Medical School Annual Report 2023

Discovery creates better care. In all we do, the University of Minnesota Medical School strives to improve healthcare for all Minnesotans and beyond.

We do this by working with exceptional clinical partners throughout our state to train our physicians and provide innovative patient care from preventive family medicine to the most complex and futuristic solutions. We combine research and education to push the boundaries of medicine forward and evolve tomorrow’s standard of care.

This annual report shares a sample of the partnerships, discoveries, and solutions our Medical School is proud to be a part of.


Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD
Dean of the Medical School


Patient Care

  • Helping Recover

    Helping Young People Recover from Psychosis

    Psychiatrist Dr. Sophia Vinogradov is one of the world’s leading experts on psychosis. She’s helped bring relief to many patients, like Ben, who achieved quick recovery after years of suffering, using a research-driven, multi-modal approach to treating psychosis. Under her leadership, the Adult Strengths Program at M Health Fairview and University of Minnesota Physicians uses family therapy and individual resiliency training in addition to medication to treat patients. View full story

  • Sophia Vinogradov
  • Complex GI

    The Go-To Place for Complex GI Diseases

    In 2023, the Islet Autotransplant Research Program at the Medical School achieved a milestone by completing its 850th TPIAT procedure. Nearly 180 of these were performed on children aged 3 to 18. The program also conducted the world's 2nd pancreas-alone transplant for a child with Type 1 Diabetes suffering from severe insulin allergy. Islet transplant, a procedure involving harvesting and infusion of islets from the pancreas into the liver, is administered to patients undergoing TPIAT for chronic pancreatitis, and those with Type 1 Diabetes seeking alloislet transplant. View full story

  • Centracare Partnership Short
  • centracare health story

    CentraCare Health Partnership Increases Rural Availability

    The partnership between CentraCare Health and the University of Minnesota Physicians (M Physicians) combines CentraCare Health's excellence in care with M Physicians' clinical and surgical expertise to meet the growing demand for orthopedic services in St. Cloud, MN and surrounding communities. The organizations share a vision to create an accessible orthopedic program delivering evidence-based clinical excellence to Central Minnesota, extending outreach programs to rural communities. Since its inception, the partnership continues to grow substantially. View full story

  • UMN Newborn

    UMN Research Leads to Newborn CMV Testing in MN

    In February 2023, Minnesota became the first state to universally test newborns for cytomegalovirus (CMV), an easily transmissible virus and leading cause of infant hearing loss and congenital birth defects. This decision followed two decades of research at the University of Minnesota on identifying, preventing and treating the infection. This research proved that CMV could be detected from blood spots, which are already collected for testing during newborn screening. View full story

  • Treating rate story

    Treating a Rare Cancer

    During a routine checkup, Tim McDonald's dentist discovered a golf ball-sized hole in his lower jaw. Further examination revealed that Tim had clear cell carcinoma, a rare form of cancer with fewer than 100 identified cases. Fortunately, Tim could access the specific treatment he needed at University of Minnesota Physician's Radiation Therapy Center in Wyoming, MN. Through the compassionate support of patients, cutting-edge radiation oncology treatment options, and state-of-the-art facilities, this Center is ranked one of the top in Minnesota. View full story

  • Tim & Dr. Sood Short
  • Minnesota Map Patient Care
  • 3,300 providers across 100 specialties
  • Active Clinical Trials
  • Training 70 percent of MN Physicians
  • Patient Care Visits



  • Expanding Microbiota

    Expanding Uses of Microbiota Transplant

    The Microbiota Therapeutics Program led by Dr. Alexander Khoruts has been the world leader in development and manufacturing of microbiota-based therapeutics over the past decade. Microbiota transplant therapy is effective in treating the serious infection c. difficile. Now, it has been shown to be safe for patients with acute myeloid leukemia—a type of blood cancer—and recipients of hematopoietic cell transplantation. Both groups suffer the combined effects of chemotherapy wiping out gut bacteria and a suppressed immune system, making them vulnerable to infection. Research to find appropriate doses for these patients continues. View full story

  • Expanding uses of Microbiota Short
  • Preparing for Future Pandemics

    Preparing for Future Pandemics

    World health experts believe it's not a question of "if," but "when" we will need to respond to the next pandemic. Our researchers are part of that preparation with a $66 million grant from the NIH to establish the Midwest Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) Center to develop antiviral drugs for pandemic-level viruses, including COVID-19. AViDD is part of a network of nine national centers developing new ways to target viruses and help mitigate―maybe prevent―the next pandemic. View full story

