Health Sciences Newsroom

Stay up to date with news about Loyola University Chicago's Health Science Campus.

Parkinson Welcomes Students and Faculty at Lakeshore Campus Picnic 

Loyola’s new School of Public Health and Health Sciences kicked-off its first year at Lakeshore Campus yesterday with a special Welcome Picnic for students and faculty.  While the weather forced the picnic to move indoors, more than 75 faculty, staff, and students gathered to celebrate, hear remarks from Interim Dean Dr. Kathy Bobay as well as remarks from Loyola University Chicago President Dr. Jo Ann Rooney and Dr. Margaret Callahan, Interim Provost and Chief Academic Officer and Senior Vice President, Strategy and Innovation.  The new Parkinson school has more than 465 students studying at all three Chicago area campuses.  Attendees also had an opportunity to participate in a ceremony where they selected a stone, made a wish, and placed it in a wishing bowl, which will be displayed at the new school. View photos from the event.

NIH Awards R01 Grant to Parkinson Professor 

Lara Dugas, PhD, NIH R01 Grant

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded Lara Dugas, PhD, MPH, an RO1 grant to fund her project, “METS-Sleep: Sleep timing, gut microbiota and cardiometabolic risk across the epidemiological transition.” Dugas received the funding in August 2019 for the new project, which builds on her current NIH study exploring gut microbiota and adiposity in five black international populations from Ghana, South Africa, Jamaica, Seychelles, and the U.S. Dugas is an Associate Professor in the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health.

Dugas received her doctorate in Exercise Physiology from the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 2004. She joined Loyola University Chicago in 2007 as a research associate. During that time, Dugas developed her interest in understanding how novel factors contribute to obesity and type 2 diabetes risk, to help improve health outcomes, particularly for minority, unstudied populations. Dugas received her MS in Clinical Research Methods (2011) and her MPH in Epidemiology (2013) from Loyola. She has trained more than 50 graduate and medical students during her tenure at Loyola.

In 2016, Dugas was named Stritch School of Medicine Junior Scientist of the Year and that same year became a Fellow of The Obesity Society, the leading professional society focused on obesity science, treatment, and prevention. In addition, she is the Division Director for Public Health Sciences at Loyola’s Cardiovascular Research Institute. Dugas is a founding member of Loyola’s Sports Medicine Epidemiology Research Group, which has received national and international attention for establishing guidelines for the prevention of injuries among children and adolescents who specialize in athletics at a young age.

Research and Publications

Qunfeng Dong, PhD, Xiang Gao, PhD, MS, Huaiying Lin, MS, for their article, “Characterization of Proximal Small Intestinal Microbiota in Patients with Suspected Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth: A Cross-Sectional Study,” published in Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology

Eric Marcotte, MD, FACS, FASMBS, and Bipan Chand, MD, FACS, FASGE, FASMBS, for their article on the “Effects of intraoperative leak testing on postoperative leak-related outcomes after primary bariatric surgery: an analysis of the MBSAQIP,” published in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.

Katherine Dux, DPM, for her article, “Implantable Materials Update,” published in the Clinics of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery

Matthew Harkenrider, MD, for his study, “A proposal for a new classification of "unfavorable risk criteria" in patients with stage I endometrial cancer,” published in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer.

Alan J. Wolfe, PhD, Elizabeth Mueller, MD, FACS, MS, and Microbiology and Immunology graduate students Travis Price, Evann Hilt, and Krystal Thomas-White for their article, “The urobiome of content adult women: a cross-sectional study,” published in the BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Physicians from the Department of Emergency Medicine and the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health collaborated with a UIC researcher to publish a report, “Examining the Effect of the Affordable Care Act on Two Illinois Emergency Departments,” in the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine.
Congratulations to Nancy Zeleznik-Le, PhD, and Charles Hemenway, MD, PhD, Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, for receiving a five-year NIH grant from the National Cancer Institute for their work: “AF9 (MLLT3) function in leukemia and normal hematopoiesis.”
Eugene Suh, MD, Charles Hemenway, MD, and Casey Mehrhoff, DO, for their paper, “Emergency of a Ph-negative Clone in a Child with Ph+ ALL,” published in the Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.
Kayhan Parsi, JD, PhD, for his article, “Why Dax’s Case Still Matters,” published in the American Journal of Bioethics.
Elizabeth Mueller, MD, FACS, MS, for her article, “Efficacy and Safety of Combination Pharmacotherapy for Patients with Overactive Bladder: A Rapid Evidence Assessment,” published in European Urology.
Andrew Golz, MD, and Pietro Tonino, MD, FAAOS, for their article “A Biomechanical Analysis of Tibial Fixation Methods in Hamstring-Graft Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction,” published in the Iowa Orthopedic Journal.
Michael Zilliox, PhD, for his article, “Pro-Survival Lipid Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Metabolically Programs T Cells to Limit Anti-tumor Activity,” published in Cell Reports.

