Dean's Weekly Message

July 8, 2024

Dear Colleague: 

I hope that you had a relaxing and enjoyable Fourth of July holiday. This celebrated summer break offers respite from our routines and an opportunity to gather with family and friends. We were especially fortunate this year to have an extended break with Friday, July 5, being designated a campus holiday.

As we celebrated time off with an extended weekend, we also are getting ready for a busy summer with the arrival of our school’s new students. Physical Therapy students are already here. Our first-year physician assistant students started July 1. The Class of 2028 medical students begin their orientation July 22, with the white coat ceremony planned for July 26. We are excited to welcome them. I am looking forward to seeing the energy these new students bring to our campus!

The celebration of America’s Independence Day also happens in the same week that our neighbors to the north celebrate Canada Day. On July 1, Canadians commemorate their country’s confederation, which originally had been called Dominion Day. Because I was born and grew up in Canada, I enjoy the bonus of celebrating Canada Day too.

Faculty Updates
Cristin Welle, PhD, associate professor of neurosurgery and physiology and biophysics, is the featured interview on the campus podcast, Health Science Radio. Cristin’s lab seeks to provide new insights into the key factors that make neural interface devices effective and to use cutting-edge neural technology to learn more about the way our nervous systems function. Her lab is exploring the potential of vagus nerve stimulation to help patients with epilepsy, depression, and loss of motor function from stroke and multiple sclerosis.

Jayashree Kalpathy-Cramer, PhD, professor of ophthalmology, has joined the leadership of the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI) as director of health informatics. She joined CU in 2022 to launch the new Division of Artificial Intelligence in Ophthalmology, which translates AI methods into effective patient care practices at the Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center. An article in the CCTSI newsroom offers additional detail about Jayashree’s work.

Sean Davis, MD, PhD, associate director of informatics and data science at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, is part of a team that recently received a $5.2 million grant renewal from the National Institutes of Health to continue funding cancer genomics research. Sean and his colleagues are collaborating on the Bioconductor ecosystem, a cornerstone resource for statistical analysis and data management in cancer genomics research. An article in the Cancer Center newsroom provides additional detail.

Jenna Guthmiller, PhD, assistant professor of immunology and microbiology, received the Ann Palmenberg Junior Investigator Award at the American Society for Virology annual meeting on June 25. The award recognizes junior investigators who have made significant contributions to the field of virology and who display exceptional promise. Her lab studies how broadly protective humoral immunity against influenza viruses develops and can be harnessed by vaccination. Her expertise has been showcased in recent news reports about avian flu, including this article in the AAMC News and this report in The Denver Post.

Tolulope Falaiye, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, will be the honoree at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s Night of Hope in September. Tolu is a pediatric gastroenterologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs with an interest in Inflammatory bowel disease and the transition from pediatric to adult medical care. She serves on the Pediatric Affairs National Scientific Advisory Committee of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.

Sarah Tevis, MD, associate professor of surgery and member of the Institute for Healthcare Quality, Safety & Efficiency, has been named a 2024 Richard L. Byyny Fellow in Leadership from the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Fellows are awarded funds to develop their leadership skills through a specific year-long project. Sarah’s project will focus on patient-reported outcomes, shared decision-making, and interventions to enhance quality of care through the development of a clinical sexual health program for women with breast cancer.

Lisa Bero, PhD, chief scientist of the CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities, Eric G. Campbell, PhD, the center’s director of research, and Christine M. Baugh, PhD, MPH, assistant professor with the center, are co-authors of an original investigation published June 28 by JAMA Health Forum that uses an event-centric method for analyzing open payments data to quantify pharmaceutical and medical device industry-sponsored events for health professionals.

Erica Mandell, DO, associate professor of pediatrics, Steven H. Abman, MD, professor of pediatrics, and Paula Dias Maia, MD, fellow in neonatal-perinatal medicine, are co-authors of a review article on bronchopulmonary dysplasia-associated pulmonary hypertension published July 1 by NeoReviews, an official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Education Grand Rounds
The Offices for the Faculty Experience’s Academy of Medical Educators is re-launching Education Grand Rounds, a monthly educator development series open to all faculty, staff, and students. Sessions will be held virtually on the second Thursday of the month at noon, beginning Thursday July 11, with Eric S. Holmboe, MD, president and CEO of Intealth, speaking on equity in assessment. The Office for the Faculty Experience has posted the full list of speakers and the Zoom meeting link on the Education Grand Rounds webpage.

Faculty Promotions Committee
The Offices for the Faculty Experience’s Office for Faculty Affairs is recruiting new members to join the Faculty Promotions Committee (FPC). To serve on the committee, you must be at least an associate professor and not going up for promotion or tenure during your three-year term. FPC members cannot simultaneously serve on their department’s promotions committee. The FPC conducts its work from September through June, which includes a training session in September, and 1.5- to 2-hour committee meetings twice a month. Prior to the committee meetings, members will review appointment, promotion, and tenure dossiers in Interfolio and write summaries to present at the committee meetings. To serve, obtain a short letter of support from your department chair and submit a nomination request by Friday, July 12, using the  SOM FPC Nomination Form.

Have a good week,

John H. Sampson, MD, PhD, MBA
Richard D. Krugman Endowed Chair
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and
Dean, University of Colorado School of Medicine


The Dean’s weekly message is an email news bulletin from John H. Sampson, MD, PhD, MBA, 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.

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