Advisory Board


Dr. Arden Handler

Professor, Community Health Sciences
Director, Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health
Co-Director, MCH Epidemiology Training Program

arden handler in officeDr. Arden Handler’s career reflects her long-standing commitment to improving the health of women, children and families. She received a DrPH from the University of Illinois School of Public Health in 1987 and has been on the faculty at UIC-SPH since then. She is currently PI of the UIC-SPH MCH Training Program and PI of the UIC-SPH MCH Epidemiology Program and has a long history of participating in MCH workforce development projects. Her research focuses on the exploration of factors that increase the risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes and examination of the ways in which the health care delivery system,  particularly prenatal care, perinatal care, postpartum care, and preconception/interconception/well-woman health care can ameliorate these risks.  She is currently the PI for the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program evaluation, PI of the Kellogg Well-Woman Project, and is working on a number of research projects related to postpartum care and contraception.


Dr. Molly Carnes

University of Wisconsin
Professor, Medicine, Psychiatry, and Industrial & Systems Engineering
Director, Center for Women’s Health Research
Co-Director, Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute
Director, Women’s Veterans Health Program at the William S. Middleton Veterans Hospital

Carnes_Molly_2014_12_10_largeDr. Molly Carnes is a Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Industrial & Systems Engineering at UW-Madison.  She directs the Center for Women’s Health Research in the School of Medicine and Public Health and the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute in the College of Engineering.  Her research focuses on developing, testing, and implementing theoretically-informed, evidence-based interventions that increase gender and ethnic/racial diversity of faculty in academic medicine, science, and engineering.  She has published over 130 peer-reviewed scientific publications and has received a number of awards recognizing the impact of her work.  With an NIH Director’s Pathfinder Award, she developed Fair Play a video game that promotes perspective taking as players assume the role of an African American graduate student who encounters implicit bias. With an NIH Director’s Transformative-R01, she is currently studying whether bias based on the race or gender of the investigator influences the outcomes of grant peer review.


Dr. Karen Colley

Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
Dean, Graduate College

Colley_Karen_130715_13 copySince joining UIC in 1991 as an assistant professor, Dr. Colley has made students and graduate education a major focus while maintaining an active NIH-funded research program and serving in several administrative roles in the College of Medicine (COM) and for the UIC campus. In 2002 Dr. Colley co-founded the COM Graduate Education in Medical Sciences (GEMS) program, the first interdisciplinary graduate program at UIC, which she co-directed for three years. In 2005 she became the Interim Associate Dean for Research in the COM, and in 2007 was promoted to Associate Dean for Research and Education. From 2007 to 2012 she also served as Associate Director of the NIH-funded Medical Scientist Training Program. Prior to becoming the Dean of the Graduate College in 2012, Dr. Colley served one year as Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the COM. At the campus level, Dr. Colley has served on the campus promotion and tenure committee, chaired the University Scholar selection committee, and on the search committees for both the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs/Provost.

Dr. Colley has maintained an active, NIH-funded research laboratory since 1991 that focuses on the mechanisms and impact of protein glycosylation on human disease. In 2003, her scholarship was recognized with the UIC University Scholar Award. Dr. Colley has served on two NIH study sections, the editorial boards of both the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Glycobiology, as the chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Glycobiology (2007), and as the co-chair of the Glycobiology thematic session at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2012). She was recently elected the President-Elect of the Society for Glycobiology.


Dr. Luisa A. DiPietro

Professor, College of Dentistry
Director and Founder, Center for Wound Repair & Regeneration
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

DiPietroDr. Luisa A. DiPietro is Professor of Periodontics, Director of the Center for Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration, and an Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Research in the DiPietro laboratory focuses on how wounds heal, with the ultimate goal of developing therapies that will allow humans to regenerate perfect tissue after an injury.  Dr. DiPietro’s research has been continuously funded by NIH since 1994.  She has been the recipient of more than $14 million in federal research grants and has published more than 250 original articles and abstracts; her work was cited >1000 times in 2015.  Dr. DiPietro has served as the primary mentor for 70 research trainees.  She currently directs the KL2 component of the UIC Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences and is the faculty advisor to the UIC Postdoctoral Association. In 2012 she received the Mentor of the Year Award from the American Association of Dental Research.  In 2015, she received the Distinguished Service Award from the Wound Healing Society and was named a University Scholar.


