Dean's Weekly Message

May 6, 2024

Dear Colleague: 

Faculty Updates
Wendy Kohrt, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine, is one of seven faculty members from the Department of Medicine who are co-authors of an article published May 1 by Nature that describes a large research project in young adult rats finding that all bodily tissues tested respond to exercise training. Researchers found differences in responses between male and female rats that were more widespread than anticipated, highlighting the importance of including animals of both sexes in pre-clinical research. The paper’s authors are the MoTrPAC Study Group. MoTrPAC is the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium, funded by the National Institutes of Health, which last week issued a news release about the study. Wendy is chair of the executive and steering committees of MoTrPAC and the principal investigator for one of the MoTrPAC Clinical Centers.

Matthew DeCamp, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine and at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, is corresponding author of a research letter published April 30 by JAMA Network Open that considers what patients think of chatbot supervision used in health care settings. Matt and his co-authors surveyed users of a patient-facing chatbot who had at least three back-and-forth interactions with the chatbot between July 2022 and September 2023. Most respondents identified the chatbot as an unsupervised computer. However, some individuals were less likely to know it was unsupervised, with associations varying by education level and race and ethnicity. Six colleagues from our campus are co-authors, including first author Jessica Ellis, professional research assistant with the Center for Bioethics and Humanities.

Priya S. Rolfes, MD, a fellow in pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition program, is corresponding author of an original article published April 29 in The Journal of Pediatrics that identifies neonate-specific prognostic variables for survival with native liver in neonatal acute liver failure. The findings may help early risk stratification to guide medical decision-making and consideration for liver transplantation. Co-authors from our Department of Pediatrics are Professor Shikha S. Sundaram, MD, MSCI, Distinguished Professor Ronald J. Sokol, MD, and Visiting Associate Professor Sarah A. Taylor, MD.

Stacey L. Simon, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics, is corresponding author of a review published in late March by The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health that presents prevalence rates, screening tools, and treatment recommendations for polycystic ovary syndrome-related conditions. Six colleagues from our campus are co-authors.

Our School of Medicine’s Program to Advance Physician Scientists and Translational Research has selected its 2024 Translational Research Scholars. The program aims to foster translational research among early career faculty who are within the first four years of their assistant professor appointment. Each scholar receives up to $300,000 over four years to support their research. This year’s scholars and their areas of research are:

  • Yoni Ashar, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, Division of Internal Medicine. Developing brain biomarkers and new treatments for chronic pain.
  • Martin Breuss, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics, Section of Clinical Genetics and Metabolism. Understanding the clonality of the hematopoietic system and its correlation with aging and disease.
  • Joanne Cole, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical informatics. The biological basis of dietary intake.
  • Janani Ravi, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical informatics. Developing general-purpose computational approaches that integrate large-scale heterogeneous public datasets for mechanistic understanding of microbial genotypes, phenotypes, and diseases.
  • Ronald J. Vagnozzi, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, Division of Cardiology. Cellular mechanisms of the injury and stress response in heart failure and myocardial infarction, with emphasis on the innate immune system and fibrotic wound healing.

Administrative Showcase
The School of Medicine is hosting a showcase on June 21 for administrative staff to share best practices and innovative solutions that have streamlined their work and enhanced operational efficiency. The team hosting the event has issued a call for submissions for administrators at all levels to make presentations on the secrets, shortcuts, and other strategies to do their jobs better in serving our school community. Presenters have the option of a 5- to 7-minute rapid-fire talk or a short presentation of 10 to 15 minutes. Submissions are due Monday, May 27. The event will be from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday, June 21 in the Gossard Family Forum of the Fulginiti Pavilion. Register to attend. For questions, contact

Dean's Distinguished Seminar
Matthew W. Wilson, MD, professor and chair of ophthalmology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and director of the Hamilton Eye Institute, will deliver the Dean’s Distinguished Seminar lecture , “Retinoblastoma: Longitudinal Outcomes,” at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, in Hensel Phelps West Auditorium. A reception in the first-floor atrium will occur after the lecture. The Dean’s Distinguished Seminar Series brings notable scholars to campus to discuss their work. All are invited. You can find more information about this and other events on the campus events calendar, where you can also  sign up for event notifications.

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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