Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine

Discover Feinberg

See how Northwestern is improving the future of human health

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Our Mission

Our mission is to impact the practice of medicine through discovery and education.

The pursuit of excellence requires a learning organization grounded in leadership, innovation, and compassionate care that can translate new knowledge into better human health. These attributes are interwoven by professionalism dedicated to teamwork, collegiality, and social and intellectual diversity. Such values promote the best interests of medicine and further strengthen our social contract with the community we serve.


Meet Eric G. Neilson, MD, vice president for Medical Affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Learn more about his accomplishments and vision for the future of the medical school.

Visit the Office of the Dean

Community Engagement

We live our mission to improve human health beyond the individual patient. This means making a genuine commitment to meeting the needs of the diverse neighborhoods and populations we serve. Our community engagement efforts allow Feinberg to provide unique and valuable training experiences, strengthen our research and improve outcomes for our patients and communities.

Learn about Feinberg Community Engagement

What Drives Us

Feinberg is a research-intensive medical school that fosters powerful collaborations on a thriving academic medical campus. We are driven by our mission to transform the practice of medicine and profoundly impact human health beyond the individual patient. We believe better answers only come from discovery. Learn about our values:

Our Culture

Northwestern encourages diverse perspectives from within our academic community. We believe that such an approach provides a rich environment for educating students and leads to groundbreaking scientific discovery.

Facts and Figures

Discover Feinberg by the numbers. Learn more about our students, research, and performance.

Feinberg ranked #17Research AwardsFull time facultyTop 20 ranked departments

Founders and Groundbreakers

Clyde W. Yancy, MD
Clyde W. Yancy, MD

Clyde W. Yancy, MD, MSc, is vice dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Magerstadt Professor and chief of Cardiology in the Department of Medicine and professor of Medical Social Sciences. He is also a former president of the American Heart Association, a member of the National Academy of Medicine and an internationally-recognized expert in preventive cardiology, cardiomyopathy, and racial and ethnic disparities in cardiovascular disease.

Nathan Smith Davis, MD
Nathan Smith Davis, MD

In 1859, Nathan Smith Davis co-founded the medical department of Lind University, which later became the Chicago Medical College and eventually the Northwestern University school of medicine. He served as a university trustee until the time of his death. He was instrumental in the founding of the American Medical Association and was one of the founders of the Chicago Medical Society, the Chicago Historical Society, the Chicago Academy of the Sciences and the Union College of Law, which eventually became the Northwestern University school of law.

Chad A. Mirkin, PhD
Chad A. Mirkin, PhD

Chad A. Mirkin, PhD, director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology, the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry and professor of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine, is a world-renowned nanoscience expert. He is known for the development of nanoparticle-based biodetection schemes, the invention of Dip-Pen Nanolithography and contributions to supramolecular chemistry, nanoelectronics and nano-optics. He is the author of more than 440 manuscripts and over 400 patents and applications and is the founder of three nanotechnology companies. He holds membership in the National Academies of Science, Engineering, Inventors and Medicine.

Daniel Hale Williams, MD
Daniel Hale Williams, MD

Daniel Hale Williams, MD, was the school’s first African-American graduate and faculty member, the first black fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the principal founder of the National Medical Association. Williams founded Provident Hospital in Chicago, the first black-owned and -operated interracial hospital in the country in 1891. He performed one of the world’s first successful heart operations in 1893, and President Grover Cleveland appointed him surgeon-in-chief at Freedman’s Hospital, Washington, D.C., in 1894.

Milan Mrksich, PhD
Milan Mrksich, PhD

Milan Mrksich, PhD, a professor in the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and the Department of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, is considered a world leader in engineering the interface between cells and surfaces. Among his many honors, Mrksich is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.

Sandra F. Olson, MD
Sandra F. Olson, MD
Sandra Olson, MD '63, GME '69, was the first woman president of the American Academy of Neurology, as well as the first female leader of the Illinois State Medical Society, the Chicago Medical Society and the Chicago Neurological Society. She graduated from Northwestern Medical School and completed her residency here, before joining Northwestern Memorial Hospital as an attending physician and instructor for the medical school. She was eventually appointed the first woman chief-of-staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Mary Thompson, MD
Mary Thompson, MD

Mary Thompson, MD, was the first female surgeon in the United States and, in 1870, was Northwestern Medical School's first female medical graduate. She founded the Women's Medical College, the first medical school for women in the Midwest; the Chicago Hospital for Women and Children, the first hospital staffed by female physicians; and helped found Chicago’s first nursing school. She also developed a number of surgical instruments and procedures.

Robert F. Furchgott, PhD
Robert F. Furchgott, PhD

Robert Furchgott, PhD ’40, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1998, which he shared with Louis J. Ignarro and Ferid Murad for “their discoveries concerning nitric oxide as a signaling molecule.” Furchgott’s discoveries have helped scientists understand and find new treatments for cardiovascular diseases and other conditions ranging from immune disorders to memory loss, pulmonary disease and erectile dysfunction.

Thomas E. Starzl, MD, PhD
Thomas E. Starzl, MD, PhD

Thomas E. Starzl, MD ‘52, PhD ’52, known as the father of transplantation, performed the first successful liver transplant in 1967 at the University of Colorado. Starzl also conducted the first multiple organ transplant in 1983, the first heart and liver transplant in 1984 and the first liver and intestine transplant in 1990. In 1980, he introduced the anti-rejection medications anti-lymphocyte globulin and cyclosporine. He was instrumental in developing tacrolimus, a drug that significantly increased post-transplantation survival rates.

Charles H. Mayo, MD
Charles H. Mayo, MD

Charles H. Mayo, MD, founder of the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, graduated from Northwestern University Medical School in 1888. A renowned surgeon, Mayo pioneered modern goiter surgery and surgical techniques for the nervous system. Mayo received the U.S. Distinguished Service medal, served as president of the American Medical Association and was a trustee of Northwestern University.

A Commitment to Excellence

2018 Nemmers Prize in Medical Science

Stuart H. Orkin, MD, was awarded the 2018 Mechthild Esser Nemmers Prize in Medical Science. Orkin is a pioneering hematologist who has made discoveries into blood cell development and the genetic basis of blood disorders.

Learn More About OrkinAbout the Nemmers Prize

Women in Medicine

This fall, Northwestern marks 150 years since women could enroll as undergraduate students. In light of this milestone, teams around the medical school are working to recognize, celebrate, and honor the vast contributions to medicine and society made by women at Feinberg.

Visit the Website

Our History

Feinberg has made important contributions to medical education and research since our humble 19th century beginnings. Explore our timeline and see how our community and leadership have shaped our school since the mid-1800s.

explore our history


Contact Us

Connect with Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine via the links below.

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For general Northwestern assistance, contact the Chicago campus switchboard at 312-503-8649.


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