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MEDICINE MIDWAY UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

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Urban pioneers How two physicians are designing innovative models to improve health on the South Side and beyond

Melissa Gilliam, MD, MPH

David Meltzer, PhD ’92, MD ’93


Dean’s Letter

Dear Colleagues,

T Melissa Gilliam and David Meltzer are talented and caring doctors who are committed to finding better ways to treat disease, reduce discrimination and make the best use of available resources.

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

he University of Chicago proudly calls the South Side of Chicago its home. This carries great responsibility for us as care providers and significant opportunity for us as a leading biomedical research institution. We have a unique ability to help improve the quality of life for our neighbors, who too frequently include those with advanced illness and inadequate access to care. Melissa Gilliam, MD, MPH, and David Meltzer, PhD ’92, MD ’93, are two of our outstanding faculty members who’ve made it their life’s work to create innovative interventions aimed at certain health challenges and their roots in discrimination. This month’s cover story highlights the curiosity and commitment that drive these two physicians. Dr. Gilliam, the inaugural Ellen H. Block Professor in Health Justice and associate dean for diversity and inclusion in the Biological Sciences Division, and Dr. Meltzer, the Fanny L. Pritzker Professor of Medicine and chief of hospital medicine, were both recently elected to the National Academy of Medicine. This rare honor recognizes outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. We are fortunate to have them as colleagues. Their commitment to being good mentors is an important aspect of their success. Students recognize faculty who have passion for the work and the research, and they are drawn to those who are skilled scientists. To recognize the importance of mentorship, the Francis Straus Mentorship Award, to be inaugurated later this year, will acknowledge outstanding clinical and nonclinical faculty mentors. You will enjoy reading about the late Francis H. Straus, MD ’57, SM ’64, his family’s tribute to him and the lasting impression that he made on so many scientists. Two outstanding young neurobiologists are seeking to understand the innermost workings of the brain by studying the visual system. Wei Wei, PhD, studies the role of the retina in neural networks, while David Freedman, PhD, researches a particular phenomenon known as visual categorization. Their dedication to finding answers to complex questions about the brain provides examples of faculty-driven efforts to advance knowledge and answer important scientific challenges. However, given the funding challenges and other career obstacles that face scientists today, the future of neurological and other research is more uncertain than it has been for many years. I’m heartened that some of our postdoctoral scientists are accepting the challenge to shape the future of scientific research as part of a national movement called Future of Research. This issue introduces you to postdoctoral researchers who insist on having a voice in the evolution of scientific training. Other items that you’ll read include a guide to the newest buildings on campus and a BSD-themed crossword puzzle created especially for Medicine on the Midway by one of our postdoctoral scholars. As always, I hope our magazine inspires you and deepens the pride you have in the University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences.


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

Cover Story UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

on the

Biological Sciences Division

SP RING 2 01 6

Urban pioneers How two physicians are designing innovative models to improve health on the South Side and beyond

Melissa Gilliam, MD, MPH

10 Melissa Gilliam, MD, MPH, and David Meltzer, PhD’92, MD’93, are thought leaders in designing innovative models to address the social and economic issues that impede access to care. The strategies they are developing on the South Side of Chicago may lead to better health outcomes for urban populations around the world.

Looking up in the William Eckhardt Research Center PHOTO BY TOM ROSSITER

MEDICINE MIDWAY

David Meltzer, PhD ’92, MD ’93

PHOTO BY NANCY WONG

Features 5

An on-off direction selective ganglion cell in a mouse retina from the research lab of Wei Wei, PhD

Do the eyes hold the answers to how the brain works? Neurobiologists David Freedman, PhD, and Wei Wei, PhD, see it that way. 2

8

David Freedman, PhD, investigates how the brain learns and recognizes visual categories

Can you solve the puzzle? Microbiome researcher and crossword constructor Kyle Dolan, SM’11, PhD’12, challenges your knowledge of UChicago and the BSD.

I 20

A visual guide to the newest campus buildings designed by forward-thinking architects

24

The family of surgical pathologist and beloved teacher Francis Straus, MD’57, SM’64 (19322014), establishes a mentorship award for clinical and nonclinical faculty.

32

Pritzker couple Michelle DiVito, MD’01, and Benjamin Kyle Potter, MD’01, discuss the rewards of emergency medicine and orthopaedic surgery.

Departments Letter from the Dean

BSD News

Pritzker News

Midway News

28 Postdoctoral scientists take action to strengthen the research training enterprise and sustain it for the future

33 Pritzker Poetry Contest

2 UChicago Medicine’s plan to dramatically increase access to specialty, adult trauma and emergency care in the community 3 A new graduate degree in biomedical informatics combines genomic research, translational medicine and computation

Spring 2016 Volume 69, 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. Email us at momedit@uchospitals.edu Write us at Editor, Medicine on the Midway The University of Chicago Medicine 950 E. 61st St., WSSC 325 Chicago, IL 60637

uchospitals.edu/midway

The 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

29 2016 NSF Fellowship recipients 30 Fin evolution in skates and rays

Y

A giant manta ray

34 Teaching students the science of health care delivery 38 Staying on, moving on: Match Day 2016 40 Alpha Omega Alpha and Gold Humanism Honor Society inductees 42 Class Notes Hear from your classmates, near and far 42 In Memoriam

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, MS4 Jerrold Seckler, MD ’68 Coleman Seskind, AB ’55, SB ’56, SM/MD ’59 Jack Stockert, AB ’05, MBA ’10, MD ’10 Editor Anna Madrzyk Assistant Editor Gretchen Rubin

Editorial Contributors Tanya Cochran Renée de Pooter John Easton Laura Ramos Hegwer Ashley Heher Kevin Jiang Ruth E. Kott Ellen McGrew Brooke E. O’Neill Stephen Phillips Gretchen Rubin Rebecca Silverman Anne Stein Lorna Wong Matt Wood UChicago News

Photo Contributors David Christopher Das Photo Services Robert Kozloff Jean Lachat Andrew Nelles Bruce Powell Tom Rossiter Michael Satalic Joel Wintermantle Nancy Wong Medical and Biological Sciences Alumni Association Pritzker School of Medicine Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library Design Wilkinson Design

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U N I V E R S I T Y O F C H I C AG O M E D I C I N E

Midway News

Comprehensive, integrated plan will increase access to care BY LORNA WONG

T

he University of Chicago Medicine is seeking regulatory approval for a bold project that will address the lack of access to emergency and adult trauma services and complex care on the South Side. The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board (IHFSRB) was scheduled to rule on the certificate of need application May 10. Under the “Get CARE” plan, UChicago Medicine seeks to: • Build an expanded adult emergency department adjacent to the Center for Care and Discovery, which houses operating rooms and critical care units. This will improve patient safety, reduce wait times and serve more patients. • Transform Bernard A. Mitchell Hospital into a facility dedicated to cancer, which disproportionately affects South Side residents. This will open up beds in the Center for Care and Discovery for other critical patients. • Add Level 1 adult trauma care to the existing Level 1 pediatric trauma service and the Burn and Complex Wound Center. “Get CARE is a plan to reduce the disparities that exist in access to critical care on the South Side and address the severe capacity constraints our medical center faces,” said Sharon O’Keefe, president of the University of Chicago Medical Center. To support these expansions in emergency, trauma and complex care services, the plan seeks to restore 188 inpatient beds, bringing UChicago Medicine back up to roughly its size in the late 1970s — and closer to the size of other major academic medical centers in the area. With the expansion, UChicago Medicine will have 805 beds. By comparison, Northwestern

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The University of Chicago Medicine’s Get CARE plan includes redeveloping the Bernard A. Mitchell Hospital into a facility dedicated to treating patients with cancer. (This rendering is merely conceptual and meant to give a general impression of the vision of the project. No architect has been chosen, and these plans have not been finalized.)

Medicine maintains 894 beds and Rush University Medical Center has 731 beds. This bed request will help address capacity issues that have been limiting patients’ access to care at UChicago Medicine and straining the network of providers, as ambulances are diverted elsewhere and community hospitals are unable to transfer patients in need of complex care. Get CARE (Community, Access, Reliability, Excellence) was developed through discussions with community partners and an assessment of the area’s health care needs. The plan has earned wide-ranging support from neighboring health care providers and community and civic leaders. The Get CARE plan is expected to cost $269 million and create more than 1,000 permanent positions and 400 construction jobs. Once approved by state regulators, the

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

Days in 2015 that the University of Chicago Medicine reached an occupancy rate of 90 percent:

310 Adult ED visits in 2015, up from 39,000 in 2009:

57,000 Reduction in hospital beds on the South Side since 1985:

54% project would begin immediately. Building a new adult emergency department — which will house the trauma bays — is expected to take about two years. The phase to open a dedicated cancer hospital would take about four years. Learn more at uchicagogetcare.org.


G R A D U AT E E D U C AT I O N

New MS degree in biomedical informatics

T

he University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies now offers a graduate degree in biomedical informatics — one of the world’s fastest-growing interdisciplinary fields. Faculty and programs in genomics research, translational medicine and computation have been brought together to establish the new master of science degree in biomedical informatics. David McClintock, MD, assistant professor of pathology and medical director of pathology informatics, and Samuel L. Volchenboum, MD, PhD, MS, associate

professor of pediatrics and director of the Center for Research Informatics, are the faculty directors. “The landscape of technology and health care is the driving force behind the biomedical informatics degree program,” Volchenboum said. “It’s becoming easier for clinicians, researchers and technicians to use powerful informatics tools to analyze data, yet it’s never been more important for health care professionals to understand those tools and methods.” The curriculum aims to provide students breadth in biomedical informatics training — from the basics of electronic health records systems to leading-edge medical research — and depth in their areas of interest. Upon completion, graduates will have a strong understanding of how biomedical information systems are created and

“ By going through this program, physicians, nurses and others in health care will be able to use and analyze data much more effectively — resulting in improved medical care.” Samuel L. Volchenboum, MD, PhD, MS

managed, and how they can use informatics to collect, manage, store and understand data critical to health outcomes. Volchenboum says biomedical informatics knowledge and practice will bring new opportunities to improve health care safety, quality and cost-effectiveness, as well as enable more rigorous and informed decision-making to drive innovation in care delivery. Learn more about the MS in biomedical informatics degree program at grahamschool.uchicago.edu.

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

Pritkzer ranks high for research, funding and selectivity

T

he University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine earned a No. 11 spot in the latest edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools,” continuing its status as one of the country’s best training grounds for future physicians. Pritzker was the highest-ranked Illinois medical school for research, tying for 11th place with the University of Michigan and

New York University. Pritzker’s primary care program ranked No. 20 in the nation for 2017. Pritzker ranked third in the nation for the amount of National Institutes of Health research funding per faculty member ($260,200). Pritzker tied with Vanderbilt University as the country’s third-most selective medical school. PHOTO BY ANDREW NELLES

UChicago No. 1 in paleontology Other programs within the Biological Sciences Division had their 2015 U.S. News & World Report survey results re-published this year. • The PhD programs in the Biological Sciences Division were ranked 14th in the country. • The University of Chicago paleontology program, which draws from the interdepartmental and inter-institutional Committee on Evolutionary Biology, was rated first in the nation. • The ecology/evolutionary biology program tied for fourth with Stanford University. The rankings will be updated in two years.

The latest U.S. News & World Report survey places the Pritzker School of Medicine among the nation’s top medical schools for both research and primary care. uchospitals.edu/midway

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T

he Healing Arts program at the University of Chicago Medicine provides art exhibitions throughout the medical center. The photo display “Dancers Among Us” can be viewed on the bridge connecting Mitchell Hospital and the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine through mid-June.

Photographer Jordan Matter captured two dancers as they leap across a packed Chicago crosswalk.

M AC L E A N C E N T E R F O R CLINICAL MEDICAL ETHICS

MacLean Center prize goes to pioneering psychiatrist Bioethicist Laura Roberts, AB’82, AM’83, MD’88,

is the recipient of the 2015 MacLean Center Prize in Clinical Ethics and Health Outcomes. The $50,000 award is the largest prize in the United States in the fields of bioethics and clinical ethics. Roberts is chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine and is an internationally recognized scholar in bioethics, psychiatry, medicine and medical education. “Laura Roberts was one of the first graduates of the MacLean Center’s Clinical Ethics Fellowship training program. Throughout her distinguished career as an academic leader, Dr. Roberts has applied her knowledge of clinical ethics to improve patient care, medical education and the practice of American psychiatry,” said Mark Siegler, MD’67, director of the MacLean Center and the Lindy Bergman Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Surgery. PHOTO BY BRUCE POWELL

Double take

PHOTO BY JORDAN MATTER

Midway News

HEALING ARTS

O P H T H A L M O LO G Y A N D V I S U A L S C I E N C E

Rebuilding OVS The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science (OVS) has been re-established

at the University of Chicago Medicine with a distinguished corneal surgeon, educator and researcher at the helm. Kathryn Colby, MD, PhD, Louis Block Professor and chair, previously served as an associate professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Kathryn Colby, MD, PhD Medical School, surgeon and president of the medical and the eye staffs at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and director of the pediatric cornea service at Boston Children’s Hospital. “My plan is to rebuild a nationally ranked department,” Colby said, “and I’ll do that by recruiting faculty in the various subspecialties who are dedicated to the academic mission, clinical care and the teaching of residents and fellows, and to advancing our knowledge in the diagnosis and treatment of blinding eye diseases.” Colby is internationally known for her expertise in a wide variety of corneal diseases, neoplastic diseases of the surface of the eye and the implantation of artificial corneas. She has a long-standing interest in Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy, the most common cause for corneal transplantation in the U.S. OVS residency a perfect match for Pritzker students — page 38.

