The Division of General Internal Medicine faculty include innovative researchers who have established programs in investigation across a wide range of topics. Learn more about our relationship with the Osher Center via the link below.
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Learn more about our research labs and projects.
The Cameron Program integrates and applies theory-based message design to address and improve the uptake of preventive health behaviors (vaccinations, cancer screenings), particularly among racial and ethnic minorities.
Using underlying theoretical frameworks from the fields of communication, psychology and health education and behavior, the Cameron Lab seeks to create innovative and patient-centered messages to motivate individuals to engage in preventive health behaviors. Research has included funded studies to identify accurate and inaccurate beliefs about influenza and influenza vaccination among African Americans ≥ 65 years of age; creation of multimedia messages to promote influenza vaccination and pneumococcal vaccination, and physician and patient interventions to improve colorectal cancer screening among patients seeking care at Federally Qualified Health Centers. The Lab has also investigated the effects of presentation of a “facts versus myths” format in printed materials on seasonal influenza vaccination, demonstrating that health communication messages that include facts, myths, and evidence to counteract myths appear to be effective in increasing participant’s knowledge. Furthermore, such presentation of facts and myths does not appear counterproductive to patient recall accuracy. Current research is exploring the effects of presenting patients information either at the point of care or prior to a clinic visit via use of the Electronic Health Record.
The Cameron Lab also provides a significant amount of consultation and expertise related to qualitative research methods, working across Departments and Divisions within FSM, including Medical Education, Hospital Medicine, Preventive Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Medical Social Sciences, among others. Dr. Cameron is a passionate advocate for mentoring the next generation of scholars, recognizing the benefits we gain through transdisciplinary education and collaboration. She is a member of the Feinberg Mentor Academy, and was awarded the Feinberg School of Medicine Mentor of the Year award (2016).
For more information, visit Dr. Cameron's faculty profile page.
View Dr. Cameron's program publications at PubMed.
E-Mail: Kenzie A. Cameron, PhD, MPH
The Goel Program performs outcomes research on social determinants of health and provides health informatics infrastructure support for national and regional clinical data projects.
The Goel Lab focuses on understanding the correlation and impact of clinical, genetic, and social determinants of health on individual health outcomes. The team is known for its work on building healthcare informatics infrastructure, including harmonized and integrated databases, automated registries for clinical and patient data collection, embedded analytics and visualization tools for real-time feedback-driven behavior change. They host their own REDCap instance and provide end-to-end user applications with customizable front-end options. The Goel Lab also manages the HealthLNK portal, which builds novel methods for driving value out of healthcare data and provides support to the research community. Dr. Goel studies trends in patient care for healthier outcomes, enables tools for integrating cross-institutional clinical data, and develops models for evaluating the impact of environmental factors in human health.
Dr. Goel compares outcomes of phenotype algorithms across various conditions using single-site and multisite de-duplicated data sets from the HDR. The Goel Lab uses health-outcome observations such as diagnoses, along with spatially explicit environmental datasets and aggregated U.S. Census demographic and socio-economic data, to disaggregate de-identified health data sets such that environmental/health models can be developed. The process at times involves aggregating health data into larger, more “coarse” spatial units to develop greater statistical power or dividing them into “granular” spatial units to estimate patient location at extremely fine spatial resolutions.
View Dr. Goel's program publications at PubMed.
E-Mail: Satyender Goel, PhD
The Kandula Program investigates the causes of cardiovascular disease in South Asians and tests novel interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes in partnership with community stakeholders.
I am a primary care physician whose work is to support community health partnerships to improve health in immigrant and minority communities. For many years, I have been leading community-engaged research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, to understand and reduce cardiovascular disease disparities in South Asian immigrants. My research advances understanding of the social and cultural determinants of cardiovascular disease from the patients’ perspective and how to use this information to develop more effective interventions. I am currently leading the South Asian Healthy Lifestyle Intervention (SAHELI) study, which is a multi-sectoral collaboration involving community, public health, and healthcare system partners. Our goal is to implement and test a community-based, culturally tailored lifestyle intervention for South Asian adults with elevated cardiovascular risk. I am also the Northwestern University PI of the MASALA study, which is the first longitudinal cohort study to investigate heart disease in US South Asians. Results from MASALA show important differences in cardiovascular disease pathophysiology across racial/ethnic groups and can guide tailored treatment and prevention for South Asians.
