Dean's Weekly Message

January 30, 2023

Dear colleague:  

Jenna Guthmiller, PhD, assistant professor of immunology and microbiology, has been awarded the Michelson Prize by the Michelson Medical Research Foundation and the Human Immunome Project. The prize is awarded annually to support early-career investigators working to advance human immunology, vaccine discovery, and immunotherapy research for major global diseases. Jenna’s research aims to improve flu vaccines. Only four scholars received the award this year. Jenna will be honored at an event in March. 

Earlier this month, School of Medicine researchers announced that they have identified a new mechanism for slowing scarring of heart tissue. The study, described in an article published in the American Heart Association’s Circulation Research journal, was led by Timothy McKinsey, PhD, professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology. The work was partially supported by the Consortium for Fibrosis Research & Translation, one of the transformational research projects established early in my tenure as Dean with philanthropic support intended to boost programs that strengthen scientific collaborations on our campus. 

Jennifer Richer, PhD, professor of pathology and member of the CU Cancer Center, has been named dean of the Graduate School, effective February 1. Jennifer joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1996 and has been a productive researcher and respected mentor. Her laboratory uses cell and molecular biology techniques to identify and understand mechanisms of endocrine therapy resistance in women’s cancers and to identify targetable proteins involved in tumor progression. 

Members of our campus community were honored this month at the 2023 Society of Critical Care Medicine Annual Congress meeting in San Francisco. Julie Winkle, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine, received the Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes members who have made exceptional leadership contributions to the group. Robert MacLaren, PharmD, MPH, professor of clinical pharmacy at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, was inducted as a Master in the American College Critical Care Medicine, and Zachary Asher, PA-C, assistant professor of surgery, became a Fellow in the American College of Critical Care Medicine.   

The Institute for Healthcare Quality, Safety and Efficiency (IHQSE) is requesting applications for its Certificate Training Program, a rigorous professional development program combining classroom sessions, coaching, and mentored enhancement of leadership teams charged with improving performance of care delivery systems. Applications are due March 31, and the program runs from August 2023 through June 2024. Visit the IHQSE CTP website for more details and to apply. Email questions to 

Two mass shooting attacks in California this month – predominantly targeting Asian Americans – have again focused our attention on the pain caused by our country’s failure to address the scourge of gun violence. As we mourn the tragic loss of life and as we seek to help those who are injured and to console those who lost loved ones, we again call on our national leaders to adopt common-sense policies that will protect everyone. Without a concentrated effort to address the causes of this violence, we almost certainly will experience continued suffering and heartbreak. 

UCHealth and Parkview Health System in Pueblo announced last week that they had signed an agreement that brings Parkview into the UCHealth system, following through on a letter of intent announced last October. Parkview and its employees will join UCHealth in mid-2023 and UCHealth will begin investing nearly $200 million into Parkview and the Pueblo community. The investments include a donation to the Parkview Foundation to establish a long-term fund to support patients, the community, and the hospital. This agreement is an important move by UCHealth to show the leadership that the state needs in providing care to those who most need it. In 2022, the Lown Institute ranked UCHealth No. 2 nationally in social responsibility for its commitment to the communities it serves.     

The opening reception of a photography exhibit, “Every One is Unique,” will be held at the Art Gallery at the Fulginiti Pavilion, on Tuesday, January 31, beginning at 4 p.m. The show features work by Jason Persoff, MD, associate professor of medicine, aka Stormdoctor. In the spring, Jason chases storms and takes stunning photographs of the massive power unleashed by tornadoes and thunderstorms. In the winter, he captures images of the intricate structures of snowflakes. Last December, Jason’s stellar work was featured in a Washington Post article. The Center for Bioethics and Humanities has posted more information about the exhibit and the event. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

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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