Dean's Weekly Message

December 5, 2022

Dear colleague:

The CU office of advancement last week released the annual Impact Report to Donors, showing that the university received 69,042 gifts totaling $377.2 million last year. The office attributed $180 million to health care and lifesaving treatment, $137 million to research, $65 million to scholarships and fellowships, and $43 million for faculty recruitment and retention. The online report includes features about each campus. From the Anschutz Medical Campus, Michelle Barron, MD, professor of medicine at the School of Medicine and senior medical director of infection prevention and control for UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, discusses the challenges brought by the pandemic and how her research work benefited from the generosity of the family of George and Mary Sissel. 

Three projects from our campus are finalists for the DataWorks! Prize, a national competition that aims to reward teams whose research shows the power of data sharing. The prize is a partnership between the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology and the National Institutes of Health. There are 20 projects described on the DataWorks! Prize finalist website and up to two projects are eligible for people’s choice recognition awards as determined by crowd sourced voting. The projects from our campus are the Monarch Initiative Team, the National Covid Cohort Collaborative, and the Krishnan Lab. The Monarch Initiative is dedicated to global data reuse and integration for disease diagnostics and discovery. Monica Munoz-Torres, PhD, associate professor of biomedical informatics, is the team captain. The National Covid Cohort Collaborative brings together 16.4 billion clinical records from 14.3 million patients at 74 institutions. Melissa Haendel, PhD, chief research informatics officer and Marsico Chair in Data Science, is the team captain. The Krishnan Lab, led by Arjun Krishnan, PhD, associate professor of biomedical informatics, develops methods to improve the reuse of public omics data. I encourage you to vote for one of our finalists. You only get one vote, so use it wisely. Voting closes Wednesday, December 21. 

In January, all funding applications to the National Institutes of Health for projects that generate scientific data must include a data management and sharing plan. The requirement applies to all NIH-supported research at any funding level. In its policy, the NIH explains that the purpose is to let researchers test the validity of research findings, strengthen analyses through combined datasets, reuse hard-to-generate data, and explore new frontiers of discovery. The goal of data sharing is to make the NIH’s investment in our work pay off faster for more people. The NIH has posted a draft template that outlines elements that must be addressed in a data management and sharing plan, including documentation of data types, tools and software, standards, preservation, access control and distribution, and institutional compliance. On our campus, the Chief Research Informatics Officer Council has convened a working group to help. A town hall is scheduled for 11 a.m. December 13 to provide an overview of these new requirements and to answer your questions. Register here. More information is available on the Research Informatics Office website and at the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policies website. 

U.S. Rep. Jason Crow visited our campus on Monday, November 28, to learn about the work by members of the Center for Combat Medicine and Battlefield (COMBAT) Research. The center has been exceptionally adroit in gaining support from agencies that seek to improve care of combat-related injury and illness. Many thanks to the congressman for his interest in our work and to the laboratory teams and leaders who hosted the visit. 

Daniel H. Reirden, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, has been named co-principal investigator of the operations and collaborations center of the Adolescent Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions Operations and Collaborations Center. He will be collaborating with Westat, a research services company that announced in October that it had been awarded the agreement by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. 

At the Silver & Gold Alumni Awards Banquet last Thursday, December 1, we honored several distinguished alumni. Many thanks to the CU Medical Alumni Association for hosting the event and congratulations to the honorees. This year’s award recipients are:

  • Michael Carius, MD ’73, Silver & Gold Award
  • Hajar Albinali, MD ’73, Distinguished Achievement Award
  • Jan Kief, MD ’82, Richard Krugman Distinguished Service Award
  • Eugene Pflum, MD ’69, Humanitarian Award
  • Anireddy Reddy MD ’16, Recent Graduate Award
  • Lesley Brooks, MD ’08, Recent Graduate Humanitarian Award   

The Office of Medical Education has an opening for an associate director of the Mentored Scholarly Activity in the MD program. Our school’s curriculum includes this four-year longitudinal course requirement for all students. The MSA is aimed at fostering self-directed, life-long learning. With a mentor, students complete a project that is presented prior to graduation. For details, including minimum qualifications, about this 0.2 FTE position, see the job posting.

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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