4

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

Stanford University bioethicist Laura Roberts, AB ’82, AM ’83, MD ’88, left; Holly J. Humphrey, MD ’83; and Mark Siegler, MD ’67, at the 27th annual Dorothy J. MacLean Fellows Conference on ethics in medicine in November 2015.

Roberts, who is the Katharine Dexter McCormick and Stanley McCormick Memorial Professor, has dedicated much of her career to studying vulnerable and special populations. Her work has led to advances in understanding the ethical aspects of mental illness research, the role of stigma in health disparities and optimal approaches to fostering professionalism in medicine. “My work has focused on understanding the experiences and strengths of the most seriously ill, most marginalized and most poorly understood of our patients,” said Roberts. “The MacLean Center prize honors these individuals who teach us about medicine, and about life, as they face great sorrow and injustices with courage and generosity.”


Window

TO THE BRAIN

How two highly accomplished young investigators are deconstructing the neurobiology of vision to study the innermost workings of the brain

W BY KEVIN JIANG

uchospitals.edu/midway

hen isolated from the eye, the retina looks like any other tiny piece of nondescript tissue. What it does not look like is a fully functional biological computer. But you know what they say about appearances. One such retina, taken from a genetically engineered mouse, is inside a small glass chamber, illuminated only by infrared light in a darkened laboratory room. It rests beneath a custom-built microscope decorated with a byzantine array of cameras, pumps, mirrors and wires, like the neuroscience equivalent of something out of a Mad Max movie. “We supply the retina with oxygen and nutrients so that it’s still alive and can respond to visual stimuli,” said neurobiologist Wei Wei, PhD. “It can ‘see’ as if it was still in the eye.” With the flick of a dial, she projects an image about the size of a grain of salt onto the retina. A small group of photo-sensitive neurons fire in response, triggering a cascade of complex neural activity. Instead of traveling to a brain to be processed as sight, however, these signals are recorded by electrodes and stored on hard drives. What these neurons “see” will be analyzed by a team of human brains, and studied and pondered on by many more — all working to understand how our own brains work. The visual system is the brain’s window to the world. But for neuroscientists at the University of Chicago

and around the world, it is the ideal window to the brain. Around half of the human cortex, the brain layer responsible for higher cognitive functions, is directly or indirectly involved in processing vision. No sense demands as much cranial real estate or contributes as much to how we interact with the world around us. By deconstructing the neurobiology of vision, researchers hope to reveal the innermost workings of every part of this enigmatic organ — not just how we see, but how we think, how we remember, how we make decisions and more. Soft spoken and laser sharp, Wei, an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology, is one of a number of highly accomplished investigators studying the brain by way of the visual system. She’s also remarkably young for her position, partially due to starting a prestigious university-level program at only age 14 in China. As a graduate student, she delved into the fundamental building block of neural signaling — the synapse, or point of connection between two individual neurons. But as she pursued postdoctoral studies and launched her own lab, her interests expanded toward neural networks and the retina. “Many people intuitively think of the retina as a camera, just capturing videos of the visual world and relaying them to the brain,” Wei said. “But it’s not. It’s much more sophisticated. The retina is more like a little computer that starts processing visual inputs MEDICINE ON THE MIDWAY

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Wei Wei, PhD, was recently selected for a 2016 McKnight Scholar Award from The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience to support her research on dendritic processing of visual motion in the retina.

into multiple streams of information long before any signals reach the brain.” Whether it travels light years from the stars or nanoseconds from a light bulb, every photon we see ends its journey at the retina, a thin layer of tissue in the back of the eye and the only visible part of the brain. Networks of neurons here calculate information about motion, color, direction, light intensity and more, while ignoring irrelevant features. The combination of around 20 to 40 different types of these neural circuits, each responding very differently to the same photons, is what the brain ultimately uses to construct vision. As the rodent retina under the microscope in her lab performs its computations, Wei and her team

PHOTO BY ROBERT KOZLOFF

“The retina is more like a little computer that starts processing visual inputs into multiple streams of information long before any signal reaches the brain.” Wei Wei, PhD

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are most interested in the activity of one particular cell class, the retinal ganglion cell. These are the only neurons directly wired to the rest of the brain, and the signals they send down the optic nerve depend entirely on what they “see.” In this case, the researchers are focused on ganglion cells that respond only to specific directions of motion. As the projector shines an image of a tiny black bar moving from left to right on their receptive field, these cells fire enthusiastically. When the bar moves from right to left, they remain silent. This selectivity is possible because each ganglion cell receives signals from dozens of intermediary neurons, which in turn are processing the spatial and timing activity of 100 or more photoreceptors. Like resistors or conductors in an electrical circuit, intermediary neurons organize the flow of information by increasing or decreasing the activity of other neurons in their network. Their combined effect is how a ganglion cell “sees” motion. Wei wants to understand and reverse engineer this circuit. To do so, she breaks parts of it. Leveraging

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

a powerful combination of molecular, genetic and imaging techniques, her lab can manipulate its activity in extremely precise ways. For this experiment, her team uses a genetic “switch” to turn off only synapses that transmit an activity-decreasing signal. They then ask: If the ganglion cell doesn’t receive this information, will it still be selective to direction? The grossly oversimplified answer is, surprisingly, yes. Contrary to assumptions, these neurons retain a great deal of their direction selectivity even in the absence of half the input they normally receive. “Our work has shown that there must be multiple neural mechanisms that interact synergistically to ensure robust detection of motion, and are used together to foolproof the system,” said Wei, who published the results of this study in the Journal of Neuroscience last fall. “If you disrupt any one particular mechanism, even one we thought was absolutely critical, there are others that can compute motion direction, albeit suboptimally.” Investigating the brain’s higher functions Many more studies are needed to answer the numerous questions that Wei’s findings raise, not least of which is how these circuits continue to compute. But the implications impact much more than just vision. Regardless of location or function, neural circuits work in largely the same way: They receive some input, send signals to increase or decrease each other’s activity and collectively generate an output. Multiple mechanisms built into this process could perhaps be one of the reasons why the brain can be so dependably relied upon to carry out all its complex functions. “We have this amazing ability to think, to reason, to make sense of things in our environment,” said David Freedman, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology. “The brain is able to take in sensory information and produce meaningful experiences and behavior. We think there is a general set of rules for how this information flows through the brain, and identifying these rules at the circuit level is one of the greatest challenges in science.” Whatever the stereotype of a neuroscientist might be, it’s unlikely that Freedman fits it. When he moonlights with his funk and soul-jazz band (co-founded by fellow UChicago neuroscientist Sliman Bensmaia, PhD) at various bars and venues across Chicago, probably few in the audience would guess that the lead guitarist with the dark blond locks is also chair of a computational neuroscience graduate program. For Freedman, the visual system is a window to our higher cognitive functions. His research focuses on a particular phenomenon known as


visual categorization. Human and primate brains are remarkably adept at sorting objects we see into categories. With a quick glance, we can distinguish cats from cars, hamburgers from rocks, people from road signs, and we can do it all without much effort. The ability to categorize and assign meaning to everything we see is essential for our daily lives. By describing the neural basis for this ability, Freedman hopes to shed light on all the processes it involves — learning, attention, memory, perception and decision making. To do so, he utilizes a creative and sophisticated blend of classic and innovative modern techniques — not so dissimilar to his music. The concept is relatively straightforward: Ask an animal to play a simple video game and look at what’s happening in its brain. From his early days as a graduate student at MIT to his postdoctoral studies at Harvard and his own lab at UChicago, Freedman has been a pioneer in this approach. The game looks roughly like this: A monkey holds a lever while observing a simple moving pattern on a computer screen. Something happens — maybe the color changes or the direction shifts. If the animal sees this, it’s trained to release the lever. It then receives a tasty snack. Through different permutations of this game, Freedman and his team can ask animals to pay attention to certain things, to report perceptual changes, to demonstrate learning by sorting patterns into different categories, to store things in visual memory and much more. At the same time, the researchers record the activity of up to 100 neurons at a time, often in multiple brain locations, to study individual neurons engaged in these higher cognitive functions. His efforts have been remarkably fruitful. Freedman and his colleagues identified specific neurons in the prefrontal and parietal cortexes that are possibly the first step in turning abstract visual data from the eyes into categories. These neurons not only encode information about category, the activity of certain individual neurons can even be used to predict what category an animal will place a visual item into before it ever reports its decision. His work revealed other neurons and their precise roles — some simultaneously carry category and spatial information, some adjust their responses depending on what a subject is paying attention to and more. He has also shed light on how these different brain areas might work together. In a study published in Nature Neuroscience in early 2016, his team showed how specific neurons in the parietal cortex become involved in memory only for visual categorization, and not simpler tasks. “If you look at, say, a car moving down the street, you not only recognize what it is, but you can tell its uchospitals.edu/midway

location, where it’s moving and how fast it’s going,” Freedman said. “We’ve learned a lot about the neurons that encode individual features in a scene like this. But what we know almost nothing about is how “If we can truly different parts of the brain integrate that information. understand how That’s where we’re focusing our research now and where we hope we’ll make the biggest impact on our the brain works, it understanding of the rules that govern the functioning will be one of the of the brain.” most remarkable The challenge faced by neuroscientists like Freedman and Wei is hard to overstate. The human things for us as brain is famously the most complex known structure a species to have in the universe, containing some 100 billion neurons accomplished.” that form 100 trillion connections. Deconstructing how visual neural circuits work, for simple compu- David Freedman, PhD tations in the eye and for complex ones in the brain, is like reverse engineering the GPU of a supercomputer — extraordinarily complicated and still just one part of a much more complicated whole. But it’s also hard to overstate the rewards if they are successful. This collection of cells forms a unified PHOTO BY JOEL WINTERMANTLE

mind; one that has relationships, creates art, music and space stations, feels joy or sadness. Their misfiring results in disorders, from autism to depression to Alzheimer’s. “If we can truly understand how the brain works, it will be one of the most remarkable things for us as a species to have accomplished,” Freedman said. “We can fix it when things go wrong, we can use that knowledge for technological applications that we haven’t even dreamed of, and, who knows, maybe we can even improve our ability to make decisions. It’s the hardest question I can think of, and it’s also the most interesting. It will take a long time, but it’s something I think we will be able to answer.”

David Freedman, PhD, received the 2016 Troland Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences for his innovative work investigating how the brain learns and recognizes visual categories.

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Splitsville

Several answers in this puzzle share a unique feature, which will reveal a key letter from each of those answers. Collect all of the key letters and unscramble them to find a word that could be defined as “a biological sciences division.”

BY KYLE DOLAN, SM ’11, PHD ’12

1

2

3

4

5

6

19

7

24

33

35

45

46

37

42

43

47

58 63

60

83

84

93

94

100

56 62

81

102

103

108

109

115

104 110

116

117

120

121

122

123

124

125

126

127

118

119

ACROSS 1 Award for mystery writing

32 “You got that right!”

6 Oft-misused pronoun

35 Dopamine, e.g. 42 Popular model organism

14 Some red apples

43 National Breast Cancer Awareness Mo.

20 It makes blood red 21 Be sore 22 Missouri river 23 Enzyme in eukaryotic gene expression 26 Leave no means of escape

44 Distinctive feature of yeast cultures 45 Conservative faction in a group 48 Hindu title of respect 50 Pride member

27 Couple

52 Tiny channel traveller

28 Sitcom alien

55 Ring combinations

29 Basic amino acid: Abbr.

8

40 Yearned (for)

10 One of music’s “Three B’s” 19 Garlicky sauce

Puzzle solution on page 36.

31 Evo-____

58 Categorized 59 Nabokov heroine 60 Kills a dragon, say 62 An anxious person might bite it 63 ____ number (prescription writer’s need) 64 Letters on a brandy bottle

4 Setting for rockfoil cultivation 5 Very funny person, so to speak 6 Cry of frustration

85 Exchange of genes between chromosomes

8 Masters champion of 1998

92 Chicago Outfit boss

9 Red wine 10 Undergraduate degrees: Abbr. 11 Get a 528 on the new MCAT, say 12 Red wine 13 Things are passed on to them 14 Fashion-conscious person

96 Each

15 Desensitized

98 Tools used for team building?

16 University of Chicago cancer geneticist honored in 2009 by President Obama

99 Hormone that may be deficient in Hashimoto’s disease

© 2016 KYLE DOLAN

3 Indian tourist destination

7 Shorten, in a way

95 ____ bull terrier

105

2 Cause of temporary deafness

80 Fighter pilots

93 ____ Men (“Who Let the Dogs Out” group)

98

DOWN 1 It’s examined with an otoscope

83 Eructation

89 First name on the Supreme Court

82 87

97

79 Poetic preposition

88 Shed, as skin

80

96

114

78 Signs of popularity 57

86

95

113

51

92

107 112

77 Button on a dictation machine: Abbr.

76

91

101

106 111

90

76 ____ Angeles, Calif.

72

85 89

31

66

79

88

74 Ceramics oven

61

75

73 Point that may follow deuce 75 It gives rise to a phoenix

50

71

78

18

26

65

74

17

44

55

70

16

39

54

64

15

22

30

49

59

77

14

38

48 53

73

13

29

36

52

69

12

25

41

68

11

28

34

40

99

10 21

27

67

9

20

23

32

8

17 “Just tell me!”

105 For fear that

18 Tijuana title

106 Very long time

24 Dawson in the NFL Hall of Fame

107 Medical theaters: Abbr. 108 Kids’ drink named for its vitamin content 109 Opposed to 111 Appearance that’s often uncredited 113 Roots of some evolutionary trees

25 Away from the bow 30 CRISPR technology might be used to make one: Abbr. 32 Each 33 Forman who directed “Amadeus”

65 Sit for a portrait

120 That is, to Caesar

34 Put an ____ (stop)

66 Michael of “Arrested Development”

121 Migraine symptom

36 Language of Pakistan

67 Name on a University of Chicago Medicine building 70 Ernest Everett Just, PhD ‘16, for one 72 Ida ____ Hall

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

122 Bygone ruler 123 Hawaii’s “Garden Isle” 124 Doctor’s orders? 125 Commotion 126 “Chicago” Tony winner Neuwirth 127 Short cuts

37 Horse color 38 Cry over spilled Milch? 39 Sits around 41 Relative of a trench coat 46 Between ports 47 Relieve (of) 48 “General Hospital,” e.g.


