Dean's Weekly Message

July 14, 2014


Dear colleague:

It was a quiet enough week that I had some time to wander around. Yesterday, my wife and I wandered around Boulder after the World Cup final, and went to Chautauqua to hear Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Friday, I wandered around campus to drop into places I hadn’t been for a while. One of those places was RC-1 North where our Department of Immunology faculty members are unpacking boxes and getting their labs set up as part of our consolidated Department of Immunology and Microbiology. Moving is never easy, but everyone I talked with was happy to be here and thankful for the opportunity. They will have an open house July 31 in the afternoon.  Stop by then to welcome them. 

I had the chance last week to visit with the group of college students John Repine, MD, professor of medicine and pediatrics and director of the Webb-Waring Center, supports with an NIH grant. They are here for the summer working in laboratories across the campus. It is always refreshing to see the caliber and enthusiasm of the next generation of physicians, scientists and health professionals who are here in the myriad “pipeline” programs such as this one.  

The Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute has released the 2014-15 Request for Applications for the Translational Pilot Program and Child and Maternal Health Pilot Program. These programs provide about $1 million in funds for translational research. The mandatory letter of intent submission period runs through Aug. 29, and 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. 

David Olds, PhD, professor of pediatrics and director of the Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health, was the lead author of an article published last week by JAMA Pediatrics that gained national mediaattention. David evaluated the effectiveness of the Nurse-Family Partnership at reducing preventable deaths of first-born children and their mothers over a two-decade period. David announced the findings last Tuesday at a press conference in Memphis, where he conducted the study. He compared the experience of families who received home visits by nurses and those who had other forms of assistance. He found that children who did not receive nurse-home visits had a mortality rate of 1.6 percent for preventable causes, including sudden infant death syndrome, unintentional injuries and homicide, while there were zero preventable deaths among nurse-visited children. 

The Social Climate Survey results for the University of Colorado campuses were released at the Board of Regents meeting late last month and an article in last week’s CU Connections provides some details of the report. The survey, requested last fall by the Regents, found that across CU’s campuses, the majority of respondents believe that the university promotes environments that respect students, faculty and staff. While the report said a majority of respondents reported that they had not been subject to prejudice or discrimination, significant numbers said they had “sometimes” or “frequently.” The survey is a good reminder that whatever disagreements we may have we should always treat each other with respect. 

John Luther Lightburn, MD, associate clinical professor of psychiatry since 1975 and a 1946 graduate of the School of Medicine, died on July 4. He was 93 years old. He is survived by his wife, Nadine, their three children and two grandchildren. John had a private practice in psychiatry until 2001 and he taught at AF Williams Family Medicine Center. In his final professional years he provided care to homeless men through Senior Support Services. His family plans a memorial service from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Aug. 3, at the Cactus Club, 1621 Blake St., Denver, and asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made in John’s name to Senior Support Services. 


Have a good week,

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



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