Dean's Weekly Message

October 2, 2023

Dear colleague: 

The Ludeman Family Center for Women’s Health Research hosted its annual community event on September 28 at the Seawell Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, featuring a keynote address by Shankar Vedantam, host of the Hidden Brain podcast. The center’s annual event began 19 years ago as a small gathering in the basement of the Tattered Cover Book Store. This year, the sold-out luncheon brought together more than 600 leaders from throughout the community and outstanding contributors from our campus.

The Ludeman Family Center for Women’s Health Research brings together researchers from 35 departments, divisions, and centers on campus to work on projects that improve understanding of women’s health and sex differences. Those researchers have produced more than 3,500 peer-reviewed publications, and the physician-scientists who are members of the center see about 24,000 patients at adult and children’s hospitals and clinics each year. The center’s members have a special focus on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and the intersection of mental and physical health.

The center also emphasizes mentoring young researchers as they build careers and acquire external funding. Since 2006, the Ludeman Center has awarded over $2.3 million in seed grants through internal peer review processes to 104 researchers. These same researchers have in turn been awarded over $156 million in external funding from the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and other major organizations. For every $1 in seed grants, Ludeman Center scientists have been awarded $67 from external sources.

Our campus should be proud of the center’s contributions to medical science, health care, and the future of medicine. Many thanks to Judy Regensteiner, PhD, director and a founder of the center and Distinguished Professor of Medicine, and her team for organizing this year’s event.

Alumni Reunion
The School of Medicine alumni reunion was held last Friday and Saturday. We welcomed more than 175 alumni and guests, with many members from the classes of 1973, 1993, and 2013. Friday morning, the CU Medical Alumni Association inducted those celebrating their 50th graduation anniversary into the 1883 Society. At dinner Friday evening, we honored the Class of 1973 and recognized each person who attended. We also thanked the class for generously establishing a scholarship fund that supports current medical students. Michael Carius, MD ’73, emceed the dinner remarks, so we were able to recognize him for receiving the 2022 Silver & Gold Award for humanitarianism, citizenship, and professionalism. Several other classmates were recognized at the dinner, including George “Doc” Lopez, MD ’73, who received the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at the medical school commencement earlier this year; Hajar Albinali, MD ’73, who received the 2022 Distinguished Achievement Award; and Jack Cochran, MD ’73, who is receiving the 2023 Silver & Gold Award later this year at the association’s alumni award banquet. Thanks to all our class champions who were instrumental in making this reunion successful.

Faculty Updates 
Larry Allen, MD, MHS, has been named head of the Division of Cardiology in the Department of Medicine. Larry is a professor of medicine and has served as the interim division head since 2022. Larry is a transplant cardiologist who mixes clinical practice, operations, and health care delivery research. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers and has remained consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. His research is focused on improving the delivery of evidence-based care to patients with heart failure, a topic on which he is recognized as a national leader. He holds multiple national leadership positions, including chair of the Clinical Cardiology Council for the American Heart Association.

Aimee Gardner, PhD, joined our School of Medicine on October 1 as associate dean of faculty development. In this role, she will plan and implement a program that serves our more than 5,000 faculty members. She will lead the Academy of Medical Educators, establish a series of monthly Medical Education Grand Rounds and an annual education symposium, and support medical education research. Aimee joins us from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where she has been assistant dean of evaluation and research, associate dean, director of research for the Center for Professionalism, and founding faculty member of the Department of Education, Innovation, and Technology.

Joshua Williams, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, will receive the Advancement in Research Award at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) national conference later this month. The honor is bestowed by the AAP’s Section on Early Career Physicians. Josh is principal investigator on a National Institutes of Health grant to examine the impact of digital storytelling on influenza vaccination equity. He is also co-investigator at Denver Health for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Safety Datalink project.

Angelo D’Alessandro, PhD, professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics, has been awarded funding with colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to test interventions for life-threatening bleeding in at least 1,000 traumatically injured children. Angelo’s project will determine whether there are differences in how the children respond to the interventions. This work will form the basis for developing a precision transfusion medicine approach to hemorrhagic shock in children.  

Maureen Stabio, PhD, associate professor of cell and developmental biology and vice director of the Modern Human Anatomy Program, is featured in last week’s CU Connections newsletter. Maureen recently received university funding to boost her Experience Anatomy initiative. To inspire middle and high school students to pursue scientific studies, she collaborates with the CU Pre-Health Scholars Program . “The greatest reward I have in doing outreach is seeing the impact it has on my graduate students who volunteer,” she says. “Some of my former graduate student leaders have gone on to lead other programs in their communities based on the positive experiences they’ve had in service projects at CU Anschutz.”

The ZATA (Zimbabwe AIDS Treatment Assistance) Project, a nonprofit that works with our infectious diseases faculty, recently gave $50,000 to the Department of Medicine’s Colorado-Zimbabwe International Exchange (CoZIE) to support trainees from the University of Zimbabwe traveling to our campus for training. ZATA Project representatives recently presented the gift to Vineet Chopra, MD, MSc, chair of medicine, Steven Johnson, MD, professor of medicine, and Thomas Campbell, MD, professor of medicine and a founder of the ZATA Project. The exchange program is named after Dr. James G. Hakim, also a founder of the ZATA Project, who died in January 2021 from complications of COVID-19. Since it was created in 2004, the ZATA Project has raised $450,000 through donations and the sale of Zimbabwean art and sculpture. The nonprofit has posted an update with more detail.

In Memoriam
Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Anna Sie , who died September 20. Anna and her husband, John Sie, have been generous benefactors to our school and campus, through support for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the Alzheimer’s and Cognition Center, the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children's Hospital Colorado, and the pilot GLOBAL Adult Down Syndrome Center at Denver Health. This philanthropic support is rooted in Anna’s determination that her granddaughter Sophia and all children and adults with Down syndrome live longer, healthier, happier, and fulfilled lives. Anna leaves an extraordinary legacy of countless improved lives. Services for Anna were held on September 28. Anna asked that donations in her memory be sent to the Global Down Syndrome Foundation at

Campus Updates 
Registration is now open for the Mentorship Academy on Friday, October 27. The event is hosted by the Department of Medicine and the Michigan Medicine Department of Surgery. In-person space in the Donald M. Elliman Conference Center is limited. A virtual attendance option is available.

Campus officials responsible for our safety and security are scheduled to conduct a training exercise on Wednesday, October 4, from 5 a.m. until 11 a.m. Victor Street between East 17th Place and East 19th Avenue will be closed during that time, and pedestrian access will be limited. During the exercise, there will be a heightened law enforcement presence along Victor Street. If you have any concerns regarding the training event or accessibility due to this training, contact the CU Anschutz Emergency Management Director Garrey Martinez at

The University Information Services (UIS) will be moving CU enterprise services to the new CU Anschutz data center beginning noon Friday, October 6, through 8 a.m. Monday, October 9. For information about how the UIS data center move will impact your ability to work, consult the CU Anschutz OIT - UIS Data Center Move informational webpage.

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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