On the grid

49 Tell someone you got a 528 on your MCAT 51 Bête ____ (pet peeve) 53 Ones working with hammers and trowels

Postdoctoral scholar Kyle Dolan, PhD, constructs New York Times-caliber crossword puzzles

54 Role model 56 Bill ____, the Science Guy 57 Destinations for relaxation 60 Church toppers 61 Misplace

K

64 Mouse lookalike

67 Low-____ diet 68 Concert hall 69 Genetic collectives, like the one in your gut 70 Barbs with wit 71 Greek wrap once popular among BSD/PSOM students at Sammy’s Touch

It’s a personal goal of mine to have a puzzle run in The New York Times for every day of the week. So far my puzzles have appeared on Tuesday,

72 Tenzing ____, one of the first men to summit Mount Everest 74 Siblings or children

Saturday and Sunday.

76 Nickname for the Philadelphia Eagles’ stadium, with “the”

Once you come up with a theme, it takes about eight hours or so to create a puzzle. I

break it up into a few work sessions to fill the grid, then I write the clues. I often do puzzle work on a pad of graph paper on my commute, although much of the work is done on my computer at home, where I have the grid-making software and my word lists. I especially like graph paper for polishing smaller areas of a puzzle or working out difficult fills — you can look at many iterations of, say, a 4x5 space at

78 Stone: Prefix 80 Need a doctor 81 Call to mind 82 Hawaiian geese 84 Least adorned 85 Chicago, for one 86 Garment that may be nine yards long 87 Symbol on a score 91 Source of many grants 96 Abstract destination 97 Put in a cast, say 99 Unspoken 100 Duane ____ (New York City subsidiary of Walgreens) 101 Black-and-white hunters 102 It comes after pi 103 Mother-of-pearl 104 Chicago-to-Detroit dir. 110 Sounds of disapproval 112 Sudden-death periods: Abbr. 114 Brief scan? 115 Damage 116 Collar 117 Pierre’s agreement 118 Genre for Dr. Dre 119 Member of the fam

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PHOTO BY MICHAEL SATALIC

90 Declines to take part 94 Commotion

PHOTO BY JEAN LACHAT

yle Dolan, SM’11, PhD’12, researches the gut microbiome in the lab of Eugene Chang, MD’76, the Martin Boyer Professor in the Department of Medicine. Outside the lab, Dolan is a crossword puzzle constructor, competitive trivia fan and avid Scrabble player. His crosswords have been published in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Maroon — and now, Medicine on the Midway.

66 Cocktail made with cranberry juice

the same time, which is not easy on the computer. It also helps if I’m brainstorming theme entries and I need to make sure there are pairs of equal length, to meet symmetry requirements. One of my trivia partners loves Scrabble and sometimes we take a Scrabble board to a restaurant and play while we eat. One time a

guy pulled out $200 and offered it to us if we could give him five legal Scrabble words beginning with Q, without a U. Thirty seconds later we had the $200 in hand. He turned out to be the owner of the restaurant and a huge Scrabble buff. He was really excited about meeting us.

Kyle Dolan, SM ’11, PhD ’12

A major focus of crossword criticism is the usage of “crosswordese” language that only appears in crosswords but rarely appears in our everyday lives. These might be rare words

or obscure definitions of more common words. Crosswordese flourished in major newspaper puzzles a few decades ago, but by the late 1980s, younger constructors and editors were tiring of the stilted tone these entries gave to puzzles, and they set out to reform construction practices to give a more natural voice to their crosswords. Today, most constructors, editors and commentators praise puzzles that reflect our modern world and our habits of speech, while scowling at the linguistic artifacts of an older era of crosswords. The best clue I’ve written that appeared in a puzzle is from the Sunday New York Times.

The theme was short words that you can add “ble” to and make new words. I took the phrase “war on drugs” and made the answer “warble on drugs.” The clue was “Sing high notes?” People thought it was an opera answer because there were other opera answers in the puzzle. Pen or pencil? I solve puzzles in pen. Saturday’s

New York Times puzzle has the toughest clues. Sunday has a theme and if you can figure that out you can get a pretty good grip on it. Saturday typically takes me 15 to 20 minutes to complete. — Anne Stein MEDICINE ON THE MIDWAY

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Think big, start local Melissa Gilliam, MD, MPH, and David Meltzer, MD, PhD, spur systemic change with innovative solutions to improve care on the South Side and beyond

BY BROOKE E. O’NEILL

In 2015, both Gilliam and Meltzer

H

were elected to the National

care on Chicago’s South Side — and in poverty-stricken neighborhoods around

Academy of Medicine and

the globe.

ow do you change systems? Strengthen communities? Empower the most vulnerable individuals? For University of Chicago Medicine physicians Melissa Gilliam, MD, MPH, and David Meltzer, PhD’92, MD’93, these

honored with prestigious named professorships.

big questions are fueling groundbreaking research that aims to transform health

“Very early on in my career, I realized that medicine had an incredible vantage point, but it didn’t have answers for the social issues that were inhibiting people’s well-being,” said Gilliam, the inaugural Ellen H. Block Professor in Health Justice and dean for diversity and inclusion in the Biological Sciences Division. By looking at the broader ecological context surrounding her adolescent patients, she’s creating ways to give a voice to youth and challenge threats to their reproductive health.

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THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION


Meltzer, the Fanny L. Pritzker Professor of Medicine, is improving health for

“David and Melissa are

Chicago’s older adults through an innovative model that strengthens continuity

translating research into

of care between inpatient and outpatient settings. “There is very strong evidence

vibrant applications that

to show how valuable it is to have a doctor who knows you, in terms of trust and

improve the health of

ability to communicate,” he said. “It’s particularly true when you’re sick.”

everyone from teenagers

For both physicians, the goal of research is action. As head of the University’s

to the elderly. These

Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive

investigators not only have

Health (Ci3), Gilliam oversees efforts to create effective community-based inter-

scientific prowess, but

ventions, including educational games and digital media projects driven by local

they have the powerful

teens. Meltzer, a national thought leader in medical cost-effectiveness and quality

imaginations necessary

of care, serves as director of the University’s Urban Labs’ Health Lab, a research

to build state-of-the-art

hub to improve health outcomes for urban populations around the world.

platforms and programs

“Each of these physician-scientists has an impressive track record of innovative approaches to different clinical, social and economic problems,” 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

based on their findings.” Julian Solway, MD, and Susan Cohn, MD, co-directors of the University of Chicago Institute for Translational Medicine

Chicago. “They are talented and caring doctors who are committed to finding better ways to treat disease, reduce discrimination and make the best use of available resources.”

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A laboratory to call his own David Meltzer tackles questions on quality of care for the most vulnerable patients — and creates new models to improve it

G “We need to take the science of addressing social problems every bit as seriously as we take basic biological science.” David Meltzer, MD, PhD, the Fanny L. Pritzker Professor of Medicine

rowing up in Hyde Park during the 1970s, internist and health economist David Meltzer, PhD ’92, MD ’93, saw a city in crisis. Fraught with rising gang violence, an insidious drug trade and soaring homicide rates, Chicago’s South Side was just beginning to struggle with many of the problems it still faces today. “This is my home,” said Meltzer, now chief of hospital medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine. “I wanted to be able to make a difference.” For the past two decades, he’s been doing exactly that, investigating how to foster better health among the city’s most vulnerable patients. Renowned for his work on medical cost-effectiveness, Meltzer has made a career of challenging convention and testing new models of care with the potential to dramatically improve outcomes. His research includes a multiyear analysis of how better continuity in the doctor-patient relationship can improve the health of frequently hospitalized older adults. The Comprehensive Care Physician (CCP) Model, which has been supported by a $6 million award from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, is a partnership between the University of Chicago Medicine and the University of Chicago’s Health Lab. The Health Lab is part of the University’s Urban Labs, an interdisciplinary incubator tackling some of the city’s most pressing issues in health, crime, poverty, education, and energy and environment with the goal of exporting solutions to urban areas around the globe. Generalist or specialist? “We need to take the science of addressing social problems every bit as seriously as we take basic biological science,” said Meltzer, who directs both the Health Lab and the University of Chicago’s Center for Health and the Social Sciences. For him, that means applying insights from the science of economics to examine how hospital care can be done better.

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“I’ve been trying to understand how one organizes physicians’ work to improve care for as long as I’ve been doing research,” Meltzer said. He first started thinking about the value of specialization while working on his MD and PhD in economics in the early 1990s. At the time, the conventional wisdom was that physicians were too specialized. Several studies had demonstrated that patients cared for by specialists had worse outcomes — and higher costs of care — than those cared for by generalists. But the studies were flawed, Meltzer said. After all, patients don’t typically get randomly assigned to physicians, a fact the research failed to take into account. “If you’re very sick and you want a lot of care, you’re going to go to a specialist,” he said. “So we shouldn’t be surprised when those patients sometimes have poorer outcomes and spend a lot along the way.” The real issue, he says, was to determine the optimal degree of specialization: What was the right balance of care? “You really needed to do experiments,” said Meltzer, who chairs the University’s Committee on Clinical and Translational Science. “And there was a wonderful natural experiment going on in the hospital every day.” Depending on the day a patient is admitted, different physicians — specialists and generalists — are on call. So in theory, he said, “you can study whether that makes a difference.” Meltzer did his residency at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where there was a thriving culture of research on quality of care and cost-effectiveness. “But I missed Chicago,” he said. In 1996, he returned to Hyde Park as a faculty member, bringing with him a vision to transform the University of Chicago Medicine into a quality improvement laboratory. Meltzer’s homecoming happened just as a new type of specialty, the hospitalist, was gaining traction. Trained experts in inpatient care, hospitalists now provide roughly a third of all general medical care


PHOTO BY JOEL WINTERMANTLE

in U.S. hospitals. At the time, UChicago had just two of these specialists, and the head of general medicine wanted someone to evaluate the program’s effectiveness. “This was the study I had originally wanted to do, only now I had a new specialty to study,” said Meltzer, who heads the ongoing University of Chicago Hospitalist Project. As the field has exploded over the past 20 years — UChicago Medicine now has more than 50 hospitalists on staff — Meltzer and his students have analyzed the specialty’s impact on care, interviewing more than 100,000 patients. Their finding: Care by hospitalists doesn’t make as big a difference in outcomes as people hoped. “Length of stay and costs are a little better, but not dramatically,” Meltzer said. While hospitalists have the advantage of inpatient expertise, there is a significant disadvantage: no ongoing relationship with the patient. This finding led Meltzer to his next question: If hospitalists aren’t producing better outcomes, why did the specialty grow so quickly? Traditionally, primary care physicians made hospital rounds to see their own patients who had

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been admitted. Meltzer’s research revealed why that changed: Primary care physicians are so busy meeting the growing demand for preventive care from relatively health patients that they no longer have enough patients in the hospital on a daily basis to justify the trip. As hospitalists came on board to provide inpatient care, the division of labor deepened, not necessarily because it improved care, Meltzer said, but “because it was easier for doctors.”

David Meltzer, PhD ’92, MD ’93, is the Fanny L. Pritzker Professor of Medicine, chief of the Section of Hospital Medicine, professor in the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and associate faculty in the Department of Economics.

Strengthening the care model The shift makes sense economically, but can shortchange those most in need of care. “It’s not particularly good for the sickest patients who are in and out of the hospital all the time,” Meltzer said. “Patients need to tell their story to a doctor in the hospital they don’t know as well and often have to make complex decisions. Then they go home to a doctor who often doesn’t fully understand everything that took place in the hospital.” This problem led Meltzer to an idea: What if you had a subgroup of primary care doctors who only saw patients at high risk of hospitalization? That’s

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PHOTO BY JOEL WINTERMANTLE

Health Lab

An incubator for urban health

University of Chicago Medicine physician Grace E. Berry, MD, above left, and medical assistant LaDonna White assess a patient as part of the Comprehensive Care Physician (CCP) Model.

I

t’s one thing to be sick,” David Meltzer, MD, PhD, director of the University of Chicago’s Health Lab, once said. “It’s a much more difficult thing to be sick and poor and in a neighborhood that’s so unsafe that people won’t come to help you.” Therein lies the heart of the Health Lab, an incubator to improve outcomes and increase access to care for disadvantaged urban populations.