PhD candidate Sharon Giarrizzo-Wilson, who received a grant from the Competency & Credentialing Institute to support her dissertation, “Identifying Transfer of Care Gaps: Electronic Health Record Capture of Handoff Communications.”


Parkinson School Kicks-Off with Welcome Picnic 

More than 50 Parkinson School students, faculty, and staff, along with Interim Dean Kathy Bobay, President Jo Ann Rooney, and Dr. Margaret Callahan, gathered on a beautiful August afternoon to celebrate the start of classes in the new school.

Loyola University Chicago Board of Trustees Chair Bob Parkinson and his wife Betty, both proud and generous Loyola alums, were on hand to celebrate.

The Parkinsons gave a $20 million gift to launch the new school that has a total of 467 students (269 undergraduate and 198 graduate) in its inaugural class, across the Health Sciences and Lakeshore campuses.

At the picnic, students were invited to drop a stone in a wishing bowl to symbolize the passion and desire that’s shaped the foundation of the Parkinson School. View photos from the picnic.

Vice President and Associate Provost John Hardt, PhD, offered this blessing at the picnic.

For our blessing today, I want to bring together two themes that are pertinent to the moment we are entering as we launch a new school: stone and desire. 

In a little while, I’m going to invite those of you who are interested among us to come forward and take a river rock from the pile you see to my side and place it in the bowl.  The stone you take is meant to represent for you a silent desire for the Parkinson School--and your place in it(!)--as schools without students, staff, and faculty are, in fact, not schools at all but only structures awaiting a use, an activity--and a telos.    

Desires are at the heart of our tradition as a Jesuit institution.  Ignatius of Loyola held to the idea that our deepest desires, sometimes subconsciously avoided by us for a range of reasons in our lives, are the door to the sacred in our lives.  For Ignatius of Loyola, under whose name the Parkinson School lives, our desires are God’s way of communicating with us most deeply and honestly.  

To start us off, I’d like to read a brief section of the 5th chapter of Joshua from the Hebrew scriptures.  The scene we are going to enter here is that of the Israelites being led by Joshua in the wake of Moses’s death, crossing the Jordan river into the land of Canaan upon God’s command to go there--and his promise to protect them.   

As the Ark of the Covenant is carried through the river, the waters stop flowing in the Jordan.  A dry path is made for all of the Israelites to passage through.  To commemorate the bedrock fidelity of God’s promise and covenant with his people, Joshua asked 12 members, representative of the 12 tribes of Israel, to wrench free from the now dry riverbed a large stone and carry it to a common pile as a memorial to God’s faithfulness in that momentous occasion. 

Stone as a medium of nature communicates to us solidity, strength, permanence, faithful presence.  This is why we carve into them the names of loved ones, shape them into works of beauty, and build with them structures meant for work, discovery, learning. 

Today, we will ask stone to carry the weight and significance of our desires as we bless the birth of the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health.  The stones in which you weight significance will be housed in the Parkinson School. They will be displayed so that when future generations may ask of us still present, “What do these stones mean?” (5:21), we will have an answer that communicates the passion and desire that have shaped the foundation of our school. 

At this time, I’d invite members of our Parkinson School community to come forward if you’d like, (1) take one of these rocks as a symbolic representation of your desire and hope for the school and your place in it; (2) place it in the bowl; (3) and then return to your seat. 

Good and gracious God may the weight of this bowl filled with our hopes, desires, and prayers for this school serve as an anchor and cornerstone for our common work for the Greater Glory of God.  Amen. 

Homeboy Industries Approach Could Come to Maywood

In April 2019, Father Greg Boyle visited Loyola University Chicago's Health Sciences Campus to talk about his work with Homeboy Industries, a Los Angeles-based organization he founded.  Four months later, a group of Maywood representatives, Health Sciences faculty and staff, and LUHS, attended a Global Homeboy Network training at Homeboy Industries. This group seeks to apply approaches and “lessons learned” to address issues and promote community health.

