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RIC Matters 2014 03 12

Quote of the Week

Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.”

–W. Clement Stone




Richard L. Lieber, PhD, to Join RIC as Senior Vice President of Research and Chief Scientist

From Joanne Smith, MD:

With unbridled enthusiasm, I announce that Richard (Rick) Lieber, PhD, has accepted my offer to become RIC Senior Vice President of Research and Chief Scientist.  Rick will be a member of our Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and report to me, and he will hold an academic position within Northwestern University.  Although we have yet to determine Rick’s start date, we expect that he will move to Chicago and join us full-time sometime between July and the end of 2014.

Rick is Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Bioengineering at the Whitaker Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University of California, San Diego (UCSD).  Focusing his research on the biology, physiology, and biomechanics of skeletal muscle, Rick is the established expert in the field, both nationally and internationally.  Although he is remarkably unassuming, he has an impressive background that includes a long list of NIH grants, high-profile publications, awards and honors.  Rick’s CV, career trajectory, extensive translational research and leadership acumen align perfectly with this significant leadership role at RIC. Rick earned his doctorate in Biophysics, with a minor in Electrical Engineering, from the University of California, Davis, where he also received a BS in Physiology.  He recently completed his MBA at the University of California, San Diego. Rick’s appointment represents a major and multi-faceted milestone for RIC.  It marks the gratifying conclusion of an extensive, multi-year search undertaken by an RIC/NU search Committee.  Coming at a pivotal time in our history that promises exciting scientific investment and opportunity, the search was critical and demanded a rigorous interview and reference process. It also signals the completion of a quarter-century’s inspired leadership by W. Zev Rymer, MD, PhD.  The second scientist hired by RIC, Zev is the founder of our successful research enterprise, the largest and most internationally revered of its kind.  From his cubicle in 1988, he took our enterprise from very modest beginnings to today’s $85 million, grant-funded engine that is powering the global forefront of applied neural engineering.

As you might expect from a man who loves RIC, Zev has participated fully in his own succession planning over these last two years.  Moreover, in one of Zev’s characteristic strokes of genius, he suggested that I “cold call” Dr. Richard Lieber, whom he described as “a long shot.”  He said that he’d be a fantastic choice, “if we could convince him to come.”  Well, I did, and we did!

RIC and I owe Zev a huge and heartfelt debt of gratitude for so many contributions:  his whispering invaluable counsel in my ear over the last eight years; his partnership in establishing RIC’s big Vision; his brilliant science; his endless availability and willingness to forge ahead with new ideas, when and where we needed his influence; and, of course, his drive for RIC to explore and innovate in science and research. Zev’s leadership of research and commitment to the success of RIC make his gifts to us beyond measure.

Not so fast, however.  Although we have agreed to a change of hats, we have not agreed to let him leave us.  Zev will continue to be engaged and committed in his Chief Scientist role until Rick arrives.  Thereafter, Zev will continue to lead his successful Sensory Motor Performance Program (SMPP) laboratories, all the while working hand-in-hand with me to accelerate Rick’s assimilation.

Over the coming months, we will be working with Rick and his wonderful wife, Dina, on their transition plan, move to Chicago and other logistics.  Rick will visit us several times before completing his smooth transition from UCSD.  During those visits, he will be spending time on key issues that will support his fast assimilation, as well as adding his expertise to planning related to our new AbilityLabs. As we embark upon a Vision for RIC driven by science that will transform our field — and perhaps invent a whole new category of medicine — I am thrilled to welcome a respected leader and scientist of Dr. Lieber’s caliber. Please join me in celebrating our grand good fortune, and in adopting Rick and Dina with a warm and hearty welcome to our team.

With anticipation,



Surprise Visit from Staley Da Bear Brings Smiles to Pediatric Patients 

Some very excited RIC pediatric patients got a surprise visit last week from Chicago Bears mascot Staley Da Bear and Bears chairman George H. McCaskey who handed out dozens of teddy bears to the children.

 “It really brightens their day,” said patient care technician Curtis Morris as he watched the children on the fifth floor Pediatrics Unit giggling and giving high fives to Staley.

 “They didn’t know this was coming, it was a surprise,” said administrative assistant Margaret Heywood Smith. “The kids will be talking about this all day.”

McCaskey arrived at RIC last Thursday morning with Staley and two oversized black duffle bags filled with teddy bears, which he guarded carefully as he carted them around the hospital during the “Bear Hugs” visit.

“The kids are so happy when they see things like this,” said Rene Rolan, whose daughter, Alecia, 13, received a teddy bear.