Comprehensive Care Physician (CCP) Model Physicians typically spend mornings in the hospital and afternoons in the clinic, caring directly for their own patients in both settings. Interdisciplinary teams include an advanced practice nurse, registered nurse, social worker and clinic coordinator. The development of the CCP Model and a 2,000-person study of its effects was funded by a Health Care Innovation Award from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

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Part of UChicago Urban Labs — which also include labs specializing in crime, energy and environment, education and poverty — the Health Lab’s researchers test and scale promising, cost-effective solutions for society’s most pressing health issues. Meltzer’s Comprehensive Care Physician (CCP) Model study is one of the Health Lab’s flagship programs and examines whether continuity of care between inpatient and outpatient settings leads to better results for frequently hospitalized Medicare patients. Early results suggest it does. “I think this program has real potential to show major reductions in total cost of care with a sustainable approach,” Meltzer said. “We already know many patients love the program. The doctors know them before they are hospitalized, and the patients know and trust their doctors.” The Health Lab’s other major initial project is an ambitious partnership with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office,

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

the Heartland Alliance and Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities to create a Supportive Release Center to help persons released from Cook County Jail with mental health or social needs to make a more successful transition back into the community. The Health Lab also is adding its expertise to promote the success of several ongoing projects, including the Chicago Area Patient Centered Outcomes Research Network (CAPriCORN), which brings together 20 Illinois health and hospital organization to pool data from more than one million patients, and the Training Early Achievers for Careers in Health (TEACH) Research initiative, which provides Chicago Public Schools students from underrepresented backgrounds an opportunity to do health-related research and work with UChicago faculty, fellows and students. Such efforts aim to pave the way for improved health outcomes in cities around the globe.


the premise of the Comprehensive Care Physician (CCP) Model, an experiment designed to strengthen continuity of care. “CCP allows the most complex patients to receive the powerful benefits of a continuing relationship between the doctor and the patient,” said Meltzer, who launched the study in 2012. The model makes it more feasible for physicians to maintain clinics and still provide inpatient care. In 2014, he added an offshoot program where physicians make house calls to homebound patients. Today, the CCP program serves more than 600 Medicare beneficiaries — many from impoverished South Side neighborhoods — who are at increased risk of hospitalization. Results of the study aren’t yet public, but look “incredibly promising,” Meltzer said. His team is now exploring ways to expand the model locally and nationally. Strategies include partnering with local hospitals and community health centers to develop a hub-and-spoke network where CCPs connect outpatient and inpatient care for the highest-risk patients. “The beauty of our model is that you can get clinical integration at the patient level, and you can have a competitive market with respect to hospitals and community health centers,” he said. “By creating a continuing relationship with the doctor and a well-integrated team that includes a social worker and others, we’re really able to help patients address the social determinants of health.”

Mentoring for the future As he translates economic insights into improved care, Meltzer is paving the way for physician-scholars around the country to think creatively about complex systems — and pursue unconventional career paths. Nirav Shah, JD’07, MD’08, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, draws from Meltzer’s research as he manages the state’s health budget. “Individuals in my chair have an obligation to think about spending as a giant cost-effectiveness problem,” he said. “This way of thinking is not really typical in public health care circles.” Innovative thinking is a trademark of Meltzer’s mentorship. As head of the University’s dual-degree program in Medicine, the Social Sciences and Humanities — one of the only such programs in the country — he oversees students pursuing both an MD and a doctorate in a field outside the biological and physical sciences. His Hospitalist Scholars Training Program, a two-year program he founded to give young physicians time to pursue medical education and quality improvement research, attracts young physicians from around the country. All of these endeavors echo Meltzer’s original vision to turn the University of Chicago Medicine into a laboratory — and train researchers dedicated to lasting social change. Said Shah: “David has been such a friend, mentor and sounding board to so many people. He is rare among giants in that he has influenced the field not only through his scholarship, but through his mentorship.”

“By creating a continuing relationship with the doctor and a well-integrated team that includes a social worker and others, we’re really able to help patients address the social determinants of health.” David Meltzer, MD, PhD

David Meltzer, MD, PhD, interacts with audience members during his Harper Lecture at the University of Chicago Center in Delhi in November 2015. PHOTO BY DAS PHOTO SERVICES

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Changing the game on teen health Melissa Gilliam gives young people a voice — and empowers them to confront barriers to their well-being

M “The social problems are complicated, but there is a tremendous amount of hope and forward thinking. The ability of an academic institution to make transformative change in communities is unprecedented.” Melissa Gilliam, MD, MPH, the Ellen H. Block Professor in Health Justice

elissa Gilliam, MD, MPH, first started to see the bigger ecosystem of teen pregnancy during a study on ways to reduce the number of teens who become pregnant again within a year of delivery. At the time a resident in obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, she worked on a small trial testing an intervention to remind teenage African American mothers to take their birth control pills. “I followed the girls longitudinally and learned very quickly that their social needs, like paying their electric bill, finding child care, attending school and finding transportation proved more powerful than the intervention and made contraceptive use really difficult,” said Gilliam, chief of family planning and contraceptive research at the University of Chicago Medicine. A later five-year study, which involved interviewing postpartum adolescent mothers in their homes over two years, highlighted other issues — such as difficulty getting medical appointments, misinformation and ignored requests for birth control — within this vulnerable population. The result: greater susceptibility to repeat pregnancies. “Health care is a big and complex system and adolescents often get lost in it,” said Gilliam. “Often clinicians are not aware of the daily life experience of a teenage mother. We are trained to administer medications but not how to integrate adherence into an adolescent mother’s complicated life.” Amplifying young voices As head of the Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3) at the University of Chicago, Gilliam is pioneering new ways to engage and empower teens. It starts with changing how research is done. “How we ask questions about young people of color and the way we formulate our hypotheses are often based more on stereotypes or what we hear in the media than on what young people actually feel about themselves and

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THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

their true lives,” she said. “If an intervention is to be meaningful and to stick, then we need to think about interventions in a different way.” Gilliam uses Matt Ratto’s term “critical making,” which describes how hands-on productive activities allow one to reflect critically on society. Ci3 contains internal labs — one for game design, another for storytelling and a new one that will use design thinking, a method for engaging communities in problem-solving. The most established of the three is the Game Changer Chicago (GCC) Design Lab, a multidisciplinary Ci3 initiative that brings teens directly into the research process, amplifying voices often unheard. Funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, the program uses innovative gameplay and game design to engage youth on issues of sexual health, civic engagement and college readiness. “Melissa and I started Game Changer based on the conviction that the quality of sex education is uneven and limited in the United States,” said GCC co-founder and media studies specialist Patrick Jagoda, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago. Rather than just giving teens information about contraception and STIs, GCC uses digital storytelling and game design to empower them. Ci3 also uses storytelling to engage more deeply with young people. With support from the Ford Foundation, members of Ci3 collaborate with community-based organizations and South Side teens to explore such issues as race, gender, sexual identity and living in segregated communities. Students are taught skills in storytelling, photography and video and sound editing. These experiences with storytelling have led to Ci3 developing the Transmedia Story Lab (TSL), devoted to telling stories across different forms of media. “Storytelling is very powerful with implications for the listener and the storyteller,” Gilliam said. “There


PHOTO BY ROBERT KOZLOFF

Melissa Gilliam, MD, MPH, is the Ellen H. Block Professor in Health Justice in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pediatrics, chief of the Section of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research, and dean for diversity and inclusion in the Biological Sciences Division.

is a long tradition of narrative as therapy — taking an experience that seems overwhelming and making it manageable through narration and writing.” Doing so can also improve one’s self-concept, particularly for adolescents who struggle in school. “Often young people are viewed through a very narrow academic lens, which may lead them to see themselves as failures,” Gilliam said. At Ci3, “whether it’s telling a story or designing a game, the idea is to start thinking about how there are many literacies and ways to learn and interact with the world.” For teens from socially and economically segregated communities, building new skills and having the opportunity to share their stories can be transformative. “We know that continuous exposure to uncertainty or insecurity as a result of social factors impacts health and resilience,” Jagoda explained. “Melissa is trying to make well-researched and creative interventions to counteract those forces.” “It’s not just looking at the public health outcomes like rate of teen pregnancy or sexual violence,” Gilliam added, “but also the larger community contexts, and the social and political structures that facilitate or inhibit the health of young people.” Her methods are shedding important light on barriers to sexual health as well as fueling promising solutions. One example is GCC’s “Bystander,” a short video game and curriculum developed with support of the Hive Learning Network. “Bystander” aims

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to change the culture around sexual misconduct. It teaches high school students effective bystander techniques to prevent gendered language and help prevent sexual harassment and assault. Through a series of interactive scenarios, players learn about sexual violence, are disabused of rape myths and learn what to do if they’re in a situation where sexual violence might occur. An accompanying curriculum helps teachers discuss these issues with their students and identify resources for those who have experienced sexual violence. “ Providing youth a supportive and empowering environment, Ci3 programs, storytelling workshops and youth advisory boards allow young people to be expressive and open about their lived experiences in ways they never have before, especially young people of color and LGBTQ youth.” Brandon J. Hill, PhD, executive director, Ci3

GCC plans to roll out “Bystander” first in the Chicago Public Schools and eventually across the nation. “Our goal is not just to design interventions but also get them out into the world,” said Gilliam, who has partnered with the University’s Chicago Innovation Exchange and UChicago Tech to distribute

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PHOTO BY ROBERT KOZLOFF

Joining forces to empower youth and transform teen health

Students play games they created during a Ci3 Game Changer Chicago summer program at the University of Chicago in 2014.

E

very day, 800 women around the world die of preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. That’s one every 90 seconds. And here in the U.S., the teen pregnancy rate exceeds that of every other industrialized nation. Statistics like these fuel the work of the University of Chicago’s Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and

Ci3 researchers and storytellers recently traveled to India to work with adolescents living in urban slums and train young people in storytelling. The youth are producing stories on gender, education and future aspirations.

Reproductive Health (Ci3), a wide-ranging collaboration that’s tackling systemic barriers to sexual and reproductive health through 18

youth empowerment, research and novel interventions. “I was inspired to start Ci3 because I began to see that many of the problems I was most interested in related to sexual and reproductive health were beyond a single discipline,” said Melissa Gilliam, MD, MPH, a pediatric and adolescent gynecologist who founded Ci3 in 2012. The center brings together researchers from such diverse disciplines as medicine, economics, psychology, sociology, business, English and public policy. Ci3 also has a dedicated policy program to help galvanize policy change to support the health of young people. The center’s most robust program, the Game Changer Chicago Design Lab, enlists teens to conduct clinical research and combat health risks through new media projects and game design.

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One example is “Smoke Stacks,” a board game that casts players as tobacco industry executives to highlight the role of marketing in teen tobacco use. “We often think poor health relates to individual, risk-based behavior, but often there are larger systems that support inequalities,” Gilliam said. Going forward, Ci3 hopes to transform those forces with its newest initiative, the Design Thinking Lab. Among the lab’s pilot endeavors: a partnership to bring reproductive health care directly to high schools through the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital Mobile Medical Unit. “It’s the beginning of a series of exciting projects,” Gilliam said, “where we’re working with communities to redesign systems to better support them.”


the game. She and Jagoda are also launching a start-up focused on helping academic institutions “put our tools, resources and curriculum in the hands of as many people as can benefit.” Cross-cultural network Empowering others is key for Gilliam, not only as a researcher but also as dean for diversity and inclusion in the Biological Sciences Division. “We’re more creative and dynamic if we are more inclusive and diverse,” she said. “That’s the general philosophy that goes into all of my work.” Ashlyn Sparrow, GCC lab director, echoes how important — and rare — it is to have a research community as diverse as the individuals it studies. “Personally, I’ve had very few female role models in STEM,” she said. “To work under another woman of color who is also one of the top doctors in her field is amazing.” To encourage diverse individuals within the BSD to be active, engaged members, Gilliam and her colleagues are looking closely at existing systems, structures and policies. “We are trying to catalyze, organize and be very strategic,” she said. “There are often people excluded from conversations, from tables, from activities, and it is to everyone’s detriment.” Teaching individuals the skills to work cross-culturally is one way to help change the situation. Whether across racial, ethnic, religious or other dimensions

of diversity, Gilliam said, “we have to create an environment where we can interact.” Monthly dialogues around diversity, training sessions and a film series are a few of the efforts she’s helped put in place. Ensuring equitable patient outcomes and cultivating a diverse workforce through recruitment and leadership training are also critical tasks for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “The idea is to empower us as an institution to do our work, whether we’re talking about students, faculty, staff or patients,” Gilliam said. It’s a goal that aligns perfectly with her research. “Melissa is a network builder,” Jagoda said. “She realizes that health issues, because they’re systemic, require a well-organized coalition of researchers and makers who seek to create change together.” This potential drives Gilliam. “The social problems are complicated, but there is a tremendous amount of hope and forward thinking,” she said. “The ability of an academic institution to make transformative change in communities is unprecedented.” Regina Dixon-Reeves, PhD, executive director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, said Gilliam’s strength lies in her ability to envision strategic changes and to orchestrate their implementation using innovation and a diverse team of committed constituents. Said Dixon-Reeves: “She fosters hope by empowering others to be part of creating solutions unique to their environment.”

“We’re more creative and dynamic if we are more inclusive and diverse. That’s the general philosophy that goes into all my work.” Melissa Gilliam, MD, MPH

Melissa Gilliam, MD, MPH, talks with a young patient during her clinic at the University of Chicago Medicine Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine.

PHOTO BY ROBERT KOZLOFF

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The changing campus PHOTO BY TOM ROSSITER

A guide to the newest buildings on a campus with a long-standing tradition of architectural innovation and quality

Center for Care and Discovery

The largest building on campus, this “hospital for the future” embraces science and technology as much as collaboration and innovation. The modular interior can change shape to accommodate changing needs.

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Campus West Pedestrian Pathway

Rafael Viñoly (2013)

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THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

PHOTO BY TOM ROSSITER

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Studio Gang Architects (Fall 2016) >

RENDERING BY STUDIO GANG ARCHITECTS

The graceful entrance to this new student hub connects the University to the north Hyde Park community. The facility’s design is tailored to UChicago’s distinctive College Housing system, which emphasizes building communities of learning.

West Campus Combined Utility Plant

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Color-coded boilers, cooling towers and chillers in this glass building support the west and central campus. The plant is largely machine-run without human supervision. Murphy/Jahn (2010)

< A landscaped pathway and common space west of Ellis Avenue brings more open areas and outdoor seating to the medical campus and creates a connection to the University’s main quadrangles.

