University Press Releases




May 14, 2012

Contact:Lee Concha
Executive Director of Marketing and Communications

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

847-578-8848

lee.concha@rosalindfranklin.edu

LeadAmerica and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science Collaborate to ProvideOne Chicago High School Student with a "Passion for Science" an Extraordinary Opportunity
High School Students Find Out If They’re Really Cut Out For Medicine

CHICAGO, IL (May 7, 2012) — LeadAmerica and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) will extend their partnership into its sixth year to provide summer learning opportunities for middle and high school students interested in science, medicine, and healthcare. LeadAmerica has announced that it will award a full-tuition program scholarship to Philip Gianfortune, a high school freshman from Chicago, Illinois so he can participate in this summer program July 9-16.

The multi-day LeadAmerica Medicine and Healthcare Conference draws high-achieving high school students from around the nation and the $2,349RFUMS scholarship is highly coveted. “Philip Gianfortune’s story is a particularly compelling one. This is an amazing student with a deep interest in mathematics, captain of his floor hockey team, a student ambassador and participates as a Big Buddy in the Big Buddy Program — and that’s the short list of his accomplishments,” explains LeadAmerica’s Director of Academics, Dr. Jan Sikorsky. “He’s really interested in giving back and helping people, which is why he stood out and was ultimately selected for this year’s scholarship.”

The college-accredited, career-focused high school conferences are offered for five to 10 days and are held throughout the summer at leading colleges and universities across the United States, including Stanford, Columbia, DePaul, Fordham and University of California, Berkeley. Since 2006, RFUMS, located in North Chicago, Illinois, has been an early partner to LeadAmerica. University faculty established the overall structure, curriculum and simulation design that is currently used by eight LeadAmerica Medicine and Healthcare Conferences held nationally.

“It’s critical that we provide opportunities for students with the aptitude and the desire to go into scientific research or a health profession. Getting them into pipeline programs as early as possible gives everyone in the educational and experiential process the opportunity to prepare students for these rigorous careers. What can be learned in a textbook is one thing, but what we can teach through patient simulation and interprofessional collaboration gets them closer to real world experiences and real world outcomes,” said Jim Carlson, MS, PA-C, assistant dean for evaluation and assessment at RFUMS. Carlson also serves as director of interprofessional simulation and assistant professor in the physician assistant department.

For Philip Gianfortune, science and biology have been a focus since childhood. This is the type of outstanding student LeadAmerica Conferences were designed to nurture and support. Gianfortune is a contestant in mathematical competitions, student ambassador, junior counselor, and regular participant and leader in both school and community athletics and other programs. Most recently, he assisted an undergraduate researcher at the University of Chicago who is collecting data about the genomes of Hermetia Illucens (Black Soldier Fly). Gianfortune raised and supplied the flies for the genome sequencing.

Gianfortune is seriously considering a career in health care and shared, “This conference is going to give me a glimpse of the future and help me prepare for what lies ahead.” This is the first LeadAmerica Conference Philip Gianfortune will attend.

More than 160 high-achieving high school students from around the country are expected to participate in the popular Medicine and Healthcare Conference. Attending students will have the opportunity to work with leading health care professionals, including RFUMS’s faculty from various fields. Students will be exposed to a variety of medical and graduate level training tools.

“For high school students considering the commitment to the often grueling college courses needed to prepare for and get into medical school or other healthcare professions, the Medicine and Healthcare Conference can be a real eye-opening experience. A career in medicine is not for the meek. It takes real commitment and its rewards can be amazing,” notes Sikorsky.

While attending the conference, students will face the challenges of emergency medicine and take part in a standardized patient encounter using a simulated patient case. Participants will complete an epidemiological case study to determine the root cause of a widespread illness and develop a public service announcement to create public awareness around a public health issue that matters to them. They will attend lectures by RFUMS faculty and expert guest speakers. Where local regulations allow, LeadAmerica students will examine, handle and be briefed about various organs of the human body during a tour of a gross anatomy laboratory.

