Omar Rahman, M.D., new MMI director of genetic medicine

by John Keenan, UNMC public relations | August 10, 2017

Image with caption: Omar Rahman, M.D.

Omar Rahman, M.D.

Omar Rahman, M.D., has joined the Munroe-Meyer Institute as the new director of the MMI Department of Genetic Medicine.

Inaugural professorship

Dr. Rahman will be the inaugural holder of the Friedland Family Foundation Distinguished Professorship.

The professorship was created by the Friedland Family Foundation. Alex Friedland, 12-year-old son of Ted and Jamie Friedland, receives services at MMI, and the entire family hopes with the professorship to recruit the best talent from around the world and enhance delivery of exceptional health care and translation of research findings to patient care.

"They had gone on a long time without a diagnosis," Dr. Rahman said. "Then someone referred them to MMI, and they'd never heard of it before. So they got there, and they got exceptional care, finally getting a diagnosis after this long odyssey.

"I've always been very focused on the patient experience, so to be in an inaugural professorship that was founded by a family simply because they had such a great experience and wanted other patients who were going through a similar thing to have the same, it feels like a true alignment," Dr. Rahman said.

"I'd like to continue to work in terms of making an excellent patient experience, to help make MMI a place where people can go to get not just excellent care, but care that's compassionate and patient focused.

"I see my roles as making sure that families know they're not alone, that's there's someone who is going to walk with them and guide them through the whole process of getting a diagnosis and getting treatment. Those are the type of things I'm hoping to accomplish with this professorship."

Dr. Rahman, who was formerly the division chief of medical genetics in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, brings a wide-ranging expertise in clinical genetics to his new role at MMI.

Following on the recruitment of MMI Director Karoly Mirnics, M.D., Ph.D., in July of 2016, Dr. Rahman's appointment underscores the institute's goal of increasing its impact in education, research and service throughout the state, nation and world as it works to positively impact the lives of people with disabilities and complex health care needs, their families and their communities.

Dr. Rahman said the set-up at MMI, with clinical, laboratory and rehabilitation services in close proximity, was part of what drew him to the institute.

"Having the genetic services, both the clinical and the laboratory, in conjunction with all of the rehabilitation services that genetic patients require, is really a unique setup," he said. "That kind of a unique environment really allows for lots of different possibilities in terms of collaborative efforts that can create new models of health care."

Collaboration is an important part of Dr. Rahman's vision as he takes the helm of the genetics department.

"I've always been very focused on the patient experience," he said. "One of the things I've always done within my teams is to encourage people to think about everything from a patient's perspective. To be able to really make an impact and help the institute become a model for how care should be delivered for patients with developmental disabilities, not just in the nation but internationally, that's really exciting."

"We are excited to have Dr. Rahman come to MMI," said Ted Friedland, an Omahan whose extended family's foundation created the professorship for Dr. Rahman. "Our family has had an exceptional experience with the genetic medicine staff and the institute as a whole, and we're pleased to help these fine professionals have an even bigger impact. With a scientist the caliber of Dr. Rahman as the inaugural Friedland Professor, we hope to position the genetics department for future growth and success, not only regionally, but nationally and internationally, as well."

Meet Dr. Rahman

The campus is invited to help welcome Dr. Rahman at a reception from 3-5 p.m. Aug. 31 at the Linder Reading Room in the Sorrell Center. Light refreshments will be served.

Dr. Mirnics said he was pleased that Dr. Rahman was bringing his expertise and commitment to MMI, and he expected Dr. Rahman to have a big impact on the institute.

"Omar is an amazing clinician, seasoned teacher, highly skilled administrator and a genuinely nice, caring person," Dr. Mirnics said. "We are looking forward to building one of the preeminent clinical and research programs in the country, and we are confident that we will achieve this under his leadership."

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Rebecca Rae Anderson
August 11, 2017 at 10:08 AM

This is welcome news. Kudos!

Nicole Hackendahl
August 10, 2017 at 9:01 AM

MMI just keeps getting more awesome... :) Welcome, Omar! Your kindness, enthusiasm, and commitment to patient care is transparent.

Jona Keeton
August 09, 2017 at 8:16 PM

UNMC just doesn't know yet, how incredibly fortunate they are to have this Doc. We love you Omar!!!

Paul Reyes
August 09, 2017 at 7:19 PM

I was in residency with Dr. Omar, and he is one of the most compassionate people I've known, in addition to being of the smartest people I've ever known. Paul Reyes, MD