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Site Design Group, Ltd. (2013) An impressive 11-story tower, inspired by the Midwestern silo, draws attention across the Midway to the University’s south campus and to Chicago’s South Side. Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (2012) uchospitals.edu/midway

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Panels of wind veils respond to air currents, creating kinetic art on an outside wall of the recently opened eight-story parking garage on the medical campus. Forum Studio (2015) <

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Parking Garage B for the Center for Care and Discovery PHOTO BY ROBERT KOZLOFF

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William Eckhardt Research Center

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PHOTO BY TOM ROSSITER

This innovative research facility, located in the North Science Quadrangle of the University campus, hosts a broad spectrum of 21st century science, from investigation of cosmic mysteries to manipulations of matter on a nanoscale. HOK and James Carpenter Design Associates (2015)

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Explore these and other buildings on campus: architecture.uchicago.edu 23


Paying it forward New award extends legacy of beloved faculty mentor BY STEPHEN PHILLIPS

A passionate generalist and a family man

M

ore than 45 years later, Casimiro Giampaolo, MD’70, still recalls how he felt as a third-year medical student on rotation in the cancer unit. “It was my first experience with really sick people

Francis Straus, MD ’57, SM ’64, was a model of work-life balance and broad-based intellectual engagement. His extracurricular passions were exuberantly eclectic, encompassing art, architecture, history, gardening and classical music, all of which he enthusiastically shared with students and colleagues. As a member of the 142-year-old Chicago Literary Club, of which he was president in 2001-02, he presented papers on tulips and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest “villa retreat,” among other disparate subjects. “You’d be as likely to find yourself in a discussion about an arcane area of art, zoology or geography as pathology,” said Anthony Montag, MD, professor of pathology at the University of Chicago. “There weren’t any areas of knowledge he was uninterested in.”

and more than a little unnerving,” he said. Giampaolo can look back today on a distinguished career as a pathologist, including more than a decade on the faculty of Boston University School of Medicine. But he has never forgotten the wise counsel of his teacher, Francis H. Straus, MD’57, SM’64, to a young medical student shaken by his first encounter with intense suffering.

It was this wide-ranging curiosity that first brought him together with Lorna, to whom he was married for more than 58 years. In his junior year at Harvard, Francis, a biology major on a premed track, enrolled in a course on Southeast Asian art. Among his classmates was a Radcliffe College freshman majoring in French — Lorna. “He was interested in so many things, we just had a wonderful time talking,” Lorna said. “And we never stopped.” PHOTO COURTESY OF MACKINAC ISLAND TOWN CRIER

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THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

Francis and Lorna Straus celebrated their 50th anniversary with family and friends on Mackinac Island.


From mentee to mentor

“He helped me keep things in perspective and understand that in the face of all this death and disease I could retain my humanity and make a contribution,” Giampaolo said. Over the course of a storied 40-year career at the University of Chicago, Straus, who died in 2014 at 81, left his mark as a surgical pathologist on patient care, scientific understanding of disease and generations of Pritzker School of Medicine-trained physicians. His collaboration in the late 1960s with surgeon Edward Paloyan, MD ’56, influenced treatment of “He was a man hyperparathyroidism for decades. In the 1970s, he of many talents joined forces with a cadre of renowned UChicago and interests, but endocrinologists and surgeons investigating a local spike in thyroid cancer among people treated, as chil- family was most dren, with low-dose radiation for swollen adenoids or important to him. tonsils or acne. Initially, cases were concentrated in and Lorna and he around Chicago, where, before the risks were known, were inseparable now-defunct Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center was a leader in the therapy. Soon, it became and they were apparent that the problem was more widespread. immensely proud The UChicago team — Straus, endocrinologists of their kids.” Samuel Refetoff, MD, Ann Miller Lawrence, MD, PhD, and Leslie J. DeGroot, MD, and surgeons Edwin L. Kaplan, MD, Edwin L. Kaplan, MD, Carlos Bekerman, MD, and professor of surgery Paloyan — was instrumental, along with physicians from Michael Reese, in raising awareness of radiation-induced thyroid cancer and advancing understanding of its course, and a driving force behind efforts to trace and screen those at risk. Around the same time, with fellow pathologists Ting-Wa Wong, MD’57, PhD’70, and Nancy Warner, SB ’44, MD ’49, Straus co-authored four papers that illuminated the pathological basis of male infertility. “They comprehensively cataloged the histology of different forms of male infertility,” said Anthony Montag, MD, professor of pathology. “Previously this was not well understood. It was pivotal work.” Straus also wrote extensively on other medical problems and was an expert in endocrine pathology. But he considered himself first and foremost a teacher. As an instructor in the clinical pathophysiology course, he helped give many Pritzker students their first taste of clinical medicine. “He was a consummate and beloved teacher,” Montag said. “His pedagogical style was one of kindness and good humor; if he saw someone struggling, he patiently brought them to the right answer.” uchospitals.edu/midway

Francis Straus, MD ’57, SM ’64, understood the impact of mentorship from his own days as a medical student and, later, as chief resident in pathology. His clinical practice bore the imprint of two trailblazing women physicians — Eleanor M. Humphreys, Rush MD ’31, designated in 1946 as the University’s first surgical pathologist, and Nancy Warner, SB ’44, MD ’49, subsequently the first female pathology chair at a coeducational institution in the U.S., from 1972 to 1983 at the University of Southern California.

Warner recalled Humphreys’ dedication. “I don’t know a more skillful anatomic pathologist,” she said. In her own mentoring, Warner made it a point to have trainees shadow her as she interacted with surgeons. “My practice when a surgeon had a question was to go into the operating room to converse face to face, and my residents would come with me.” The example of exacting rigor coupled to a collegial approach to pathology was a major influence on Straus. “He pressed you to gather input from the surgeon and other colleagues before you reached a judgment,” said Anthony Montag, MD, professor of pathology. “It was important to him that you conferred widely then tied everything together.”

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‘Treble and bass in the same piece of music’ Francis Straus, MD ’57, SM ’64, and Lorna Straus, LAB ’49, SM ’60, PhD ’62, were known across the University as the formidable husband-and-wife duo whose undergraduate course, Mammalian Biology, was ranked among the most popular College courses from the 1970s through the 1990s. Registering for it was an annual ritual of sleepouts, with lines of sleeping bag-toting students forming in the Harper Quadrangle on the Saturday before Monday morning sign-up. “It got to the point where they had tents and boom boxes,” Lorna said. “It became a festive occasion every May.” The course was devised in the late 1960s by Lorna, a two-time recipient of the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and winner of the Norman MacLean Faculty Award. Francis formally came on board a few years later. Among those taking the course in the 1980s were their daughter, Helen E. Straus, LAB ’80, AB ’84, MD ’90, and son Christopher Straus, LAB ’84, AB ’88, MD ’92. Innovative in its integration of macro- with microbiology, the course was known for its rigor and the impetus it provided toward medical school, Christopher said. “It was a lot of work, but it covered so many concepts presented in your first year at medical school.” Leavening the learning was lively spousal repartee. “They’d alternate lectures and if Dad was up front, Mother would sit at the back knitting — click, click, click — like Madame Defarge,” added Christopher. “Every so often the clicking would cease, signifying she was about to make a comment.

“As a faculty mentor you’re providing a unique, intense relationship that’s deeply formative. If it works, you’re left with the feeling of having shaped a career.” David Bevington, PhD, the Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Humanities, Departments of English Language and Literature and Comparative Literature, and the College

“They played off each other, and this kept us engaged through an intense learning experience.” “The College students not only were dazzled by their superior knowledge, but also were fascinated by the warm give-and-take between husband and wife,” said Ting-Wa Wong, MD ’57, PhD ’70. “They were so harmonious, yet so individual, that they seemed treble and bass in the same piece of music.”

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THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

“He had a contagious enthusiasm for his subject,” DeGroot added. “Students responded to that.” Between 1971 and 1989, graduating fourth-year students named Straus among their top teachers no fewer than 15 times. “That’s a measure of the love and regard students held for him,” said Kaplan. And Straus’ presence was felt campus-wide. With spouse Lorna P. Straus, LAB ’49, SM ’60, PhD ’62, professor emerita of organismal biology and anatomy and herself a celebrated teacher, he taught Mammalian Biology, one of the most sought-after undergraduate electives in the College. “He loved to explain, tell and show,” Lorna said. Yet the work closest to his heart, while it was an extension of his passion for teaching, took place away from the lectern, informally and one-on-one with students like Giampaolo — nourishing their intellectual development, imparting nuggets of hard-won wisdom, instilling effective habits of mind, extending a steadying hand and delivering words of encouragement following the inevitable setbacks. As a mentor, Straus exhibited many of the traits he showed in the classroom: approachability, equanimity and lightness of touch. “He was like your father or uncle — friendly, helpful, willing to put himself out for you,” Giampaolo said. “If you made a mistake, he never discouraged you,” said Ruth Goldberg, MD, another Straus mentee as a resident, now a community pathologist in Hobart, Indiana. “He always had a kind word; he was like this big bear you could always talk to.” It was work that could also be deeply consequential; directing students toward a particular field, shaping their mature contributions. Giampaolo credits Straus with inspiring his choice of specialty. “There’s a beauty to pathology as you look at slides under a microscope and analyze the patterns to reach a diagnosis — it has intellectual and aesthetic aspects. He communicated these and clarified the idea that I could make a good contribution as a pathologist.” Straus exemplified a humanistic patient-centered approach to pathology that to this day remains a guidepost for former resident Elliot Weisenberg, MD, MS, in his practice as an attending pathologist at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “He emphasized the connection between the tissue under the microscope and the patient it came from. I always remember him asking, ‘What does this mean for the patient?’ I’ve tried to make that my guiding principle — keeping the patient first in what I’m doing.” Still, despite such impact, the value of mentoring is not readily captured by customary measures of academic productivity, such as papers published or


citations received. And it goes largely unheralded in traditional academic awards that recognize research, classroom instruction or clinical skills. Administering a bequest to the University in Francis’ will, Lorna and son Christopher Straus, LAB ’84, AB’88, MD’92, saw an opportunity to make a fitting tribute to a loved one by honoring work he held dear while spotlighting faculty contributions that all too easily get overlooked. “We wanted something within the Biological Sciences Division that would endure and acknowledge what Francis was and did,” Lorna said. “We also sought to capture an activity with tremendous currency that is largely off the radar,” said Christopher, associate professor and director of medical student education in the Department of Radiology, and one of the couple’s four children. Accordingly, the Francis Straus Mentorship Award, to be inaugurated later this year, will recognize outstanding clinical and nonclinical UChicago faculty mentors. To select for faculty who have had a durable, long-standing influence on careers, former students, residents and fellows will be canvassed for nominations at least three years out from their training — time that will afford them a keener understanding of who had significant and continued impact in their development, Christopher said. “The analogy is an obstacle course. You need a few circuits under your belt to appreciate where the hazards lie and the wisdom of a particular piece of advice.” Lorna and Christopher hope the awards will have the additional effect of fostering a closer sense of identification among former students, residents and fellows with the University, looping them into the wider network of UChicago alumni. To encourage tracking of and outreach to their former trainees and promote continuing connections with them, departments will share in awards made to affiliated faculty. More generally, Lorna and Christopher hope the new award will redouble focus on an activity integral to medical and biological sciences education. In this way, the legacy of a treasured faculty member will be extended beyond those whose immediate lives he touched to future generations of UChicago-trained physicians. “The knowledge base in medicine and the biological sciences is constantly shifting and expanding, which is wonderful, but the constant is that you are a principled, caring physician,” Christopher said. “This is what a dedicated mentor can inculcate and what meant the most to my father.”

uchospitals.edu/midway

Family ties

In a hallway rich in Pritzker School of Medicine history, Christopher Straus, MD, stops by the Class of 1957 composite that has a photo of his father, Francis Straus, MD.

PHOTO BY ROBERT KOZLOFF

Francis and Lorna Straus’ bonds to the University run deep. Francis’ mother, Elizabeth, was a 1926 graduate of the Rush-affiliated MD program that preceded the opening of the University of Chicago Hospitals, and his father, Francis Sr., a surgeon, taught at the University. Lorna is the daughter of Ernst W. Puttkammer, JD ’17, a faculty member at the Law School for 36 years. After earning her PhD in anatomy at the University, she joined the faculty and also served as dean of students in the College, dean of admissions and University marshal. Two of the couple’s four children are alumni of the College and Pritzker — Christopher, LAB ’84, AB ’88, MD ’92, associate professor and director of medical student education in the Department

of Radiology, and Helen, LAB ’80, AB ’84, MD ’90, an emergency medicine physician at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County and assistant professor at Rush Medical College. The family is also a long-standing philanthropic supporter of the University whose previous generous gifts have benefited the College, Biological Sciences Division and International House, among other recipients. Finally, the Strauses have left an indelible mark on campus culture. The epic four-day Scav Hunt, introduced to the University by Christopher in 1987, originated as a challenge devised by Francis and Lorna’s eldest son, Frank, to entertain his brothers and sister during their summer vacations on Michigan’s Mackinac Island.

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BSD News

RESEARCH FUNDING

What’s up, postdoc? Future of Research (FOR) gives a voice to early career scientists

BY RENÉE DE POOTER

A

grassroots organization led by postdoctoral scientists is shaping the conversation on how to maintain the strength of American research and improve career prospects for young scientists.

Future of Research (FOR) started in Boston and has expanded to cities around the

country, including Chicago. Science Careers collectively recognized the postdoc activists of FOR as its 2015 “People of the Year.” In October 2015, FOR Chicago brought together 126 stakeholders from five states and 13 institutions to discuss what’s wrong in the scientific enterprise and how to fix it. From 1979 to 2010, the number of U.S. biomedical postdoctoral researchers quadrupled from 10,000 to more than 40,000. Meanwhile, the percentage of biomedical trainees getting tenure track positions has declined.