Among the highlights of the program, students work with a robotic simulator known on the RFUMS campus as Frank. “Frank can present symptoms of an illness and we can alter Frank’s heart rate, blood pressure and even how his pupils dilate.  This is highly advanced technology that our graduate and medical students work with regularly. By using technology to simulate a health crisis, such as a heart attack, our students learn to work in health care teams to assess, diagnose and treat the patient as any health care professional would. Using immersive techniques, we are able to help students understand how to make clinical decisions and learn how to ‘practice’ the art of medicine,” said Carlson.

LeadAmerica is one of the nation’s most respected youth development organizations devoted to providing acclaimed college-level academic experiences that deliver tangible improvements in college and career readiness. LeadAmerica offers a diverse curriculum, a highly engaging and rigorous academic experience with hands-on interactive workshops and simulations to immerse students in their chosen field or topic. To learn more about LeadAmerica, visit lead-america.org or contact a LeadAmerica Admissions Counselor at 1-866-394-5323. 

About LeadAmerica: LeadAmerica, one of the nation’s educational leaders in personalized experiential learning offers outstanding, high-achieving high school and middle school students the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and the experience of real college life while they explore their future path and discover what inspires them most. They partner and collaborate with some of the top colleges and universities throughout the United States to offer college immersion programs designed to better prepare these students academically and emotionally for the transition to college life and beyond. Their mission is to build a more globally competitive America with college-bound students. LeadAmerica high school conferences are college-accredited, and all curricula has been approved by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) for the eighth consecutive year. For more information, please visit www.lead-america.org or call 1-866-394-5323.

About Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science: Formed in 1912 as the Chicago Hospital-College of Medicine, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is a national leader in interprofessional medical and healthcare education, offering a doctor of medicine program through the Chicago Medical School, doctor of podiatric medicine program through the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, and  a range of degrees through its College of Health Professions, including nurse anesthesia, nutrition, physical therapy, pathologists’ assistant and physician assistant.  The University also offers advanced biomedical degrees through the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The university received pre-candidate status for its College of Pharmacy and welcomed its first class August 2011. For more information, please visit www.rosalindfranklin.edu.

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January 13, 2012
Contact: Lee Concha
Executive Director of Marketing and Communications
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
847-578-8848

lee.concha@rosalindfranklin.edu

Chicago Medical School Joins White House to Address Military and Veteran Health Needs

NORTH CHICAGO, IL – Earlier this week, the Chicago Medical School (CMS) at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) joined national leaders in healthcare, government and education in Richmond, Virginia to express support for the Joining Forces initiative announced by the White House. Joining Forces is a comprehensive national effort to mobilize all sectors of society, including healthcare, to give service members and their families opportunities and resources to succeed.

As part of this initiative, CMS joins the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) that have pledged to align their missions in education, research, and clinical care to better train future physicians to care for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), as well as sharing best practices. To date, approximately 100 medical schools across the nation have signed on to this initiative. 

In a news release issued by the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama said, “I’m inspired to see our nation’s medical schools step up to address this pressing need for our veterans and military families. By directing some of our brightest minds, our most cutting-edge research, and our finest teaching institutions toward our military families, they’re ensuring that those who have served our country receive the first-rate care that they have earned.”

CMS was one of the first medical schools to express its commitment to work with the AAMC and the Obama administration to ensure that students are trained to meet the specific needs of active service members, veterans and their families.

“We’re proud to be one of the initiative’s early adopters. Given that we are the academic arm of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, our University has a very close relationship with military families. Every day, our students and clinicians see patients with an array of needs and only through continued collaboration can we offer the best care,” said Dr. Russell Robertson, dean of the Chicago Medical School.  

An educational affiliation was established between the Captain James A. Lovell Health Care Center and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in 1974.

“As the nation’s first federal health care center -- which combines the personnel and resources from the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense -- we could not be more pleased to take another groundbreaking step with our educational partner Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science,” said Patrick L. Sullivan, Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center Director. “Our longstanding relationship and shared passion of Readying Warriors and Caring for Heroes makes this a perfect location to begin the Joining Forces initiative.”

About Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Formed in 1912 as the Chicago Hospital-College of Medicine, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is a national leader in interprofessional medical and healthcare education, offering a doctor of medicine program through the Chicago Medical School, doctor of podiatric medicine program through the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, and  a range of degrees through its College of Health Professions, including nurse anesthesia, nutrition, physical therapy, pathologists’ assistant and physician assistant.  The University also offers advanced biomedical degrees through the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The university received pre-candidate status for its College of Pharmacy and welcomed its first class August 2011.

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November 2, 2011
Contact: Lee Concha
Executive Director of Marketing and Communications
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
847-578-8848
lee.concha@rosalindfranklin.edu 

For Immediate Release:

Interprofessional Collaboration Focus of Rosalind Franklin University Seminar

NORTH CHICAGO, IL –On Oct. 15, almost 100 healthcare professionals gathered in Gurnee to attend “The Interprofessional Showcase Program: Systemic Problems and Pedal Manifestations,” a symposium sponsored by the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine and the Chicago Medical School, both part of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

The program focused on the collaborative care need of patients and the intersect of different professions in improving outcomes. Lectures were presented by a podiatric physician, rheumatologist, pharmacist, dermatologist, and nurse practitioner to emphasize the interprofessional perspective of medicine. Rosalind Franklin University faculty members included Scott Hanes, PharmD, Associate Professor and Chair of the College of Pharmacy Practice; Nancy Slone Rivera, MS, ANP-C, CWON, CFCN, Nursing Practitioner and wound care specialist at the Rosalind Franklin University Health System; and Eric Gall, MD, MACP, MACR, former Chair of Medicine at the Chicago Medical School. Other faculty included Paul Goodman, DPM, DABPS, FACFAS, Co-Director of The Foot and Ankle Treatment Center in Glenview; and Bradley Bakotic, DPM, DO, CEO and Principle Partner at Bako Pathology Services in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Course participant Dr. Philip Gianfortune commented “This is the most diverse faculty we’ve ever had at one of these programs. It was an outstanding interprofessional group of speaker who brought in their own levels of expertise that all related to the practice of podiatry. I liked it."

The Interprofessional Showcase Program offered critical continuing education credits for healthcare professionals who were interested in systemic problems and pedal manifestations. The program focused on bullous, metabolic/endocrine, papulosquamous, auto-immune, genetic diseases, and drug interactions, and also offered a biopsy techniques workshop. Student research projects were also on exhibit. This year 11 students participated in the Summer Research Fellowship Program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with projects covering a great breadth of topics. Posters highlighted at the Showcase Course included translational work looking at growth factors, bioburden, and proteomic in the healing of diabetic foot ulcers. Others students worked in the Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research’s (CLEAR) Human Performance (Gait) Lab evaluating various types of footwear and their impact upon gait and functional status, or efforts investigating motor learning in association with balance. Some students were also involved in clinic based studies on topics such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy, orthostatic hypertension, and comparative investigations of surgical procedures.

According to Stephanie Wu, DPM, MSc, Associate Dean of Research at Scholl College and the Director of CLEAR, “It’s critical that students understand the importance of research in podiatric medicine. It has to be an integrated element of the curriculum in order for them to make an impact on tomorrow’s healthcare findings.”

Scholl College will offer its next continuing education program, the Mid-Winter Seminar, on January 13-14, 2012. The Mid-Winter Seminar, now in its 34th year, is a student-sponsored program that coincides with the students’ “Dance-for-Diabetes” event at The Drake Hotel in Chicago. Proceeds of the 13-14 CE hour course will go toward student scholarships and student activities. For course information, email Ellie.Wydeven@RosalindFranklin.edu or call 847-578-8410.

About Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Formed in 1912 as the Chicago Hospital-College of Medicine, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is a national leader in interprofessional medical and healthcare education, offering a doctor of medicine program through the Chicago Medical School, doctor of podiatric medicine program through the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, and a range of degrees through its College of Health Professions, including nurse anesthesia, nutrition, physical therapy, pathologists’ assistant and physician assistant. The University also offers advanced biomedical degrees through the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The university received pre-candidate status for its College of Pharmacy and welcomed its first class August 2011.

