Dean's Weekly Message

August 4, 2014


Dear colleague:

A lot happened around here last week, but our enjoyment of some of the highlights listed below was dampened by having to adapt to the suddenness of our loss of Chip Ridgway, MD, MACP, senior associate dean for academic affairs and distinguished professor of medicine.  If I seemed out of sorts to any of you I interacted with last week, it was because I am.  Having his children packing things in his office Friday afternoon was almost as hard for us as I know it was for them.  But he would want us to get through this “tough wrinkle” as he titled his email to me from the Cody Hospital where he realized his diagnosis and what lay ahead.  So we will do our best. 

We will gather this Friday, Aug.8, to remember Chip and celebrate his life and the countless contributions he made to our School, to scientific research and to the lives of his students, fellows, patients and friends. The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. in the auditorium in Education 2 South with a reception immediately following. Chip’s children and his brother will be joining us and we expect colleagues from near and far to attend. We hope you will join us.  We have posted information about the event on the School of Medicine’s website. Please feel free to share with others who may not see this message. 

On Friday evening, July 25, I welcomed the seven BA/BS-MD program students who are matriculating into the School of Medicine this month and their families. They have been focused for the past four years on completing their undergraduate degrees at the University of Colorado Denver and now they will progress to our campus to pursue medical degrees. This program is designed to help us increase the number of physicians serving populations who are underrepresented in the practice of medicine in Colorado. This past Friday, Aug. 1, I welcomed the nine new students entering the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD) this year. And later this week, there will be a reception in Colorado Springs for the 24 students who have elected to be the inaugural class for our branch there.    

In an email earlier this summer, I mentioned the Hot Spotters Student Program, developed by Roberta Capp, MD, MHS, assistant professor of emergency medicine. Roberta and the student Hot Spotters reported their findings at a conference last Monday morning. This new summer program introduced young people to health care and taught them about the needs of underserved populations. The current issue of CU Connections has an interview with Roberta about her reasons for developing this worthwhile program. 

Congratulations to Kathrin Bernt, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, on receiving a Clinical Scientist Development Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The award provides funding to young clinician investigators so they can devote 75 percent of their professional time to clinical research as they establish their own labs and research teams. Kathrin is one of 17 researchers nationally to receive the honor this year. Her lab is investigating the role of epigenetic gene regulation in normal hematopoietic stem cells and extending her findings to the study of leukemia. 

A reminder to those interested in applying for a grant from the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute’s Translational Pilot Program and Child and Maternal Health Pilot Program that the deadline for a mandatory letter of intent is Friday, Aug. 29. These programs provide about $1 million in funds for translational research. The application submission period is between Sept. 2 and Sept. 24. Contact Sandy Chalmers for information about the Translational Pilot Program and Bonnie Savone about the Child and Maternal Health Pilot program. 

The CU Health Sciences Library is hosting a traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine, called Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics and Culture, until Sept. 13 in the library’s Gallery. An opening reception and screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary “How to Survive a Plague” will be held Thursday, Aug. 7, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Gossard Forum of the Fuginiti Pavilion. The library is hosting the event in partnership with the Arts and Humanities in Healthcare Program of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities. 

Finally, the family of former Chancellor Vincent Fulginiti, MD, was on campus Friday, Aug. 1, to dedicate a new hanging sculpture in the lobby of the Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities. Vince’s wife, Shirley, said the sculpture, called “Bright Idea,” is perfectly appropriate because they had a mobile in their house that he liked. Vince’s daughter Laura said the sculpture is a “permanent reminder that ideas are behind every great achievement.” Also attending were artist Robert Delaney and donors David Pearlman, MD, Henry Claman, MD and Janet Stewart Claman, MD. It was a nice event at the end a tough week. 


Have a good week,

Richard D. Krugman, MD
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and
Dean, School of Medicine



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