issue Spring 2023

University News

Top Left: Joanna Dabrowska, PhD, PharmD. Top Right: Maria Clarke, MBA. Bottom Left: David Feinberg, MD ’89, MBA, and Andrea Feinberg, MD ’90. Bottom Right: Lupe Rodriguez, APN.

RFU Scientist Awarded $2.36 Million for Anxiety Treatment Research

Joanna Dabrowska, PhD, PharmD, an associate professor in RFU’s Center for Neurobiology of Stress Resilience and Psychiatric Disorders, received a $2.36 million grant in fall 2022 from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to explore potential new treatment approaches for anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Dr. Dabrowska’s study, “The Integrated Role of Vasopressin and Oxytocin Receptors in the Modulation of BNST Activity and Fear Processing,” will focus on the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), which has emerged as a key brain region translating an exposure to unpredictable threats into sustained fear. Through this study, Dr. Dabrowska hopes to understand how an imbalance in processing of predictable vs. unpredictable threats can precipitate the onset of anxiety disorders. This would lead to new treatment options for social anxiety disorders, which impact more than 15 million Americans. Approximately six out of every 100 people will have PTSD at some point in their lives.


J.P. Morgan Executive Maria Clarke, MBA, Elected to RFU Board of Trustees

By Sara Skoog

RFU’s Board of Trustees elected finance executive Maria Clarke, MBA, to a three-year term on the board in fall 2022. Ms. Clarke is an executive director and banker in the Washington, D.C., office of J.P. Morgan Private Bank, where she works with individual clients, family offices, private equity partners, nonprofits and institutions.

“I am excited to join the RFU board at such an exciting time,” said Ms. Clarke, who will serve on the board’s Finance and Research committees and Investment subcommittee.

“We are living through one of the most extraordinary times in scientific research and medical advancement, and I look forward to working with my board colleagues to continue the legacy of RFU.”

Her board service and philanthropy in the Washington, D.C., region includes serving as past president and current advisory board member for the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech, an academic biomedical research enterprise focusing on areas including cancer, cardiovascular science, infectious diseases and addiction recovery. She serves as an advisory board member for the National Association of Corporate Directors Capital Area, where she was previously chair of the membership committee, and is also a member of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Institute and the CFA Society of Washington, D.C., as well as an executive member of the Latino Corporate Directors Association.

Ms. Clarke earned her MBA in finance from the University of Miami and is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Executive Program in International Finance and Global Markets.


CMS Alumni Deliver Commencement Address, Declaration of Geneva

Chicago Medical School alumni David Feinberg, MD ’89, MBA, and Andrea Feinberg, MD ’90, played key roles in RFU’s 109th Commencement Celebration on June 2. Dr. David Feinberg delivered the commencement address, and Dr. Andrea Feinberg led this year’s graduates in reciting the Declaration of Geneva.

The Feinbergs have inspired the RFU community with their national leadership of population health-based approaches. They are harnessing data and technology to help people live healthier lives. Dr. David Feinberg currently serves as chair of Oracle Health and has led top U.S. healthcare companies including Cerner, Geisinger and UCLA Health. As vice president of Google Health, he leveraged Google’s technology, talent and search capabilities to tackle some of health care’s most important challenges. Dr. Andrea Feinberg is a healthcare innovator, consultant and champion of population health and interprofessional collaborative practice. During her time as chief health officer for Geisinger’s Innovation Institute, she launched the Fresh Food Farmacy, an initiative designed to combat Type 2 diabetes by using “food as medicine.”

RFU’s Commencement ceremony will take place at Credit Union 1 Arena, located on the University of Illinois–Chicago campus.


Care Coach Access Expands With $1M Grant

RFU will increase the reach of its Community Care Connection (CCC) mobile health program thanks to a $1 million grant from NorthShore University HealthSystem’s Community Investment Fund (CIF), which aims to improve health equity and healthcare access to residents of underserved and underinsured communities. The funding is a CIF continuation grant that builds upon the nearly $700,000 it awarded to support the mobile clinic in 2022.

“These powerful partnerships are all about creating meaningful, lasting impact through data, relationships and resources,” Gabrielle Cummings, president, NorthShore Acute Care Operations and Highland Park Hospital, NorthShore– Edward-Elmhurst Health, said in a news release about the grant. “In just our first year, we already made impressive strides and have increased our understanding of how we can work together to make our communities healthier.”

The Care Coach is health equity in action, bringing free health services to medically underserved, hard-to-reach patients in more than 30 locations throughout Lake County, Illinois. This vital partnership with NorthShore will enable the CCC to expand its outreach to prospective clients and their families, and its capacity for health screenings that include blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol; point-of-care testing for COVID-19, flu and strep; vaccinations; and health education programs.

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