National Academy of Medicine President Victor Dzau to Deliver CI MED 2023 Convocation Address

March 8, 2023
Beth Hart

Written by Beth Hart

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The president of the National Academy of Medicine will deliver the 2023 Carle Illinois College of Medicine convocation address. Dr. Victor J. Dzau ­– an international leader in academic medicine and advocate for transforming medical education through innovation – will address the college’s second graduating class as they receive their MD degrees on May 6 at the Alice Campbell Center.

<em>Dr. Victor Dzau. Photo by Christopher P. Michel</em>
Dr. Victor Dzau, President, National Academy of Medicine. Photo by Christopher P. Michel

“Carle Illinois College of Medicine is incredibly honored to welcome a national and international leader and distinguished scholar like Dr. Dzau to address our second graduating class,” said Carle Illinois College of Medicine (CI MED) Dean Mark Cohen. “Dr. Dzau has inspired countless physicians in his career and is an ideal keynote speaker to provide an innovative vision to launch the careers of our physician innovators as they set out to change the practice of medicine,” Cohen said.

Dzau was elected president of the National Academy of Medicine after serving in leadership roles at some of the nation’s leading medical schools, including Harvard, Stanford, and Duke University Health System, where he is Chancellor Emeritus for Health Affairs and James B. Duke Professor of Medicine.

He is a leading national and international advisor on issues related to health and medicine. As part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, his organization provides objective advice through scientifically balanced research on important health-related issues. Membership in the National Academy is considered one of the highest professional honors bestowed in science and medicine.

Dzau stresses the importance of academic health centers (AHCs) in national health care reform. He emphasizes that academic health centers are critical in transforming medicine through a seamless innovation-to-care continuum that incorporates scientific discovery, translational research, and care delivery.

“Dr. Dzau’s vision for transforming medical practice and medical education to fully integrate multiple disciplines and innovation aligns with our transformative vision for medical education at Carle Illinois,” Cohen said. CI MED’s unique curriculum incorporates engineering concepts and innovation into every phase of medical education, with each course led by a clinician, an engineer, and a basic scientist. “This type of barrier-breaking, game-changing approach to medical innovation is exactly what we are building at CI MED, an approach our graduates will carry with them as the future leaders in medicine.”

At Duke, Dzau inaugurated this model through development of horizontal integrative structures such as Duke Global Health Institute, Translational Medicine Institute, Institute of Health Innovations, and other private-public international partnerships. He also sponsored innovative local projects and new models of care delivery to improve community health.

Dzau has led groundbreaking research in cardiovascular medicine and genetics. His seminal research on renin-angiotensin and vascular biology has shaped cardiovascular medicine and therapeutics, with application globally in the treatment of high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. A pioneer in the use of gene therapy in treating vascular disease, he was the first to introduce DNA decoy molecules to block transcriptions as gene therapy in humans.

The 34 members of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine’s Class of 2023 will receive their MD degrees on Saturday, May 6, at convocation ceremonies at Alice Campbell Alumni Center on the campus of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Carle Illinois College of Medicine is the world’s first engineering-based college of medicine, with a strong emphasis on research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. It was formed in 2015 as a unique partnership between the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Carle Health to solve real-world health problems through the development of innovative tools and therapeutics that will enhance patient care.

Media Contact: Ryann Monahan | Director of Marketing and Communications | Carle Illinois College of Medicine | | 217-300-6658

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This story was published March 8, 2023.