Medicine on the Midway talked with some of the people who made it happen: University of Chicago postdoctoral researchers Kyle Dolan, SM’11, PhD’12, and Rianne Ellenbroek, PhD; Erin Heckler, PhD, postdoctoral affairs administrator; and Connie M. Lee, PhD, assistant dean for basic science. What’s the main problem facing biomedical trainees right now? Kyle Dolan: If you’re a young biomedical

PhD student or postdoc, you’re facing some of the worst odds ever to get a faculty job and get grants, in part because of the lack of stable NIH funding. Being an academic PI is an uncertain career path, but right now it’s also the only career path that most biomedical scientists are trained for. A lot of trainees feel stuck — they can’t move forward in their careers, but they don’t know what else to do. What is the Future of Research organization all about? KD: It’s about making the research

enterprise stronger and more sustainable, and giving the people who do most of the day-to-day work of science — including students and postdocs — a greater voice in saying how science should be done and what scientific training should consist of in the 21st century. A few years ago, there was a lot of angst among leaders in academia and at the NIH about this situation, but no one was talking to the trainees. The first FOR Boston symposium was in

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THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

October 2014, and there were more than 650 registrants. The story got picked up by the media, the Boston Globe covered it and NPR. They got a lot of attention. What was the goal of FOR Chicago? Erin Heckler: There were FOR symposia in

Boston, New York City and San Francisco. With FOR Chicago, we wanted to bring the national conversation between scientific trainees and leaders to the Midwest. KD: We focused largely on the training

problem. PhDs need training for diverse careers. How do we ensure that academia, industry and government collaborate so there is financial and time support for the kind of training people need? That sounds ambitious. How did you put FOR Chicago together? EH: FOR Chicago was a joint effort among

UChicago, UIC, Northwestern, Rush and Loyola. Nancy Schwartz, dean of postdoctoral affairs, was extremely helpful, supportive and a key reason the day was so successful. BSD leaders like Connie Lee, Kathy Goss and Cristal Thomas served on the advisory board. From the BSD,


2 0 1 6 F E L LO W S H I P S

Five Biological Sciences Division students are recipients of National Science Foundation Research Fellowships announced in March.

Co-lead organizers Rianne Ellenbroek, PhD, left, and Kyle Dolan, PhD; Nancy Schwartz, PhD, dean for postdoctoral affairs, and Erin Heckler, PhD, postdoctoral affairs administrator, at the Future of Research symposium in Chicago.

myCHOICE, the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, UChicago Medicine GI Training Grant, Kennedy Center, and the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Pediatrics departments all provided financial support, along with generous financial support from Northwestern, UIC and various outside sources. How did FOR Chicago 2015 succeed for you? EH: I was impressed with the attendance!

It brought home that these issues are important across the U.S. and that the future of research training resonates with a lot of people. It was so evident even in the planning stages — almost every speaker, panelist or facilitator said yes on the first ask. Rianne Ellenbroek: I was pleasantly

surprised by the broad support for more staff scientists. Not everyone wants to become a PI, and it’s a waste of talent and passion that the current system doesn’t have a place for them. KD: I felt we really encouraged postdocs

to claim their scientific/research community citizenship. You have to be aware of how science is done, especially if you’re

going to end up as a PI because you will have the power to determine if things change. What’s next? Connie Lee: The next steps are to go

from words to action and to get more of the ideas to paper through editorials, opinion pieces and white papers. From there, FOR needs to engage funding agencies, university administrations and other key stakeholders to enact some of these ideas. Want to shout out to the alumni and ask for their help? KD: Alumni are an important resource.

They’ve gone out and been successful in so many different fields. Come back! Come back and tell us about how you did what you did, so we have concrete ideas for postdocs to follow whatever path they feel is best for them. Follow FOR Chicago on Twitter @FOR_Chicago. If you’ve got ideas for the next FOR Chicago event, contact Kyle Dolan at kyle.t.dolan@gmail.com or Erin Heckler at eheckler@bsd.uchicago.edu.

“The problems facing science today present an opportunity for transformative change. It will take scientists working together with a broad group of allies to make sure that the future of science remains bright.”

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees. The fellowship recipients are Lauren Blake (Human Genetics), Ben Fosque (Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics), Andrew George (Integrative Biology), Katharine Henderson (Integrative Biology) and Natalia Piland (Evolutionary Biology). Ten students received honorable mentions: Rey Ayon (Evolutionary Biology), Erick Bayala (Integrative Biology), Benjamin Blanchard (Evolutionary Biology), Christopher Boughter (Biophysical Sciences), Kyle Delaney (Cancer Biology), Unjin Lee (Genetics, Genomics and Systems Biology), Joseph Marcus (Human Genetics), Caroline Oldstone-Moore (Ecology and Evolution), John Park (Evolutionary Biology) and Maciek Zmyslowski (Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics). NSF received nearly 17,000 applications and made 2,000 fellowship award offers.

Özkan named 2016 Sloan Foundation Fellow Engin Özkan, PhD, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, is one of five University of Chicago faculty members awarded a 2016 Sloan Research Fellowship by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The fellowships support early-career scientists and scholars considered rising stars in the scientific field. Özkan studies the molecular principles of development in multicellular organisms, with an emphasis on the nervous system, axon guidance and synapse formation. His laboratory combines structural, functional and proteomic methodologies to reveal the basis of how the nervous system wires its circuitry.

FOR Chicago

uchospitals.edu/midway

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BSD News

O R G A N I S M A L B I O L O G Y A N D A N AT O M Y

How skates and rays got their wings

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he evolution of the striking, wing-like pectoral fins of skates and rays relied on repurposed genes, according to new research by University of Chicago scientists. Studying embryonic skates, they discovered that the rear portion of the fin is built by typical limb-development genes, but the front portion develops through a different set of genes usually found in the shoulder areas in other species. PHOTO COURTESY OF TETSUYA NAKAMURA, PHD

Postdoctoral scholar Tetsuya Nakamura, PhD, studies genetic mechanisms responsible for the evolution and diversification of vertebrate appendages, such as the skate’s distinctive fins.

“What is surprising is that the extraordinary anatomy of skate fins comes about by simple tweaks to the processes that make the more normal-looking fins of other fish,” said Neil Shubin, PhD, the Robert R. Bensley Professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy and senior study author. Postdoctoral scholar Tetsuya Nakamura, PhD, led the team that analyzed gene expression in the embryos of batoids, a group of cartilaginous fish includes skates and rays. With flat bodies and broad pectoral fins that are fused to their heads, batoids possess one of the most unique appendage shapes among vertebrates. “Skates appear to have redeployed a pre-existing genetic module to the anterior of their fins, which enabled the evolution of their unique shape,” Nakamura said. “A better understanding of these molecular mechanisms will help us answer questions about the general diversity of fish fins — and ultimately how fins transitioned into tetrapod limbs.” The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in December 2015. — Kevin Jiang

Hooked on a feeling: Fish fins can sense touch University of Chicago scientists have shown for

The pictus catfish uses its pectoral fins to touch, and so may many other fish.

PHOTO BY ADAM HARDY

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the first time that pectoral fins in at least one species of fish possess neurons and cells that are exquisitely sensitive to touch. The discovery not only sheds light on the evolutionary biology of touch, it might also someday inspire new advances in the design of underwater robotics. “It was a surprise to us that, similar to mammalian skin, fish fins are able to sense light pressure and subtle motion,” said study author Adam Hardy, graduate student in organismal biology and anatomy. Hardy and his graduate mentor, Melina Hale, PhD’98, William Rainey Harper Professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, studied the pictus catfish, a small, bottom-dwelling species. They applied a variety of different stimuli to the pectoral fin and

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

measured activity of neurons responsible for sending information back to the brain. The team discovered that neurons not only responded when contact was made, they carried information about degree of pressure and motion as well. “Touch sensation may allow fish to live in dim environments, using touch to navigate when vision is limited,” Hale said. “It raises a lot of exciting questions on how sensory cells shape the brain’s perception of environmental features and may provide insight into the evolution of sensation in vertebrates.” The team is now studying touch sensitivity in the fins of other species of fish and investigating the precise mechanisms for how fin neurons encode information about touch. Intriguingly, this discovery could also have applications for underwater robotic design. “You can envision fish-inspired sensory membranes that can be used to scan surfaces in underwater environments where light may be obscured,” Hale said. The study was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B in February.


C O M P U TAT I O N A L N E U R O S C I E N C E

Feeding frenzy Neuroscientists study the roundworm C. elegans because their simple neuronal circuitry

may shed light on information processing and decision-making. Adam Brown, a computational neuroscience graduate student in the lab of David

NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, blogs about this “eerily beautiful image.” directorsblog.nih.gov Adam Brown describes the art behind his science. sciencelife.uchospitals.edu

Biron, PhD, focuses on how the neurotransmitter serotonin affects the roundworm’s feeding behavior. While working in his lab early one morning, Brown observed the foraging worms feasting on a breakfast of bacteria. He quickly positioned his smartphone’s camera lens to the microscope’s eyepiece and snapped the variegated display. The image was selected as a Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology 2015 BioArt winner and was included in “The Art of Science,” an exhibit showcasing the visual representation of scientific discovery at a Chicago art gallery this spring. PHOTO BY KEVIN JIANG

C O M M I T T E E O N I M M U N O LO G Y

Graduate student a rising star in microbiome research

“I like this field because it changes so dramatically every year. It’s actually really hard to speculate where the microbiota research field will even be in 10 years, but I hope to be spearheading some of those new efforts.” Taylor Feehley, AB’10, PhD’16

uchospitals.edu/midway

PHOTO BY MICHAEL SATALIC

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aylor Feehley, AB’10, PhD’16, was named one of Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 in science for her work on food allergies and gut bacteria, leading to the development of potential new probiotics. Feehley’s research, under the direction of Cathryn Nagler, PhD, the Bunning Food Allergy Professor in the Department of Pathology, is helping lay the groundwork for better treatments to prevent, or even reverse, food allergies. In 2014, Feehley worked on a study led by Nagler that showed that the presence of Clostridia, a common strain of bacteria living in the gastrointestinal tract, protects against food allergies. Clostridia prevented allergens in foods like peanuts from entering the bloodstream and triggering cell-level responses that lead to sensitization, a beginning step to developing allergies. In a similar vein, Feehley is working with Nagler to follow up on a 2015 study that showed dramatic differences in the composition of gut bacteria in babies who overcame an allergy to cow’s milk after taking a probiotic formula. Both of these studies,

Taylor Feehley, AB ’10, PhD ’16

along with ongoing research by Feehley, Nagler and their colleagues, mean that someday patients could be given probiotic treatments containing bacteria to prevent food allergies. Forbes calls the young scientists on the 30 Under 30 list “the heirs to Carl Sagan, Ada Lovelace and science’s greatest minds.”

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ALUMNI PROFILE

Pritzker News

Saving limbs and lives Pritzker couple marry careers as an army orthopaedic surgeon and an emergency medicine physician

BY RUTH E. KOTT

A

Washington, DC, area. But Potter chose orthopaedic surgery. (It clearly wasn’t a deal breaker; they are now married with three children.) As director of musculoskeletal oncology at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, Potter treats patients with bone and soft tissue sarcomas and

FOCUS HAPPY PHOTOGRAPHY

s students at the Pritzker School of Medicine, Michelle DiVito and Benjamin Kyle Potter, both MD ’01, agreed that neither of them would pursue a surgical specialty. “We shook on it,” DiVito said. DiVito kept the promise. She now practices emergency medicine in the

Michelle DiVito and Benjamin Kyle Potter, both MD ’01, with their children Flora, 4, James, 7, and Hazel, 9

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cares for active military and veterans injured in combat. “Walter Reed is one of the major combat casualty care centers in the continental U.S.,” Potter said. After the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013, the hospital admitted three of

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

the 17 amputees, and Potter consulted on two of the other cases. Whether caring for patients with severe limb injuries from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or salvaging a patient’s leg after removing a bone tumor, Potter aims to preserve as much limb function as possible. His specialty requires advanced reconstruction techniques and creativity. For some patients, he harvests bone from other parts of the body to reconstruct the resected bone and save the limb. In other cases, he performs rotationplasty — removing a portion of the leg and rotating the patient’s foot and ankle to act as the knee joint — which preserves some leg function and allows for a better-fitting prosthesis. Potter also conducts research focused on improving quality of life and limb function for individuals who have suffered blast injuries. Potter’s training in treating combat wounds was critical when he deployed to Afghanistan for six months in 2011. He served as chief orthopaedic surgeon at Camp Dwyer, then a Marine Corps base in southern Afghanistan. It was a different perspective “seeing people fresh off the battlefield, versus caring for them one to seven days later.” He also treated Afghan women and children who were hurt or who were born with congenital abnormalities. “It wasn’t the type of orthopaedics that I would necessarily do in my


PRITZKER POETRY CONTEST

Words of compassion day job at home,” he said, “but the patient has no other options.” As an emergency medicine physician, DiVito also often finds herself in situations requiring quick thinking and action. “Any time I’m in a public place and someone yells, ‘Does anyone know CPR?’ I know I’m on the hook,” she said. One example: DiVito was at a bike shop getting a new tube for the first family bike ride of the spring when she heard a plea for help. A jogger had collapsed just outside the store and was in cardiac arrest. “I whipped into action,” she recalled. DiVito performed CPR until the paramedics arrived with the external defibrillator. Heart function was restored. DiVito called ahead to the hospital, and the man was taken directly to the cardiac cath lab. “He called me a couple of weeks later to thank me,” she says. “That’s why I love doing what I do.” “Michelle saves a lot more lives than I do,” Potter said. “I can do a great cancer surgery, but there could be a post-op complication the following week. And we may not know for years whether or not the cancer is cured.” Potter will do another tour in Afghanistan this summer. He and DiVito, who spent a month in Indonesia doing emergency medicine after the 2004 tsunami, hope to someday work together with an organization such as Doctors Without Borders to provide humanitarian medical care to local populations. Practicing humanitarian medicine abroad, whether in the military or as a civilian, “expands our scope of practice and teaches us to do more with less,” Potter said. “It helps us think about solving challenging problems in more creative ways.”

uchospitals.edu/midway

Moving poems by a second-year medical student and a cardiology fellow are the winners of the fifth annual Pritzker Poetry Contest. The contest’s mission is to foster compassionate care for patients and enhance the therapeutic caregiver-patient relationship throughout the medical center.

