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Innovation Spotlight: Empowering Feinberg's Unsung Heroes

This story was published in the September 2022 issue of The Philanthropist, a newsletter for supporters and friends of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Read the whole issue here.

Each day, our faculty, students, and trainees at Feinberg dedicate time to innovate new ideas and programs that will move the needle in medicine and science. Here, we spotlight some of the exciting work that often happens behind the scenes and beyond daily clinical care.

Thank you to all of the donors who contribute to these efforts, now and in the future. Your philanthropy fuels these projects and programs—enabling their very existence and empowering them to grow for the benefit of patients today and tomorrow.

robert-kushnerTackling the American Obesity Epidemic

Obesity contributes to the development of the most common and serious medical problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. Robert Kushner, MD, ’80 ’82 GME, professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, is working to develop safe and effective pharmacological treatments for obesity. Through a multi-site study with nearly 2,000 participants, Dr. Kushner and his collaborators found that a new anti-obesity medication, semaglutide, was almost twice as effective at helping individuals lose weight than many weight-loss drugs currently on the market. It was FDA approved in 2021. Dr. Kushner has authored a top-selling weight loss book, Six Factors to Fit, and received the Herbert Pardes Clinical Research Excellence Award from the Clinical Research Forum.

For more information about supporting the efforts above, contact Kathleen Praznowski at 312-503-0762 or


eve-feinbergEmpowering Women in Medicine and Beyond

Eve Feinberg, MD, ’04 GME, helps young women make informed and empowered decisions about fertility and family building to minimize the risk of age-related infertility, focusing on egg freezing as a means of fertility preservation. A strong advocate for the next generation of physicians, Dr. Feinberg hopes to help minimize the gender gap in the field of medicine and highlight how fertility and family-building influence career trajectory. As part of this work, she recently conducted a nationwide survey of women in medicine. Her ultimate goal is for women to have the ability to maintain a thriving career and build the family that they desire, without having to compromise either one. Dr. Feinberg is an associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and the division’s fellowship program director.

For more information about supporting the efforts above, contact Jordan Sund at 312-503-2706 or


huiping-liuMaking Strides Toward a Cancer-Free Future

Huiping Liu, MD, PhD, associate professor of Pharmacology and Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology, is studying metastasis, the process through which cancer cells migrate from primary to secondary tumor sites. Because metastasis causes 90 percent of the mortality associated with solid tumors, Dr. Liu and her laboratory are focused on finding ways to control metastasis and eliminate the mortality associated with breast cancer and other cancers. Specifically, the team is using novel therapies to target cancer stem cells—a subpopulation of cancer cells that can be resistant to conventional therapies and escape from immune attacks—and to better understand how these cells play a role in cancer relapse and spread.

For more information about supporting the efforts above, contact Andrew Christopherson at 312-503-3080 or


pat-garciaBuilding a Curriculum for Future Healthcare Leaders

Patricia Garcia, MD, MPH, ’91, ’93 GME, associate dean for Curriculum, and her team in the Department of Medical Education, continue to expand the physical spaces and programs that make a Feinberg education extraordinary. They are building an anatomy lab of the future with medical imaging, ultrasound, and augmented reality technology, while preserving the humanity and emotion of working with donated bodies. The team is also developing robust interprofessional education with the understanding the medicine is the ultimate team sport—especially when treating patients with complex health problems and those who are traditionally underserved. Another priority is Feinberg’s Education-Centered Medical Home, where students function as healthcare providers, patient navigators, and community health advocates at clinics across Chicagoland, including Federally Qualified Health Centers.

For more information about supporting the efforts above, contact Larry Kuhn at 312-503-1717 or