Carle Illinois College of Medicine – Illinois Advancement
Students practicing patient check-ups on medical dolls.

Fiscal Year 2023 Update

Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Celebrating the impact of your generosity

Dear friends,

On behalf of everyone at Carle Illinois College of Medicine, thank you for helping make FY 2023 a year of unprecedented success and growth at the world’s first engineering-based college of medicine.

For the second year in a row, our graduates are now resident physicians at top programs and hospitals around the country in almost every specialty, poised to make a meaningful impact as physician-innovators for their patients and communities. Our current students continue to excel, earning regional, national, and even global honors for their research in cancer, tissue engineering, mixed reality and AI, radiology, neurology/neurosurgery, and innovation. Most recently, we welcomed 64 students from top schools around the country into the Class of 2027 who enrich our student body with their impressive credentials and drive.

Simultaneously, our college has formed promising national and international partnerships that will create opportunities to launch new student exchange externships, establish research collaborations, and brand CI MED as an international leader in engineering-based medical education.

Of course, only through your generous support can we continue to accomplish great things. Thank you for partnering with us as, together, we innovate, engineer, and build the future of medicine.

With gratitude,

Mark S. Cohen
Signature Mark S. Cohen, MD, FSSO, FACS
Dean, Carle Illinois College of Medicine

FY 2023 By the Numbers

Thanks to your support during this past fiscal year, the Carle Illinois College of Medicine continues to be transformed, resulting in:

Dollars Raised12,758,513 Dollars Raised

Gifts from small to large259 Gifts Between $1 and $100

Illinois Logo$3,390,610 New Planned Giving Commitments

*Data as of 8/1/23.

FY 2023 Highlights

Your support has helped us continue to elevate the values that make Illinois distinctive: a sense of boundless aspiration, collaboration, and a global perspective.

Drawing of Nellie Haug's capstone project: a rapid screening test for cervical cancer.

Turning Grief into Action

The Aarush M. Patel Foundation was born out of tragedy, but his parents channeled their heartbreak into support for families experiencing their darkest hours by funding innovative research in women’s health and maternal-fetal medicine. The Foundation helped support CI MED students Bhargavee Gnanasambandam and Nellie Haug’s capstone project, Cervicare, which aims to address disparities in cervical cancer screening with a new rapid screening test. This test will lower the cost of pap smears, the most widely used test to detect cervical cancer, but one which can be prohibitively expensive for free clinics to offer—and therefore for low-income women to access. In addition to the test, they are analyzing NIH data to explore the relationship between social/structural determinants of health and cervical cancer to better pinpoint where barriers exist.

Prototype of Beacon

Cozad Venture Challenge Inspires Medical Innovation

A team of Carle Illinois College of Medicine physician innovators were selected as finalists in the Cozad New Venture Challenge, a semester-long program designed to encourage students to develop their startup ideas into profitable businesses. The new healthcare track, created in collaboration with CI MED and partially sponsored by donors Peter Fox and the Henry Dale & Betty Smith Family, featured an elevator pitch from Beacon, founded by CI MED students Anant Naik, Emily Smith, and Al Smith, about their proposed new treatment for patients with glioblastomas, an aggressive form of brain cancer. These finalists will now have access to top-notch mentors and guidance relating to commercializing medical technologies to assist them in forming a company around their ideas.

Hand holding two vials of liquid.

Albert C. England III Professorship of Infectious Diseases

Inspired by his grandfather and his father, both physicians and life-long learners, Dr. Albert (Terry) England, III became intrigued by medicine at a young age. After retiring from almost 40 years at Christie Clinic, he and his wife Barbara chose to honor his family legacy; the legacies of his medical school professors, Dennis G. Maki at UW-Madison and David W. Fraser at CDC Atlanta; as well as his colleagues and patients by creating the Albert C. England III Professorship of Infectious Diseases Fund. It is his privilege to support infectious disease education, patient care, and research.

Sculpture of human hand with bone structure partially visible.

The Dr. Don A. Fischer Memorial Surgical Scholarship Fund

Dr. Don A. Fischer was a loving father and husband, a well-respected surgeon at both Christie Clinic and Decatur Memorial Hospital, a loyal Illini, and one of the earliest advocates for Carle Illinois College of Medicine. One of his greatest joys in life was seeing the enthusiasm and pride of new physicians as they graduated from medical school and moved forward in their careers, so to honor his memory, his family established the Dr. Don A. Fischer Memorial Surgical Scholarship Fund to provide financial support for CI MED students who wish to follow in Dr. Fischer’s footsteps and become surgeons.

Neil and Carol Ruzic

Neil & Carol Ruzic Faculty Scholar

After being diagnosed with an extremely aggressive form of cancer and given six months to live, science journalist and author Neil Ruzic’s doctors couldn’t offer a cure. Chemotherapy could extend his life, but instead of taking the simple route, “he threw himself into the research, being his own patient advocate,” according to his son, U of I professor Dr. David Ruzic, and outlived his initial prognosis by nearly six years. In honor of Neil’s vision and spirit, David and his mother, Carol Ruzic, funded the Neil and Carol Ruzic Carle Illinois College of Medicine Fund in order to sponsor faculty research into engineering medicine. In 2023, Wawrzyniec Dobrucki was announced as the inaugural Neil and Carol Ruzic Faculty Scholar and became the first named professor at Carle Illinois.

Continue Your Support

Your continued support ensures the Carle Illinois College of Medicine remains a place where progress and innovation can flourish. Find your passion and help us dream even bigger!

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See More Impact

Philanthropy has benefited students, faculty, and staff in many ways. Browse the list below to learn more about how your impact can be felt across campus.

© 2023 University of Illinois Board of Trustees