Dean's Weekly Message

April 18, 2016


Dear colleague: 

At Tuesday’s Faculty Senate meeting, John Cambier, PhD, chair of immunology and microbiology, presented an outline of the Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Initiative (HI3), one of the five programs we’ve funded through the Transformational Research Funding initiative at the School of Medicine. The effort aims to develop the infrastructure we need on the Anschutz Medical Campus to be a leader in this area of medical science. HI3 will also train future scientific leaders and recruit faculty to complement our existing strengths. The goal of establishing preeminence in human immune system-targeted therapies is critical for our future and it is an extremely competitive area. Just last week, for example, Silicon Valley pioneer Sean Parker donated $250 million to support cancer immunotherapy at six other academic institutions. The program that John and his co-directors, Andrew Fontenot, MD, professor of medicine and head of the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, are leading builds on the many strengths we already have and will position us to grow with this important field. 

A reminder that the School of Medicine’s Office of Professionalism is conducting a survey of faculty to evaluate the level of workplace satisfaction. If you receive an email requesting your participation, please take the 5 to 10 minutes needed to complete the survey. The survey is being conducted by an independent third party and respondents will remain confidential. I would encourage all faculty to complete the survey so that we have meaningful results. 

Last Friday, the Denver Health and Hospital Authority Board of Directors announced that Bill Burman, MD, professor of medicine, has been named interim CEO of Denver Health. Bill, who is director of Denver Public Health, is a well-regarded physician and infectious disease specialist. For the past three years, he has served as president of the Denver Health medical staff. The board also announced that it expects a search for a full-time CEO replacement to take six to 12 months. Outgoing Denver Health CEO Art Gonzalez announced on March 30 that he is retiring effective June 30. 

Congratulations to Daniel Sherbenou, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology, who is one of six recipients of the Young Investigator Award from the NCCN Foundation, which was founded by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network to advance oncology innovation. Awardees are recognized for their dedication to advancing and discovering new treatments for cancer, enhancing quality of care and improving patient education. 

Congratulations to Nancy Krebs, MD, professor of pediatrics, has been awarded the inaugural Robert Suskind and Leslie Lewinter-Suskind Pediatric Nutrition Lifetime Achievement Award at the American Society for Nutrition’s annual meeting. The award is designed to recognize an individual whose lifetime body of work includes meaningful contributions related to the importance of childhood nutrition in health and disease. 

Congratulations to John Sladek, Jr., PhD, professor emeritus of neurology, who was awarded the Henry Gray Scientific Achievement Award by the American Association of Anatomists. John was also elected a Fellow at the group’s Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology earlier this month. The Henry Gray Scientific Achievement Award is the group’s highest scientific honor and it recognizes unique and meritorious contributions to achievements in anatomical sciences by a member of the organization. As the award recipient, John presented the lecture “The Repairable Brain: An Anatomist’s View on Brain Repair,” relating to diseases such as Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s. 

The Office of Medical Education in the School of Medicine is currently recruiting for two positions. The Associate Director of the Integrated Clinician Courses (ICC) is a 0.25 FTE position. The Director of the Medicine and Society Thread is a 0.3 FTE position. Both positions involve developing and administering curriculum for medical students. An appointment in the School of Medicine and an MD or DO degree is required for each position. Experience in undergraduate medical education, curriculum development, and knowledge of the School of Medicine medical school program is preferred.  To apply, please submit a CV and letter of interest. If you are interested in a job description for either position, need further information, or wish to submit your application, email Meleah Himber, Longitudinal Curriculum Coordinator, at meleah.himber@ucdenver. The deadline for application for both positions is Thursday, April 28. 

The Donor Memorial Ceremony on Monday, April 11, was a thoughtful and moving way to honor those who donated their bodies upon their death for research and education. The gathering allowed students to express gratitude to the donors for their invaluable gift while also allowing families and friends of donors to pay tribute to the lives of their loved ones. Taylor Goodstein, a medical student in the Class of 2019, aptly captured the deeper meaning of the donors’ precious gift. “All I can give to the woman who donated her body to my education is the gift of memory,” Taylor said. “So if I could, to my donor, I say this: I see your body in the world around me. I see your muscles dancing when I see someone dance. I trace the origin of tendons along your tendons. When I think of arteries, they are your arteries; hearts are your heart. You are my foundation of medicine.” 


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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