Dr. Marian Fitzgibbon

Deputy Director, Institute for Health Research and Policy
Associate Director, UIC Cancer Center, Population Health, Behavior and Outcomes Program
Professor, Medicine and Health Policy and Administration

Fitzgibbon_smDr. Marian Fitzgibbon has focused primarily on health risk reduction interventions in minority and underserved populations. She has received consistent federal funding through NIH for more than a decade and regularly publishes in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Fitzgibbon has mentored pre-doctoral, postdoctoral, and junior faculty for more than a decade. She has chaired 12 dissertation committees and is the primary mentor for two recipients of career development K awards through the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr. Fitzgibbon is a member of the NIH Behavioral Medicine: Interventions and Outcomes Study Section and has served on a number of NIH Special Emphasis Panels. She is president-elect of the Society of Behavioral Medicine for 2014–2015 and chairs that organization’s Health Policy Committee. Dr. Fitzgibbon’s research focuses primarily on health risk reduction in minority and underserved populations. She has conducted obesity prevention trials with preschool children and their parents as well as obesity treatment interventions with women.


Dr. Tamar Heller

Professor and Head, Disability and Human Development
Director, Institute on Disability and Human Development
Director, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Developmental Disabilities

Tamar Heller picture 2009Tamar Heller, PH.D. Distinguished Professor, heads the Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and its University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. She also directs the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Developmental Disabilities and Health, and is Co-PI of the RRTC on Community Living Disability Policy and the Family Support RTC.

Dr. Heller’s research focuses on health and long-term services and supports for individuals with disabilities and their families. She was President of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) board, a delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging, and co-founder of the national Sibling Leadership Network. Her awards include the 2009 Arc of Illinois Autism Ally for Public Policy Award; the 2008 Lifetime Research Achievement Award, International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities, Interest Group on Aging; the 2009 Community Support Services Community Partner Award, the 2010 College of Applied Health Sciences, UIC Outstanding Researcher Award, and the AUCD 2012 International Award.


Dr. Hyunyoung Jeong

Associate Professor, Departments of Pharmacy Practice and Biopharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy

Young_PhotoDr. Hyunyoung (Young) Jeong is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Pharmacy Practice and Biopharmaceutical Sciences at the College of Pharmacy, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Dr. Jeong received her Pharm.D. (2001) and Ph.D. (2004) from UIC, followed by postdoctoral training in molecular pharmacology at UIC. Since joining the faculty at UIC in 2006, she has established a strong research program in drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, funded by multiple grants from NIH and other organizations. Her current research focuses on elucidating mechanisms underlying pharmacokinetic changes of drugs in pregnancy; identifying factors responsible for interindividual variability in drug metabolism; determining roles of gut microbiota in drug efficacy and toxicity; and using pharmacokinetic knowledge for preclinical drug development. Dr. Jeong is an editorial board member for the Journal of Clinical Toxicology, Nuclear Receptor Research, and Drug Metabolism and Disposition. She is currently a councilor for the Drug Metabolism Division of American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.


Dr. Eileen Martin

Rush University Medical Center
Professor, Psychiatry

eileen BIRCWHDr. Eileen Martin is a Professor of Psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center and a past Professor of Psychiatry at UIC. Dr. Martin received a PhD in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin and she specializes in neuropsychology.   Her research has focused on identifying and comparing the neurobehavioral and cognitive functioning among men and women living with HIV/AIDS with a history of drug and alcohol dependence. Dr. Martin’s study population includes over 400 primarily urban-dwelling crack cocaine and heroin users. She has conducted studies of working memory, attention, decision making, learning, and judgment, all brain systems affected by both HIV and substance abuse. This work is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  She has provided research supervision to medical students, residents in psychiatry and psychology, and graduate students, who have published their work in scholarly journals.  Dr. Martin dedicates much time to mentoring women in research and career development.


Dr. Phoenix A. Matthews

Associate Professor and Clinical Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry

matthews_alicia_2011_webDr. Phoenix A. Matthews is nationally known for their health disparities research with underserved populations.  Dr. Matthews is a Professor and clinical psychologist with more than 20 years of experience in examining determinants of cancer-related health disparities with a particular focus on underserved populations.  Their recent research focuses on the use of community-based and culturally targeted health promotion interventions to reduce risk factors associated with cancer disparities including smoking cessation treatments and cancer-screening interventions. Dr. Matthews has served as the PI of 4 federally funded projects and co-investigator for several others. Dr. Matthews currently serves as the PI of an NIH-funded study to conduct a randomized clinical trial of a culturally targeted and non-targeted smoking cessation intervention for adult LGBT smokers.


Dr. Julienne Rutherford

Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, Department of Women, Children, and Family Health Science
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

RutherfordCuspPhotoDr. Rutherford earned her PhD in biological anthropology from Indiana University in 2007. Dr. Rutherford is an Assistant Professor of Women, Children, and Family Health Science in the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago, serving masters level midwifery and women’s health nurse practitioner students and advising PhD students. All of her research questions revolve around a central interest in the dynamic maternal environment in which a fetus develops. She is primarily focused on the primate placenta as a signaling interface between mother and fetus, working with both humans and nonhuman primates to address the effects of maternal ecology on placental morphology, metabolic function, and gene expression, and the downstream sequelae for offspring health both postnatally and later in life. Dr. Rutherford is the PI of an NIH-funded grant titled “Womb to Womb: programming reproduction in female marmoset monkeys.” She is also the PI of a study that seeks to connect placental morphology and function to fetal brain development in the vervet monkey.


