Principal Investigators

M1 Health Clinical Research sites are led by experts in their domains who have strong clinical backgrounds and understand the nuances of their respective fields

Chief Principal Investigator

Dr. Dennis J. Levinson

Dr. Dennis J. Levinson is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He received his undergraduate education at the University of Illinois and attended the Rosalind Franklin University (formerly Chicago Medical School). After completing his residency at Michael Reese Hospital and serving in the military, he finished his fellowship in rheumatology at the University of Chicago.
Dr. Levinson has been practicing rheumatology for 40 years. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology, and a Founding Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology. He is a past president of the Chicago Rheumatism Society and served as Chief of Service and Program Director of Internal Medicine at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago from 1999 to 2008. He currently sits on the board of the Michael Reese Research and Education Foundation, which focuses on funding scholarships, community healthcare, and research.
Dr. Levinson has contributed to the medical literature with over 74 articles, abstracts and book chapters and continues to participate in clinical research. He was also involved in the first stem cell transplant for sickle cell disease in the Chicago area. In 2016, he received the Hispanocare Outstanding Community Award for scholarship support in the Latino community.

Principal Investigator – Internal Medicine

Dr. Azazuddin Ahmed

Dr. Azazuddin A. Ahmed is a board-certified internist with a wealth of experience in the field of medicine. He obtained his medical degree from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India and completed his internship at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Chicago.

Dr. Ahmed has been involved in diabetes and metabolism-related research for over 30 years and has numerous publications in the field. He has conducted more than 100 clinical trials as an investigator.

Dr. Ahmed is an active member of multiple medical societies, including the American College of Physicians and the Indian American Medical Association of Illinois. He served as president of the IAMA-CF, a charitable foundation serving Chicago’s underserved, from 2017 to 2018. During his tenure, he implemented a Women’s Health Initiative and a Mental Health Initiative and facilitated technological improvements to streamline the delivery of patient care. He received the Lifestyle Humanitarian Service Award from IMRC for his work in serving the underprivileged in India.

Principal Investigator- Ophthalmology

Dr. Mohammad Al-Khudari

Mohammad Al-Khudari, MD. is a board certified ophthalmologist and a native to the southwest suburbs of Chicago. He attended the University of Illinois in Urbana earning a Bachelor of Science degree. He received his medical degree from Chicago Medical School and completed his internship at MacNeal Hospital and the University of Chicago. He performed his residency at Stroger Memorial Hospital. Following his residency, Dr. Al-Khudari completed a fellowship in Pediatric Opthomalogy at Children’s Memorial Hospital/Northwestern University.

Dr. Al-Khudari has received numerous awards including Best Research Project from the Chicago Ophthalmology Society, Outstanding Teacher of the year and Chief Resident of Stroger Memorial Hospital. He has authored many publications and completed research on macular degenerationglaucoma, and Pediatric Ophthalmology.

He is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Chicago Ophthalmology Society, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, American Academy of Pediatric Opthomalogy and Strabismus Society and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons.

Principal Investigator- Internal Medicine

Dr. Mohamad R. Alzein

Dr. Mohamad Alzein is an Internist, who primarily practices in Chicago, IL. He is the head of Advanced Urgent Care in Orland Park, IL. He has been practicing for over 26 years and is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Alzein graduated from University Of Damascus Faculty Of Med Damascus Syria and completed his residency at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, Internal Medicine.

Principal Investigator- Ophthalmology

Dr. Sanjay Rao

Sanjay Rao, MD is a board certified, fellowship trained cornea, cataract and LASIK surgeon. He is a native of the Chicago suburbs and has been in practice in Chicagoland for 20 years. Dr. Rao attended Brown University Medical School and went on to complete his ophthalmology residency at the prestigious Doheny Eye Institute at the University of Southern California. He later completed a fellowship in cornea, external disease and refractive surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Rao was also the former Director of the Cornea and Refractive Surgery Service at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Rao has clinical expertise in diseases of the cornea, LASIK surgery, cataracts and corneal transplants. He also specializes in Blade-Free laser cataract surgery using advanced technology lenses, and Blade-Free LASIK surgery. Dr. Rao also specializes in the management of complex ocular surface diseases, pterygium, dry eye conditions as well as corneal infections. Dr. Rao has published 24 articles on anterior segment disease and is a thought leader and speaker at domestic and international meetings on the subject of dry eye disease.

Dr. Rao is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He is an active member of multiple professional societies including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Association for Research and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons.