Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) is a nonprofit, private, interprofessional graduate school located in North Chicago, Illinois. It has more than 2,000 students in five schools: the Chicago Medical School, the College of Health Professions, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine.
The university is named for famous DNA crystallographer Rosalind Franklin. Photo 51, Dr. Franklin’s X-ray diffraction pattern for B-DNA, was pivotal in the history of biology in the twentieth century, and this photograph is the basis for the university’s seal and logo.
The university offers over 29 study programs in graduate health-related subjects, including PhD programs for medical and basic research.
Facilities include a multi-media laboratory, a virtual microscopy lab, a simulation lab, and the Education and Evaluation Center, with high-tech opportunities for education and research.
The University is located to the west of the Naval Station Great Lakes and to the south of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center.
The precursor of RFUMS, then known as The Chicago Hospital-College of Medicine, was founded in Chicago in 1912. A group of physicians and community leaders formed a non-profit school to serve those medical students who were able to attend only at night. William Dorland, editor of the well-known medical dictionary bearing his name, was dean of the School for a time.
The School had its most noteworthy period of development under the direction of Dr. John J. Sheinin, who served as dean and president from 1932 to 1966. The institution successfully met the challenges arising from the restructuring of American medical education following the Flexner Report, a time period in which more than half of all American medical schools merged or closed. In 1930, the School, by then known as the Chicago Medical School, moved to what would become one of the world’s largest aggregations of medical facilities. Located in downtown Chicago, this complex contained two undergraduate universities, three medical schools, seven hospitals, and colleges of dentistry, pharmacy, and nursing.
In 2011, the University opened its fifth school, the College of Pharmacy, which is housed in the William J. and Elizabeth L. Morningstar Interprofessional Education Center (IPEC). The IPEC, which opened in July 2011, is a three-story, 23,000-square-foot building. The College of Pharmacy graduated its first class in 2015.
The University has seen massive construction projects to its campus in the past few years. The Rothstein Warden Centennial Learning Center, a three-level, 73,000-square-foot building, opened in late 2013. Designed with input from students, faculty, and staff, it was intended to promote interprofessional learning and collaboration between students and faculty. Features of the new building include lecture and learning labs, computer labs, recreation areas, a media room, a fitness center, a group aerobics room, and a new cafeteria. The building was named jointly after longtime Board of Trustees chair and public health activist Ruth Rothstein and current chair Gail Warden.
Two other new areas have been added to the Health Sciences Building. The Margot A. Surridge Student Welcome Center opened in the fall of 2014. The DeWitt C. Baldwin Institute for Interprofessional Education opened in 2014 and was dedicated on May 15 of that year. The Baldwin Institute is dedicated to advancing interprofessional education and practice in medical and health professions. It is named in honor of Dr. DeWitt Baldwin, who is often recognized as the father of interprofessional education.
A statue of namesake Rosalind Franklin was also unveiled in front of the school in May 2014; in attendance at this ceremony were the niece and nephew of Dr. Rosalind Franklin.