  • Portable MRI Story Short
  • Portable MRI

    UMN Researchers Develop Portable MRI Machine

    Developed in collaboration with researchers globally, this portable device offers access to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in remote and rural areas where MRI scanners are typically unavailable. MRI technology provides crucial insights into the human brain, aiding in medical diagnoses and advancing neuroscience. However, conventional MRI machines are costly, demand specialized facilities and require trained operators. The compact, lightweight portable MRI scanner overcomes these barriers, significantly expanding accessibility. View full story

  • Global Study

    Global Study for New Therapeutic Applications

    The vagus is the longest nerve in the human body, controlling vital functions. Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) has been shown to benefit those with epilepsy and depression. Yet, little is known about how VNS may affect other systems. The Research Evaluating Vagal Excitation and Anatomical Links (REVEAL) project, a large clinical study led by the U of M, will set the stage for novel applications of VNS to autonomic, immune, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Researchers aim to generate one of the largest publicly available datasets on VNS to inform future treatments. View full story

  • Brain Story

    Explaining the Brain

    The Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) set the stage for exploration of brain imaging with its development of ultrahigh field magnetic resonance imaging and expanded its expertise into spectroscopy. A new NIH initiative, Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies®, builds on CMRR's work by using advanced MRI together with other emerging tools that rely on optical imaging and cell labeling. This will provide more detailed, clearer pictures of the brain's circuits. Neuroscience faculty developed exciting new approaches to optically recording the activity of neurons - expanding this field. View full story

  • Explaining the Brain Story Short
  • Cardio Story

    Targeting Cardiovascular Disease

    Atherosclerosis, a common, life-threatening condition that develops when plaque accumulates inside the arteries, is the primary cause of cardiovascular diseases that are the leading cause of death globally. University of Minnesota researchers have identified a molecule called TREM2 as a key in combating atherosclerosis. Pre-clinical models suggest that TREM2 may provide a new therapeutic pathway beyond cholesterol targeting that could have implications for reducing cardiovascular disease across the globe. View full story

  • research_number_of_publications
  • #35 in research - usnwr 2022
  • Research_Sponsored Research
  • NIH Funding Rank



  • Learning learners story

    Learning from Learners

    "The students have always been an inspiration. I learn so much from them," says Dr. Cuong Pham. He trains residents and medical students at the Community-University Health Care Center (CUHCC). CUHCC provides medical, dental and mental health care, legal services, and more for a culturally and ethnically diverse patient population of nearly 10,000. After his dad died, 3rd-year medical student Koushik Paul almost didn't continue his education. It was his mentor Dr. Pham who encouraged him to keep going: "When someone plays that role in your's big," says Mr. Paul. View full story

  • supporting-first-generation-story-short
  • Supporting First-Generation

    Supporting First-Generation Medical Students

    The Medical School is leading the way in recruiting first-generation medical students through our Gateways to Medicine and Research Master of Science program. The aim is to recruit more first-generation medical students and students from underserved communities and provide them with fully paid tuition. "It provides an opportunity for younger individuals to see someone that is like them and say 'I can do that too,'" said Dr. Kevin Diebel, Regional Campus Dean, Duluth campus. View full story

  • Military Medics Short
  • breaking-language-story

    Breaking Language Barriers Between Patients and Future Physicians

    Language barriers in healthcare can lead to decreased quality of care and negatively impact the physician-patient relationship. When medical students Sydney Geiger, Sinibaldo Romero Arocha and Nicolas Villarraga witnessed these barriers at the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic, they saw an opportunity for the Medical School to better prepare future physicians to serve Spanish-speaking patients. This fall, they launched a pilot Medical Spanish program at the Medical School, and they look forward to growing the program in the future. View full story

  • helping-visual-learners-story

    Helping Visual Learners Through Mobile Apps

    While mobile applications and virtual technologies are not replacements for didactic teaching methods, they can provide a learner-centered space for investigation and reflect changing learning preferences. In collaboration with the Visible Heart Laboratories, Department of Anesthesiology faculty launched mobile apps to help learners visualize and understand transesophageal and transthoracic echocardiography. “We want to meet the needs of the learner rather than make the learner meet our needs. If you do that, the learning space is wide open to innovate," says Associate Professor Dr. Tjorvi Perry. View full story