Participants included:

  • Lucia Garcia, Center for Community and Global Health, SSOM
  • Amy Luke, PhD, Professor, Director of Research for the Center for Community and Global Health, Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health
  • Briana Lemon, Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health
  • Lena Hatchett, PhD,  Director, Community and University Partnerships, Co-Founder, Proviso Partners for Health, Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Healthcare Leadership
  • Michael Hayes, Chaplain, Spiritual Care and Education, LUHS
  • Chris Epps, Windy City Harvest and PP4H
  • Nathaniel Booker, Trustee, Village of Maywood
  • Veronica Ojeda, Maywood Resident and Maywood Fine Arts volunteer
  • Chris Parker, VP Community Banking, Wintrust

Health Systems Science Course Director Opportunity

The Stritch School of Medicine Central Curricular Authority (CCA) seeks applications from faculty interested in serving as the Director of a new course entitled “Health System Science.”  The Course Director will be responsible for implementing and assessing the course,  in collaboration with the SSOM Health Systems Science Course Advisory Board and the CCA, for Fall 2020.   

Interested faculty with practical experience in curriculum development in the proposed competency domains are encouraged to apply by submitting a) their curriculum vitae and b) a statement outlining their qualifications for serving as Director, vision for the Health Systems Science curriculum, and interest in undergraduate medical education. 

Read the outline of Course Director responsibilities.  Submit your application to CCA Chair Theresa Kristopaitis, MD., before September 20th 

St. Ignatius Feast Day

Every July, we honor the Feast Day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola by reaching out in service to our community partners. This is an ideal opportunity for Loyola University Chicago employees to put our mission into action. Please join us in service to and with others.

Wednesday July 31

8 am Mass
Health Sciences Campus
Gathering Room, room 250, SSOM

10 am Mass
Health Sciences Campus
Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Lawn under the tent


Congratulations to students and faculty who have recently received grants, awards, and accolades. Learn more about their accomplishments:

Raiza Bonomo, PhD student from Cell and Molecular Physiology Track, recipient of the Peter J. Dyck award from the International Diabetes Neuropathy Consortium at the 2019 international Peripheral Nerve Society meeting in Genoa, Italy. She received the award for best research for junior researchers (40 years and younger) presenting abstracts. Her research presentation was "Gut Microbiome and its Potential Role in Obesity-Induced Allodynia" and Raiza works in Dr. Viginie Mansuy-Aubert’s lab.

Second year Stritch student Linda Nguyen, who published an article about the pressures of learning as a physician-in-training in 

Stritch student Liz Southworth, who was appointed Vice Chair of the AMA’s Committee on Medical Education in the Medical Student Section.

Dr. Oguz Akbilgic (Department of Health Informatics and Data Science) and Dr. Karen Saban, PhD, RN, APRN, CNRN, FAHA, FAAN, Associate Dean of Research, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, for a grant from the Center for Health Outcomes and Informatics Research (CHOIR) for their study, “Predictors of Ischemic Stroke Outcomes.”  The study’s purpose:  examine key predictors, including fever, glucose levels, swallowing impairment, and cardiac rhythm of poor stroke outcomes and describe how these predictors are managed during acute hospitalization. An outstanding interdisciplinary team of Loyola nurses (Paula De La Pena and Teresa Rasmussen), a neurologist (Dr. Rick Gill), a pharmacist (Dr. Elisabeth Donahey), Niehoff faculty (Dr. Kathy Bobay) and Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health faculty (Ibrahim Karabayir).  In addition, Dr. Sandy Middleton, a lead stroke outcome researcher from Australian Catholic University, will be a co-investigator for the study, allowing us to benchmark findings with Dr. Middleton’s data that has been collected throughout Australia and Europe. The development of this study is the result of a research collaboration between the Niehoff School of Nursing and Australian Catholic University. 

2019 Wolf and Kettle Teacher Award

The Wolf and Kettle are symbols from the family shield of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and appear on the Loyola logo. While these symbols represent the generosity of the Loyola family, the Wolf and Kettle Teacher Award represents the generosity of our clinical teachers, who contribute to the development of future physicians. 

*List coming soon!

Read recent articles published by our researchers in The New England Journal of Medicine

With the highest impact factor of all medical journals, an article published in The New England Journal of Medicine represents a very prestigious accomplishment for clinical researchers and is usually reserved for pivotal research. Below is a small sample of articles, summarizing collaborative research from our very own clinician scientists. Each article represents potential changes in the standard of care for the treatment of cancer patients:

Adjuvant Chemotherapy plus Radiation for Locally Advanced Endometrial Cancer.
Matei D, Filiaci V, Randall ME, Mutch D, Steinhoff MM, DiSilvestro PA, Moxley KM, Kim YM, Powell MA, O'Malley DM, Spirtos NM, Small W Jr, Tewari KS, Richards WE, Nakayama J, Matulonis UA, Huang HQ, Miller DS.
N Engl J Med. 2019 Jun 13;380(24):2317-2326.

