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Carle Illinois College of Medicine inaugural faculty includes two from ACES

Published May 4, 2017
Margarita Teran-Garcia, front row left, and Kaustubh Bhalerao, not pictured, are part of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine faculty. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

URBANA, Ill. – The Carle Illinois College of Medicine has announced nearly 100 inaugural faculty members. Kaustubh Bhalerao, assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and Margarita Teran-Garcia, assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and the Division of Nutritional Sciences, all in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, are part of the inaugural faculty for the new college.

The list includes prominent researchers, administrators, and medical professionals with a broad range of expertise invaluable to building the world’s first engineering-based college of medicine.     

“I consider it an honor to be able to contribute to the new Carle Illinois College of Medicine,” Bhalerao says. “The new COM is structured around an innovative idea, that inculcating an engineering mindset among our medical doctors would empower them to recognize and solve problems within the medical system, as well as enable new opportunities through engineering and technology. We hope that we can train a new class of medical doctors that can find new and innovative ways of providing healthcare, and can be the leaders in improving the healthcare system for all of us.”

In his role with the new college, Bhalerao contributes to the development of the fundamental elements course, a six-week module at the beginning of students’ study that will provide them with the foundations of basic science, clinical practice, and engineering principles.

“We have set for ourselves a very high bar in terms of innovation in course content and I am excited to be part of a very large team committed to realizing the vision of a unique medical school. I am proud to be a faculty member of the College of ACES, which has always taken the land-grant mission very seriously. Through my contributions I hope to incorporate the spirit of the land-grant mission in the medical curriculum.”

Teran-Garcia will teach nutrition and metabolism to medical students. “This course will expand the training and partnership of scientists, engineers, and clinicians to influence the management of nutrition-related diseases,” she says. “Recognizing and challenging the approach to such complex diseases and the interactions between diet and health in individuals and families is important. The College of ACES is recognized for its scientific capital and resources in Extension, the Division of Nutritional Sciences, the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, the Family Resilience Center, and others that will contribute to holistic formation of medical professionals.”

Teran-Garcia adds, “The appointment represents a challenge and an opportunity to have a long-lasting impact on the next generation of physicians and the health care system. As indicated by Dr. Li, [dean of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine] the integrated curriculum will facilitate the modernization of health care delivery.”

The college is a partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Carle Health System, based in Urbana. The college will welcome its first class of 32 students in 2018.  

The inaugural faculty includes members representing eight colleges and schools across the Urbana campus, including the school of social work and the colleges of agricultural, consumer and environmental sciences; applied health sciences; education; engineering; liberal arts and sciences; media and veterinary medicine. The Illinois faculty will teach alongside medical professionals from Carle Health System and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and nursing program.

Read more about the announcement at