College of Medicine: Deans

Dimitri T. Azar, MD, MBA is Dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He holds the B.A. Field Chair in ophthalmologic research, and is Professor of Ophthalmology, Bioengineering and Pharmacology.

Dr. Azar joined the University of Illinois at Chicago, in 2006, as Head of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences after serving as tenured Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Cornea Service at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Senior Scientist at the Schepens Eye Institute, and as faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Dr. Azar brings experience in administration, research, education and clinical practice to his position as Dean of the College of Medicine. He earned an executive MBA with high honors from the University of Chicago. Dr. Azar is the author of over 400 scientific articles and book chapters. He is the editor of 14 books in ophthalmology, and he holds 15 patents. Dr. Azar has been named one of The Best Doctors in America® and/or one of the Castle Connolly regional Top Doctors in America annually since 1994. He is a leader in basic science and clinically related vision research, making significant contributions to the treatment of corneal diseases and to advances in refractive surgery through mathematical analyses and applications of advanced optics.

His basic science research on matrix metalloproteinases in corneal wound healing and angiogenesis has been continually funded by the National Eye Institute R01 award since 1993. He serves as a trustee for the Chicago Ophthalmological Society and for the Association of Research and Vision in Ophthalmology. Dr. Azar has also received multiple leadership awards, including the 2009 Lans Distinguished Award and the University of Illinois at Chicago Scholar Award.

Sara Rusch, MD  
Dr. Rusch is a general internist and a Master of the American College of Physicians. As Regional Dean, Dr. Rusch is leading multiple projects to improve UICOMP.  These include: building small-group learning spaces; advancing simulation training; expanding research in health outcomes and cancer biology; building a new 20,000 square foot cancer research facility; and expanding residency education through the addition of a psychiatry residency and the expansion of other residency and fellowship programs.
More about Dean Rusch

Alex Stagnaro-Green, MD, MHPE, is the Regional Dean of the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford and a Professor of Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Medical Education. A renowned clinician-scientist and academic leader, he has extensive experience in curriculum design and development, administration, Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accreditation, clinical research, and public service in the field of thyroid and pregnancy.
More about Dean Stagnaro-Green

Uretz Oliphant, MD is the interim dean of our Urbana campus. In addition, he serves as Head of the Department of Surgery and is a Clinical Professor of Surgery and Medicine. His medical and research interests focus on Critical Care, laparoscopic surgery, bariatric surgery, trauma surgery and acute care surgery. Dr. Oliphant is past President of the Illinois Surgical Society, past Head of the Division of Trauma Surgery and Department of General Surgery at Carle. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Abdominal Surgeons. Dr. Oliphant is currently Chair of the Council of Specialty Groups and is past Vice President of the International College of Surgeons.
Click here for a welcome from Dean Oliphant.