Clinical and Genomic Risk to Guide the Use of Adjuvant Therapy for Breast Cancer.
Sparano JA, Gray RJ, Ravdin PM, Makower DF, Pritchard KI, Albain KS, Hayes DF, Geyer CE Jr, Dees EC, Goetz MP, Olson JA Jr, Lively T, Badve SS, Saphner TJ, Wagner LI, Whelan TJ, Ellis MJ, Paik S, Wood WC, Keane MM, Gomez Moreno HL, Reddy PS, Goggins TF, Mayer IA, Brufsky AM, Toppmeyer DL, Kaklamani VG, Berenberg JL, Abrams J, Sledge GW Jr.
N Engl J Med. 2019 Jun 20;380(25):2395-2405.

Overall Survival with Fulvestrant plus Anastrozole in Metastatic Breast Cancer.
Mehta RS, Barlow WE, Albain KS, Vandenberg TA, Dakhil SR, Tirumali NR, Lew DL, Hayes DF, Gralow JR, Linden HH, Livingston RB, Hortobagyi GN.
N Engl J Med. 2019 Mar 28;380(13):1226-1234.

Ibrutinib Regimens versus Chemoimmunotherapy in Older Patients with Untreated CLL.
Woyach JA, Ruppert AS, Heerema NA, Zhao W, Booth AM, Ding W, Bartlett NL, Brander DM, Barr PM, Rogers KA, Parikh SA, Coutre S, Hurria A, Brown JR, Lozanski G, Blachly JS, Ozer HG, Major-Elechi B, Fruth B, Nattam S, Larson RA, Erba H, Litzow M, Owen C, Kuzma C, Abramson JS, Little RF, Smith SE, Stone RM, Mandrekar SJ, Byrd JC.
N Engl J Med. 2018 Dec 27;379(26):2517-2528.

Adjuvant Chemotherapy Guided by a 21-Gene Expression Assay in Breast Cancer.
Sparano JA, Gray RJ, Makower DF, Pritchard KI, Albain KS, Hayes DF, Geyer CE Jr, Dees EC, Goetz MP, Olson JA Jr, Lively T, Badve SS, Saphner TJ, Wagner LI, Whelan TJ, Ellis MJ, Paik S, Wood WC, Ravdin PM, Keane MM, Gomez Moreno HL, Reddy PS, Goggins TF, Mayer IA, Brufsky AM, Toppmeyer DL, Kaklamani VG, Berenberg JL, Abrams J, Sledge GW Jr.
N Engl J Med. 2018 Jul 12;379(2):111-121.

Axicabtagene Ciloleucel CAR T-Cell Therapy in Refractory Large B-Cell Lymphoma.
Neelapu SS, Locke FL, Bartlett NL, Lekakis LJ, Miklos DB, Jacobson CA, Braunschweig I, Oluwole OO, Siddiqi T, Lin Y, Timmerman JM, Stiff PJ, Friedberg JW, Flinn IW, Goy A, Hill BT, Smith MR, Deol A, Farooq U, McSweeney P, Munoz J, Avivi I, Castro JE, Westin JR, Chavez JC, Ghobadi A, Komanduri KV, Levy R, Jacobsen ED, Witzig TE, Reagan P, Bot A, Rossi J, Navale L, Jiang Y, Aycock J, Elias M, Chang D, Wiezorek J, Go WY.
N Engl J Med. 2017 Dec 28;377(26):2531-2544.

Department of Medicine Residency Graduation Awards

The recent Department of Medicine Residency Graduation and Awards Dinner recognized its trainees, including honorees Piotra Babinski (Intern of the Year), Daniel Colon Hidalgo (Resident of the Year), and Daniel Djondo (Fellow of the Year).  Other honorees include:

  • Jaclyn Keller (Harry Messmore & Walter Wood, MD Award)
  • Kevin Boblick (Robert E. Carlson MD Award for Clinical Excellence)
  • Kevin Boblick and LaBianca Wright (Medical Student Teacher of the Year Award)
  • LaWanda Urquhart (Chief Resident Award)
  • Subir Shah (Stephen Gawne Excellence in Teaching Award – Golden Apple)
  • Ejaaz Kalimullah (Stephen Gawne Excellence in Teaching Award -- Silver Apple)
  • Paul Hutchison (Stephen Gawne Excellence in Teaching Award -- Bronze Apple) 
  • Nate Derhammer, Paul Hutchison and Babu Eladasari (Paul O’Keefe Inspirational Attendings)
  • Rodney Tehrani (Chairman’s Leadership Award)


Remembering Scott Jellish, MD

Please join us as we remember the life of Scott Jellish, MD, PhD, former chair of the department of anesthesiology. A memorial service will be held in the CTRE on Wednesday, June 12, at 7 am.