Rama Jager, MD, and University Retina sponsor the contest and provide the financial support for the awards. James Woodruff, MD, associate dean of students, spearheaded the contest. A multidisciplinary panel of judges selected the winning poems.

Untitled By Bryan A. Smith, MD ’10 | F I R S T P L AC E W I N N E R : S I X-WO R D P O E M

I would still choose her again (husband after his young wife died in the ICU)

to be a great owner of a butterfly By Lea Hoefer, MS2 | F I R S T P L AC E W I N N E R : O P E N P O E M

it was something I came across — a child’s words thanking her teacher for teaching her multiplication, division, map skills and how to be a great owner of a butterfly surprising because although great butterfly owners must learn to be patient and gentle and deeply kind to fragile creatures unlike multiplication and division and map skills no one measures these skills and rarely do we notice so clearly when someone is teaching us these things I think it may be the same in medicine it is easy to measure whether or not we can calculate oncotic pressure we remember who taught us how to diagnose anemia yet it is just as important to learn how to be patient and gentle and deeply kind and sometimes simultaneously strong and certain and confidence inspiring? we start out fumbling and along the way (careful: they are not always called “teacher”) someone taught you how to be a great holder of hands but also that there were times that someone might just need space there was a person who told you to slow your heart and calm your mind as the hairs on your skin rose in anticipation of the unfolding crisis you were not born knowing how to stay standing, all at once soft and strong and quiet on the worst day of someone else’s life do you remember who showed you these things? who was it? that taught you how to be a great owner of a butterfly? MEDICINE ON THE MIDWAY

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U N D E R G R A D U AT E M E D I C A L E D U C AT I O N

Reshaping the future of medical education AMA grant supports early focus on the elements of health care delivery science BY LAURA RAMOS HEGWER PHOTO BY JEAN LACHAT

Mila Grossman, MS2, right, practices reviewing discharge instructions with standardized patient Paul Rouffa in Pritzker’s Clinical Performance Center. Vineet Arora, MD, AM ’03, left, is co-principal investigator of a grant to give medical students early training on how to work within the health care system to achieve the best care for their patients. Research by Grossman and classmates Kathleen Wiest, MS2, left, Mark Chee, MS1, and Lukas Matern, MS2, in such areas as patient safety, high value care and handoffs will be incorporated in the curriculum, which begins in the fall.

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aculty members at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine want the future physicians they teach to stop thinking of themselves as “just medical students.” “Medical schools tend to focus on what medical students cannot do, but our goal at Pritzker is to focus on what they can do,” said Vineet Arora, MD, AM’03, assistant dean for scholarship and discovery. Empowering medical students to be engaged members of the health care team is a key goal of a new program, VISTA: Curriculum and Culture Change to Cultivate Physicians of the Future. The acronym stands for value, improvement, safety and team advocates. Today’s complex and evolving health care system calls for a new approach to training physicians, Arora said. “In medical education, we have traditionally

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THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

imparted the knowledge of how to identify and manage disease to students first, and then we discuss how they can function in the health care system,” she said. “With VISTA, we aim to give students a core understanding of how the health care system works and how they can be effective in it early on in their training, at the same time they learn their medical knowledge.” Most of this new training will be infused throughout the curriculum, particularly in clinical skills classes, starting in the first year. Michael Howell, MD, MPH, chief quality officer at the University of Chicago Medicine, said the program will help students understand how health care delivery science improves medical care. “It’s a new and emerging field, but it will be critical for our students and residents to be successful in the


future,” Howell said. “The University of Chicago is particularly well-positioned to help move this field forward.” The VISTA program is supported in part by a $75,000, three-year grant from the American Medical Association as part of its Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium, which includes more than 30 medical schools across the country. Arora and Jeanne Farnan, MD ’02, MHPE, Pritzker’s assistant dean for curricular development and evaluation, are co-principal investigators. “Being a part of the consortium means that we can learn from medical education leaders of similar minds who want to rethink what it means to train a physician in the 21st century,” Farnan said. “At the same time, we will have an opportunity to share our experience and influence medical education across the country.” Team effort As early as Winter Quarter of the first year of medical school, and with the support of Debra Albert, MSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer, students will work under supervision alongside nurses in high-functioning nursing units, where they will assist with admissions, discharges and handoffs. “We know from the medical education literature that when students are exposed early on to other allied health professions, they become better at delivering collaborative care,” Farnan said. “Our goal is to have students recognize that the physician is not the leader of the team, but rather a member of the team that is responsible for the patient,” Farnan said. Giving medical students earlier training in identifying and reporting safety concerns is another component. “Some people assume that students need clinical experience to understand patient safety,” Farnan said. “But in reality, students come in with the most important perspective — that of a layperson or patient.” Medical students will identify safety violations in the “horror room,” a simulated patient room used in a safety boot camp initially developed for interns. In fact, the VISTA program will leverage some of the enhanced quality and safety training that has already been implemented by Arora, Farnan and others to better prepare entering residents at UChicago Medicine. “Because as many as one-third of our students choose to stay here for residency, we have a strong incentive to link our undergraduate and graduate medical education and make sure our students are going to be great residents,” Arora said. From a value perspective, students will learn how to screen patients for financial harm, tailor their assessments and plans to incorporate patient preferences, and conduct value improvement projects. uchospitals.edu/midway

New center launched The new Center for Healthcare Delivery Science and Innovation, which opened in January, brings together clinical and research experts to better coordinate and support the University of Chicago Medicine’s prominent national role in this emerging field.

“Understanding ValueBased Healthcare” (McGraw-Hill Education, 2015) will be used in the new curriculum. Vineet Arora, MD, AM ’03, is one of the authors.

Health care delivery science uses rigorous, high quality research to evaluate and develop innovative ways to improve the quality, safety, experience and delivery of health care for patients across their entire spectrum of care. “This initiative combines two of our key strengths, world-class research and outstanding clinical expertise, to develop the most efficient ways to deliver the right health care to our patients,” said Sharon O’Keefe, president of the University of Chicago Medical Center. Michael Howell, MD, MPH, chief quality officer and director of the new center, said electronic medical records are generating genomic-scale amounts of data as patients pass through the health care system. “That means for the first time in history we can use analytical techniques to understand real-world operational problems and use predictive modeling to make the health care system safer,” he said. The center’s resources are available to faculty and staff interested in researching health care delivery innovations.

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The VISTA program, which will roll out starting in fall 2016, uses technology to help students understand the science of health care delivery and become better advocates for their patients. Students will receive an iPad mini with apps to help them track the hospital’s quality metrics, document potential safety issues and collaborate with other members of the care team. Student buy-in “Medicine tends to be a hierarchical field, and the sooner medical students learn how to speak up about a potential safety issue, the easier it will be for them to do it later on,” said Adam Vohra, MS4, and MBA candidate. Vohra learned how to work on a team while in business school, and he believes VISTA’s focus on collaboration will be especially valuable for incoming medical students. “Although physicians may eventually learn these skills as they progress into leadership roles in their careers, the sooner you learn it, the more useful it is,” he said. Mila Grossman, MS2, agrees. “As medical students, we don’t always realize how nurses and other medical professionals can be our allies in delivering patient-centered care,” said Grossman, who served on a multidisciplinary quality team as an undergraduate at Georgetown University. “Learning how to work and communicate effectively with other professionals will make a much better workplace and go a long way in improving the patient experience.” S O L U T I O N T O P U Z Z L E O N PAG E 8

Splitsville E A R N A P O P

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D G A R I O L I N A P O I T M E N I N E D L D G U O T A S S O R T D E O M E R D I N E C L U R P I M O L T B A H R I I O E O N A M E O D E S T E S T S

W H L Y E M N E A R S I E D A Z K I I N N G S A D O O R C A S

H O M E M E M E R A A L F U R O T R A T D S U M I O A D A V S O P O O L O L N P E S E C R O N I A P I T T H Y R S H O M M O U R A T I R

B A C H A C H E S E I I A R R A N S O C T A H I B N O S L A P O S G I S T Y R E R E A O S S I A L P E R O N I N I C A N A N C T S A R B E B E

G M O N Y E L I N C E N E

F U J I O S A G P E N I D E V I T T E D O R L I O N E T W O S L I C E R N O Y E O S R M E N G O V E A P O N Y O K E L E S T I S T O R K A U A S N I P

S E N O R

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R E S T S I S

S O L U T I O N T O M E TA P U Z Z L E

Seven answers contain double letters, which can be rearranged to spell: M I T O S I S 36

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES DIVISION

Little room of horrors Pritzker’s “horror room” is a simulated patient room deliberately set up with medical mistakes. Originally developed for interns, the room will also be used to give medical students early training in identifying and reporting safety concerns. Pritzker instructors Vineet Arora, MD, AM ’03, and Jeanne Farnan, MD ’02, MHPE, walk us through the room: tinyurl.com/horror-room.


“I have a desire to keep learning from and caring for communities with less resources, and my scholarship gives me the freedom to live that dream without the looming burden of debt.” Sean Gaffney, Pritzker School of Medicine Class of 2017

Sean Gaffney Pritzker Class of 2017 and Margaret Bradley Scholarship recipient

WHAT WILL SEAN’S LEGACY BE? Sean, a former high-school economics and government teacher in a Texas border town, is driven to help answer big questions about medicine—questions like, “How do we ensure that, as a society, we meet everyone’s health care needs?” The answer starts with protecting the “sacred doctor-patient relationship,” he says. Sean aims to build strong relationships with his own patients and teach future medical students how to do the same, for generations to come.

WHAT WILL YOUR LEGACY BE? The Legacy Challenge is the University of Chicago’s campaign to support scholarships for MD and PhD students. A gift of any amount can help to provide security for students and meet our long-term goal of securing scholarship funding for future students at Pritzker and in the Division of the Biological Sciences. If you’re able to make a leadership-level gift of $25,000 or more, the Legacy Challenge will provide a 50 percent match—$1 for every $2 you contribute.

For more information, visit givetomedicine.uchicago.edu/legacy-challenge.

the LEGACY Challenge


Pritzker News

M AT C H DAY 2 0 1 6

Envisioning their future BY GRETCHEN RUBIN

U PHOTO BY NANCY WONG

Megan Silas, MS4, and Blake Williams, MS4, are among 21 members of Pritzker’s Class of 2016 who will be staying at the University of Chicago Medicine for all or part of their training. After completing their intern year, both will return to campus as ophthalmology residents.

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nlike the rest of their fourth-year classmates, Blake Williams and Megan Silas knew where they would be training for their specialty well before Match Day. And they were thrilled with the news. When the Ophthalmology Residency Matching Program released its results in mid-January, Williams and Silas each received a congratulatory call from Kathryn Colby, MD, PhD, Louis Block Professor and chair of the newly reestablished Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at the University of Chicago.

“Blake and Megan are both highly qualified and have shown a dedication to ophthalmology,” said Colby, who joined UChicago in 2015. “And coming from the Pritzker School of Medicine, they were top candidates.” Williams grew up in a family of ophthalmologists (both parents and his grandfather). But it wasn’t until his third year, when he spent two weeks of his surgery rotation in ophthalmology, that he was sure he wanted to pursue the field. “I especially love the surgeries and procedures,” Williams said. “For example, cataract surgery is quick and curative and makes a dramatic improvement in a patient’s quality of life.”

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Silas wasn’t considering going into the specialty until she “stumbled upon” the opportunity to do a two-week rotation in ophthalmology during her third year. “I already liked surgery, medicine and pediatrics,” she said, “but I thought ophthalmology sounded cool and we hadn’t learned much about the eye in medical school.” The rotation was an eye opener. Silas found herself drawn to the long-term doctor-patient relationships, the fast and tangible changes an eye doctor can make in a patient’s well-being and the technical aspects of the exams and the procedures. She signed on for an additional rotation. Both medical students conducted ophthalmologic research during their third and fourth years. Silas worked on a project examining pre-operative antisepsis that was recently published in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Williams’ study of intraocular pressure in patients receiving intravitreal injections was presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2015 annual meeting. The classmates each interviewed for other residency programs, but often talked of hoping to stay at the University of Chicago Medicine. Both were impressed by the ophthalmology residents and faculty. Meeting Colby and hearing her vision for rebuilding the department sealed the deal for Williams. “Dr. Colby is recruiting new faculty and expanding clinic and operating room volumes,” Williams said. “And she is focused on training residents and fellows in a collaborative, happy environment.” Silas is just as excited about starting her training in the new department. “I feel like I will grow by staying at the University of Chicago,” she said. “And it feels like home to me.” Before starting the three-year ophthalmology residency program, Silas will spend her intern year at MacNeal Hospital in west suburban Berwyn, Illinois, and Williams matched at Presence Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago. So there was a little suspense for them on Match Day after all.


PHOTOS BY JOEL WINTERMANTLE

MATCH DAY 2016

PRITZKER School of Medicine #UChiMatch MOST POPULAR RESIDENCIES University of Chicago Medicine (21) Twenty-one Pritzker students will stay here for all or part of their training. Other students are headed to residency programs across the United States. University of California System (9) Northwestern-affiliated programs (7) Harvard-affiliated programs (6) University of Washington-affiliated programs (5)

MOST POPULAR SPECIALTIES Internal medicine (24) Emergency medicine (5) Orthopaedics (5) Psychiatry (5) Dermatology (4) Family medicine (4) Urology (4)

Make me a match

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ere’s a parting gift from the multi-talented Pritzker School of Medicine Class of 2016 — a Match Day video to the tune of “Matchmaker, Matchmaker.” Members of the class also created “I Don’t Know,” a video parody that has more than 2.5 million hits on YouTube and placed first in the 2015 Medical School Emmys (Memmys). Watch the Match Day video: tinyurl.com/matchmaker-video.

