Dean's Weekly Message

Jan. 14, 2019

Dear colleague: 

Daniel Bessesen, MD, professor of medicine and program director of the endocrinology fellowship program, has been named director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and the Anschutz Foundation Endowed Chair in Health and Wellness. Dan has been serving as the center’s interim director since late 2016. Since 1991, he has been based at Denver Health Medical Center and has been head of its Section of Endocrinology since 1999. His NIH-funded research focuses on the physiological mechanisms that regulate body weight. The Anschutz Health and Wellness Center is an important campus asset that can serve as an incubator for developing new multi-disciplinary strategies to promote wellness and healthy behavior. 

The University of Colorado has posted an interactive state map that shows hundreds of ways that CU reaches across the state to provide service. The map was unveiled last week in a message from CU President Bruce Benson and it highlights a vast array of community development programs, research projects, and outreach efforts that extend CU to each corner of the state and to scores of towns and cities. In his message, President Benson cited as an example the Colorado Area Health Education Center (AHEC), which has regional offices in Grand Junction, Alamosa, Durango, Pueblo, Denver, and Greeley. AHEC partners with CU’s Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, and Pharmacy, and the Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant programs to strengthen academic-community linkages to build a pipeline of students interested in health professions, to provide access to public health information and continuing education programs for health professionals in underserved areas, and to offer health education for residents in rural and urban medically underserved areas in Colorado. 

Congratulations to Gregory Schwartz, MD, PhD, professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology and chief of the Cardiology Section at the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center, and his co-authors of “Alirocumab and Cardiovascular Outcomes after Acute Coronary Syndrome,” which was selected by the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine as one of 12 Notable Articles of 2018. Their study found that among patients who had a previous acute coronary syndrome and who were receiving high-intensity statin therapy, the risk of recurrent ischemic cardiovascular events was lower among those who received alirocumab than among those who received placebo. 

Congratulations to Kathleen C. Woulfe, PhD, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology, on being named the first recipient of the Lorna Grindlay Moore Faculty Launch Fund Award. The Launch Award provides $40,000 for up to two years to eligible instructors or assistant professors to help launch their independent research programs. The support is made possible by an endowment by Lorna Grindlay Moore, PhD, who joined CU as a postdoctoral research fellow in the cardiovascular pulmonary research lab and who rose through the ranks to become professor and the founding chair of the CU Denver Department of Anthropology while holding adjunct appointments in medicine, preventive medicine, and surgery/emergency medicine. More information about the award is available online

Edward Ashwood, MD, professor of pathology and vice chair for clinical pathology, has been elected secretary of the board of trustees for the American Board of Pathology. The American Board of Pathology advances the profession of pathology by setting certification standards and promoting lifelong competency of pathologists.  

John Cambier, PhD, Distinguished Professor of the University and outgoing chair of immunology and microbiology, has assumed the role of president the board of trustees of the Association of Medical School Microbiology and Immunology Chairs. John was elected the group’s president-elect last year. The association promotes and supports educational and scientific effort in microbiology and immunology. 

The inaugural Holocaust Genocide and Contemporary Bioethics Case Study Writing Competition announced that Thomas Forman, Bruce Kirkpatrick, Juan Santiago Moreno, Nathaniel Skillin, and Jackie Turner, who are students in the Medical Scientist Training Program, and Galen Roda, who is a professional research assistant, received first prize for their case, “Vaccines, Biological Weapons, and Dual-Use Research.” The competition is sponsored by the CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities and CU Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education. The competition for the 2019 prize will be announced in mid-April in conjunction with this year’s Holocaust Genocide and Contemporary Bioethics program, Bioethics in a Violent World: Health Professional in Times of War, Genocide and Political Conflict. 

The Office of Professional Excellence, in partnership with the Office of Faculty Affairs, the Office of Medical Education, the CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities, is soliciting applications for membership in the Alliance for Professionalism in Medicine. The alliance is a working group of faculty, residents, students, and staff focused on identifying and supporting excellence in professionalism, and to improving the culture of professionalism on our campus through innovative methods of measurement, education, leadership, and motivation. The Alliance will hold one- to two-hour meetings on a regular basis. All School of Medicine faculty members, fellows, residents, students, and staff are eligible to participate. To apply, submit your CV with a one to two paragraph statement on how your see your role in improving professionalism on campus. Applications should be sent by Thursday, January 31, to

The Mentored Scholarly Activity Capstone event for the School of Medicine Class of 2019 will be held on February 28 and the school is seeking faculty volunteers to assist as judges. There are three sessions: Session 1:  1 p.m. to 2 p.m.; Session 2:  2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.; and Session 3:  3:35 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sign up through this link to participate as a judge in one or all sessions. More information is available at the MSA Capstone Poster Session website. For questions, contact email Faculty participation is key to this program’s success and fosters an appreciation of life-long learning in our medical students. I encourage all faculty to participate. 

The School of Medicine’s Academy of Medical Educators is accepting applications for its Teaching Scholars Program. This 18-month certificate program is designed to enhance knowledge and skills, and develop future leaders in healthcare education with a focus on core components of educational scholarship and curriculum development. The program consists of twice-monthly seminars during the 2019-20 academic year, a curriculum development and/or education scholarship project and faculty mentorship/guidance. The program culminates in a peer-reviewed presentation at the annual Education Scholarship and Innovation Symposium. The online application is available on the Academy’s website and is due by Monday, March 18. 

Showing (work x family) is a multi-screen photography installation featuring the work of 135 renowned American photographers now on exhibit at the Art Gallery at the Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities at CU Anschutz through April 12. The 28-foot, six-screen exhibit features 186 images by major American photographers and a sound environment. Showing (work x family) portrays the push and pull of work and family and explores the universal balancing act of domestic life. These photographs share the intimate routines of mealtimes and bedtimes, commutes and carpools, calendars and keys, school-day mornings and weekend chores, childcare and grandparent shifts, single-parent households and blended families. The photographers offer perspectives on work and family, ranging from small moments of intimacy to raw expressions of daily tensions. 

Join the CU Anschutz Office of Alumni Relations for a cultural event on Wednesday, June 5. All alumni, students, faculty, staff, residents, fellows and guests are invited for an evening reception and performance of the Broadway show Wicked. Details are available at the Alumni Relations website.  

Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Leonard Silverman, MD, an assistant clinical professor of pediatrics, who died January 2. Leonard graduated from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1963 and he was a pediatric resident at Children’s Hospital in 1963-64. He subsequently went into private pediatric practice and served as director of pediatrics and as president of the medical staff at Aurora Presbyterian Hospital. As an assistant clinical professor, he taught several students of our school. 

There will be no message next Monday, January 21, due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. 

Have a good week,

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.  See the UCH-Insider →


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