  • Army Medic Story

    Military Medics to Medical School

    Around 6% of Minnesota’s population are veterans. The new Medics to Medical School Program was designed to value the experience gained by operational military combat medics and provide them with the opportunity to matriculate into Medical School. The goal is to increase the diversity of Minnesota's physician workforce with a focus on veterans. Military medics often have unique life experiences that do not allow for the traditional path to Medical School. Yet, these individuals have patient care and leadership skills that translate well to clinical practice. View full story

  • community-collab-story

    Community Collaboration for Exceptional Education

    Our collaboration with Essentia Health and St. Luke’s is imperative for our student’s medical education. From radiology to sports medicine, hospice and palliative care, we partner with Duluth area health systems to provide required and elective courses. The hands-on, one-to-one clinical opportunities provide our students with exposure to health system environments. As the Duluth campus prepares to expand to a four-year campus, we look forward to growing these essential partnerships. View full story

  • community-collab-story-short
  • Fostering Forward-Thinking in Science and Research
  • Education map, one school three campuses
  • education_gme_trainees_number_of_programs
  • education_medical_fellows_and_residents
  • education_rural_area_rank
  • education_u.s.news_top_ranks



  • RPAP Community Map
  • using-military-exprience

    Using Military Experience to Improve Care for Rural Trauma Patients

    In rural Minnesota, it could take hours for patients to get to the closest hospital after an accident. Retired Army Colonel Dr. Greg Beilman, a critical care surgeon and director of the Translational Center for Resuscitative Trauma Care at the Medical School, is working to find solutions for this problem. Using his military expertise, together with a team of researchers, doctors, EMS providers and information technologists, the center is making significant progress in delivering better care in the field for patients. View full story

  • Using military experience Short
  • improving-physician-pipeline-story

    Improving the (Rural) Physician Pipeline - CentraCare Regional Campus

    The Medical School is establishing a regional campus in St. Cloud, in partnership with CentraCare Health System. This new program allows our Medical School to increase its class size by 10 percent at a time when the need for physicians is growing. In addition, with its focus on rural and immigrant health, this new regional campus will serve an important role for the communities of Greater Minnesota. View full story

  • The gift of life Short
  • gift-of-life-story

    The Gift of Life Through Organ Donation

    Organ donations provide the gift of life to thousands of people every year. This year, the Medical School and our clinical partners at M Health Fairview opened a new Donor Care Unit at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, the first in the upper Midwest region. This new facility allows our transplant team to more efficiently care for donor organs to ensure donors’ lifesaving gifts make it to transplant, increasing the lives saved through organ donation in Minnesota and beyond. View full story

  • Expanding Lifesaving Cardiac Short
  • Expanding Live saving Ecmo Story

    Expanding Lifesaving Cardiac Arrest Care

    The Medical School deployed the world's first specialized emergency vehicle focused on cardiovascular emergencies, the ECMO truck. ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, temporarily supports heart and lung function, increasing survival chances for people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. U of M-led research resulted in a $10 million grant from The Helmsley Charitable Trust, which will be used to launch a new ECMO Center of Excellence. The growing demand for this lifesaving therapy will be supported by a dedicated ECMO Intake Center at M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center. View full story

  • Expanding Live saving Ecmo Story

    Tracking Viruses with Wastewater

    In partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health, the Medical School’s Wastewater Surveillance study is moving into a new realm of data analysis by monitoring for influenza and RSV viral protein. Public release of information is targeted before the end of 2023. The study delivers weekly public dashboard updates to subscribers, providing a window into the ongoing work. The study’s success is based on our partnership with 38 wastewater treatment plants throughout Minnesota and began in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. View full story



  • MS Spending
  • Ms Funding 2023
  • ms foundation 2023
  • NIH awards by Year
  • ms finance research 2023

As we continue to build our future, we are looking forward to:

  • Improving the rural physician pipeline to meet growing demands
  • Increasing Medical School class size by 10% with the addition of the CentraCare Regional Campus in St. Cloud
  • Expanding the Medical School Duluth campus to a four-year program by 2026, and increasing class size to 72 students
  • Utilizing our SERVE curriculum to educate students on the major health disparities affecting Minnesotans
  • Continuing to foster our graduate and postdoctoral students to support their forward-thinking in science and research for our state
  • Strengthening and growing our relationships with healthcare partners across Minnesota and beyond to continue to provide the highest quality of patient care across our state


We are grateful to partner with many great organizations to provide exceptional patient care:

MS Partners 2023