Dr. Jellish was a board-certified anesthesiologist. He joined Loyola University Medical Center in 1991 as an assistant professor in the department of anesthesiology and served as chair of the department since 2000. Dr. Jellish chaired the operating room/post-anesthesia recovery committee and performance improvement project and served on a number of committees including the quality and patient safety committee of the board and anesthesia research committee.

Dr. Jellish received a doctor of medicine degree from Rush Medical College in Chicago and a PhD in biochemistry from Loyola University Chicago. He was well published with more than 150 manuscripts and abstracts in the areas of neuromonitoring and neuroprotection. He was a reviewer for numerous journals, including the Journal of Clinical Anesthesiology and Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia, Anesthesia & Analgesia, Anesthesiology, Head & Neck and the European Journal of Anaesthesiology.

Pediatrics Research Day

The Department of Pediatrics hosted its 1st Research Day on May 17. 

A total of 47 posters showcased the Department's scholarly activity for the 2018-2019 academic year. The posters included research projects, quality improvement initiatives, and case reports.  Residents, fellows, medical students, and faculty were all a part of these projects. 

Many of the posters were presented at local, regional, and national conferences, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Pediatric Academic Society (PAS), American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (ASPHO), and the Academic Pediatric Association (APA), over the past year. 

Improving Health Sciences Campus Facilities

Dear Loyola Health Sciences Community,

May 29: Construction to Begin on Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center (CBCC)

Next Wednesday, May 29, construction will begin on the roof replacement project on the north side of the CBCC.  During the next six months, there will be intermittent noise and odors resulting from this construction.

We appreciate your patience during this process as we improve our facilities.  Please keep the following safety notes in mind as you walk in/around the CBCC and nearby buildings:

  • Obey all traffic signs and follow the directions provided by flaggers
  • Be aware of pedestrian traffic pattern changes and restricted foot traffic access between the CBCC, Maguire, and CTRE buildings

If you have questions about this Health Sciences Campus improvement project, please contact Richard Wydra. Parking will not be affected.

June 30: Spring Cleaning/Recylcing

Loyola University Health System is discontinuing the use of the grey recycling/shredding bins.  Because this is a service provided Loyola University Chicago buildings on the Health Sciences Campus, as of July 1, those bins will no longer be available.  (Please note that June 30 will be the last pick up date for the bins.)

To protect the disposal of sensitive documents, please use one of the following options: Accurate Document Destruction Shredit or through the purchase of shredders. Costs for either of these options is the responsibility of each department. The Lake Shore Campus has discontinued the use of these grey bins, too.

Thank you for adhering to the safety guidelines during the CBCC roof replacement project and to ensuring that sensitive documents are disposed properly.

Craig Duetsch
Associate Provost, Finance and Administration
Health Sciences Campus

University Assisted Housing Program Seminar

Loyola’s University Assisted Housing (UAH) Program is designed to encourage home ownership near campus specific locations (Lake Shore and Water Tower campuses and the Health Sciences Campus) by assisting eligible Loyola faculty and staff with closing costs and down payments for the purchase of a home or condo as a primary residence. Employees do not have to be first time buyers to take advantage of this great benefit.

Join us July 16, 2019 in CTRE Room 152A from 12:00 to 1:00 PM for the University Housing Seminar.

Learn more about the housing program or start an online application today.

2019 Science Sisters Day

More than 70 middle school girls from Irving, Stevenson, and Roosevelt middle schools visited the CTRE for the 3rd Annual Science Sisters Day, which promotes science to 7th and 8th-graders.

“Our goal is to promote science to girls in middle school,” said Science Sisters co-Chair Anya Nikolai-Yogerst, a founding member of LUC’s Women in Science (WINS) group.

“We target this age group because it is known that a loss of interest in science typically occurs during middle school. During the day, we aim to make science fun, engaging, and creative."

The students are from schools that lack funding for science experiments on a regular basis, so the day emphasizes seven hands-on experiments to show that science can be fun. Thirty-five WINS members were on hand, helping students with experiments ranging from performing chemical reactions and extracting DNA to investigating the source of a disease outbreak. For more information on Science Sisters Day or WINS, contact:

View photos from the day.

Stritch Students meet with Trinity Health

Current and graduating Stritch students met with Trinity Health’s Vice President for Federal Public Policy and Advocacy, Tonya Wells. As an element of its mission, Trinity provided scholarships for six students in this graduating class (and nine total) who are DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) students. Thank you to the generosity of our academic medical center partner for helping to make medical education possible for these future physicians. Learn more about Stritch DACA students.

