Dean's Weekly Message

January 10, 2023

Dear colleague: 

Two remarkable personal essays by members of our Department of Medicine were published as Perspective articles in The New England Journal of Medicine in recent weeks. In the December 29 issue, Mark Earnest, MD, PhD, head of the Division of General Internal Medicine, wrote about his father’s strategy for carrying on after Mark’s mother died. The article, “Engineering for Grief,” shows how Mark’s father created intentional reminders for himself to ask about others and to listen. In the January 5 issue, Megan A. Morris, PhD, MPH, associate professor of medicine, is the author of “Death by Ableism,” a meditation on her Uncle David’s medical care at the end of his life and how a hospital team recommended care that was “steeped in unwitting ableism – the notion that the life of a person with a disability has less value than the life of a person without a disability.” Both articles are profound and worth your time. 

Joseph Sakai, MD, associate professor of psychiatry, and Jody Tanabe, MD, professor of radiology, have been awarded funding up to $6.8 million from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), to conduct a pilot study investigating deep brain stimulation for treatment of refractory methamphetamine use disorder. The NIDA grant is supplemented with funds from the Kane Family and Hewit Family Foundations. This grant represents a long-term collaboration between departments and academic units, including psychiatry, radiology, neurosurgery, neurology, neuroscience, and bioethics, and UCHealth programs, specifically the Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation. It is a first-of-its-kind award from NIDA for the treatment of methamphetamine use disorder. There are currently no FDA approved pharmacotherapies to treat this disorder. The CONA (Colorado Neuromodulation of Addiction) Lab website has a link to the study. 

The State of the School address will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday, January 11, in the Hensel Phelps West Auditorium. It will also be available on Zoom. 

The Research Informatics Office has created a working group to prepare the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus for the National Institutes of Health’s new Data Management and Sharing Policy. To assist with implementing the new policy, the office plans to hold office hours at 9 a.m. Wednesday, January 11, and a town hall at 11 a.m. Tuesday, January 17. 

During this year’s state legislative session, which begins today, the Eugene S. Farley, Jr. Health Policy Center will be providing updates about key health policy legislation. These updates will occur monthly on a Wednesday at the end of each month until the session ends in May. Attendees may join via Zoom or in person at the Anschutz Health Sciences Building. The first update is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday, January 25. For more information or to receive calendar details and attend the legislative updates, e-mail   

Faculty are needed to serve as reviewers for an NIH National Research Service Award (NRSA) mock study section program for MD/PhD and PhD students and postdoctoral scholars. This program has been extremely successful in helping our early-career scientists develop competitive grant proposals. Nearly 40% of program participants have been funded and individual NRSA fellowships on our campus have increased 88% since the program began in 2018. To continue this success, we need faculty to serve as reviewers for this spring’s session, which will be in early March. Sign up on the reviewer sign-up form by January 31. Contact Arianne Theissor Bruce Mandt with questions. 

Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Frederick C. Battaglia, MD, professor emeritus and former chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, who died December 30. Fred was a distinguished leader and inspirational mentor to countless medical students, physicians, and researchers, who in turn have had a profound impact on medical science. Fred earned his MD at Yale University School of Medicine, where he met his wife, Jane Donahue. After graduating, Fred and Jane traveled to study and conduct research in England, Puerto Rico, and Baltimore before finding home in Denver in 1965. Fred received many accolades during his career, including the 2004 John Howland Award, the highest honor given by the American Pediatric Society, and had a named endowed chair established at Children’s Hospital Colorado in 2015. The American Academy of Pediatrics included an interview with Fred in its oral history project, and it includes many personal details about his life. Fred enjoyed everything Italian, fly-fishing, traveling, and spending time in Snowmass, Breckenridge, and Steamboat Springs. A funeral mass will be held at St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church, 2305 N. Gaylord St., Denver, at 10 a.m. Thursday, January 12. 

Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Julian Ramsey Mellette, Jr., MD, who died December 31. He was a clinical professor of dermatology and director of dermatologic surgery and cutaneous oncology at School of Medicine. He also was fellowship director training 21 fellows. After earning his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1969. He completed his internship and dermatology residency at the Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in 1976. In 1990, after 25 years in the military, he retired as a U.S. Army Colonel. Memorial services are planned for the spring. 

There will be no message on Monday, January 16, due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. 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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