Our mission is to provide the highest level of care to every patient and offer the highest level of education to new generations of doctors by continuous success in laboratory and clinical research. There are approximately thirty faculty members who have established outstanding programs in solid tumors, blood cancers and other non-malignant blood diseases.

The Sickle Cell Program in the Division includes nationally and internationally renowned experts who have developed innovative treatments for over 30 years. A strong portfolio of clinical trials in hematology-oncology is available thanks to specialists in breast, lung, gastro-intestinal, prostate, renal cancers, melanoma, brain tumors, leukemias, lymphomas, myeloma or myeloproliferative neoplasms. The Division includes also a Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) program active in pre-clinical and clinical research including innovative transplant protocols in blood malignancies as well as in sickle cell disease.

The BMT Program has also developed a unique Global initiative collaborating with centers in low-middle income countries, such as Nepal, India, Nigeria and Cuba. The 3 year Fellowship Program in Hematology/Oncology has been successful in training 4 fellows yearly through clinical rotations and research mentoring.

The Division continues to be a leader in research with many investigators supported by federal (NIH/NCI) and private funding.

Meet the Chief

Damiano Rondelli

Damiano Rondelli, MD
Michael Reese Professor of Hematology
Division Chief, Hematology/Oncology
Director of Blood & Marrow Transplant

Damiano Rondelli is the Michael Reese Professor of Hematology. In 2002 he left the oldest university of the world, in Bologna- Italy, to join UIC. The interest for translational research in stem cell transplant took him to Chicago. Since 2012, he is the Division Chief. He has established pre-clinical studies on the interaction between T cells and stem cells, and clinical transplant studies for patients with leukemia, myeloma, myelofibrosis and sickle cell disease. In addition he has initiated Global Health projects in HemOnc in Nepal, India, Nigeria and Cuba, supporting BMT in developing countries. Over 120 peer reviewed papers, multiple book chapters, but also (his main hobby) a book on the history of medical disciplines.

The goal of the Division of Hematology and Oncology is to be the academic environment where the current exciting discoveries on gene sequencing, anti-cancer immunotherapies, gene therapy, innovative methods to transplant stem cells across compatibility, can be offered to any patient. Therefore, the Division will continue to develop multidisciplinary research and clinical teams that can focus on patients by studying: causes of diseases, integrated multi-approach treatments, and factors impacting survivorship.

The Division of Hematology/Oncology will continue to promote innovative laboratory research projects as well as investigator-initiated clinical trials in cancer through a close collaboration with the UI Cancer Center, and in non-malignant disorders, especially Sickle Cell Anemia.


The pioneer for the division of Hematology/Oncology was Paul Heller, MD.  Dr. Heller was born in Czechoslovakia, received his medical degree from Charles University in Prague and was a concentration camp survivor. After working with the West Side VA, Dr. Heller became the first professor of medicine for the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Previous Chiefs

Paul Heller, MD
Leon Platanias, MD
Ronald Hoffman, MD
Damiano Rondelli, MD (interim)
David J. Peace, MD (interim)
Divyesh Mehta, MD (interim)
Gary Kruh, MD, PhD (interim)
Howard Ozer, MD
Damiano Rondelli, MD (current)

INSTRUCTIONS: In order to add a sidebar anchor:

  1. Duplicate the existing item, listed as a 1/6 text field. (Or create a 1/6 column and add a text field, modify the class so it’s exactly “additionalAnchor”).
  2. Modify the text field inside the 1/6 column. Inside there, modify the HYPERLINK so that it would go to a corresponding section with a “#” in front of it. (Example, we have a “chief” section on the page, then it would make sense to have the hyperlink go to “#chief”)
  3. Then change the hyperlink TEXT to a appropriate label.
  4. IMPORTANT: If not done already, go into that CONTAINER that corresponds to your anchor (i.e. Meet The Chiefs), and add an ID matching the anchor’s HYPERLINK WITHOUT the “#”, i.e. “chief”.
  5. (If using side bar widget box, then there’s a saved copy of a widget box COLUMN, grab it in the column library, it should 1/6 of a length of a column.)

NOTE: Order added to the sidebar is from last to first.