Dean's Weekly Message

June 17, 2019

Dear Colleague:

Congratulations to Carmen Hernández Candia, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pharmacology, on being named one of the 10 class members of the Pew Latin American Fellows Program in the Biomedical Sciences. This highly selective award provides support for young scientists from Latin America to receive postdoctoral training in the United States. Carmen is a member of the laboratory team of Chandra Tucker, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology. With her award, Carmen will explore how the formation of different types of cellular condensates influences protein activity. Chandra has pioneered the use of molecular tools that can trigger the formation of protein condensates, and, since joining the lab, Carmen has developed a companion method for disrupting these protein clusters. Their work could lead to methods for manipulating metabolic pathways, which in turn could offer a new strategy for breaking up toxic protein aggregates in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. This award is an impressive honor that supports promising work to expand our scientific knowledge. We look forward to Carmen’s future discoveries. 

UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital President and CEO Christopher Gessner announced on Thursday, June 13, that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has granted Highlands Ranch Hospital its license and state officials gave the green light for the hospital to open on June 18. This new 87-bed hospital will provide more convenient access for many patients, particularly those who live in the suburban communities of south metro Denver. The hospital will include six operating rooms and will provide women’s health, cardiac, orthopedic, cancer care, and many other services. With the University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus running at maximum capacity, this new hospital will expand the ability to extend care to those who need it. Our School’s partnership with UCHealth is focused on bringing the best advanced care to our patients and we are confident that the Highlands Ranch Hospital will be an important asset in these efforts. 

The Denver Business Journal reported last week that National Jewish Hospital is planning to expand with a $76.6 million, five-story building on the corner of East Colfax Avenue and Garfield Street. The new building will include clinical exam and procedure rooms and will address demand for patient care and continued growth in research and education. 

Several legislators who represent Aurora at the Colorado General Assembly visited the Anschutz Medical Campus last Wednesday to learn about the School of Medicine’s partnership with Salud Family Health Centers to develop a health clinic that will provide a primary care home for medically underserved members of the Aurora community. Working with Salud, we are planning a clinic that will be part of a larger project to be developed at the intersection of Colfax Avenue and Airport Boulevard. Our goal is to address the significant need for clinical care in the community, while working with partners who can address the social determinants of health. We want to help our patients address their life circumstances in direct ways that can improve their health. For the School, the clinic will provide an opportunity for our faculty to provide care to more people, for our students and residents to learn in a setting that offers high quality and fosters compassion, and for our community outreach teams to offer more convenient access to clinical trials that can offer improved care and hope to patients. It was gratifying to hear strong support from our legislative delegation and we appreciate their offers to help us with this project in the years ahead. 

The University Office of Advancement announced last week that it had received new gifts and commitments totaling $3 million from the Williams Family Foundation Department of Family Medicine Endowed Fund at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. The Williams Family Foundation has been a longtime supporter of our campus, previously establishing three faculty chairs and regularly supporting the Webb-Waring Center. We are grateful for the foundation’s ongoing support. 

The Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management of the American Academy of PAs has named the University of Colorado School of Medicine one of the winners of its 2019-2020 Employers of Excellence. The program is designed to showcase organizations that have created and maintain an environment in which physician assistants can provide the best care to patients and are offered opportunities for professional growth and leadership. Commendations to Christina Finlayson, MD, associate medical director for CU Medicine, our leadership from the Office of Advanced Practice, including Kandace Shepherd, PA-C, Jennifer Rodgers, DNP, and Stacey Wall, DNP, and all our outstanding advanced practice providers

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus hosted a symposium on Friday, June 14, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of research for Robert Eckel, MD, interim vice chancellor for research and professor of medicine. Bob, a past president of the American Heart Association, has been a fixture at CU and in professional associations for decades and a widely quoted authority on prevention of heart disease, and the event was a well-deserved tribute that drew distinguished colleagues from across the country. 

The School of Medicine's Office of Medical Education is announcing an opening for an Associate Dean for the School of Medicine branch in Fort Collins. In collaboration with our partners at Colorado State University, this position will oversee and implement of a four-year curriculum leading to a medical degree.  The job description posted online explains expected duties and qualifications for this 0.80 - 1.0 FTE position. An MD or DO degree and CU School of Medicine faculty appointment is required. Interested applicants must submit applications through CU Careers by Sunday, June 30.  

The CU Anschutz Medical Campus is in the midst of its transition to a new email address system. Our existing email addresses are being changed to Please pay attention to those emails you are receiving from the Office of Information Technology with directions on what to do. Details about the email project are available online.

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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