Dean's Weekly Message

July 7, 2014


Dear colleague:

July 7, 2014, is another interesting day for calendar watchers: Add the identical numbers for the month and the day and you get the year. The last time that happened was on the D-Day anniversary June 6, 2012. It won’t happen again until Aug. 8, 2016. 

Last week was a relatively quiet one.  I had only three or so meetings a day for each of the four days we were here. The final dinner meeting of the last academic year was the Medical Alumni Board last Monday night. It was nice to see Audrey Corson, MD, ’82, who lives in Bethesda, Md., and is usually on the phone for these meetings. The Board concluded a very successful year by electing new members: Sarah Milliken-Glabe, MD, ’08; Nelson Prager, MD, ’84; Sarah Van Scoy, MD, ’89; and Linda Williams, MD, ’84. 

The next morning, July 1, I welcomed the 160 new residents and fellows, all of whom had completed their first post-graduate year the previous week. I told them pretty much what I told the first year interns the week before and hoped that some of them would remember the message for at least a little while. 

Congratulations to William R. Hiatt, MD, professor of medicine, who has been named a Distinguished Scientist for 2014 by the American Heart Association (AHA). The award recognizes members of the association for significant, original and sustained scientific contributions and will be given at the AHA’s Scientific Sessions in November in Chicago. As president of CPC Clinical Research, Bill oversees a clinical trials organization in cardiovascular medicine that directs study design and provides academic oversight of trials of drugs, biologic agents and device therapies for cardiovascular indications and other therapeutic areas.  Richard Traystman, PhD, vice chancellor for research, received this award from the AHA in 2008. 

Brian Kavanagh, MD, MPH, professor of radiation oncology, last week was named a Fellow of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). The Fellows Program honors radiation oncology leaders who have been an ASTRO member for at least 15 years, who have contributed the equivalent of 10 years of service to ASTRO and who have made substantial contributions to the field of radiation oncology in the areas of research, education, patient care or service, and leadership. Brian and 29 other ASTRO members will receive the recognition at the group’s annual meeting in San Francisco in September. Congratulations. 

Edwin Liu, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, is the lead author of an article in the July 3 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine showing that screening of genetically susceptible infants can lead to the diagnosis of celiac disease at a very early age. The study, which reviewed more than 6,400 children in the United States, Finland, Germany and Sweden, could help determine when to screen at-risk children. Marian Rewers, MD, PhD, interim director of the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, and the late George Eisenbarth, MD, PhD, who had been the center’s executive director, are also authors of the article. 


Venu Akuthota, MD, professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, is one of the authors of an article in the July 3 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine that reviewed the effectiveness and safety of treating lumbar spinal stenosis with epidural injections. The study was also covered by The New York Times, which featured a photo and comments from Bonnie Merenstein, a participant in the study and wife of our former colleague, pediatrician Gerald Merenstein, MD, who died in 2007. 

The University’s Office of International Affairs has announced that John Sunnygard, MIM/MBA, and Alana Jones, MSPA, have been appointed executive director and deputy director, respectively. John, who has been director of global education, will focus on creating strategic goals and developing and sustaining partnerships across the University and our local and global communities and Alana, who has been director of international operations, will focus on internal systems and approaches to meet the University’s strategic goals. We welcome John and Alana in their new roles.  

The Office of Student Affairs is accepting applications for the position of assistant dean of student affairs. This is a 1.0 FTE position to begin summer 2014. Eligibility for a faculty appointment at the University of Colorado School of Medicine is required. Deadline for applications is July 21, 2014. Brenda A. Bucklin, MD, professor of anesthesiology and assistant dean for the clinical core curriculum, is chairing the search committee. 


Have a good week,

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



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