Arno Motulsky Community

Physician House Advising Faculty

Dr. Brittani James

Dr. Brittani James grew up in Twinsburg, OH to a working-class family. She, and her twin sister Brandi are the first physicians in their family. Dr. James graduated from Cornell University with a major in Biology and minor in Global Health. She attended The University of Michigan Medical School and went on to complete Family Medicine Residency here at The University of Illinois at Chicago.

After residency, Dr. James and her twin sister, a Psychiatrist, created a pipeline program called Med Like Me, which focused on increasing the representation of minorities in medicine. This work gained national attention, and has been featured on The Ellen Show, The Kelly Clarkson, NBC Nightly News, and other national outlets.

Earlier this year, Dr. James and her sister founded The Institute for Antiracism in Medicine, a non-profit dedicated to the pursuit of health equity for all along racial lines, including and especially those whose oppression is compounded by their gender identity, ability status, sexual orientation or other identities.

Dr. James currently practices at a safety net clinic on The South Side of the city. Her clinical and research interests include women’s health, chronic disease prevention and management, care of LGBTQ patients, trauma-informed care, and addiction medicine. In her spare time, Dr. James enjoys playing retro video games with her husband, gardening and practicing calligraphy. She is the breastfeeding mother of a 1-year-old daughter.

Dr. Leelach Rothschild

Dr. Leelach Rothschild, MD is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at University of Illinois at UIH and splits her time between Shriners Hospital for Children in Chicago and UIH. She grew up in the north suburbs of Chicago and went out east for college where she obtained a BA in Spanish Literature; she developed a fondness for traveling to other countries and learning about other cultures. Upon her return to Chicago, she worked in a Surgical Oncology Lab at UIC and maintained her connection to Spanish through her volunteer work in Pilsen. She went on to receive her MD from the University of Illinois and continued there with her training, completing a residency in Anesthesiology and then fellowship in Pediatric Anesthesiology. She has been a proud lifer at UIH since 2007! (but technically 1997 when she stepped foot into the lab). She is involved in many hospital and department projects, but particularly enjoys supporting residents and department wellness initiatives; she also serves on the Wellness Committee for the American Society of Anesthesiologists.  When she is not busy at work, she finds joy spending time with her family, walking and playing with her dog, and when circumstances allow, traveling the globe.

Arno Motulsky, MD (1923-2018)

Arno Motulsky was born in Germany to Jewish parents. He came to the United States in 1941 as a refugee from Nazi Germany, after first being sent to an internment camp in Vichy France. He worked his way through night classes to obtain his GED, then joined the US Army. In 1944, he began medical school at the University of Illinois as a soldier, private first class.He became a hematologist and physician-scientist, initially studying sickle cell hemoglobin. In 1957, he was asked to establish a Division of Medical Genetics at the University of Washington. There, he founded the field of pharmacogenetics. He mentored hundreds of fellows and students over 50 years, including 1985 Nobel Prize winner Dr. Joseph Goldstein.



Arno Motulsky authored in excess of 400 articles, including the definitive text book of his field for its time, Human Genetics: Problems and Approaches, co authored with Friedrich Vogel


Dr. Motulsky was the recipient of some of the most distinguished honors awarded in medicine, including awards from the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society
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