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Senior Faculty Scholars

Senior Faculty Scholars are a group of outstanding clinicians and teachers who are current members of the University faculty, and who personify the mission and goals of the Bucksbaum Institute to improve the doctor-patient relationship and the care of patients. As a Bucksbaum Institute Senior Faculty Scholar, each senior faculty member is asked to mentor, coach and advise Bucksbaum Institute Student, Junior Faculty and Associate Junior Faculty Scholars.

Richard Larson, MD

Richard Larson, MD

2021–2022 SENIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Medicine
Bio

Richard Larson, MD, is a Professor of Medicine in the Section of Hematology/Oncology and Director of the Hematologic Malignancies Clinical Research Program at the University of Chicago. Dr. Larson received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and completed a one year fellowship in nucleic acid chemistry at King’s College, University of Cambridge, UK. He received his medical degree from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1977, and completed postdoctoral training in Internal Medicine, Hematology, and Medical Oncology at the University of Chicago. Dr. Larson was a Fellow of the Leukemia Society of America and was granted a Clinical Oncology Career Development Award from the American Cancer Society. He has been a member of the faculty in the Section of Hematology/Oncology and the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Chicago since 1983. Dr. Larson was Director of the Leukemia Clinical Research Program at the University of Chicago from 1983 to 2000, during which time he established the adult allogeneic bone marrow transplant program at the University of Chicago Medical Center in 1986. He is Board certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology, and Medical Oncology, and has served as a member of the Hematology Subspecialty Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Larson is a former Councilor on the Executive Committee of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and served as the Treasurer of ASH from 2011-2014. He was awarded the Henry M. Stratton Medal for Clinical Science by ASH in 2019, and was the co-chair of the Education Program at the 2004 ASH annual meeting. Dr. Larson has been a faculty member at ASH’s Clinical Research Training Institute, and an invited speaker at the Highlights of ASH in North America, Latin America, Asia, and the Mediterranean. He has represented ASH as a member of the National Cancer Policy Forum of the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine), and is a panel member of the ASH Consult a Colleague program.

During 1997-2011, Dr. Larson was the chair of the Leukemia Committee of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB), funded by the National Cancer Institute, NIH, to conduct multicenter clinical trials in patients with cancer. He is currently a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Leukemia Steering Committee.

Dr. Larson is also a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and an emeritus member of the American Association for Cancer Research. He is a member of the European LeukemiaNet working groups on chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Dr. Larson has published more than 500 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, and book chapters on clinical and laboratory studies in human leukemias, and in addition, has served on the editorial boards of Blood, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Leukemia. He is a Section Editor for Leukemia and one of two Editors-in-Chief for Hematology for UpToDate, the most widely used point-of-care clinical decision resource for physicians.

Dr. Larson continues to maintain an active clinical practice at the University of Chicago Medical Center. He teaches medical students, nurses, medical residents, and trainees in Hematology and Medical Oncology in the Clinic and at the bedside. Dr. Larson is an attending physician on the inpatient Leukemia Service and the Transplant and Cellular Therapy Service. Throughout his career, his research interests have included clinical trials in acute and chronic leukemias and stem-cell transplantation, experimental therapeutics, the determinants of response to therapy in leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes, and the etiology of therapy-related leukemias.

Sean Pinney, MD

Sean Pinney, MD

2021–2022 SENIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Medicine
Bio

Sean Pinney is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. He attended Georgetown University where he received both his undergraduate and medical degrees. He completed residency training at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and fellowships in cardiology, heart failure & transplantation at Columbia University. In 2004, he joined the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where he directed the Advanced Heart Failure & Cardiac Transplant Program. In 2015, he was appointed Director of Heart Failure and Transplantation for the Mount Sinai Health System. In 2020, he moved to the University of Chicago where he was appointed Co-Director of the Heart & Vascular Center, Director of Heart Failure & Transplantation and Director of Clinical & Translational Research. Dr. Pinney is an active clinical researcher who has led both NIH and industry-sponsored trials in the areas of heart failure, cardiac transplantation and mechanical circulatory support. He serves on the editorial boards of JACC, JACC Heart Failure, the Journal of Heart & Lung Transplantation and the Journal of Cardiac Failure. He serves on the AST Board of Directors, is a member of the Georgetown Medical Alumni Board and is past President of the New York Cardiothoracic Transplant Consortium.

