Dean's Weekly Message

November 7, 2016


Dear colleague: 

Chancellor Don Elliman offered an ambitious and compelling plan in his annual State of the Campus address last Tuesday. “We seek to be a medical destination of such breadth and quality,” he said, “that no one from the Rocky Mountain region should ever have to travel beyond this campus to receive the finest care in the world.”  The clinical care here on the Anschutz Medical Campus strengthens and stems from our outstanding research and education programs. Each part reinforces the other. Don set several goals, including pushing higher in the NIH research funding ranks, diversifying our research portfolio, increasing efforts to provide mental and behavioral health care and investing in a service line that pushes the campus to the top rank in the country. Already, the pulmonary programs here, in conjunction with National Jewish Health, rank among the nation’s best, and Don said we should aim for that level of accomplishment in another service line. Here at the School of Medicine, our significant investments this year in the Transformational Research Projects give us a solid start. The plans Don outlined are certainly achievable goals and we look forward to working together on them. The full text of the chancellor’s State of the Campus address is posted online  and he invites feedback at

The annual community luncheon for our Center for Women’s Health Research last Tuesday attracted 730 supporters to the Seawall Grand Ballroom in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Larry Cahill, PhD, professor of neurobiology and behavior in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, spoke on sex influences on emotional memory and brain function. We are fortunate to have such strong community support for the center, which provides funding and training for scientists focused on heart disease and diabetes in women. 

On Wednesday, we celebrated the naming of the inaugural Nancy Anschutz Chair in Women’s Health Research, Wendy Kohrt, PhD, professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatric Medicine. Wendy is a productive and highly regarded member of our faculty, serving as director of research for geriatric medicine, director of the IMAGE (Investigations in Metabolism, Aging, Gender, and Exercise) research group, director of the energy balance core laboratory for the NIH-supported Nutrition and Obesity Research Center, and chair of the scientific advisory and review committee for the Adult Clinical and Translational Research Center. The Nancy Anschutz Chair in Women’s Health was established in 2014 with a challenge grant from The Anschutz Foundation and fulfilled in January with gifts and commitments from 60 people and funding from the School of Medicine. The chair will support dedicated mentorship time for Wendy and junior researcher seed grants. We are grateful for the generosity of the donors who endowed this important chair and for Wendy’s ongoing accomplishments. We are also proud that our School has two of the nation’s 20 endowed chairs in women health research. 

Also on Wednesday, Children’s Hospital Colorado held a reception to announce the establishment of the Ed and Roxanne Fie Anderson Family Endowed Chair for Breathing and its inaugural recipient, Robin Deterding, MD, professor of pulmonary medicine in the Department of Pediatrics. Robin is an internationally recognized expert in the care of children with rare interstitial and diffuse lung disease, with research interests in biomarkers, proteomics, and defining clinical phenotypes outcomes with novel approaches. As the Director of The Children’s Interstitial Lung Disease Research Network (ChILDRN), she is leading efforts to develop an international diffuse lung disease database and collaborative community of patient families and investigators. At the School, Robin has been a leader in developing multiple educational initiatives, including the creation of a new undergraduate medical student curriculum as the Associate Dean of Clinical Curriculum. She also directed the Pediatric Pulmonary Fellowship Training Program in Colorado and has been the President of the Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics (COMSEP), a national organization of pediatric educators. We are thankful for the Anderson family’s support of this chair at Children’s and for Robin’s continuing achievements.

The ARCS Foundation Colorado Chapter held its annual luncheon on the Anschutz Medical Campus last Wednesday. We have many ARCS scholars on our campus and it was a pleasure to be at the luncheon to celebrate their accomplishment. The ARCS Foundation Colorado Chapter, which has partnerships with all four campuses of the University of Colorado and with Colorado School of Mines and Colorado State University, provides scholarships to students in science, engineering and medical research. The 2016-17 ARCS Foundation Colorado Chapter honoree is astronaut Kjell Lindgren, MD ’02, who is scheduled to attend the ARCS Foundation gala in May 2017. Kjell was on our campus earlier this year after returning from a five-month stay on the International Space Station. 

Congratulations to the team at CU Medicine, our faculty practice plan, for winning a Silver Leaf Award at the Colorado Healthcare Communicators 2016 Gold Leaf Awards ceremony on Nov. 3. The team – including Stefannie Emerson, Michael Miller, Drew Redfield, Nik Levinsky, Becca Morgan, Dalan Jensen, Syreeta Akin, Cheryl Welch, Katie Rodriguez and Heidi Armbruster – were recognized in the category of web application upgrade for the improvements to

The 30th Annual Joseph W. St. Geme, Jr., MD Lectureship, sponsored by the Department of Pediatrics, will be Friday, Nov. 11. The recipient of this year’s lectureship is Arthur L. Horwich, MD, the Sterling Professor of Genetics and Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. His presentation titled, “From Bedside to Bench and Back - Biogenesis of a Mitochondrial Protein Involved in a Lethal Disease Leads to Discovery of a Protein Folding Machine” will be at 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m., in Mt. Oxford Auditorium at Children’s Hospital Colorado.  A reception will follow.  Continuing Medical Education credit will be offered and lunch is available for purchase. Contact Bobbi Siegel, assistant to the chair of pediatrics, at (720) 777-3936. 

The School of Medicine’s Leadership in Educational Administration Program is accepting applications for the one-year course, which would begin with pre-coursework in May/June 2017 and culminate with a capstone project in June 2018. The program is experiential and participatory and designed to develop highly skilled educational leaders who will advance education here and nationally. Details are available on the LEAP website.


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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