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July 7, 2011

Contact: Lee Concha
Executive Director of Marketing and Communications
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
847-578-8848

lee.concha@rosalindfranklin.edu

Life in Discovery

Rosalind Franklin University Opens New College of Pharmacy and Interprofessional Education Center

NORTH CHICAGO, IL – Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science welcomed more than 225 guests for the ribbon-cutting ceremony that marked the opening of its new College of Pharmacy which will be housed in the Interprofessional Education Center, a 23,000 square-foot, three story addition to the campus. The University announced that the addition would be named the William J. and Elizabeth L. Morningstar Interprofessional Education Center in recognition of a $4.4 million gift from the estate of George W. Morningstar, MD, an alumnus of the University.

“Dr. Morningstar wished to honor his parents, Elizabeth and William, for their support throughout his career in family medicine. Aided by this generous gift from Dr. Morningstar, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is providing our students the progressive education they need to become leaders in healthcare for the future,” said Dr. K. Michael Welch, President and CEO of Rosalind Franklin University. The new wing provides small group learning space for medical and graduate health science students, clinical simulation suites, a case demonstration amphitheatre and educational facilities on the first two floors. The third floor houses the College of Pharmacy with a state-of-the-art laboratory space, conference room and faculty offices to serve 70 incoming students who will begin their studies in August 2011. “I am inspired by the far-reaching significance of today’s event in service to our students and the nation’s challenging healthcare needs,” said Ruth Rothstein, chair of the Rosalind Franklin University Board of Trustees.

“It will have a resounding impact for many years ahead.”As a key expansion of Rosalind Franklin University’s academic health sciences programs, the College of Pharmacy will complement the Chicago Medical School, the College of Health Professions, the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. “If we can train our pharmacists, physicians, physical therapists and other health professionals to work in teams, the health care world as we know it will start to change,” said Dr. Gloria Meredith, dean of the College of Pharmacy. “When medical professionals work in teams, they improve the quality of care.”Rosalind Franklin University is known for its interprofessional educational approach, meaning that students learn from, with and about each other’s profession, regardless of their specialty, much in the same way that medical teams are expected to function in the future. The National Institute of Medicine has cited that this approach greatly diminishes medical errors and improves outcomes.

“We don’t have to wait until we are in the hospitals and clinics to experience this level of interprofessionalism in providing patient centered care. The pharmacy students will provide another perspective that will ultimately strengthen us as we become the next generation of healthcare professionals,” said Zubin Wala, current Executive Student Council President and second-year medical student at Rosalind Franklin University.

The cost of the construction project was approximately $5.5 million and funding was provided by public and private support, including gifts from Takeda Global Research & Development Center, Walgreens, and the Grace P. Rose Charitable Foundation Trust, among others. State Senator Terry Link, State Representative Carol Sente, the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) and the Illinois Federation of Independent Colleges and Universities provided essential leadership for state funding. “Rosalind Franklin University will undoubtedly produce exemplary young professionals that when they graduate from the College of Pharmacy will have increased opportunities to find jobs within the community and help countless individuals,” said Representative Carol Sente from the 59th District.

About Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
 Formed in 1912 as the Chicago Hospital-College of Medicine, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is a national leader in interprofessional medical and healthcare education, offering a doctor of medicine program through the Chicago Medical School, doctor of podiatric medicine program through the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, and a range of degrees through its College of Health Professions, including nurse anesthesia, nutrition, physical therapy, pathologists’ assistant and physician assistant. The University also offers advanced biomedical degrees through the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The university received Pre-candidate status for its College of Pharmacy and welcome its first class August 2011.

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May 2, 2011
Contact: Lee Concha
Executive Director, Marketing and Communications
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
847-578-8848 

lee.concha@rosalindfranklin.edu

Life in Discovery

For Immediate Release:

Rosalind Franklin University Receives Sponsorship for Laboratory Enhancements


                         

Dr. K. Michael Welch (left), president and CEO of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, received the $100,000 sponsorship check from Eric Warner (right), CEO of Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers.


