, Dean of the Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine and executive vice president for Medical Affairs at the University of Chicago, during a gathering of colleagues, family and friends for a service honoring Rowley at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel on March 30, 2014. Janet Davison Rowley was born April 5, 1925, in New York City. Her parents, who were both graduates of the University, moved to Chicago when she was 2. At age 15, Rowley won a scholarship to enroll in the Hutchins College, which combined the last two years of high school with the first two years of college. “The U of C,” she later recalled, “taught me to stick to my convictions if I really thought that I was correct, even when others disagreed.” She completed a bachelor of philosophy degree in 1944 and was accepted into the University’s medical school, but the quota — three women out of a class of 65 — was already filled, “so I had to wait nine months,” Rowley said in an interview. The day after she graduated from medical school, she married fellow medical student Donald Rowley, SB’45, SM’50, MD’50, who would become a professor of pathology at the University of Chicago. She spent the next 20 years raising their four boys while working three days a week at various sites, including a Chicago clinic for children with Down syndrome, a genetic disorder caused by an extra chromosome 21. Her interest in chromosomes and cancer gained focus in 1962 , after a year at Oxford University, where she learned newly developed techniques of chromosome analysis. Back in Chicago, Leon O. Jacobson, MD’39, a colleague and mentor, suggested Rowley apply those techniques to the study of chromosomes from patients with leukemia. During a second sabbatical at Oxford in 1970, she learned new staining techniques of chromosome banding, accelerating her progress in identifying consistent chromosomal abnormalities amid the seeming genetic chaos of leukemia cells. Rowley made her first big discovery in her home. Her children often teased her about getting paid to play with paper dolls as she sat at the dining room table, cutting chromosomes out of photographs and carefully arranging them in pairs. In the spring of 1972, she “lined up the chromosomes from leukemia cells on a table and told my kids not to sneeze.” She noticed that the chromosomes of a patient with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) had two abnormalities: chromosomes 8 and 21 appeared to have made a trade — an exchange now known as a “translocation.” Later that year she observed that patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), had a differ-

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PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ROWLEY FAMILY

Janet Rowley and her husband, Donald A. Rowley, SB’45, SM’50, MD’50, raised their four sons in Hyde Park.

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PHOTO BY DAN DRY

Janet D. Rowley, LAB’42, PhB’44, SB’46, MD’48, was a pioneer in connecting the development of cancer with genetic abnormalities. ent translocation (9;22). Because of this transfer from one chromosome to another, important genes that regulated cell growth and division were no longer located in their normal position, resulting in the uncontrolled cell growth of cancer. In 1977, Rowley and colleagues identified a third chromosome example, the 15;17 translocation that causes acute promyelocytic leukemia. Before Rowley, few scientists suspected that chromosomal aberrations caused cancer. The genes involved – and their functions — were unknown. She struggled for years to convince her fellow researchers. “I became a kind of missionary,” she would often recall, preaching that chromosome abnormalities were important. “I got sort of amused tolerance at the beginning.” Understanding the 9;22 translocation eventually led to the development of the drug imatinib (Gleevec), one of the most successful targeted cancer therapies to date. Her discovery of the acute promyelocytic leukemia translocation led to effective treatment with high-dose all-trans retinoic acid. Awards for Rowley’s work include the Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award and the National Medal of Science (1998); the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009); a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association for Cancer Research (2010); the Japan Prize for Healthcare and Medical Technology (2012); and the Albany Medical Center Prize (2013). She was an elected member of numerous scientific and honorary societies, including the National Academy of Sciences. An avid gardener, Rowley spent her free time converting her city lot near campus into a flower and vegetable garden, the place where she claimed to have done some of her best thinking. Her other interests included the opera and traveling worldwide to hike, camp and observe wildlife. She also enjoyed spending time with her family at their cottage along Lake Michigan. Her husband, Donald, died in 2013. She is survived by three of their four sons, David, Robert and Roger, and five grandchildren Jason, Jenny, Gia, Anra and Ian. To make a donation in Dr. Rowley’s memory, please visit medbsd.uchicago.edu/ alumni/remembering-rowley.

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION


Remembering Janet D. Rowley The passing of renowned researcher Janet Davison Rowley, LAB’42, PhB’44, SB’46, MD’48, was felt deeply at the University of Chicago and throughout the scientific world. Her family, friends and colleagues spoke about her remarkable life at a memorial service in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, and leading scientists wrote tributes honoring her legacy. Here are excerpts: When the world lost Janet, we lost much more than a scientific giant. Her students and trainees lost a wonderful mentor, her colleagues and collaborators lost a good friend, patients lost a strong voice for applying basic science to clinical problems, and her family lost a loving mother and grandmother. I, too, will miss Janet greatly. I always thought of her as indestructible, perhaps because of her no-nonsense, energetic approach to science and life. Never one to sit on the sidelines, this living legend remained a sharp, active, and outspoken participant in the scientific community right up until her final months… Janet stands as a hero for many women in science, as well as for anyone — male or female — looking for insights on how to balance the often competing demands of work and home. Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD Director National Institutes of Health NIH Director’s Blog, December 19, 2013

