Dean's Weekly Message

April 20, 2015


Dear colleague: 

My second week on campus was marked by my first Faculty Senate meeting last Tuesday, where we received reports on development activities related to the campus bookstore and a proposed new building. A major change we’ll see this year is the relocation of the campus bookstore from Building 500 to the southwest corner of the first floor Education 2 South. The remodeling project leaves intact the lobby space directly outside the 600-seat auditorium. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of September, with a Barnes and Noble bookstore opening in mid-October. The School of Medicine Office of Student Life will relocate to the current bookstore space in Building 500, which we hope will make that office more accessible for students.

Michael Del Giudice, director and chief planning officer for the University’s Office of Institutional Planning, gave the Faculty Senate a report on the planning for a new Interdisciplinary Building on our campus. That building would be located between Academic Office 1 and Research 1 South. As currently proposed, the 200,000-square-foot building, which is still in the planning stages, would house the Center for Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, a Simulation Center, a Data Center and clinical faculty offices, among other uses. We will be asking to meet with the building planners to make sure they are aware of concerns that construction could have an impact on the sensitive laboratory equipment housed in Research 1 South.

Neil Krauss, director of initiatives and outreach for the chancellor’s office, updated the Faculty Senate on some important land-use planning issues for the campus. Of particular interest is the shuttle service the campus will provide from the light-rail station to be constructed north of campus. He said the plan is to have shuttles meeting the trains as they arrive at the station and circulating continuously on a route looping through campus. That light-rail station is expected to open in 2016.

JFK Partners held its 50th anniversary celebration last Friday and Saturday with an impressive roster of speakers including Sally J. Rogers, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the UC Davis School of Medicine, former U.S. Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy and Sue Swenson, deputy assistant secretary from the U.S. Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. The events also included a reunion for alumni, who joined together to recognize the program’s leadership in advancing care and treatment for children and adults with disabilities.

The DAWN Clinic, which opened this spring, is a prime example of service provided by members of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus community and in this case, students from our campus are leading the way. DAWN stands for “Dedicated to Aurora’s Wellness and Needs.” The clinic is student-run and provides free medical, physical therapy and dental services to uninsured adults in Aurora. Joseph Johnson, MD, a chief resident in internal medicine, serves as medical director of the DAWN Clinic and he says the goal is to address health needs and to create an environment where those patients develop the life skills they need to get better. “We can provide housing navigation, provide healthy eating education, and establish lasting relationships that will change lives,” he says.

Congratulations to Nanette Santoro, MD, professor and E. Stewart Taylor Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, on receiving the Journal of Women’s Health Award for Outstanding Achievement in Women’s Health Research last weekend at the Women’s Health 2015: The 23rd Annual Congress in Washington, D.C. Nanette gave the Vivian Pinn Women’s Health Research Keynote, “Perimenopause: From Research to Practice,” on Saturday.

Two members of the School of Medicine faculty are among the Top 40 Under 40 as ranked by the Ophthalmologist magazine. Malik Kahook, MD, professor of ophthalmology, is listed No. 2 and Kaweh Mansouri, MD, MPH, adjunct associate professor, is 23rd on the list. In its write-up, the magazine notes that Malik has more than 30 patents filed, with 20 of those licensed for development and commercialization and four currently at clinical trial stage. Malik, who has twice been the University’s Inventor of the Year (in 2009 and again in 2010), is director of clinical and translational research and chief of the glaucoma service. Kaweh, who is adjunct associate professor at the School of Medicine, is a consultant ophthalmologist in in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. The magazine said it is recognizing young ophthalmologists who are determined, passionate and inspirational.

Congratulations to Jayne Aiken and Tanya Brown, two students in the graduate program on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus who were awarded prestigious Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation. Jayne is a first-year graduate student in the Biomedical Sciences Program who plans to pursue a PhD in cell biology, stem cells and development. Prior to that, she had been a PRA in the lab of Jeff Moore, PhD, assistant professor of cell and developmental biology. Tanya is a second-year graduate student in the cell, stem cells and development graduate program. She began in 2013 as a student in the Biomedical Sciences Program and last summer joined the laboratory of Wendy Macklin, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology.

The Health Sciences Library is hosting the National Library of Medicine’s traveling exhibit, “Opening Doors: Contemporary African American Academic Surgeons.” The exhibit will run until Saturday, May 23. There will have an opening reception and presentation at noon Monday, April 27, in the Library’s Reading Room. Gregory McClain, MD, who graduated from the School of Medicine in 2003 and is currently assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, will be speaking at the reception.

The Health Sciences Library is holding a farewell party for Library Director Jerry Perry, who is leaving the University after 12 years of exemplary leadership. Jerry has accepted a position at the University of Arizona in Tucson as the Associate Dean and Director of its health sciences library. The farewell party will be Thursday, April 23, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Health Sciences Library Reading Room on the Anschutz Medical Campus. Jerry’s last day with CU is April 30. 

Mark Geraci, MD, head of the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Medicine, announced last week that he will be leaving the University of Colorado School of Medicine after more than two decades here. He is heading to the Indiana University School of Medicine to become chairman of its Department of Medicine. This is an excellent professional and personal opportunity for Mark and it is well-deserved.   Our loss is Indiana’s gain. He and his wife Kathy are natives of Cincinnati, Ohio, and this move returns them closer to relatives. Mark and Kathy, who is a public health nurse, will be missed and we wish them well.

I thank all of you for the warm welcome I have received since joining the campus.  I enjoyed meeting some of our faculty from Denver Health at the Night Shines Gala on Saturday night, which was not only a successful fund-raising activity but also a very enjoyable time for a broad cross-section of the Denver community. 


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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