8th Annual Dr. Arti Rupani Garg Internal Medicine Resident Research and Quality Improvement Day

The winners of the 8th Annual Dr. Arti Rupani Garg Internal Medicine Resident Research and Quality Improvement Day. This event showcases residents' work in the fields of basic science, translational, and clinical research as well as quality improvement initiatives and projects. Open to any internal medicine resident, this year drew more than 40 poster submissions and more than 30 abstract entries. Learn more.

The winners of the 8th Annual Dr. Arti Rupani Garg Internal Medicine Resident Research and Quality Improvement Day. This event showcases residents' work in the fields of basic science, translational, and clinical research as well as quality improvement initiatives and projects. Open to any internal medicine resident, this year drew more than 40 poster submissions and more than 30 abstract entries.

Resident Research and Quality Improvement Poster Winners

1st Place: Benjamin Schmidt (PGY2)
PI: Dr. Steve Scaglione (Hepatology)
Project: Predictors of Alcohol Recidivism in Patients with Alcoholic Cirrhosis

2nd Place: Swetha Gogineni (PGY3)
PI: Dr. Franco Laghi (Pulmonary Critical Care)
Project: Ultrasound Assessmenet of Diaphragmatic Thickening in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

3rd Place: Christine Thomas (PGY3)
PI: Dr. Elizabeth Henry (Hematology / Oncology)
Project: Clostridioides difficile Infection Following Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

Abstract Winners:

1st Place: Leo Gozdecki (PGY3)
PI: Dr. Verghese Mathew (Cardiology)
Project: Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Outcomes at Veterans Health Administration Hospitals

2nd Place: Blaine Knox and Daniel Linden (PGY2s)
PI: Dr. Stephanie Berg (Hematology / Oncology)
Project: Immunological and Clinical Profiles of Patients Receiving Immune Checkpoint inhibitors and Investigations of Potential Biomarkers Predicting Immune-Related Adverse Events

3rd Place: Daniel Colon Hidalgo (PGY3)
PI: Dr. Megan Rech (Pharmacy)
Project: Time to Norepinephrine Initiation in Patients with Fluid-Refractory Shock

Sam J. Marzo, MD, named interim dean of the Stritch School of Medicine

Dear Health Sciences Community,

I am pleased to announce that Sam J. Marzo, MD, has been named interim dean of the Stritch School of Medicine. Dr. Marzo is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He will assume his new duties January 1, 2019 so that he will be able to have transition time with Dean Goldstein prior to his departure.

Dr. Marzo has worked at Loyola since 1997 and helped make the Otolaryngology department a nationally-renowned one, particularly when it comes to leading-edge hearing technologies. He was director of the Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC) Otolaryngology Residency Program from 2005 to 2017. He is director of the Loyola Hearing & Balance Center and a member of the Loyola Committee on Academic Rank and Tenure. He has been part of numerous national committees, including the Chicago Laryngological and Otological Society, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and The American Neurotology Society. His research interests include surgery for hearing loss and deafness, facial nerve disorders, dizziness, and more. Dr. Marzo is a Stritch alum who also completed his residency at LUMC. Given Dr. Marzo’s extensive clinical leadership experience and service to Loyola, I am confident he will be a strong interim leader for Stritch.

During this transition period, the School of Medicine will also be supported by Dr. Gregory Gruener, vice dean of education. Dr. Gruener is a strong, longtime leader of the academic medical programs and will continue to ensure Stritch students receive the best possible medical education and are supported along the way.

We also look forward to the arrival of Meharvan (Sonny) Singh, PhD, as vice dean of research on February 15, 2019. Dr. Singh comes to Loyola from the University of North Texas, where he is dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and a professor of pharmacology and neuroscience. As the research division continues to grow and evolve, we look forward to Dr. Singh’s leadership in further strengthening and building research endeavors within the medical school.

In the new year, we will be selecting a search committee and search firm to identify and assess candidates for the permanent dean successor. We will follow university policy on the selection of a new dean for the school. I will continue to keep you updated as that search progresses.

Dr. Steve Goldstein will work with Dr. Marzo to assure a smooth transition. Please join me in thanking Dr. Goldstein for his leadership and contributions to the Stritch School of Medicine.

As always, please feel free to reach out directly if you have any questions.


Margaret Faut Callahan, CRNA, PhD, FNAP, FAAN
Interim Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Provost, Health Sciences Division

The Pitch‌

“The Pitch” is sponsored by the SSOM Business in Medicine special interest group of students.  It is an idea challenge and students (on their own) design an implementable/implemented solution that improves Patient care at Loyola, Eases administrative burdens of physicians, or Improves the medical student experience at SSOM.  The event occurred on October 23rd here at Stritch.