NORTH CHICAGO, IL – Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers, a Chicago-based, physical therapist-owned and operated rehabilitation company, is supporting Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science with a $100,000 sponsorship for its Gross Anatomy Laboratory.

“Individualized care, advanced treatment techniques and clinical excellence are important aspects to our operations, but it all starts with the healthcare practitioner. Rosalind Franklin University trains students with a ‘patients first’ philosophy that’s very similar to ours. Together, we are committed to innovation, clinical quality and effective outcomes,” said Eric Warner, PT, MS, CEO of Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers.

The funds will be used to update the University’s gross anatomy laboratory, which is outfitted with workstations that include high-speed data, audio and video capabilities. The laboratory, which opened in 2003, can accommodate up to 300 students at a time and all University students use this laboratory as part of their core curriculum. The updates will include the replacement of the majority of the workstations.

“As a graduate level health professions university, we are dedicated to preparing exceptional healthcare providers, and to do this, technology and education must intersect at every step,” said Dr. K. Michael Welch, president and CEO of Rosalind Franklin University.

The University has programs in medicine, podiatric medicine, and nine allied health programs, including physician assistant and physical therapy. Students work together in interprofessional teams which helps them learn, practice and deliver healthcare in a collaborative manner.

About Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Formed in 1912 as the Chicago Hospital-College of Medicine, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is a national leader in interprofessional medical and healthcare education, offering a doctor of medicine program through the Chicago Medical School, doctor of podiatric medicine program through the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, and a range of degrees through its College of Health Professions, including nurse anesthesia, nutrition, physical therapy, pathologist and physician assistant. The University also offers advanced biomedical degrees through the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The university received pre-candidate status for its College of Pharmacy and will immediately accept applications for fall 2011.

The mission of Rosalind Franklin University is to serve the nation through the education of health professionals and the discovery of knowledge dedicated to improving the health of its people. Today, the University stands on the frontier of the new healthcare by educating the next generation of healthcare professionals, conducting leading-edge biomedical research, and serving the community in innovative ways.

About Accelerated Rehabilitation
Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers is a physical therapist owned and operated rehabilitation company. With a network of over 200 outpatient rehabilitation centers located throughout the Midwest, Arizona and Georgia, Accelerated offers a wide range of programs and specialized services to help our patients restore and maintain their physical strength, performance skills, and levels of function. Our highly respected employees—both clinical and non-clinical—have strong reputations for clinical quality, effective outcomes, and exceptional customer service. Together, we are completely committed to improving our patients' health, their well-being, and most of all, their quality of life.

The Accelerated team leads with a forward-thinking Patients First philosophy that is applied to all aspects of our operations. For our patients, this means that Accelerated will work every day to meet every one of their rehabilitation needs. From us—always—our patients are guaranteed: Individualized care. Advanced treatment techniques. Clinical excellence. We appreciate your interest in Accelerated, and we'd love for you to learn a little more about our company online at www.acceleratedrehab.com

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DePaul University and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science Establish Alliance to Address Growing Need for Health Care Professionals


DePaul University and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science are establishing a unique, wide-ranging alliance to help address the expanding need for health care professionals prepared to meet the challenges of an increasingly collaborative and rapidly evolving field. The Alliance for Health Sciences is designed to:

• establish curricular pathways for DePaul students to graduate professional degree programs at Rosalind Franklin;
• expand and strengthen academic programs at both schools;
• foster collaboration between faculties of the two institutions; and
• create additional research opportunities for students.

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, the nation is facing an increasing shortage of all types of health care professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, nutritionists, podiatric physicians, most of which are expected to have employment growth ranging from 20 to 30 percent over the next decade. Six of the 10 fastest-growing professions are expected to be in the medical field, according to bureau reports. There also is a need for health care practitioners in different specialties to work with each other on health care teams. According to a 2001 report by the Institute of Medicine, such collaborative care significantly decreases errors and improves patient outcomes. Through the alliance, DePaul will integrate its interdisciplinary liberal studies programs to align and support requirements for Rosalind Franklin’s interprofessional education programs, which prepare students for the shared practice model that will be the norm in the future.