For more information, visit Dr. Kandula's faculty profile page.
View Dr. Kandula's program publications at PubMed.
Swapna Dave`, MPH, PMP, MBBS
Research Project Manager
Ankita Puri, PhD
Research Project Coordinator
Research Study Coordinator
Dr. Kho’s Center for Health Information Partnerships (CHiP) develops relationships and tools to bring together health data at the local, regional, and national level to improve care.
Dr. Kho specializes in health informatics and particularly the development of large scale electronic data-sharing networks for translational, patient centered, and quality improvement research. He has developed expertise in EHR-based phenotyping methods and has been involved in exploring how to incorporate genetic testing back into routine clinical care through the EHR. He has also examined novel applications of Geographic Information Systems including privacy-protecting means to present small-area estimates of disease. Dr. Kho’s work enables data sharing across diverse stakeholders, linking EHR data across multiple institutions in the Chicago region. Additionally, he works to identify the quality improvement strategies that work best in practices and to correlate care team composition with patient outcomes.
View Dr. Kho's program publications at PubMed.
The Linder Research Program principally investigates primary care in the United States.
Our research is diverse, focusing on many aspects of healthcare and primary care in the United States. We have particular expertise in ambulatory antibiotic prescribing, use of health information technology, using health system data for research, and physician behavior change using social psychology and behavioral economics. We have received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, industry, and foundations.
For more information, visit Dr. Linder's faculty profile page.
View Dr. Linder's program publications at PubMed.
Stephen Persell, MD, MPH
Tiffany Brown, MHP
Research Project Manager
Ji Young Lee
The McDermott Program investigates mechanisms of disability in peripheral artery disease and works to identify interventions to improve walking ability in patients with peripheral artery disease.
Dr. McDermott’s laboratory is currently working to identify mechanisms of functional impairment and decline in peripheral artery disease and to identify therapies to improve functional performance in people with peripheral artery disease (PAD). Her laboratory is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Dr. McDermott leads an investigative team that is studying associations of lower extremity ischemia with calf skeletal muscle abnormalities that include mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative capacity, abnormalities in autophagy, and other pathologic changes. Her lab also studies associations of these pathologic changes with functional impairment and decline in PAD.
Dr. McDermott currently leads several ongoing randomized trials designed to test the following hypotheses:
The LITE Trial, funded by NHLBI (R01-HL122846), is a randomized clinical trial that will determine whether a low intensity, home-based exercise intervention that avoids exercise-related ischemic pain improves walking performance at 52-week follow-up in patients with PAD, compared to a high intensity home based exercise intervention and as compared to an attention control condition.
The TELEX Trial, funded by NHLBI (R01-HL126117) will establish whether telmisartan combined with supervised treadmill exercise improves walking performance in people with PAD at 6-month follow-up, compared to telmisartan alone and as compared to supervised treadmill exercise alone. The TELEX Trial will also determine whether telmisartan significantly improves walking performance in people with PAD at 6-month follow-up, compared to placebo.
The PERMET Trial, funded by NHLBI (R01-HL137701), is a randomized double blinded clinical trial that will determine whether six months of daily metformin improves walking performance in patients with PAD, compared to placebo.
The COCOA-PAD Trial, funded by the NIA (R21AG050897) is a pilot double blinded randomized clinical trial that will determine whether epicatechin-rich cocoa daily for six months improves walking performance in individuals with PAD compared to a matched placebo without cocoa or epicatechin. COCOA-PAD will enroll 44 participants.
Dr. McDermott also studies exercise interventions for patients with PAD. Her investigative team is working to identify exercise interventions that are effective and accessible and acceptable to people with PAD. She is currently conducting a PCORI- funded randomized clinical trial of a home-based exercise intervention that uses a FItbit and telephone calls from a coach to encourage home-based exercise.