Through her own work, enthusiasm and boundless collegiality, Janet was an inspiration to dozens of young physician-scientists, especially women. She became an important mentor for many who went on to highly successful science careers. Not just a pioneering researcher, she was also a model of scientific integrity — a thoughtful, conscientious, responsible and highly ethical scientist. Janet brought a fresh and independent and often critical voice to discussions about the relationship between medical research and scientific policy. Her work is a sterling example of independent thinking, perseverance and, as Janet consistently pointed out, some good luck. Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD Dean, Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs The University of Chicago

When Janet began her work, CML patients were usually diagnosed in their 50s and they lived for three to five years. As a result of her work, CML patients today can expect to have a normal lifespan and to die from causes other than cancer. This is Janet’s enduring legacy, her belief that the ultimate goal of research is to benefit patients and improve human life… Janet will also be remembered for the way she lived her life, with humility, grace, wonder, vigor and amazing generosity. She was one of those mentors who had the rare gift for showing enthusiasm for each of your accomplishments in the laboratory, no matter how small, and yet staying laser-focused on the big picture. Over the years she trained over 100 trainees, many of whom are here today, and she served as an exemplary role model for women in science and medicine. Michelle M. Le Beau, PhD The Arthur and Marian Edelstein Professor of Medicine Director, the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center

uchospitals.edu/midway

“A wonderfully balanced and fulfilled life, a magnificent legacy” Despite her many accolades and honors, I never witnessed my mother responding to others as anything other than as an equal. She never let her success go to her head or to her ego, and invariably she would either be somewhat embarrassed by the attention given to her or deflect it to the contributions of others. She often told people that my father was the real scientist, and “I am just a stamp collector.” The world is a better place because of her attention to detail and willingness to proselytize her view of the linkages between chromosome abnormalities and cancer. David Rowley, PhD Professor, Geophysical Sciences The University of Chicago

There’s no question that when one thinks about the greatness of the faculty of the University of Chicago, Janet Rowley stands out as a giant. With her inquiring mind, incredible insights, commitment to discovery and ability to mentor and inspire, Janet Rowley did indeed define excellence at the University. . . From a personal standpoint, Janet Rowley was not simply a great faculty member, she was an extraordinary human being. Any time I was in her presence, there was always optimism in the air. She was always smiling. You had a sense of her joy of life, her commitment to the future as well as the present. Janet was a very grand lady, grand with a capital G. We are all better for having known her. James S. Frank Vice-chair, University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees University of Chicago Board of Trustees

A woman of tremendous grace and beauty, she distinguished herself not only for her historic scientific discoveries but also with her sustained efforts to support the careers of others, including myself. Throughout her illustrious career, Janet was a stubborn advocate for science. She was a leader on campus, and many deans and presidents at the University of Chicago frequently heard from her as she fought for resources to support research. Janet provided leadership to the field and fostered public understanding of science. Janet was clearly one of the true pioneers of our time, not least in her fearless career as a woman in science at a time when few were admitted to medical school. Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MD The Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics Associate Dean, Global Health Director, Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics The University of Chicago Medicine Cell, January 30, 2014

I, along with Harvey Golomb, was one of Janet’s socalled “three musketeers.” Janet believed that we were on a mission to show that specific types of chromosomal abnormalities were correlated with specific types of leukemia — a fact not very well accepted in the ‘70s. Janet went ahead to discover more than a dozen unique recurring genetic abnormalities in AML, many of which led to treatment protocols that improved or saved the lives of thousands of patients. When you worked with her, you really got the sense, not just of her knowledge but also her enthusiasm and her persistence in getting the project done. James W. Vardiman, MD Professor Emeritus of Pathology The University of Chicago

Her impact on cancer genetics has been extraordinary and is all the more impressive because of her light touch, brilliance, and modesty. She often described her research achievements as “just observational” or due to serendipity of being in the right place at the right time. There is an element of truth in this, but it belies her outstanding creative intellect… She exemplified the qualities needed to enjoy science, and life, to the full — insatiable curiosity, collegiality, the courage to take calculated risks, persistence, attention to detail, and most of all, passion toward work. Janet Rowley led a wonderfully balanced and fulfilled life, and she leaves us a magnificent legacy. Mel Greaves, PhD Professor of Cell Biology Director, Centre for Evolution and Cancer The Institute of Cancer Research, London, England Co-recipient of the King Faisal International Prize for Medicine with Janet Rowley, 1988 Science, February 7, 2014

Janet was herself a natural aristocrat — at ease with herself and with her own remarkable gifts. In her presence, one was immediately aware of a depth and creativity and commitment to a calling that transcended all mundane considerations. At the same time, she was simply herself. No pretenses or airs or letting you know about her accomplishments, awards and fame. Stubbornly individualistic, relentlessly perseverant and profoundly principled. She was simultaneously rigorous and kind, critical and appreciative. Hers was a life that has left a legacy of great consequence. Hanna Holborn Gray, PhD President Emerita The Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor Emerita of History The University of Chicago

MEDICINE ON THE MIDWAY

SPRING 2014

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Medicine on the Midway is published for friends, alumni and faculty of the University of Chicago Medicine, the University of Chicago Divisio...

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