University of Illinois at Chicago Office of Public Affairs (MC 288)
601 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607-7113, (312) 996-3456,

February 4, 2000 Contact: Sharon Butler (312) 355-2522,


Robert Folberg, a respected ocular pathologist and innovator in medical education, has joined UIC's College of Medicine as head of the department of pathology. Since 1984, Folberg has served in various faculty positions in ophthalmology and pathology at the University of Iowa and as director of the F.C. Blodi Eye Pathology Laboratory at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

"Dr. Folberg brings important new strengths to the department's teaching, clinical, and research missions," said Gerald Moss, dean of the College of Medicine.

Moss singled out Folberg's novel approaches in computer-assisted instruction, which have been adopted in leading medical schools in the United States, Europe and Asia. Folberg's program of distance learning involves a virtual classroom, complete with computer-based courseware and self-assessment modules in pathology for medical students, residents and practicing physicians at remote locations. Through this virtual classroom, Folberg has linked to West Virginia University and Allgemeines Krankenhaus, in Vienna, Austria, to teach ophthalmology using interactive television and Web-based technologies. In 1998, over the Internet, he supervised a fellowship in ophthalmic pathology at Beijing Medical University, where he holds a visiting faculty appointment. As part of his educational efforts, he developed "Pathology of the Eye," a 50-hour medical curriculum on CD-ROM.

"Dr. Folberg's leadership in the field of ophthalmic pathology will help us create a nationally ranked training and research program in the cellular and molecular aspects of pathology," said Moss. "And his expertise will give us unique strength in both the clinical and investigative aspects of pathology at our medical center."

Besides his interest in medical education, Folberg has published widely on his research investigating the molecular mechanisms that underlie the development of uniquely patterned vascular channels in certain malignant tumors of the eye. By understanding these mechanisms, scientists hope to be able one day to develop new, relatively non-toxic forms of cancer therapy.

Folberg has also worked on developing a non-invasive substitute for biopsies in the case of eye tumors. Folberg was trained as a medical doctor at Temple University College of Medicine in Pennsylvania. He completed residencies in anatomic pathology at Temple University Hospital in 1978 and in ophthalmology at Wills Eye Hospital in 1980.

"I look forward to working with my colleagues to build a top-ranked department with cutting-edge research and educational programs," said Folberg.

UIC's College of Medicine is the nation's largest, and many of its students serve their residencies at UIC's medical center. One out of six Illinois doctors is a graduate of the college, as are 70 percent of the minority physicians practicing in Chicago. The college produces more medical school faculty than all but five schools in the country.

With 25,000 students, the University of Illinois at Chicago is the largest and most diverse university in the Chicago area, and is one of only 88 national Research I universities. Located just west of Chicago's Loop, UIC is a vital part of the educational, technological, and cultural fabric of the entire metropolitan region.

- UIC -

Copyright © 1999 by B&P Consulting, Inc. and University of Illinois at Chicago. All rights reserved.
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