“The United States is facing a dramatic need for highly skilled health care professionals to meet the demands created by dramatic demographic shifts in society,” said the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., DePaul’s president. “DePaul is excited by the opportunities this alliance with Rosalind Franklin University will afford our students and the larger DePaul community to expand health education. It also will offer us another opportunity to better serve the Chicago community.”

Dr. K. Michael Welch, president and CEO of Rosalind Franklin University, added, “As health care delivery changes in the coming years, it is critical that we prepare students today for what we know will be tomorrow’s health care needs. Together, DePaul and Rosalind Franklin will offer one of the widest arrays of health science programs among private universities in the Midwest.”

For DePaul students, the Alliance will uniquely provide exposure to and advising on Rosalind Franklin’s graduate and professional level health programs via curricular pathways, enhanced academic options, faculty collaboration and joint research. It provides hands-on educational experiences from the freshman year through completion of a professional degree.

The universities will collaborate to develop innovative, rigorous curricula that will benefit DePaul undergraduates pursuing health careers by preparing them for highly competitive professional programs and grounding them in the cross-disciplinary knowledge and broader perspectives on health required for success in today's health care environment.

An early admission pathway will streamline qualified students' progress through undergraduate programs at DePaul into the highly competitive master's and doctoral programs at Rosalind Franklin, including: medicine, pharmacy, pathologist’s assistant, podiatric medicine, physician assistant and physical therapy. Together, the two schools will seamlessly integrate a strong undergraduate and liberal studies foundation, contemporary professional health education, and state-of-the-art health and medical training facilities. Students enrolled in the jointly developed curricular programs may benefit from reducing by one year the overall time required to complete their professional degrees. As part of the agreement, DePaul hopes to expand its successful master's entry into nursing program at the Rosalind Franklin campus in North Chicago. The program admits those with non-medical bachelor’s degrees, providing them with an accelerated path to becoming a registered nurse. Rosalind Franklin University will soon break ground on a new 53,000-square-foot education facility to accommodate this program and others with increasing enrollments.


“There's a natural fit between DePaul and Rosalind Franklin,” said Dr. Wendy Rheault, vice president of academic affairs at Rosalind Franklin. “Both have growing enrollment, top-notch science and health facilities and well-established commitment to community needs.”

In recent years, DePaul also has expanded its education programs in the sciences, establishing the College of Science and Health and building two new state-of-the-art facilities exclusively dedicated to science instruction. It currently has more than 2,100 students enrolled at its College of Science and Health, and its recently established multidisciplinary health sciences degree is the university’s fastest- growing undergraduate program.

“DePaul students will meet regularly with faculty and staff from Rosalind Franklin, a rare benefit for undergraduates in pre-professional programs,” said Patricia O’Donoghue, DePaul’s interim provost. ”They'll get academic and career advice from medical professionals and gain contacts who will give them an advantage as they apply to graduate health programs. They'll be prepared for the intensity of graduate study and gain first-hand experience in Rosalind Franklin's classrooms and laboratories.”The schools also will create a joint competitive research fund that will provide seed money for new areas of exploration. Those projects are expected help secure external research grants from federal, state and local governments and private foundations.

About DePaul University

With more than 25,000 students, DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States and the largest private, nonprofit university in the Midwest. The university offers approximately 275 graduate and undergraduate programs of study on three Chicago and three suburban campuses. Founded in 1898, DePaul remains committed to providing a quality education through personal attention to students from a wide range of backgrounds. For more information, visit www.depaul.edu.

About Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Formed in 1912 as the Chicago Hospital-College of Medicine, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is a national leader in interprofessional medical and healthcare education, offering a doctor of medicine program through the Chicago Medical School, doctor of podiatric medicine program through the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, and a range of degrees through its College of Health Professions, including nurse anesthesia, nutrition, physical therapy, pathologists’ assistant and physician assistant, and a doctor of pharmacy through its College of Pharmacy that welcomed its first class in August 2011. The University also offers advanced biomedical degrees through the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. For more information, please visit www.rosalindfranklin.edu.

