Dean's Weekly Message

September 26, 2022

Dear colleague:

The University of Colorado System reported that CU faculty attracted $1.46 billion in sponsored research funding and gifts for the most recent fiscal year ending June 30, 2022. Of the total, the Anschutz Medical Campus collected $777.8 million, while CU Boulder accounted for $658 million. The School of Medicine’s new Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) and its founding chair, Casey Greene, PhD, are featured in the system’s news release announcing the totals. Collectively, DBMI faculty were awarded $30.7 million in new funding in 2021-22, while Casey was awarded nearly $3 million, including a $1.4 million NIH grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute and a $1 million NIH grant from the National Cancer Institute to study and categorize the cellular composition of ovarian tumor subtypes. 

The School of Medicine’s faculty members are the primary contributors to the Anschutz Medical Campus total. While the system total combines research funding and gifts, our total grant portfolio accounts for a substantial portion of the amount. Our School of Medicine team reports that the year’s total research grants for our School of Medicine was $577.2 million for the most recent fiscal year, up from $535.9 million the previous year. In 2017, total grants were $412 million. It’s also notable that proportion of those grants that are from the National Institutes of Health has grown substantially too. Last year, total NIH grant funding was $281.1 million, up from $178.4 million in 2017. 

This growth in total grants to School of Medicine faculty – 7.7% over last year and 40% since 2017 – represents the accumulating value of hard work and substantial skill by our campus teams. Each member of our campus community – from principal investigators to laboratory staff and grant-support teams – makes a valuable contribution to achieve these remarkable outcomes. Together, we are making contributions that strengthen our School of Medicine and the University of Colorado. Even better, we are investing our effort and working together toward a common goal of better health for all. 

The CU Medicine Board of Directors voted unanimously last week to increase to $1.3 million the scholarship funding provided by our faculty practice plan to medical, physician assistant, physical therapy, and anesthesiologist assistant students. This scholarship funding has grown substantially over the years. In 2007, the total amount provided was $100,000; in 2015, the total was $350,000. This substantial increase in the support we can provide our students is thanks to dedicated work of our clinicians and the team at CU Medicine. The willingness of our faculty to provide financial support in addition to their teaching and mentoring creates a virtuous cycle that makes our School of Medicine stand apart from many of our peers. Many thanks to all who have contributed to provide these scholarships. 

The Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome hosted its annual symposium on Wednesday, September 21. Crnic members have been remarkably productive and successful in applying for grants from the National Institutes of Health. In fiscal year 2022, scientists at the Crnic Institute secured more than $18 million in new research funding from the NIH. Since fiscal year 2017, the institute has tracked 67 NIH awards totaling nearly $82 million for Down syndrome research from 11 NIH institutes to 44 principal investigators across the CU system. With vital philanthropic support from the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, Joaquin Espinosa, PhD, executive director of the institute and professor of pharmacology, has assembled a strong group of researchers who have been done an extraordinary job securing federal support. 

The Ludeman Family Center for Women’s Health Research hosted its annual luncheon last Wednesday, September 21, at the Seawell Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. This year’s speaker was acclaimed author and neuroscientist Lisa Genova, PhD, who discussed memory and common problems associated with forgetting. She has written novels, including “Still Alice” about a university professor with Alzheimer’s disease, and the nonfiction New York Times bestseller “Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting.” The well-attended event forges strong relationships between our School of Medicine and the community we serve. Many thanks to the team at the Ludeman Family Center for organizing this important event. 

At the Anschutz Medical Campus, we are better able to address challenges of pediatric-to-adult transition of care because of the proximity of our partner hospitals. Another important advantage are the faculty collaborations here. An article in our School of Medicine newsroom features some of the programs that address the transition process for young patients to adult care. One notable program featured is ImPACT (Improving Pediatric to Adult Care Transition), which provides the ImPACT Navigation Hub, launched last year with grant funding from the COPIC Medical Foundation to support hiring an RN care coordinator, social worker, and family health navigator. Kudos to William Anderson, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, and Jennifer Disabato, DNP, associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the School of Medicine and associate professor at the CU College of Nursing, for their leadership of this program.

The 36th annual Joseph W. St. Geme, Jr., MD Lectureship was last Friday. This year’s speaker was Michelle Monje, MD, PhD, professor of neurology from Stanford University and investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Jessica Saifee, a fourth-year medical student, received this year’s medical student award for her work with mentors Steven Lowenstein, MD, MPH, professor of emergency medicine and associate dean of faculty, and Janine Young, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and medical director of the Denver Health Refugee Clinic. Joseph St. Geme, Jr., MD, was the 15th dean of the School of Medicine, serving from January 1985 to October 1986. He died at the age of 55 and this lectureship was established in 1987 by his family.

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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