For more information, visit Dr. McDermott's faculty profile page.
View Dr. McDermott's program publications at PubMed.
Email: Mary McDermott, MD
Clinical Research Associate
Research Study Coordinator
The McKoy Program investigates the impact of cancer on aging patients with special focus on cancer drug use, cost and cost-effectiveness of cancer care, cancer policy, and cancer survivorship.
Work in Dr. McKoy's lab covers a broad range of cancer-related topics unified by one theme: improved outcomes for older individuals living with cancer. Through data-mining they investigate the factors underlying adverse drug reactions in older patients undergoing treatment for cancer. Their goal is to prevent adverse drug events and improve cancer drug safety by identifying the signals and removing the noise. Additionally, given the myriad physiologic changes of aging and the multiple comorbidities that are attendant to aging, we also investigate how intervening pathologies coalesce in this milieu to drive patient outcomes. One enduring constant is that even though older patients lose some of their physiologic reserve, each person’s treatment regimen must be individualized. Furthermore, both cancer drug treatment and host environment must be thoughtfully considered. They are therefore intentional in exposing incompatible cancer treatment regimens and in using this information to direct appropriate and more targeted therapies towards older individuals living with cancer. Pharmacoeconomic studies, including cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness, cost-minimization, cost-of-illness, and cost-utility analyses, comparing cancer drug and supportive care products and treatment strategies, are also performed. It should therefore not be surprising that all prongs of our work ultimately intersect and converge at cancer survivorship.
For more information, visit Dr. McKoy's faculty profile page.
View Dr. McKoy's program publications at PubMed.
The Persell Program investigates multiple aspects of primary care delivery, practice change and quality improvement.
Our work includes the design, implementation and evaluation of multiple different aspects of quality improvement in healthcare, most often applied in primary care settings. The ultimate goal of this work is to improve healthcare and reduce healthcare disparities. Our work relies heavily on applied clinical informatics, care redesign that incorporates team members or technology functioning in different roles, as well as social psychology informed techniques to improve clinician decision making. We also study the use of electronic health record data for clinician performance measurement and research. Areas of interest include: preventive care, hypertension, preventive cardiology, medication self-management, social determinants of health, ambulatory geriatrics care, reducing overuse of inappropriate services.
View Dr. Persell's program publications at PubMed.
E-Mail: Stephen Persell, MD, MPH
Jeffrey Linder, MD, MPH
Research Study Coordinator
Yaw A. Peprah, MPH
Research Project Coordinator
The Tedla Program focuses on subclinical and clinical cardiovascular disease epidemiology.
The Tedla Lab researches arterial structural and functional abnormalities and their impact on cardiovascular diseases. Special emphasis is placed on hypertension, blood pressure variability, and arterial stiffness. The Lab also works to understand and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in blood pressure control and cardiovascular diseases. It uses big data, including electronic health record data, to conduct clinical research while leveraging robust epidemiologic methods and analytical techniques.
View Dr. Telda's program publications at PubMed.
The Thompson Program develops natural language processing (NLP) algorithms.
The Thompson Lab investigates the development of tools for creating computable and portable phenotyping algorithms. It designs and implements natural language processing (NLP) algorithms to extract structured information from unstructured clinical text stored in a repository of clinical data for over 8 million unique patients. The lab works with clinicians and other informaticians to calculate electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) in electronic health records (EHRs) more accurately and automatically by supplementing existing structured data with information extracted using NLP.
View Dr. Thompson's program publications at PubMed.
The Walunas Program explores how electronic health record data can be used to improve health outcomes and care quality for patients with immunological disease, particularly autoimmunity.
Dr. Walunas’s primary research interest is the development and application of novel informatics methods to understand the mechanisms of autoimmune disease. This includes EHR-based phenotyping methods to identify autoimmune disease pathways, identification of environmental, social and behavioral determinants of health in medical records, and use of EHRs to track and improve health outcomes for patients with autoimmune disease.
View Dr. Walunas's program publications at PubMed.
Dr. Walunas Lab: 312-503-3397
Center for Health Information Partnerships: 312-503-8019