Dean for Basic Science

About the dean

web_20120423_Gilliam_3831_thumb.jpgAs dean for basic science, T. Conrad Gilliam, PhD, advises and advocates for our research mission and graduate education. He oversees and implements strategic planning, program building, and basic science research, and works with the Dean and other faculty leaders to integrate our research programs with the University. He assists Dean Polonsky with oversight responsibilities for the basic science departments, faculty recruitment, the Research Advisory Committee, Research Resources Oversight Committee, Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs, Office of Biosafety, Office of the Chief Research Informatics Officer and Center for Research Informatics, Office of Shared Research Facilities, and the Animal Resource Center. Gilliam's work includes meeting with faculty to discuss and advocate for new research and emerging trends that might be of interest to the division, and oversight of the limited funding opportunities within the division.  As part of the Dean’s Working Group, he also leads the strategic planning efforts and review that are currently underway for the basic science departments and graduate programs.


Connie M. Lee, PhD, Associate Dean for Basic Science
Phone: 773.834.4790

Michelle Wright, PhD, Associate Director for Research Program Development

Pat Grabovac, Executive Assistant
Phone: 773.702.5777

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Dean's Office committees

Dean's Working Group for Strategic Planning

  • Conrad Gilliam
  • Vicky Prince
  • Neil Shubin
  • Connie Lee (Staff)

Dean's Strategic Advisory Committee

  • Conrad Gilliam (Chair)
  • Habibul Ahsan
  • Eugene Chang
  • Suzanne Conzen
  • Sean Crosson
  • David Freedman
  • Chuan He
  • Bana Jabri
  • Ivan Moskowitz
  • Mercedes Pascual
  • Michael Rust
  • Neil Shubin
  • Joe Thornton
  • Connie Lee (Staff)
  • Michelle Wright (Staff)

Dean's Graduate Education Advisory Committee

  • Vicky Prince (Chair)
  • Conrad Gilliam
  • Sam Armato
  • Doug Bishop
  • Ruth Anne Eatock
  • David Jablonski
  • Joseph Piccirilli
  • Ilaria Rebay
  • Peter Savage
  • Jonathan Staley
  • Timothy Wooton
  • Connie Lee (Staff)

Research Resources Oversight Committee (RROC)

  • Suzanne Conzen (Chair)
  • Barbara Kee (Co-chair)
  • Patrick La Riviere (Co-chair)
  • Michelle Wright (Staff)
  • Connie Lee (Staff)
  • Natalie Young (OSRF)
  • Ben Glick
  • Bill Green
  • Geoffrey Greene
  • Tony Kossiakoff
  • Marcus Kronforst
  • Michelle Le Beau
  • Mark Lingen
  • Don Vander Griend
  • Xiaoxi Zhuang
  • George Langan (OSRF)

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Dean's letters of support

Many limited funding opportunities and private and federal grant programs require a dean's letter of support. Should you require a letter of support from either the Dean of the Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine and executive vice president for Medical Affairs, Kenneth S. Polonsky, or from the dean for basic science, T. Conrad Gilliam, please contact Hannah Lawrence at

Please make requests for letters of support at least two weeks in advance of the deadline or desired submission date. Principal investigators requesting a dean's letter of support should attach a draft of the letter of support (formatted as a Word document) to their email request. The draft should cover the following elements:

  • The addressee (i.e., the project or program's principal investigator, or the study section, council, or granting agency to whom the grant application is addressed)
  • "Re: [the funding announcement and title of the proposed project]"
  • Information about the principal investigator and/or the team of investigators involved with the proposed research program and in particular any qualifications that make this individual or group particularly well suited to carry out the proposed project (this may include, but is not limited to, relevant research or publications, leadership roles, etc.)
  • Relevant institutional resources, facilities, leadership, and collaborative opportunities that could provide additional support to the proposed research and the significance of these for the project
  • Any cost-sharing or other commitments that have already been agreed to by the Dean's Office and their significance for the project

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Funding opportunities

Through our Office of Faculty Affairs, we provide researchers with information about upcoming funding opportunities. We focus primarily on non-traditional external funding sources, including foundation, corporate, and federal funding from agencies that are typically not well-known, such as DARPA.  

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Chicago Fellows Program

The Chicago Fellows Program is an internationally competitive postdoctoral fellowship program that supports the career advancement of exceptional women and men in the biological and biomedical sciences. 

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