Staley ducked into to the Pediatrics Recreation Room where he joined music therapist intern Kaille Enser for some spontaneous dancing and drumming, and made his way around the hallways posing for pictures.  

Employees got a kick out of seeing Staley, too. Thank you Chicago Bears!


Come Watch the U.S. Sled Hockey Team Take on Canada!

A viewing party has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday in the Heyworth Room to watch the U.S. Sled Hockey Team battle against Canada during the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi.

The U.S. team includes our very own RIC Blackhawk players Andy Yohe, Kevin McKee and Brody Roybal. The team already has defeated Italy and South Korea in preliminary rounds. This is sure to be a good competition.

Come cheer them on at a live viewing party in the Heyworth room. Snacks will be provided. If you're planning to stop by, please check with your manager first.

Email Etiquette Tip of the Day

Keep in mind that the “Reply All” function should be used sparingly and with care. When sending email responses, please take a moment before clicking  “Send” to review very carefully the names to whom your reply will be sent. Before sending, please consider if your intention is to respond to all of the individuals or groups on an original email. This is especially important with distribution lists or groups in the “To” and “Cc” sections of the email that include large segments of our employee population.

Thank you for paying close attention before you Reply All.

Credit Union Representatives to Visit RIC

Representatives from Central Credit Union of Illinois will visit RIC on Tuesday, March 25, to answer questions about its banking services and enroll interested employees. As an RIC employee, you and your family members are eligible to enroll in the credit union, a member-owned, not-for-profit financial institution that offers a full range of banking services.

The credit union has 24-hour account access, direct deposit and payroll deduction and federal deposit insurance. For more information visit the credit union web site at Credit union representatives will be on the second floor cafeteria from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Notice Regarding Sharing Sensitive Information

Please be aware that several area hospitals have recently reported that external, unidentified individuals have been calling employees seeking information about names of employees, organizational reporting relationships, titles, contact information and other data. Some of these individuals have pretended to be from the HR department.

Remember: please do not provide such information (either verbally, via email or in any other form) to anyone not known to you who may call or write requesting it. Please let your manager know if you receive such inquiries.

2014 Annual Baskin Research Awards Competition

Researchers are invited to submit papers for the 2014 Annual Baskin Research Awards competition. Awards will be made in the following categories for papers submitted by:
• Research staff (must be RIC employee)
• Research graduate student (work done at RIC)
• Research postdoctoral fellow (work done at RIC)
• Faculty (instructor or assistant professor level, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation)
• Clinician/clinical researcher (includes nurses, allied health clinicians and disability ethics scholars - must be RIC employee)
The papers may consist of a presentation of original research written in the form of a manuscript suitable for submission to a major journal, or it may be a review of an important topic in the field. The papers would normally be at least 10 double-spaced pages. While co-authors may participate, the paper should be written primarily by the submitter. In order to be eligible, anyone submitting a paper must fit the criteria for the above categories as of the date of submission (May 2). Instructors or assistant professors on faculty in PM&R are eligible to apply in any of the categories.
Baskin submissions are due May 2, and should be submitted by email to Neal Michalik, Onterie Center, 9th Floor. Contact Neal at 8-2813 with any questions. Each submission must have the cover page, which is available from Neal, in order to be considered complete.
The Baskin Research Awards Ceremony will be held on Tuesday, June 10, in the Heyworth Rooms at the 345 building, in conjunction with Resident Research Day. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.


RIC Insider

Ohio Lot Parking No Longer Available After March 14

For those of you who park in the Ohio lot, we want to remind you that parking will no longer be available there after March 14. We have finalized arrangements for parking at the Erie Ontario garage, located at 321 E. Erie. This lot will be available for use by all current Ohio lot parkers, with the exception of 3rd shift employees who will have secured parking spaces in the 680 Building parking garage.

Please note that although there was a delay in RIC receiving access cards, they are now available.  A member of the Security team will be in room 122 at the flagship on the following dates and times to distribute your new cards for the Erie Ontario garage  or the 680 garage:

- Thursday, 3/13: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

- Friday, 3/14: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

When you come to pick up your new card, please be sure to bring your employee ID badge, the old key card for the Ohio lot, your vehicle make, model, year, color and license plate number.

Thank you.

Sharon Deramus

Ext. 8-6211 

RIC Matters Submission Deadline

The deadline to submit articles and announcements for RIC Matters is Monday at noon   if you want  them  published in the following Wednesday’s newsletter. Please remember if your articles are time sensitive to submit them as early as possible to Thanks!

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