Dean's Weekly Message

April 29, 2024

Dear Colleague: 

The CU Center for Combat Medicine and Battlefield (COMBAT) Research signed an educational agreement with the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) earlier this month. The agreement provides opportunities for USAFA faculty and cadets to participate in research and mentorship opportunities on our campus, and similarly allows our school’s faculty and students to participate in research, mentorship, and internships in joint-funded efforts, along with providing access to facilities at the academy, such as its human performance laboratory. “This is the first medical university that the USAFA has partnered with, and we’re proud of that,” said Vik Bebarta, MD, founding director of the Center for COMBAT Research, professor of emergency medicine, and a USAFA graduate. The signing ceremony is featured in an  article in the Department of Emergency Medicine newsroom.

Faculty Updates
Katrina G. Claw, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical informatics, last week was named a recipient of the Alan T. Waterman Award by the U.S. National Science Foundation. The award is the nation’s highest honor for early-career scientists and engineers. Katrina will receive a medal and $1 million over five years to support her research. Katrina’s genomic research is at the forefront of disease treatment and prevention. She has demonstrated strong associations between nicotine metabolism and CYP2A6 gene variation in a tribally diverse Indigenous population. Katrina discusses her work in an article published last week in the newsroom of the Department of Biomedical Informatics.

Bethany Kwan, PhD, MSPH, associate professor of emergency medicine and an investigator with the Adult and Child Center for Outcomes Research and Delivery Science (ACCORDS), and Matthew DeCamp, MD, associate professor of medicine and the CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities, have received a $2.1 million funding award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Their project, “Characterizing Engagement and Equity in Research,” aims to find the best engagement methods for diverse research topics and communities. Additional information about the project is available in an article in the ACCORDS newsroom.

Rosemary Rochford, PhD, professor emerita of immunology and microbiology, is profiled in an article in the CU Cancer Center newsroom for being named the 2024 recipient of the Henle Award from the Board of the International Association for Research on Epstein-Barr Virus and Associated Diseases. Rosemary has focused her decades of EBV research on the link between the virus and Burkitt lymphoma, an aggressive B-cell lymphoma. She has conducted much of her research on patients in sub-Saharan Africa, where she has found that malaria plays a role in the EBV-related cancer that primarily affects children. 

The University of Colorado Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative (FIPI) has published its first annual report, with a review of accomplishments in the year since it launched with a $4.5 million investment from the School of Medicine. The initiative now includes a network of 26 faculty from three CU campuses, and those researchers were authors on 37 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals. FIPI researchers were awarded grant funding for several studies, including on the use of extreme risk protection orders in Colorado, peer-to-peer safety interventions, firearm suicide prevention, and firearm and medication storage decision-making tools. Founding director Emmy Betz, MD, MPH, professor of emergency medicine, said, “We are dedicated to bringing people together for mentoring and funding opportunities.” Additional information is provided in an article in the newsroom of the Department of Emergency Medicine.

Emmy Betz, MD, MPH, professor of emergency medicine, has been accepted as a member of the 2024-2025 class of fellows in the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program. The year-long, part-time fellowship is for women faculty in schools of medicine, dentistry, public health, and pharmacy. Fellows in the program develop professional and personal skills required to lead and manage complex health care environments, with special attention to the challenges facing women in leadership positions. 

The Program to Advance Physician Scientists and Translational Research, or CU ASPIRE, has announced its 2024 awardees. They are research teams led by Heide Ford, PhD, chair of pharmacology, Abigail Person, PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics, Mario L. Santiago, PhD, associate professor of medicine, and Daniel J. Tollin, PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics. The CU ASPIRE program supports collaborative research projects. Details about the awards are posted in an announcement on the program website.

Nanette Santoro, MD, chair of obstetrics and gynecology, is a co-author of an original investigation published April 16 by JAMA Network Open indicating that blood pressure control treatment may provide new strategies for fibroid prevention. Fibroids are common and cause debilitating symptoms, including pain and bleeding.

Paul Rozance, MD, professor of pediatrics, has been elected president-elect of the Perinatal Research Society. The society was established in 1969 to foster scientific interchange among neonatologists, obstetricians, and basic scientists with research interests in the areas of perinatal medicine and developmental biology.

University Policy Guidance
In light of recent demonstrations at university campuses across the country, I call to your attention the policy guidance related to anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic harassment posted earlier this year by the University of Colorado System Office. The university policy states that slurs and harassment based on perceived religious, racial, ethnic, or ancestral identity may be considered discriminatory. The guidance states:

“Such negative and harmful behavior is contrary to our values as a university and will be addressed. When it is so severe or pervasive that it limits the ability of a student or employee to participate in or benefit from a university learning or work environment, it violates our campus nondiscrimination policies and will be addressed by the responsible campus or system authority. When the behavior is constitutionally protected speech and does not violate our policies but is still harmful to an individual or part of our community, we encourage the community to engage in respectful dialogue to help others learn about the impact of their words. The university will always value and protect both the right to be free from protected class discrimination and harassment and the right to express constitutionally protected ideas.”

