Dean's Weekly Message

Jan. 29, 2018


Dear colleague: 


I am pleased to announce that Terry Fry, MD, one of the country’s leading cancer researchers, is joining the University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty on February 1. Terry joins us from the National Cancer Institute where he was a tenure track investigator at its pediatric oncology branch. Terry is among the first scientists to investigate the potential to insert modified genes into a child’s own T-cells to target CD19, a surface protein found on nearly all cells affected by acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The first product using this technology, called chimeric antigen T-cell (CAR-T cells) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for pediatric use in August 2017 and it achieved an 80 percent remission rate in children with highly refractory leukemia resistant to all other therapies including conventional bone marrow transplant. Last November, Terry was the first author of an article in the journal Nature Medicine that outlined a new treatment that genetically alters a patient’s cells to fight cancer. His work has been highlighted in the Discovery documentary First in Human, which aired last August, and in a recent New York Times article and Washington Post feature. He joins us on the Anschutz Medical Campus as the director of cancer immunotherapy and will serve as co-director of the Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Initiative, one of the School’s Transformational Research Funding projects. Terry joins an already outstanding faculty serving patients and families at Children’s Hospital Colorado and we are happy to welcome him. 

Congratulations to the School of Medicine faculty and other hospital staff who were honored last week at the UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital medical staff awards. There are multiple awardees – so many that we can’t list them all in this email – so please check the list posted on the School of Medicine website. Among the honorees was Edward N. Murphy, MD, instructor of medicine, who received the Extraordinary Service award. I would like to thank everyone for their service to the patients who trust us with their care. University of Colorado Hospital stands out from other health care providers in our community because we bring groundbreaking research, cutting-edge innovation, and remarkably talented clinicians working together in this singular academic medial setting. 

Congratulations to Ronald J. Sokol, MD, professor and vice chair of pediatrics and chief of pediatric GI, hepatology and nutrition, on his election as the 68th president of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). AASLD is the leading organization of scientists and health care professionals committed to preventing and curing liver disease with over 5,500 members. On January 1, Ron became the first AASLD president from Colorado and the third pediatrician in the association’s history. The Pediatric Liver Center, which was founded in 1985 by Ron and John Lilly, MD, who was chief of pediatric surgery, and the Pediatric Liver Transplantation program at Children’s Hospital Colorado are nationally recognized for leadership in clinical care, research and training. 

Children’s Hospital Colorado has announced that Raphe Schwartz has been named senior vice president and chief strategy officer. For the past 15 years, Raphe has been a consultant for The Chartis Group, which has provided advisory and analytics services to Children’s Hospital Colorado. Raphe’s consulting engagements have focused on strategic planning, economic alignment, funds flow, network development, and clinical and operational performance improvement. He has directed transformational strategies and projects at more than 30 children’s hospitals and he is a regular speaker at national healthcare conferences and board retreats on strategy and children's health topics. 

The School of Medicine is hosting the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Western Group on Education Affairs (WGEA) regional meeting March 24-27 at the Westin Denver Downtown. The theme of the meeting is “Training the Physician of the Future.” Early bird registration ends Friday, February 16. The conference host is Michele Doucette, PhD, assistant dean of curriculum. 


The University of Colorado Office of Academic Affairs is soliciting nominations for two of the top awards it bestows on faculty, students and staff:

  • The Chase Faculty Community Service Award provides $10,000 to a full-time CU faculty member who, in addition to his or her university responsibilities, has, pro bono, provided exceptional educational, humanitarian, civic or other service in the community. The deadline for nominations is 5 p.m. Monday, March 5. Recent recipients from our campus include Jeffrey Druck, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine, for his work with Wapiyapi, a camp for children diagnosed with cancer and their siblings; Philip Zeitler, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics, for his efforts to improve understanding of pediatric type 2 diabetes and obesity; and David Olds, PhD, professor of pediatrics, for work including the founding of the Nurse-Family Partnership, which provides home visits by nurses to first-time, low-income mothers and their children. 
  • The Thomas Jefferson Award honors students, staff and faculty who advance the ideals of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States. Those ideals include broad interests in literature, arts and sciences, and public affairs; a strong concern for the advancement of higher education; a deeply seated sense of individual civic responsibility; and a profound commitment to the welfare and rights of the individual. The award includes an engraved plaque and a $2,000 honorarium. Recent recipients from our campus are Arezoo Bahramirad, a medical student in the Class of 2017; Donald Bross, JD, PhD, professor of pediatrics; Amber Ortiz, PhD candidate in the Immunology Graduate Program; Therese Jones, PhD,associate professor of medicine; and Alexandra Antonioli, an MD/PhD candidate in the School’s Medical Scientist Training Program. 



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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