Dean's Weekly Message

Oct. 8, 2018


Dear colleague: 



Congratulations to Wells Messersmith, MD, professor of medicine, who received the Michaele C. Christian Oncology Development Award, at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program Early Drug Development Meeting on Tuesday, October 2. The award, established in 2007, is awarded to a mid-career scientist who has contributed to the development of novel agents for cancer therapy. Following the award ceremony, Wells delivered a lecture, “Biomarker-Driven Trials in Gastrointestinal Cancers.” Wells is a well-respected and productive leader in our School’s Division of Medical Oncology, serving as a mentor to more than 35 medical and doctoral students, medical oncology fellows, and junior faculty. He has also been active in professional service, including on the NCI Colon Cancer Task Force and as national director of the Academic GI Cancer Consortium. 

Heather Cassidy, MD, who serves as director for community engagement of the CU School of Medicine Colorado Springs Branch, was listed last week among the finalists for the Young Leader Awards from the Colorado Springs Mayor’s Office. Heather was featured in an article in Springs magazine in September discussing how education in the Colorado Springs Branch offers students clinical experience and involvement in the community in ways that can make a difference in individual lives, through community health needs assessment, leadership development, and a focus on social determinants of health. There are 25 award finalists in five award categories. Heather is in the education category. Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday, October 30. 

The University of Colorado Board of Regents will be holding a series of campus town hall meetings about the search for a successor to CU President Bruce Benson, who announced this summer that he will retire July 2019. Regents Heidi Ganahl and Irene Griego, who are co-chairing the search, will host the meetings. The CU Anschutz Medical Campus meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 18, from 10:30 a.m.-noon, in Hensel-Phelps East Auditorium. The search committee is also accepting public comment on the presidential search website

Nominations for the 2018 Steven Fadul Award will be accepted through Wednesday, October 31. The award honors contributions of outstanding professional research assistants or staff in comparable positions in the School of Medicine. Nominees should show initiative in expanding the scope of their work and by mentoring trainees. Nominations should be sent to Additional information is available at the award’s website

The Academy of Medical Educators is accepting applications for the Rymer Small Grants Program. The academy annually provides grants – usually $3,500 or less, although occasionally grants of up to $5,000 will be considered – to support efforts to create, implement, and evaluate innovative medical education programs and to develop scholarship in medical education. Grant funds are provided with support from the Rymer Family Endowment, the Office of Faculty Affairs, and the Academy of Medical Educators. Check the academy’s websitefor more information and the application process. Applications are due Thursday, November 29.  

The Center for Women’s Health Research hosted its 2nd biennial National Conference on Women’s Health and Sex Differences, with a focus on the connection between cardio-metabolism and sex differences across the lifespan. The event, which was held September 26-28 in Denver, attracted nearly 200 participants, including scientists from more than 20 states and three countries. Thanks to Center Director Judy Regensteiner, PhD, and Associate Directors Wendy Kohrt, PhD, and Jane Reusch, MD, and everyone else who organized the event. 


Have a good week, 

John J. Reilly, Jr., MD
Richard D. Krugman Endowed Chair
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and
Dean, School of Medicine


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