Blase Polite, MD

Blase Polite, MD

2021–2022 SENIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Medicine
Bio

Dr. Polite is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago the Deputy Section Chief for Strategy and Network Development, Executive Medical Director for Cancer Accountable Care and a GI oncologist specializing in the treatment of patients with colorectal anal pancreatic and neuroendocrine cancers. He is a past board member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), is Past-Chair of the ASCO Health Disparities Committee and a two-time chair of the ASCO Government Relations Committee. He served 5 years on the American Cancer Society Cancer Control and Prevention: Health Policy and Health Services (CPHPS) Review Committee including the role of vice-chair and Chair of that committee. He is a graduate of ASCO’s Leadership Development Program, a recipient of an ASCO Career Development Award, and was named a Fellow of the Society in 2018. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Oncology Practice and has received awards recognizing his clinical and teaching efforts and was recently chosen as a Bucksbaum Institute Senior Faculty Scholar. He is actively involved at the federal and local level in developing alternative payment models for cancer care. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. He currently is the CO-PI of a 5-year NCI Moonshot grant, Accelerating Colorectal Cancer Screening and Follow-up through Implementation Science in Chicago (ACCSIS-Chicago) aimed at improving colorectal screening among Federally Qualified Health Centers in Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Dr. Polite earned his Bachelor and Master’s degree in Public Policy Studies from the University of Chicago, and went on to spend 4 years working on Health Care and Medicare reform policy in Washington DC with the Department of Health and Human Services and with the Office of Senator Bill Bradley. He received his MD from Indiana University and then did his training in Internal Medicine and Medical oncology at the University of Chicago.

Christopher Salerno, MD

Christopher Salerno, MD

2021–2022 SENIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Medicine
Bio

Christopher Salerno, MD, is a global leader in cardiac surgery and an expert in performing complex surgeries for patients suffering from a wide range of heart conditions. Dr. Salerno’s practice primarily focuses on treating heart failure, mechanical circulatory support (ventricular assist devices) and heart transplantation.

Along with his devotion to his clinical practice, Dr. Salerno is also an avid researcher who investigates treatment and techniques to improve overall care for his patients. He has evaluated long-term outcomes of heart patients to assess which treatments deliver the best results, improve protocols and patient care. Dr. Salerno has also conducted intense research centered on caring for patients with heart conditions during COVID. His research has been published in a number of highly respected, peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of American College of Cardiology, Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery, American Journal of Transplantation, Annals of Thoracic Surgery and Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation.

Gaurav Upadhyay, MD

Gaurav Upadhyay, MD

2021–2022 SENIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Medicine
Bio

Gaurav A. Upadhyay, MD, FACC, FHRS is an expert in cardiac rhythm devices and Associate Professor at the University of Chicago Medicine. He cares for patients with arrhythmia, syncope, and heart failure. Dr. Upadhyay focuses on innovative electrical therapies in heart disease, including cardiac resynchronization therapy, conduction system pacing strategies (including His bundle, left bundle branch area pacing, and endocardial LV pacing), autonomic modulation, and machine-based learning to improve heart failure (HF) management. Dr. Upadhyay strives to improve the quality of life for his patients. His goal is to implement pioneering technologies to treat symptoms of heart failure and improve overall health.

Paralleling his focus on patient care, Dr. Upadhyay is an active clinical investigator. An invited national and international speaker, he has authored or delivered over 150 manuscripts, invited talks, and book chapters. He is also deeply committed to teaching, and seeks out opportunities to collaborate and engage trainees in teaching at the bedside as well as in transforming models of care.

Dr. Upadhyay received his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, then completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He remained for an additional Cardiology Fellowship.

Dr. Upadhyay’s publications may be found here.

R. Parker Ward, MD

R. Parker Ward, MD

2021–2022 SENIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Medicine
Bio

Dr. R Parker Ward is a Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at the University of Chicago. He received his BA at Middlebury College and attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his residency in internal medicine also at the University of Pennsylvania, serving and served as Chief Medical Resident. He then completed his fellowship in cardiovascular disease at the University of Chicago, prior to joining the faculty in 2001. Dr Ward is an expert in cardiac imaging, working in the echocardiography laboratory and serves as Director of Nuclear Cardiology/Stress Testing and Director of the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program.

Dr. Ward has received been selected to receive multiple awards for outstanding teaching in the internal medicine residency program and cardiology fellowship program, and is a past recipient of the national American College of Cardiology W. Proctor Harvey Young Teacher Award. He has also been an annual faculty member/lecturer at the American College of Cardiology Board Review Course, and been named a “Top Cardiologist” by Chicago Magazine annually since 2018. Dr. Ward’s research interests focus on the application and utilization of cardiac imaging testing. He has published extensively on these topics and has co-authored multiple national guidelines aimed at improving the appropriateness and cost-effective use of cardiac imaging in clinical care.