Reports of identity-based discrimination or harassment should be directed to the university Equity Offices (Boulder/SystemDenver | Anschutz and UCCS). If you have questions, please contact Valerie Simons, vice president of compliance and equity in the Office of the President at

Events and Honors
Four physicians and four advanced practice professionals have been named this year’s recipients of the University of Colorado School of Medicine Distinguished Clinician Awards. The physician awardees are Huong Mindy Lam, MD, associate professor of clinical practice of medicine; Nancy Madinger, MD, professor of medicine; Jason Stoneback, MD, associate professor of orthopedics; and Kim Weigers, MD, associate professor of clinical practice of anesthesiology. The advanced practice professional awardees are Emily Benton, PhD, NP, assistant professor of medicine; Angela Falco, BSN, FNP, MPH, senior instructor of medicine; Michelle Lalinde, MSN, FNP-BC, senior instructor of psychiatry; and Cheryl Meguid, DNP, professor of clinical practice of surgery. The award recognizes faculty members for their dedication to providing excellent patient care and for sharing their clinical knowledge and skills with others. Awardees are selected by a committee of peers based on their demonstrated clinical expertise, sustained exceptional clinical service, patient-centered care, and high standard of professionalism.

Two faculty members have been named this year’s recipients of the University of Colorado School of Medicine Distinguished Faculty Professionalism Awards. The awardees are Wells Messersmith MD, professor of medicine, and Frederick Karrer, MD, professor of surgery and pediatrics. The award was created to honor faculty who exemplify professionalism, community service, lifelong learning, and contributions to the academic mission. Recipients of the clinician and professionalism awards will be recognized at a special dinner ceremony and their names will be included on a plaque in the Dean’s office.

Lauren Gallagher, MD, a fourth-year resident in surgery, was recognized for her research by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma in March, winning first place in the organization’s annual Resident and Fellow Trauma Paper Competition during its annual meeting in Chicago. An article in the Department of Surgery’s newsroom includes detail and a quote from Mitchell Cohen, MD, professor of surgery, a principal investigator at the Trauma Research Center , and Lauren’s research mentor: “This is one of the most prestigious resident paper competitions in all of surgery, and residents from the CU surgery trauma lab have had a nice string of finals appearances and wins over the past few years.”

More than 60 presenters, ranging from seasoned faculty to trainees, participated in the Department of Medicine’s Research Day on April 23. Third-year medical student Jordan Nelson showed a research poster focused on how people may be able to use large language models, such as ChatGPT, to explore the therapeutic process in the psychological treatment of chronic pain. Partnering with the company Lin Health, which offers health solutions for chronic pain, Jordan and colleagues analyzed 1,200 patient-coach sessions from 104 patients undergoing treatment for chronic pain. Many other topics were covered during Research Day, including improving cancer detection, exploring the connection between sleep and bone health, expanding knowledge about rheumatoid arthritis, and examining the impact long-term care can have on older adults’ social lives. More details about the day are featured in an article in the Department of Medicine newsroom.

Nicole Canterbury-Passoth, assistant program administrator for the Department of Medicine’s Internal Medicine Residency Training Program, and Vicki Muscatello, residency/fellowship program coordinator in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, have been named winners of the 2024 University of Colorado School of Medicine Outstanding Program Coordinator Award. Nicole has also been named the CU GME Nominee for the 2025 ACGME Program Coordinator Excellence Award. These awards are given annually by our School of Medicine’s GME and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in recognition of the recipients’ in-depth understanding of the accreditation process, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and projects to improve graduate medical education programs.

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette visited our campus last Wednesday for a tour and conversation with members of the Ludeman Family Center for Women’s Health Research. Many thanks to Judith Regensteiner, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine and director of the Ludeman Center, and to all involved in preparing the program for her visit.

The CU Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) held its sixth annual program retreat on Saturday, April 20, in Krugman Hall. The retreat was attended by more than 80 MSTP students, faculty, and administrators. MSTP students Carley Miller and Kelsey Kines led the committee organizing the event and Arthur Gutierrez-Hartmann, MD, former director and professor emeritus, gave a history of the program. Alumni speakers were Pippa Cosper, MD, PhD ’13, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin; Craig van Horne, MD, PhD ’92, professor and chair of neurosurgery, University of Kentucky; and Taraz Samandari, MD, PhD ’93, medical epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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 →


If you would like to receive these emails directly, please contact  
To unsubscribe →

CMS Login