Each group has 5-minutes  to present their proposal and a panel of judges can ask questions and score each presentation on multiple areas.  The judges were Drs. Michael Dauzvardis, Gregory Gruener, Anuradha Khanna and Dane Salazar. The winner receives a $500 prize to support their work or other needs.

  • Linda Nguyen & Brice Jones: Implementing an ER Scribe Program to Reduce Patient ER Wait Times
  • Deena Kishawi & Elizabeth Southworth: Implementing a Financial Literacy Month
  • Michael Bernazzini: Utilizing medical videos to enhance patient education and care
  • Hye-Jin Yun: “Stritch Skimm” - a weekly summary of student events, email notifications, schedules/exams  and social/student life events
  • (the winners) Justine Ly & Megan Wu: Using predictive analytics to calculate "no show" scores for patients
  • Alyssa Varsanik, Matt Cheung, Kyle Wieschaus, Jamie Neelon, and Joe Nye: Developing a health & fitness app that better connects patients and trainers focusing on wellness and health support.

Dane Salazar, MD, Serves as Medical Guardian for Honor Flight Chicago

Orthopaedic surgeon Dane Salazar, MD, served as the medical guardian for the 87th Honor Flight Chicago on August 8, which brought 90 veterans (eight World War II and 82 Korean War) to Washington, D.C. and back in one day. One of Dr. Salazar’s patients introduced him to the organization.

The contingent was greeted at the WWII Memorial by Gen. Colin Powell and the USMC Silent Drill Team performed. Dr. Salazar’s experience was enriched by being partnered with two Korean War veterans, Carl of Tinley Park and Bill of Orland Park (pictured), who have been friends for 70 years.

“It was an exceptionally rewarding experience as an American, but even more powerful because of my own military experience,” said Dr. Salazar, a former Air Force physician.

Glyn R. Morgan, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS, named director of the division of intra-abdominal transplant surgery

We are pleased to announce that Glyn R. Morgan, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS, has been named professor in the department of surgery of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and director of the division of intra-abdominal transplant surgery at Loyola University Medical Center. Dr. Morgan starts Monday, August 20.

Prior to joining Loyola Medicine, Dr. Morgan was director of liver transplantation at the NYU Langone Transplant Institute in New York City. He co-founded the NYU living donor liver transplant program and has performed nearly 700 liver transplants – including more than 100 living donor liver transplants – and more than 200 kidney transplants. 

At Loyola, Dr. Morgan plans to recruit new faculty, enhance clinical excellence and outcomes, increase the volume of kidney, liver and pancreas transplants, create and grow a living donor liver program, advance the educational profile of the division for medical students and residents, establish an American Society of Transplant Surgeons fellowship program and elevate clinical and translational research.

Dr. Morgan earned his MD and MSc degrees from the University of Toronto. He also completed his residency in surgery at the University of Toronto. He completed a fellowship in pediatric liver transplantation at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and an ASTS-accredited transplant surgery fellowship in liver transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. 

Collaboration with the Chicago Department of Public Health

Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division is working in collaboration with the Chicago Dept. of Public Health (CDPH) and Chicago’s other Clinical & Translational Science Institutes to facilitate research and evaluation partnerships to address public health priority areas identified in Healthy Chicago 2.0, the strategic plan for the city’s public health system. Learn more.

Attached are two requests from the CDPH’s Office of Violence Prevention & Behavioral Health for evaluation assistance with two initiatives related to Reducing Violence, one of the Healthy Chicago 2.0 priority areas. They are interested in connecting with possible evaluation/research partners to address these evaluation issues.

If you are interested in learning more or connecting with the Office, please complete the attached form and return it to: Rachelle Paul-Brutus, Coordinator of Research & Evaluation, Chicago Department of Public Health at

Please see the forms and return to CDPH if interested:

Loyola Reverified as Level 1 Trauma Center

Loyola has been reverified by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma as a Level 1 Trauma Center. The verification is for three years.

Loyola is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in the state of Illinois to hold this verification by the ACS Committee on Trauma.
The ACS verification, review and consultation program helps hospitals evaluate and improve trauma care. It provides an objective, external review of a trauma center’s resources and performance. A team of trauma experts completes an on-site review of the hospital. The team assesses relevant features of the program, including commitment, readiness, resources, policies, patient care and performance improvement.

A Level 1 trauma center is a comprehensive regional resource that serves as a tertiary care facility central to the trauma system. A Level 1 center is capable of providing total care for every aspect of injury – from prevention through rehabilitation.

