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Meet the Chief: Dr. Nadera J. Sweiss

Nadera Sweiss Chief, Division of Rheumatology

Dr. Nadera J. Sweiss is a tenured professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology with a secondary appointment in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy at the University of Illinois Chicago. She is the first Jordanian woman physician to rise to the rank of a tenured professor of medicine in Rheumatology in the United States.

Dr. Sweiss received her medical degree from the University of Jordan in Amman, Jordan in 1990. She also completed a residency and master’s degree in Internal Medicine and post-residency training in rheumatology and diabetes at the University of Jordan.

After coming to the United States, she completed an internal medicine residency at Saint Joseph Hospital in Chicago, IL where she served as chief resident for one year. Dr. Sweiss completed her rheumatology fellowship at the University of Chicago and then became an instructor of medicine for 2 years. She was as an assistant professor in the department for 7 years.

Dr. Sweiss joined the University of Illinois in 2011 where she founded and directed the University of Illinois Bernie Mac Sarcoidosis Translational Advanced Research Center (STAR) that she established in partnership with the Bernie Mac Foundation in Oct 2012. She manages more than 1,500 patients with sarcoidosis. This clinic represents a group of mostly African American patients and under-served. Dr. Sweiss also founded the University of Illinois, Cold Hand Clinic that follows patients with cold hands and digital ulcers.

Dr. Sweiss is the principal investigator of numerous clinical trials in sarcoidosis, scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis to improve the management of patients with refractory autoimmune diseases. Her research focuses on the management of sarcoidosis, scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis particularly those with disease refractory to conventional treatment methods. She focuses on identifying novel biomarkers that will assist clinicians in predicting patients’ disease course and tailoring therapies old and new to meet individual patient needs.

Goals/Vision for the division Heading link

We strive to produce a caliber of rheumatology teaching and research that leads to advances in science of rheumatology and autoimmune diseases.

Together we serve minority and underserved population and serve the mission of the University. Together we empower Rheumatology trainees to excel in their specialty.

Our core values in support of our vision and mission:

  • Professionalism
  • Respect
  • Service to the community
  • Excellence in Patient Care, education and scholarly activities
  • Innovation 

Our Motto:
“One doesn’t ask of one who suffers: What is your country and what is your religion? One merely says you suffer. That is enough for me. You belong to me and I shall help you.”

The Division continues to be a leader in sarcoidosis and rheumatoid arthritis research with investigators supported by federal (NIH/foundation) and private funding.

The Division of Rheumatology will continue to promote innovative research projects as well as investigator-initiated clinical trials