Diana Bolotin, MD, PhD

Diana Bolotin, MD, PhD

2020–2021 SENIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Medicine
Bio

Diana Bolotin MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor and Section Chief of Dermatology and Director of the Dermatology Ambulatory Practice and Director of Dermatologic Surgery at the University of Chicago where she is actively engaged in patient care, resident teaching and clinical research on cutaneous malignancies. Dr. Bolotin is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley (A.B. with Honors), University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division, Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology (Ph.D.) and University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine (M.D.). She completed an internship in Internal Medicine and residency training in Dermatology at the University of Chicago where she served as chief resident. Subsequent to her Dermatology training, she completed a Procedural Dermatology/ Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology fellowship at Northwestern University. She returned to the University of Chicago as an Assistant Professor and Director of Dermatologic Surgery in 2011.

As a fellowship-trained Mohs micrographic surgeon, Dr. Bolotin has expertise in a wide range of medical and surgical treatments in cutaneous oncology, including Mohs micrographic surgery and excisional treatments of cutaneous neoplasms. Her clinical and academic interests span the field of cutaneous oncology, leadership and trainee and junior faculty mentorship. Having graduate training in skin biology, she is particularly interested in non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) biology, clinical behavior and treatments. Her current research focuses on clinical trials and translational research on molecular underpinnings of NMSC as well as novel approaches to advanced NMSC therapy. She is a recipient of a Medical Dermatology Society Mentorship Award, several Chicago Dermatologic Society Research Awards, an American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) Cutting Edge Research Award and an ASDS President’s award for her contributions to the specialty.

Keegan Checkett, MD

Keegan Checkett, MD

2020–2021 SENIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Medicine
Bio

Dr. Keegan Checkett received her MD from the University of Missouri – Columbia, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of California – San Francisco and her residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Chicago. In 2011, Dr. Checkett joined the faculty at the University of Chicago, where she currently is an attending physician and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Checkett’s interest lies in emergency care development in low-income regions, particularly in education and training development. She served as core faculty for the Emergency Medicine residency of Muhimbili University, Tanzania from 2011-2014. From 2014-2018, Dr. Checkett worked as the program co-director for the Emergency Medicine residency of University Hospital of Mirebalais, Haiti, where she developed, implemented, and transitioned the curriculum for the first Emergency Medicine residency in Haiti. Additionally, Dr. Checkett is active in the education arm of the African Federation for Emergency Medicine (AFEM), including serving as the lead editor-in-chief for the second edition AFEM Handbook of Emergency Care and as the managing editor of the AFEM Presentation Bank. In 2018, Dr. Checkett developed the University of Chicago Global Emergency Medicine Medical Education fellowship, a novel global EM fellowship for which she serves as fellowship director. Currently, Dr. Checkett serves as the director of global emergency medicine at the University of Chicago; collaborates with the Haitian Society for Emergency Medicine as a Health and Policy Advisor in Emergency Care for Partners in Health; and consults for the World Health Organization COVID-19 Clinical Management team to develop global education and training tools.

Jessica Donington, MD

Jessica Donington, MD

2020–2021 SENIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Surgery
Bio

Dr. Donington obtained her bachelor degree from the University of Michigan and her medical degree from Rush University. She completed general surgery training at Georgetown University, cardiothoracic training at the Mayo Clinic, and a surgical oncology fellowship in the Surgical Branch of the NCI. She was on faculty at Stanford and NYU prior to accepting her current position as chief of the section of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Chicago in 2018. Her clinical interest is in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. She has unique expertise in the use multimodality therapy for locally advanced lung cancer, clinical trials in lung cancer, and treatment options for medically high-risk patients with lung cancer. She is a past president of the New York Society for Thoracic Surgery and the Women in Thoracic Surgery. She is the surgical chair for the thoracic section of NRG Oncology.

K. Sarah Hoehn, MD

K. Sarah Hoehn, MD

2020–2021 SENIOR FACULTY SCHOLAR

Department of Pediatrics
Bio

Dr. Hoehn attended medical school at University of Kansas, then completed her pediatric residency at University of California San Francisco, followed by a pediatric critical care medicine fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She also obtained a Masters in Bioethics from University of Pennsylvania. She has been on faculty at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, St. Christopher’s in Philadelphia, Rush and Comer, plus University of Kansas. She is a national leader in pediatric palliative care, and has started and grown multiple palliative care programs. In addition, she has been a course director and taught a pediatrics ethics course at Kansas City University of Biosciences. She has done research in informed consent, difficult decision making and family support and communication. She serves on the editorial boards of AAP PREP and the journal, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. She is on the Pediatric Advisory Committee of the FDA, and a national advocate for safe prescribing of opioids. She is an advocate for children, no matter where they are in their journey. Here at the University of Chicago she is director of supportive care, which focuses on pain, palliative and integrative medicine. She is also the co-director of the MacLean Ethics Consultation Service. As a Bucksbaum senior scholar, she is excited to mentor students, residents and fellows on topics of communication, equity and palliative care. In addition, she is working to develop clear connections between ethics and equity. As Amanda Gorman said, ‘just is isn’t always justice.’