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Contact:
Lee Concha
Executive Director of Marketing and Communications
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Office- 847-578-8848   Cell- 847-346-8003

lee.concha@rosalindfranklin.edu

ROSALIND FRANKLIN UNIVERSITY SCIENTISTS PREVENT THE DEVELOPMENT OF DEAFNESS IN ANIMALS ENGINEERED TO HAVE USHER SYNDROME

North Chicago, IL -- Hearing impairment is the most common sensory disorder, with congenital hearing impairment present in approximately 1 in 1,000 newborns, and yet there is no physiological cure for children who are born deaf. Most cases of congenital deafness are due to a mutation in a gene that is required for normal development of the sensory hair cells in the inner ear that are responsible for detecting sound. To cure deafness caused by such mutations, the expression of the gene must be corrected, a feat that has been elusive until recently.

Michelle Hastings, Assistant Professor at the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) and her team, along with investigators at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, Louisiana and Isis Pharmaceuticals in Carlsbad, CA, have now found a way to target gene expression in the ear and rescue hearing and balance in mice that have a mutation that causes deafness in humans. The results of the study are reported in the paper, Rescue of hearing and vestibular function in a mouse model of human deafness, which was published February 4, 2013 in the journal Nature Medicine.

Dr. Hastings collaborated with research leaders across the country, including her colleagues at the Chicago Medical School, one of five schools at RFUMS, Francine Jodelka and Anthony Hinrich, who were co-first authors on the study, as well as Dr. Dominik Duelli and Kate McCaffrey; co-first author Dr. Jennifer Lentz at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans, and Dr. Lentz’s research team, including Drs. Hamilton Farris and Nicolas Bazan and Matthew Spalitta; and Dr. Frank Rigo at Isis Pharmaceuticals. The collaboration led to the development of a novel therapeutic approach to treat deafness and balance impairment by injecting mice with a single dose of a small, synthetic RNA-like molecule, called an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO). The ASO was designed to specifically recognize and fix a mutation in a gene called USH1C, that causes Usher syndrome in humans. The ASO blocks the effect of the mutation, allowing the gene product to function properly, thereby preventing deafness.

Usher syndrome is the leading genetic cause of combined deafness and blindness in humans. Treatment of these Usher mice with the ASO early in life rescues hearing and cures all balance problems. “The effectiveness of the ASO is striking,” states Hastings. “A single dose of the drug to newborn mice corrects balance problems and allows these otherwise deaf mice to hear at levels similar to non-Usher mice for a large portion of their life,” she says.

Validating ASO efficacy in the Usher mice is an important step in the process of developing the strategy for human therapy. Dr. Lentz, who has been studying Usher syndrome for almost 10 years and engineered the mice to model the human disease, states, "Successfully treating a human genetic disease in this animal model brings the possibility of treating patients much closer."

The results of the study demonstrate the therapeutic potential of this type of ASO in the treatment of deafness and provide evidence that congenital deafness can be effectively overcome by treatment early in development to correct gene expression.

“The discovery of an ASO-type drug that can effectively rescue hearing opens the door to developing similar approaches to target and cure other causes of hearing loss,” says Dr. Hastings who has been awarded a grant from the National Institute of Health to further develop the ASOs for the treatment of deafness with Drs. Lentz, Rigo and Duelli.

This work was generously funded by the Hearing Health Foundation, the National Organization for Hearing Research, Midwest Eye-Banks, Capita Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

About Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science:
Formed in 1912 as the Chicago Hospital-College of Medicine, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is a national leader in interprofessional medical and healthcare education, offering a doctor of medicine program through the Chicago Medical School, doctor of podiatric medicine program through the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, and a range of degrees through its College of Health Professions, including nurse anesthesia, nutrition, physical therapy, pathologists’ assistant and physician assistant, and a doctor of pharmacy through its College of Pharmacy that welcomed its first class in August 2011. The University also offers advanced biomedical degrees through the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. For more information, please visit www.rosalindfranklin.edu.

