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About the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy

Pulmonology team


The mission of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine is to provide:

Outstanding, compassionate, state-of-the-art and cost-effective care of our patients with pulmonary, allergy, and sleep disorders, and to the critically ill.

Quality education to our fellows in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine, our residents in internal medicine and our medical students.

An environment of inquiry with innovative basic and clinical research, which aims to improve our understanding of the mechanisms of disease and the lives of our patients.

History Heading link

Ruy Lourenco, MD

The Section of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine was founded in 1970 by Dr. Ruy V. Lourenco. Dr. Lourenco trained at Columbia University and was on the faculty at the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry prior to becoming the Section Chief at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). He served as chief from 1970-1977, and as the Chair of the Department of Medicine from 1977-1989. He left UIC to become the Dean of the Medical School at the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry in 1989. Dr. Lourenco’s life work resulted in many novel and important observations regarding the investigation of the control of breathing, tracheobronchial clearance, and aerosol deposition in the lung.

Dr. Melvin Lopata, MD

Dr. Melvin Lopata completed subspecialty training at UIC and succeeded Dr. Lourenco as the second Chief of the Section from 1977 until 2004. Dr Lopata led a productive research program that focused on respiratory muscle function and made important contributions that quantified diaphragm and upper airway muscle function and the response to respiratory loading that are relevant to the pathogenesis of obstructive sleep apnea.

John Christman, MD

Dr. John Christman joined the faculty in July 2004 to become the third Section Chief with a mission to expand and lead a research program. Prior to moving to UIC, Dr. Christman was Chief of the Pulmonary Section at the Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Health Care System and a Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Christman’s research program was funded by both the NIH and the Department of Veterans Affairs to investigate macrophage gene regulation and the role of macrophages in the pathogenesis of neutrophilic lung inflammation and pulmonary host defense. Under Dr. Christman’s leadership, the section added the specialties of Allergy and Sleep to its banner, becoming known as the Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy. Dr. Christman left UIC in 2013 to become the Director of the Critical Care Signature Program and Chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care, and Sleep at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus OH.

Stephen Dudek, MD

Dr. Stephen Dudek succeeded Dr. Christman as Division Chief in 2013. Dr. Dudek came to UIC from the University of Chicago where he was part of an active clinical and research group who moved here en masse in 2010. Dr. Dudek is an active critical care physician with ongoing experience caring for critically ill patients, such as those with Acute Lung Injury/Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. ALI/ARDS is a devastating consequence of systemic inflammatory conditions such as sepsis that afflicts almost 200,000 people a year in the US with 75,000 deaths. His research program employs multiple cell culture and animal models of sepsis and ALI as well as translational studies of genomic associations with multiple pulmonary diseases (e.g., ALI, asthma, etc) to provide further pathophysiologic insights into these disease states.