Dean's Weekly Message

December 16, 2019

Dear colleague:

Marvin Schwarz, MD, professor of medicine and former head of the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care, was honored with a celebration of lifetime achievement on Monday, December 9, with a series of speakers, and a reception and dinner at the Fulginiti Pavilion. Marvin is one of the world’s leading experts on pulmonary fibrosis and a renowned raconteur, so it was a well-deserved tribute to a physician-scientist who has had such a profound impact on the field. Among the speakers were Jack A. Elias, MD, dean of Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School; Talmadge E. King, Jr., MD, dean of the School of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco; Paul W. Noble, MD, chair of medicine and physician-in-chief at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; and Mark W. Geraci, MD, chair of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine and former head of the division here. 

Despite dreams of becoming a basketball player, Marvin was probably a few inches too short – at least that is what he claims. Basketball’s loss was medicine’s gain. Marvin’s stature in pulmonary science and academic medicine is considerable. His research has been published in more than 300 articles and he is a master educator. In a profile of Marvin in the journal Chest in 2014, Mark Geraci wrote: “[Dr Schwarz] quite succinctly notes that his most outstanding achievement has been the success of the numerous trainees he has had an impact on over the past 40 years. Dr Schwarz’s selfless dedication to training academicians has yielded unprecedented results. Over the past 30 years and under the leadership of Dr Schwarz, 17 division heads and six department chairs have emerged from the training program at the University of Colorado.” 

Kevin K. Brown, MD, has been named the chair of the Department of Medicine at National Jewish Health. Kevin has been with National Jewish for 27 years and has served as the interim chair of the department since July, when Richard Martin, MD, stepped down, and as vice chair of clinical affairs since 2006. Kevin also holds an appointment as professor of medicine with the CU School of Medicine. Kevin is a productive clinician investigator, author of more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and 50 book chapters and reviews. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.  He received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School and was chief medical resident at Providence Medical Center. He completed fellowships at Maine Medical Center and at National Jewish Health. 

Adit Ginde, MD, MPH, professor and vice chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, is the first author of an article in the New England Journal of Medicine that summarizes research on whether high doses of vitamin D can improve health outcomes for critically ill patients. The study was a large-scale project that included contributions of more than 200 researchers at 44 academic medical centers. Adit and Daniel Talmor, MD, MPH, chair of anestheseia, crucial care & pain management at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, were co-chairs of the protocol committee for the project, which was conducted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s Prevention and Early Treatment of Acute Lung Injury Network. The trial determined that vitamin D supplementation did not reduce mortality or improve other non-fatal outcomes. 

Judy Regensteiner, PhD, professor of medicine and director of the Center for Women’s Health Research, gave the annual Ruth L. Kirschstein Memorial Lectureship at the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health annual meeting on Wednesday, December 11, on the National Institutes of Health’s main campus in Bethesda, Md. Judy’s talk, “Strategic Career Development: Charting the Course,” was a highlight of a day of events for young investigators, their mentors, and other research scientists, organized by the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health. Judy is the second person to give the memorial lectureship, named after Ruth L. Kirschstein, MD, who had a scientific and administrative public service career at the NIH that spanned more than half a century. After doing important laboratory work on the polio vaccine, she became the first woman to direct an NIH institute, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and later served as deputy director and acting director of NIH. 

Amy Brooks-Kayal, MD, professor of pediatrics in the Section of Child Neurology, received the American Epilepsy Society (AES) 2019 Founders’ Award at its annual meeting in Baltimore earlier this month. This award is one of the society’s most prestigious, recognizing a member who has a record of lifetime contributions and accomplishments related to epilepsy. Amy is the chief of pediatric neurology and the Ponzio Family Chair of Pediatric Neurology. She is a past president of the AES, member of the National Advisory Council of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and a leader on many national initiatives related to the care and research of epilepsy. 

Jason Stoneback, MD, associate professor and vice chair for clinical affairs for the Department of Orthopedics and director of the limb restoration program at UCHealth, is featured in the current CU On The Air podcast discussing his work. With the podcast host, CU Vice President for Communication Ken McConnellogue, Jason discusses osseointegration, a method to treat amputees. Through this process, a metal weight-bearing rod is inserted into bone. The rod then protrudes through the skin so that a prosthetic limb can be attached. The result is a prostheses that is more stable and easier to attach. This type of prostheses also allows improved mobility for the patient. “It’s a huge game-changer,” Jason says. 

Erin Smith received the 10th annual Steven Fadul Award for outstanding service to the School of Medicine by a professional research associate (PRA). Erin joined the University in 2004 in the prostate research lab. After eight years of exemplary service as a PRA, she was promoted to direct the research histology lab, which she helped build from the ground up, and the histology shared resource that serves the University of Colorado Cancer Center members. Her nominations described Erin as dedicated, hard-working, organized, and passionate. She runs a team that is responsible for serving some 500 clients on campus. She was lauded for training not only technicians on her team, but also countless faculty, students, postdocs, and staff. Colleagues praised the “textbook quality” of the images she makes in the lab and her skills have made her a “go-to” resource for histologists from across the state. Pathology Chair Ann Thor, MD, said Erin is “literally the face of pathology at Colorado to the outside world, from a research and clinical research perspective.” The Steven Fadul Award recognizes PRAs and other members of the technical staff who are integral team members and important sources of institutional memory and wisdom. The award is named after Steven Fadul, who had a 30 year-career as a researcher at the School of Medicine, with most of that service in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. Steven provided a model for others. He was self-directed, highly technically competent, professional, supportive of investigators and others with whom they work, accessible and generous with assistance, effective as an instructor with a love for the task, and a promoter of self-sufficiency and technical competence. Erin is a worthy winner of this award. 

Last week’s message included incorrect information about one of the recipients of the Department of Pediatrics Career Teaching Scholars Awards, which were bestowed at Pediatric Grand Rounds on Friday, December 13. The honoree should have been listed as Andy Bauer, MD, of Greenwood Pediatrics. Congratulations to Andy and the other honorees: F. Dan Atkins, MD, John Kinsella, MD, and Ted Maynard, MD, of Colorado Springs. 

The Medical Alumni Association Board hosted its annual Dean’s Circle Dinner on Thursday, December 12, at the Wellshire Event Center in Denver. This event celebrates alumni benefactors who have donated $1,000 or more in the past fiscal year and brings them together with student scholarship recipients. We are fortunate to have an active and engaged board who are dedicated to the success of our school and particularly to our current students. Alumni support begins on our students’ first day on campus when they receive stethoscopes provided by alumni donors and it continues as they progress. When students seek mentorship, alumni are there. When students travel to interview for residencies, alumni open their homes. We are fortunate to have such generous alumni and I appreciate their commitment to the success of others following in their footsteps. 

The Anschutz Medical Campus held a commencement ceremony on Saturday, December 14, at the Colorado Convention Center for December graduates of campus programs. The ceremony included students from the School of Medicine’s Physical Therapy and Anesthesiologist Assistant programs. We are proud of our graduates and wish them continued success as they launch their careers.

John J. Reilly, Jr., MD
Richard D. Krugman Endowed Chair
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and
Dean, School of Medicine

The Dean’s weekly message is an email news bulletin from John J. Reilly, Jr., MD, Dean of the CU School of Medicine, that is distributed to inform University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty members, staff, students and others about issues pertaining to the School’s mission of education, research, clinical care and community service.  For clinical news and patient stories from UCHealth, please visit UCHealth Today

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