Dr. Alan Schwartz

Professor, Associate Head, and Director of Research, College of Medicine

DG09_09_16_004.JPGDr. Alan Schwartz, PhD is the Michael Reese Endowed Professor of Medical Education, and Associate Head and Director of Research in the Department of Medical Education. He holds a joint appointment in the Department of Pediatrics. His education includes a BA in Cognitive Science and Women’s Studies, an MS in organizational behavior, and a PhD in Cognitive Psychology. Dr. Schwartz’s research focuses on medical decision making by patients and physicians; he teaches decision making, leadership, and quantitative data analysis to health professions faculty. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the journals Medical Decision Making and Medical Decision Making Policy & Practice, and has served on the executive boards of the Society for Medical Decision Making and the Society for Judgment and Decision Making.


Dr. Gregory Thatcher

Professor and Hans W. Vahlteich Chair, Medicinal Chemistry

thatcher_greg-lab-125Dr. Gregory Thatcher is Professor and Hans W. Vahlteich Chair of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received his Ph.D. in 1986 from the University of Toronto.  Dr. Thatcher’s research interests focus on employing the tools of mechanistic organic chemistry and the ability to synthesize novel compounds, biomimetics are being developed as probes of biological systems. These mimetics have the capacity to further understanding of biological processes, chemical toxicology and in some cases to provide new drug candidates. This program is revealing new therapeutics for neurological disorders and for cancer.


Dr. JoEllen Wilbur

Rush University
Professor & Independence Foundation Chair in Nursing
Associate Dean for Research, College of Nursing

Wilbur photoDr. Wilbur’s work has focused on midlife women’s physical activity and cardiovascular and psychological health.  Her program of research has been funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research, NIH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Active Living Research to examine determinants of physical activity and test interventions to increase adherence to physical activity in African American women. She developed a 48-week community-based Women’s Lifestyle Physical Activity Program that was found to be successful in increasing physical activity in midlife African American women residing in Chicago. She has mentored numerous NIH funded pre and post-doctoral fellows in the area of physical activity and women’s health. Her work has been recognized by receipt of the Midwest Nursing Research Society Distinguished Contribution Award and the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.


Dr. Robert Winn

Associate Vice President for Community Based Practice
Director, University of Illinois Cancer Center
Professor of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy

Robert Winn photoRobert Winn, MD, is the Associate Vice President for Community-Based Practice, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Director of the University of Illinois Cancer Center at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UI Health). As Associate Vice President, Dr. Winn is responsible for the management of the UI Health Mile Square Health Center, a multi-site Federally Qualified Health Center Network.  Winn is the Director of the UI Cancer Center, a robust organization comprised of over 250 cancer researchers, representing four University of Illinois campuses: Champaign-Urbana, Chicago, Peoria and Rockford. Dr. Winn, an NCI-funded physician-scientist, has extensive experience in lung cancer research, both as a clinician and a researcher.  Clinically, he is a specialist in pulmonary and critical care with a primary interest in lung cancer.  Dr. Winn has led and served on a number of diverse committees to develop the next generation of physician-scientists.  He has received numerous awards for excellence in teaching, scholarship, leadership, and diversity service.

Dr. Winn received his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Prior to arriving at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, Winn was an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, where he was also the Sr. Medical Director for the University of Colorado Multidisciplinary Pulmonary Clinic.  As a specialist in Pulmonary and Critical Care, he practiced at both the University Hospital and the Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Denver, both in ambulatory medicine and the intensive care unit.


Dr. Jack Zwanziger

Professor and Director, Division of Healthy Policy and Administration, School of Public Health
Associate Director for Education, Center for Clinical and Translational Science

zwanziger_j[1]Dr. Zwanziger has had a somewhat unusual career path. After completing his PhD in Theoretical Physics at Cornell University, he went to work for Bell Canada in corporate planning.  Having acquired a taste for policy while completing his MBA at McGill University, he then joined the Ministry of Transportation and Communication of Ontario, Canada, eventually becoming Manager of the Telecommunication Policy Office.  He then completed a PhD in Policy Analysis at the RAND Graduate School and served as a resident consultant there.  He moved to the University of Rochester and left as a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine.  He is currently Professor of Health Policy and Administration at the School of Public Health, UIC. His research interests relate to the use of different system-wide and intervention-specific approaches to increasing the efficiency of the health care system.