The Carle Illinois College of Medicine has announced nearly 100 inaugural faculty members. The list includes prominent researchers, administrators and medical professionals with a broad range of expertise invaluable to building the world’s first engineering-based college of medicine.
Fifteen of the inaugural faculty members come from departments in the College of LAS, including two who are serving as associate deans and one serving as an interim director to help lay the foundation for the new college. More are expected to have appointments with the new college soon.
“The goal of our new college of medicine is to help re-engineer the entire health care process alongside medical education,” said Dr. King Li, the dean of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. “This is a place where researchers from across specialties are brought together to address grand challenges, and that is a very special atmosphere.”
The college is a partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Carle Health System, based in Urbana. The college will welcome its first class of 32 students in 2018.
“To have a world-class university with diverse expertise form a partnership with a top-notch health system that is vertically integrated, with the joint ambition to revolutionize health care delivery – this is the opportunity of a lifetime,” Li said.
Feng Sheng Hu, the Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of LAS, said there are many new possibilities presented by having LAS faculty with appointments in the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.
“This is an exciting partnership,” Hu said. “It expands the opportunity for new ideas, cross-campus faculty collaboration, and interdisciplinary research that will benefit not only the College of LAS, but the entire university.”
Susan Martinis, professor and head of the Department of Biochemistry, is serving as interim director of biomedical science and engineering of the new college. She emphasized that the LAS faculty appointed in the new college will still retain their primary appointments in the College of LAS. The inter-college collaboration is anticipated to result in increased funding for faculty research from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health.
She expects that additional research stemming from the new college will also benefit students in LAS, as faculty embed undergraduate and graduate students in research projects. Students will also benefit from the mentorship and collaboration of faculty who work with medical professionals in the Carle Health System, Martinis added.
“I think faculty will bring that medically-based knowledge base back to our student population,” Martinis said. “I think it can help give an advantage to our students who are interested in medical school.”
The inaugural faculty includes members representing eight colleges and schools across the Urbana campus, including the school of social work and the colleges of agricultural, consumer and environmental sciences; applied health sciences; education; engineering; liberal arts and sciences; media and veterinary medicine. The Illinois faculty will found the novel new curriculum and teach alongside medical professionals from Carle Health System.
A full list is available at go.illinois.edu/First100MedFaculty. Faculty from the College of LAS include:
- John Polk, anthropology
- Susan Martinis, biochemistry
- James Morrissey, biochemistry
- Stephanie Ceman, cell and developmental biology
- Jie Chen, cell and developmental biology
- Hyun Joon Kong, chemical and biomolecular engineering
- Martin Burke, chemistry
- Gene Robinson, entomology
- Joanna Shisler, microbiology
- James Slauch, microbiology
- Brenda Wilson, microbiology
- Derek Wildman, molecular and integrative physiology
- Neal Cohen, psychology
- Ruoqing Zhu, statistics
- Dolores Albarracin, psychology (split tenure with the College of Business)
The unique curriculum combines clinical medicine and biosciences with engineering and technology principles, offering day one immersion in clinical settings and an emphasis on problem-solving approaches and creativity.
Under Li’s ongoing leadership, an interim team of vice and associate deans will guide the college through its formation and lay its foundation. The team includes:
Interim vice dean: Rashid Bashir, a professor and head of bioengineering.
Interim associate dean of research: Dr. Martin D. Burke, a professor of chemistry.
Interim director of biomedical science and engineering: Susan Martinis, a professor and head of biochemistry.
Interim director of clinical science and interim associate dean for clinical affairs: Dr. Blair Rowitz, a bariatric surgeon at Carle Foundation Hospital.
Interim associate dean for academic affairs: James Slauch, a professor of microbiology and director of the University of Illinois College of Medicine medical scholars program in Urbana.
“With these faculty and this leadership team, we are uniquely poised to shape the future of health care delivery, technology and medical education,” Li said.