Dean's Weekly Message

August 7, 2023

Dear colleague: 

Ihab Kamel, MD, PhD, professor of radiology and oncology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, has been named chair of the Department of Radiology at our School of Medicine, effective September 5. Kamel is an accomplished clinician, productive researcher, and active mentor who has been on the Johns Hopkins faculty for more than two decades. He is an internationally recognized expert in using functional MRI to quantify early tumor response to therapy. He is also an authority in hepatobiliary and pancreatic imaging. Ihab succeeds Gerald “Chip” Dodd, MD, who joined our School of Medicine in 2008 as chair and professor of radiology. Thanks to Chip for his years of service and to the members of the search committee, including its chair, Neill Epperson, MD, chair of psychiatry.

Faculty Updates 

Elena Hsieh, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and immunology and microbiology, has been named the corresponding investigator of the 2023 Global Team Science Award by the Lupus Research Alliance. The award provides $3 million over three years to support a team working on research and treatment of lupus. The team will study tissue samples from kidney biopsies from 300-400 pediatric lupus nephritis patients in five countries. Debashis Ghosh, PhD, professor at the Colorado School of Public Health, is a co-principal investigator on the team.

Nicole Christian, MD, MSCS, assistant professor of surgery, and Shannon Acker, MD, associate professor of surgery, are authors of a Viewpoint article published last week by JAMA that calls for the medical profession to do better in supporting young parents among our colleagues. They recommend written policies that provide call limitations for pregnant residents in the third trimester and for three months after birth or adoption of a child, and for rotation schedules to support healthy fetal development. They recently led a task force of faculty, trainees, and school and affiliated hospital staff that created a toolkit for CU Graduate Medical Education training programs to develop program-specific family medical leave policies that will be available to all programs.

Lisa A. Brenner, PhD, professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, is an author of an original investigation published in late July by JAMA Network Open that reports that soldiers with a history of traumatic brain injury have a higher rate of new-onset mental health conditions and are at higher suicide risk. The study reviewed records of 860,892 soldiers, of whom 108,785 had at least one documented TBI on their military health record. Co-authors from our campus include Jeri E. Forster, PhD, Claire A. Hoffmire, PhD, and Kelly A. Stearns-Yoder.

Colleen Julian, PhD, associate professor of biomedical informatics, discusses her research on high-altitude hypoxia in an article in the department’s newsroom. Colleen received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to study metabolomic adaptation to high altitude. The study reviews physical assessments of healthy participants who traveled from sea-level Eugene, Ore., to 17,000 feet in the mountains above El Alto, Bolivia. The study results are due by 2025.

Calls for Nominations and Applications

Our School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is inviting applications for two participants for the Mid-Career Minority Faculty Leadership Seminar to be held September 27-29 in Washington, D.C. The seminar is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges. The office will fund registration and travel expenses for two applicants selected by campus diversity, equity, and inclusion leaders. To apply, send a current CV, a one-page statement from you describing your personal and career goals and qualifications, and a letter of support from a department chair or division head to no later than Friday, August 18.

The School of Medicine Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is accepting applications for a Director of Graduate Medical Education to lead programs supporting efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion. Candidates must hold an MD or DO degree and a faculty appointment of assistant professor or above in the School of Medicine. Additional information about this 0.2 FTE position is in the job description. Applications, including a letter of application, a current CV, and a list of three to five professional references, should be emailed to .

The Dean’s Distinguished Seminar Series hosts renowned scientists, physicians, and academic leaders for public lectures and meetings with members of the School of Medicine community. These prominent leaders enrich the academic life of our campus. We are seeking nominees for the 2024-2025 series of speakers. Contact Judy Sherman,, in the Dean’s Office for information on the nomination process.

Lists and Rankings

UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital was ranked the No. 1 hospital in the state by U.S. News and World Report for the 12th year in a row. In specialties, the rankings put UCHealth University of Colorado No. 6 in Pulmonology and Lung Surgery in a ranking shared with National Jewish Health, and as No. 26 for Diabetes and Endocrinology. The hospital is listed as high performing in cancer, geriatrics, neurology, orthopedics, and urology.

The Lown Institute released its 2023 Lown Hospitals Index last month. On that measure of social responsibility, Denver Health ranked No. 8 in the country. The Lown Institute also analyzed how academic medical centers perform on that index, listing UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital as No. 7 on its list of Top 10 Academic Medical Centers.

More than 200 faculty members from our School of Medicine are listed on 5280 magazine’s list of top doctors in metro Denver. Also in the August issue of 5280 is an article about cancer care in Colorado that prominently features members of the CU Cancer Center.

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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