It’s a match! Fourth-year student Ndang Azang-Njaah, MPH, receives his Match Day letter, top photo. Moments later, he and his classmates tore open their envelopes and joyful chaos filled the Billings Auditorium. Internal medicine is the most popular specialty, and members of the Pritzker School of Medicine Class of 2016 will be traveling to all reaches of the country for their residency training.

uchospitals.edu/midway

Fourth-year students Julia Mhlaba, left, Leslie Mataya and Jacqueline Meadow sing about their hopes for a perfect match. MEDICINE ON THE MIDWAY

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CLASS OF 201 6

Pritzker News

Students, faculty honored for excellence

PHOTO BY DAVID CHRISTOPHER

Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

Members of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society are, from left, top row: Ramin Morshed, Scott Goldberg, Kevin Wymer, Ethan Jaffee, Talia Shear, Jacqueline Meadow. Middle row: Nathaniel Wilson, William Chapin, Aubrey Jordan, MHS, Gabrielle Liu. Bottom row: Kathryn Sullivan, Elizabeth Munroe, Caitlin Chicoine, Julia Mhlaba, Noura Choudhury. Not pictured: Adam Weiner.

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ixteen fourth-year Pritzker School of Medicine students were named to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Students are selected based on academic excellence, capacity for leadership, compassion and fairness. W. Bruce Fye, MD, MA, emeritus professor of medicine and the history of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, was the keynote speaker at the 2016 AOA banquet. The AOA Class of 2016 elected the following alumni, faculty and residents to the Illinois Beta Chapter (The University of Chicago): Alumni: Kristi Kirschner, MD’86, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital; and Peter O’Donnell, MD’03, UChicago Department of Medicine. Faculty: Karen E. Kim, MD, MS, Department of Medicine; and Ross Milner, MD, Department of Surgery. Housestaff: Richa Garg, MD, MS, Department of Family Medicine, NorthShore University HealthSystem; Cathryn Lee, MD, Department of Medicine; and Nathaniel Steiger, MD, Department of Medicine. Beth Plunkett, MD’97, a member of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NorthShore University HealthSystem, is the Volunteer Clinical Faculty Awardee. The honor recognizes a community physician who contributes with distinction to the education and training of clinical students. PHOTO BY DAVID CHRISTOPHER

Gold Humanism Honor Society

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eventeen students from the Pritzker School of Medicine Class of 2016 were inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. GHHS honors fourth-year medical students who consistently demonstrate excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service. Michael Marcangelo, MD, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, and Lauren Hobbs, MS4, received the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award for Faculty and Student, respectively. James N. Woodruff, MD, professor in the Department of Medicine and Pritzker’s associate dean of students, is the 2015 AAMC Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award nominee. Sonia Oyola, MD, clinical instructor of family medicine, was the keynote speaker for the induction ceremony in Joseph Bond Chapel.

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The 2016 Pritzker School of Medicine Gold Humanism Honor Society inductees are, from left, top row: Michael Underriner, Ethan Jaffee, Scott Goldberg, Aubrey Jordan, MHS, Kirk Cahill, Kevin Wymer. Middle row: Noah Schwartz, Talia Shear, Noura Choudhury, Lauren Hobbs, Ndang Azang-Njaah, MPH. Bottom row: Hila Calev, Nita Padavil, Leslie Mataya, Michelle (Ashley) Tsang, Caitlin Chicoine, Allison Louis.

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6 June 2-4, 2016 1961 | 1966 | 1971 | 1976 | 1981 | 1986 | 1991 | 1996 | 2001 | 2006 | 2011

Have you registered for Reunion 2016? Come back to Chicago to reconnect with your classmates June 2-4. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Reunion welcomes back Reunion classes ending in 1 and 6, as well as Emeriti participants. REGISTER ONLINE: at http://medbsd.uchicago.edu/alumni/Reunion REGISTER BY PHONE: by calling the Medical & Biological Sciences Alumni Association at (888) 303-0030


Class Notes

Class Notes 1950s Walter Eidbo, MD’56, is serving on the South and East Des Moines Chamber of Commerce Friends of SW 9th St. Facade committee to improve the street where he practiced surgery and general medicine at the Eidbo Clinic for 45 years. During his time at the clinic, he was assisted by his wife, Mary Eidbo, a registered nurse, along with five other physicians and medical students. Eidbo was chief of surgery at Lutheran Hospital, medical staff president of Northwest Hospital, and on the staff of Mercy, Methodist and Broadlawns hospitals in Des Moines. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserve and as a commanding officer of the 830th USAR Station Hospital for many years. He retired from medicine and surgery eight years ago.

In Memoriam Medicine and associate professor of medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine. Fitzgerald is a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

2010s

1990s April S. Fitzgerald, MD’96, FACP, received the Herbert S. Waxman Award for Outstanding Medical Student Educator by the American College of Physicians (ACP), the national organization of internists. The award recognizes an ACP member who is an internal medicine group leader, clinical clerkship director, program director or faculty member who spends a significant amount of time teaching medical students. A resident of Great Falls, Virginia, Fitzgerald is assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of

Manas Nigam, MD’15, participated in an Interplast Reconstructive Surgery Camp in Haridwar, India, in October 2015. He was part of a group of physicians who performed surgeries for post-burn, trauma, and congenital defect reconstructions on more than 100 patients. Haridwar is considered one of the holiest cities in the world to Hindus, located next to the Ganges River in a rural area. This was a follow-up to an earlier volunteer trip at a local orphanage through the Pritzker School of Medicine, thanks to the Dennis and Anita Lee Scholarship he received. He was invited back by one of the board members and the area Rotary Club to help with a European team performing these surgeries.

REUNION IS COMING UP JUNE 2-4, 2016 In June 2016, the Medical and Biological Sciences Alumni Association will welcome alumni emeriti and those from the Classes of 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2011 back to campus for Reunion. So that you receive registration materials and information about the weekend, be sure to submit your current contact information at medbsd.uchicago.edu/alumni/get-involved/update-your-info.

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1980s Gene N. Peterson, MD’82, PhD, died on November 20, 2015, in Richmond, Virginia, after a short but aggressive battle with cancer. He was 61. Peterson was a practicing anesthesiologist his entire medical career. In 2013, he joined Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) as its first chief safety officer and associate dean for medical education, a role that was unique in the nation. During his tenure, he helped design and implement VCU’s

vision to become a major research university committed to safety, quality and service in the delivery of care. He is most noted for his work integrating resident physician training with the quality and safety initiatives of the hospital and clinics. Peterson also played an integral role in standing up the Unique Pathogens Unit at VCU Medical Center during the Ebola crisis. Peterson is survived by his wife of 31 years, Sarah, and their two children, Andrew and Carolyn; his parents, Dorothy and Harry; and his brother, Duane.

MEDICINE ON THE

2015 –2016 ALUMNI COUNCIL

M I D WAY

Executive Committee Michael H. Silverman, MD ’73 President Rene Mora, PhD ’88, MD ’89 Immediate Past President Paul R. Rockey, MD ’70 Vice President Douglass B. Given, PhD ’79, MD ’80 Chicago Partners Chair Dean Rider, MD ’78 Regional Programs Chair Chris Albanis, AB ’96, MD ’00 Editorial Committee Chair

MEDICINE MIDW AY UNIVER SITY

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at a turning

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Neuroscientis ts at the University of Chicago are using powerful new tools to study virtually every aspect of the brain and human behavior

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What the Biolo gical Sciences Division is doing to empo wer researcher s for succe ss in the new scien tific and finan cial lands cape

Join us Are you interested in guiding the editorial content of your alumni

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Diane Altkorn, MD ’82 Andrew Aronson, MD ’69 Oliver G. Cameron, PhD ’72, MD ’74 Amy Derick, MD ’02 Robert Doroghazi, MD ’77 Stanley E. Friedell, MD ’85 Sanford A. Garfield, PhD ’74 Susan Glick, MD ’90 Melina Hale, PhD ’98 Joel E. Kleinman, SB ’66, MD ’73, PhD ’74 Karyl Kopaskie, AB ’07, PhD ’14 Charles Kulwin, MD ’10 Dennis Lee, MD ’91 Howard Liang, PhD ’92, MBA ’01 Ernest Mhoon, MD ’73 Doriane C. Miller, MD ’83 Daniel Rosenblum, SB ’62, MD ’66 Christian W. Sikorski, AB ’94, MD ’00 Jack Stockert, AB ’05, MBA ’10, MD ’10 Baruch Solomon Ticho, PhD ’87, MD ’88 William Weese, MD ’69 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, MD ’59, SM ’59 Russ Zajtchuk, SB ’60, MD ’63


Faculty Emeritus

John Fennessy, MB, BCh

most thoughtful and a member of the prestigious Fleischner Society, an international, multidisciplinary medical society for thoracic radiology. Fennessy was born in Ireland and completed his medical degree at the University of Dublin in 1958. The following year, he moved to the U.S. to work as an intern at Mercy Hospital in Chicago. He came to the University of Chicago as a resident in 1960 and was elected chief resident in his final year, followed by two years on staff as an instructor. In 1965, he joined the faculty as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1968 and professor in 1974. That year he was named chairman of radiology, a position he held for 10 years. In 1982, Fennessy led the team that designed the department’s clinical facility in Mitchell Hospital. He won many honors for his research, teaching and service to the field. He was elected first vice president of the Radiological Society of North America in 1987. He was invited to speak as a visiting professor at universities across the U.S. as well as in Canada, England, Ireland, Qatar and Taiwan. Fennessy is survived by his wife of 55 years, Ann Mary Ursula; two siblings in Ireland, Nora Stapleton and Cianan Fennessy; and six children: Deirdre Ann, Conor Dermott, Sean Donal, Rona Meabdh, Niall Patrick and Ruairi Brendan. One daughter, Emer Moira, died last year. Fennessy and his wife have five grandchildren and numerous nephews and nieces.

people I’ve ever met. He was generous with his time, down to earth, funny in a

In Memoriam

J

ohn Fennessy, MB, BCh, a pioneer in the field of chest radiology, died January 3 from complications following cardiac surgery in November 2015. He was 82. A professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Radiology at the University of Chicago, Fennessy was known by colleagues as the final authority on anything involving radiologic examination of the chest or abdomen and the person other physicians turned to for interpretation of subtle diagnostic details on X-rays. Those who trained with Fennessy also recalled his patience, kindness, distinctive sense of humor and genuine respect for medical students and residents. He won the McClintock Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1969 and was selected nearly 30 times as a favorite faculty member by the graduating medical students. One of Fennessy’s first papers, published in 1966, expanded on a technique developed in Japan in which radiologists inserted a catheter into the lung to obtain tissue from lesions at the periphery of the bronchial tree. Fennessy’s innovative adaptation, known as the bronchial brush, enabled physicians to acquire better samples from hard-to-reach areas of the lungs, without the need for an incision. His technique was widely disseminated in the United States and abroad. He also was a founding member of the Society of Thoracic Radiology

“He was one of the

kind way and an unbelievably great radiologist. On a tough case, we all wanted his input.” John P. Kress, MD Professor of Medicine

Faculty

Richard L. Landau, MD

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or more than half a century, Richard L. Landau, MD, performed pathbreaking research into the effects of human hormones and treatment of hormonerelated diseases while building a world-renowned endocrinology program at the University of Chicago. He died November 3, 2015, at age 99. Widely known for his fundamental work on the effects of hormones on health and disease, Landau was an important figure in the development of modern endocrinology, and his work led to drugs that are still used today to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. But he will be best remembered for building a nascent endocrinology program into one of the world’s best by recruiting young, talented physician-scientists, serving as their benevolent but demanding mentor and helping them establish themselves as national leaders in the field. Landau received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, where he also got his first taste of medical research. After his graduation in 1940, he came to the University of Chicago for his residency. He began working in the laboratory of endocrine specialist Allan Kenyon, who demonstrated the connections between testosterone and muscle growth. Landau served as a U.S. Army physician during World War II, and upon his discharge with the rank of captain in 1946 he returned to the University as an instructor in medicine. He was promoted to

uchospitals.edu/midway

“He was a towering intellect, famously assistant professor in 1948, associate professor in 1952 and professor in 1959. He was named program director of the University’s Clinical Research Center in 1961 and associate chairman of medicine in 1962. In 1966, he officially became chief of the endocrinology section. Concerned about the ethical issues posed by clinical research, Landau also was appointed as the first chairman of the medical center’s Institutional Review Board — the group that monitors all research involving human subjects — a position he held for many years. Landau published more than 90 papers and served as a member of the editorial board at the Journal of the American Medical Association. He also served as editor of Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, a journal published by the University of Chicago Press and managed for 28 years by his wife, Claire. (It is now based at Johns Hopkins University). In 1985, he was awarded the Gold Key Award for outstanding and loyal service to the University. He retired in 1987, but he continued to meet weekly with his colleagues in the endocrine section well into his 90s, until his health began failing. Landau’s wife, Claire, died in 2002. Two sons, Thomas and James, also preceded him in death. He is survived by two daughters, Susan Axelrod (and her husband, David) and Kay Fricke (and her husband, Karl); five grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter. A memorial service was held April 25 in Bond Chapel.

irascible, an exacting teacher, a rigorous scientist and a man of impeccable ethics. He was incredibly dedicated to the University, to medical research and the care of patients. And no one loved a good argument more or tolerated pretension or phoniness less.” David Axelrod, AB’76 Director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and Landau’s son-in-law

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Adam Brown, a graduate student in computational neuroscience, made this striking image by holding his smartphone camera to the eyepiece of a laboratory microscope. The image won a national bioart competition and was featured in a blog post by National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD. What is it? Find out on page 31.

Medicine on the Midway - Spring 2016  

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