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DePaul nursing expansion at Rosalind Franklin earns approval



NORTH CHICAGO — DePaul University’s School of Nursing has received regulatory approval to expand its Master’s Entry into Nursing Practice degree program this fall to a new facility at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago. DePaul formed the Alliance for Health Sciences with Rosalind Franklin last year.

The approval this month was granted by the Board of Nursing of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

This specialized master’s degree is one of the few programs designed to allow those with science or non-science undergraduate degrees to directly enter into the nursing profession as registered nurses. The new program, which is accepting applicants for classes that begin in the 2013-2014 academic year, replicates the curriculum and facilities that are part of DePaul’s program based in the College of Health and Science on the Lincoln Park Campus. That program has seen significant growth in recent years and currently has a class of more than 200 students.

According to studies by the Illinois Center for Nursing, the health care industry is facing a significant shortage of nurses both nationally and in Illinois. By 2020, it is estimated that the national vacancy rate for nursing professionals will jump 20 percent, or 800,000 nurses. Illinois’ vacancy rate also is expected to rise, to 11 percent by 2015. Shortages in the nursing workforce primarily have been the result of limited capacity in the nation’s baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs.

“There is growing demand for nursing professionals with ever greater levels of skill, which our program is ideally suited to meet,” said William Cody, director of DePaul’s School of Nursing. “The expansion of the Master’s Entry into Nursing Practice program at the Rosalind Franklin campus in Lake County will allow us to prepare students across a significant geographic region, including those in southern Wisconsin.”

The DePaul program will be the only master’s degree program of this type offered in Lake County.

DePaul’s nursing program will be housed in a new 73,000-square-foot facility, the Rothstein Warden Centennial Learning Center, currently under construction at Rosalind Franklin University’s campus. The expanded nursing program will be able to accommodate two cohorts of 24 students each — one beginning in the fall quarter and the other in winter.

“DePaul’s nursing program will be housed among many other health care programs at the new learning center, - enhancing collaboration opportunities for health care teams that are at the heart of the DePaul-Rosalind Franklin Alliance,” said Judith Stoecker, vice dean of the College of Health Professions. “Adding nursing to this educational mix will boost the team approach to health care delivery and patient-centered care.”   

An open house for prospective students interested in the nursing program as well as other health care professions will be held April 27 at Rosalind Franklin University, 3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago. Those interested in attending may RSVP at Rosalind Franklin University’s website, http://www.rosalindfranklin.edu or by calling 847-578-3204.

In recent years, DePaul has expanded its education programs in the sciences, establishing the College of Science and Health and building two high-tech facilities designed specifically for science instruction. There are more than 3,200 students enrolled in the college. Its multidisciplinary health sciences degree, established in 2011, is DePaul’s fastest-growing undergraduate program with more than 440 students.

The DePaul-Rosalind Franklin Alliance for Health Sciences established was formed last year and is designed to establish curricular pathways for DePaul students to graduate from professional degree programs at Rosalind Franklin while expanding and strengthening academic programs at both schools. It also fosters collaboration between faculties of the two institutions and creates additional research opportunities for students.

About DePaul University

With approximately 25,000 students, DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States and the largest private, nonprofit university in the Midwest. The university offers about 275 graduate and undergraduate programs of study on three Chicago and two suburban campuses. Founded in 1898, DePaul University remains committed to providing a quality education through personal attention to students from a wide range of backgrounds. More at www.depaul.edu.

About Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Formed in 1912 as the Chicago Hospital-College of Medicine, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is a national leader in interprofessional medical and healthcare education, offering a doctor of medicine program through the Chicago Medical School, doctor of podiatric medicine program through the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, and a range of degrees through its College of Health Professions, including nurse anesthesia, nutrition, physical therapy, pathologists’ assistant and physician assistant, and a doctor of pharmacy through its College of Pharmacy that welcomed its first class in August 2011. The University also offers advanced biomedical degrees through the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. For more information, please visit www.rosalindfranklin.edu.

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Media Contact:
John Holden
jholden@depaul.edu
(312) 362-7165

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