Level 1 trauma care requires sustained resources and cooperation among departments, and a broad and dedicated multidisciplinary team. Our successful reverification is evidence of Loyola’s extensive and continuing commitment to trauma care. Congratulations to Richard Gonzalez, MD, FACS, division director of trauma, surgical critical care and burns, Melissa Herlihy, MSN, RN, CCRN, TNS, trauma program manager, and all the dedicated trauma clinicians on this great accomplishment.

Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs Accreditation

Congratulations to the Office of Research Services on receiving Full Accreditation for its Human Research Protection Program.   Loyola was commended for its commitment to protecting the rights and welfare of research participants.  The AAHRPP Site Visitors applauded the research teams for their dedication to the protection of human subjects and admired the IRB Staff for having a centralized program where researchers can find assistance. Thanks to Cynthia Tom-Klebba, Angela Carrico and Linda Millbrandt for all their hard work during this process. 

Department of Radiology and Clinical Research Office wins Walter E. Berdon Award

An announcement was made at the May 2018 Society for Pediatric Radiology meeting that a SSOM research group from the Department of Radiology and Clinical Research Office won the Walter E. Berdon Award from the Society for Pediatric Radiology for the best Clinical Research paper submitted to the journal of Pediatric Radiology in the year preceding the meeting.

Best Clinical Paper (Walter Berdon Award) 2017:

Jennifer E. Lim-Dunham, MD, FACR, Iclal Erdem Toslak, MD, Khalid Alsabban, MD, Amany Aziz, MD, Brendan Martin, PhD, Gokcan Okur, MD, Katherine C. Longo, MD. Ultrasound risk stratification for malignancy using the 2015 American Thyroid Association Management Guidelines for Children with Thyroid Nodules and Differentiated Thyroid Cancer.  Pediatr Radiol  2017, 47: 429-436.  http://doi:10.1007/s00247-017-3780-6.

Institutional Learning Health Systems K12 - call for Scholar LOIs

We would like to inform you of a potential mentored career development training opportunity for faculty and/or healthcare professionals led by Drs. Abel Kho and Dave Cella.  If funded, a commitment of 75% time dedicated toward the K by each scholar is required by AHRQ under the terms of this award. Salary (up to $90,000 annually) and an annual research stipend are included. We anticipate having four positions to fill in this institutional K12 scholar program, with a potential start date of September 1st, 2018 and running two years. Letters of intent are due July 16th, 2018.

Download more details.

New IACUC submission forms and portal systam

The IACUC is pleased to announce our new submission system including revised forms and a new portal submission system. The new system will go LIVE on June 27th. We will be holding two training sessions for faculty and staff to introduce the new system.

  • June 21st   3:30 – 4:30 pm  SSOM  Room 160
  • June 28th   9:30 - 10:30 am SSOM Room 190 (Tobin Hall)

Any investigators with submissions in progress using the current online forms are urged to submit their applications before the June 26th deadline. After June 26th, the current online forms will no longer be accepted. Investigators should strongly consider submitting any applications using the current online forms in advance (prior to June 19th) and requesting a pre-review through Tony Valero, IACUC Director. Pre-review identifies common errors in ACORP submissions, and investigators will have the opportunity to correct their submissions prior the June 26th deadline. Any submissions requiring corrections after the deadline will need to be transferred to the new forms and submitted using the new system. 

Please contact Tony Valero if you have any questions (x64288,

Emerging Leader Institute scholarship

Kate Nowakowski (M3) and Tiffany Ku (M1), each received the very competetive 2018 Emerging Leader Institute scholarship through the AAFP! This is an incredible opportunity for networking and expanding leadership skills within the family medicine specialty. Kate and Tiffany are the first Stritch School of Medicine student to receive this prestigious award given to only 30 selected residents and students annually.

Health Sciences Division Weekend of Excellence Winners

The Weekend of Excellence Ceremony took place April 19-22, 2018. Students and organizations were recognized for outstanding work performed throughout the school year. The winners representing the Health Sciences Division include:

  • Anya Nikolai and Abigail Cannon with Women in Science for Outstanding Organization Award
  • Sahand Ghodrati won for Outstanding Student Leader 
  • The Health Professionals Recruitment and Exposure Program (HPREP) won for Outstanding Program of the Year
  • Victoria Nguyen - Damen Award Recipient

See all of the award winners from the Weekend of Excellence.

Alpha Omega Alpha 

Michael Murphy (MD ‘19), was awarded the Alpha Omega Alpha Carolyn L Kuckein Student Research Fellowship for 2018-19 for the “Patient compliance of weight bearing status-prospective observational study.”