The Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM) welcomes a new director to co-lead its city-wide organization made up of the University of Chicago, Rush, Loyola University Chicago, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Advocate Health Care, and the Illinois Institute of Technology.

World-renowned ethicist and pediatrician Lainie Ross will become the ITM’s director and co-principal investigator of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) operating grant that fuels the ITM effective July 1, 2018.

“There’s so much interesting and collaborative research being done at ITM institutions that has the potential to help countless people and their families,” said Ross, MD, PhD, the Carolyn and Matthew Bucksbaum Professor of Clinical Medical Ethics at UChicago Medicine. “I’m really excited to be part of the infrastructure to support that work in Chicagoland and with our NIH-funded partners across the country.”

Ross will join current directors and co-principal investigators Julian Solway, MD, Dean for Translational Medicine at the University of Chicago, and Josh Jacobs, MD, Vice Provost for Research at Rush, to create and oversee the ITM programs that help make research breakthroughs happen. 

And Ross is no stranger to the ITM. She returns to the leadership team after taking a sabbatical to pen her latest book, “Defining Death: The Case for Choice,” an exploration of the definition of and ethics surrounding death.

University of Chicago’s Susan Cohn, MD, served as the ITM’s director and co-principal investigator in Ross’s absence. Cohn said she is passing the baton in order to focus on her responsibilities as Dean for Clinical Research and Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.

“Helping the ITM evolve into the dynamic, city-wide organization it is today has been truly rewarding,” Cohn said. “I’m grateful to my co-PIs and the entire ITM team for all their hard work, and I’m looking forward to celebrating many future breakthroughs that will improve the health of our patients.”

Cohn, Solway, and Jacobs said that Ross will bring strong leadership and a unique background in ethics and patient care to the ITM.

Ross has published more than 150 research articles on the ethics of organ transplantation, genetic testing, pediatrics, and protection of health research participants. She has also authored two books on pediatric ethics and co-authored 2 books on death and organ transplantation with Robert M Veatch. She serves as associate director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, chairs the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Special Emphasis Panel on the Societal and Ethical Issues in Research (SEIR) and is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities. 

Ross said she looks forward to helping the ITM usher in a new era where participating in clinical research is a normal part of people’s lives so that breakthroughs can be made and shared faster than the current 14-year average. 

“All clinical care should be advancing research, and all research should be advancing clinical care,” Ross said. “It’s the way to maximize progress in health care for everyone. When we pool our resources and our ideas, we can take our mission a lot further.”

Connect with Lainie at lross@peds.bsd.uchicago.edu.

About the Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM)
The Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM) helps you live your best life by making research breakthroughs happen and getting those discoveries into the real world to improve your health as soon as possible.

The ITM is a partnership between the University of Chicago and Rush in collaboration with Advocate Health Care, the Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech), Loyola University Chicago, and NorthShore University HealthSystem that’s fueled by about $35 million in grants from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program.

We’re part of a network of more than 55 CTSA Program-supported hubs across the country working to slash the time it takes to develop and share new treatments and health approaches. We work with you and for you to make participating in health research easy, so that together we improve health care for all.

Join the movement and learn more about how we help researchers, physicians, community members, industry, government organizations, and others. Visit us at chicagoitm.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn @ChicagoITM.

For more information, contact Sara Serritella, Director of Communications, at sara@chicagoitm.org.

This project is supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through Grant Numbers UL1TR002389, KL2TR002387, and TL1TR00238 that fund the Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.