Feinberg Research Retreat Feb. 14, 2017

CHICAGO -- Nearly 300 principal investigators from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine gathered at the Fairmont Hotel for a day of discussion and brainstorming to generate transformative ideas that will help guide the Feinberg research enterprise for the next five years.

Dean Eric G. Neilson, MD, addressed the crowd, the majority of whom are Feinberg principal investigators with research funding from the National Institutes of Health.
"My vision is to solidify our place as an elite medical school and we are on our way," --- Eric G. Neilson, MD, vice president for Medical Affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Over the course of nearly eight hours and three rounds of discussion, the scientists worked together to put forth impactful and strategic research ideas for Feinberg leadership to consider. Infrastructure needs were also addressed.

The last Feinberg Research Retreat, held in 2012, was half the size of this year's event.
Chyung-Ru Wang, PhD and Karla Fullner Satchell, PhD, professors of Microbiology-Immunology, input ideas into a web-based application with guidance from a facilitator.
Flip charts helped participants sketch out their ideas.

During each round of active tabletop discussion, facilitators recorded ideas into a web-based application. The ideas were projected onto screens around the room. After each round of discussion, the ideas were refined, voted upon and ranked.

Ideas were projected on screens in realtime.

Some ideas that rose to the top during the final ranking process included:

  • Focusing on epigenetics/genomics/metabolics and environmental research in pediatric and adult disease
  • Developing a lung health center or institute
  • Creating sustained partnerships with communities for research
  • Establishing an institute or center dedicated to personalized medicine and stem cells
  • Becoming a world leader in myocardial biology

The hundreds of thoughts and suggestions generated during the retreat were recorded for future use and review. The event was managed by Learning & Organization Development staff from the Northwestern University Office of Human Resources, with support from Northwestern Information Technology. The retreat was hosted by Dean Neilson and Rex L. Chisholm, PhD, vice dean for Scientific Affairs at Feinberg.

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Erin Spain
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