Dean's Weekly Message

November 2, 2015


Dear colleague: 

We are holding a Town Hall tomorrow, Nov. 3, at 7 a.m. to discuss the Transformational Research Fundinginitiative and answer questions about our reasons for launching this effort and the next steps in the process. More than 60 letters of intent were submitted in October and the applications are due Monday, Dec. 7. I am looking forward to our conversation and I hope you will join us. The Town Hall will be in Academic Office 1 in the 7th floor boardroom.

Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center last week presented Congresswoman Diana DeGette with the “Champion for Cures” award from the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI). The association gave the award to DeGette and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton for their work writing the 21st Century Cures legislation, which seeks to speed the creation of new treatments and therapies through increased funding for National Institutes of Health and reforms to the regulatory process. Dan serves on the board of the AACI. 

Distinguished Professor Paul Bunn, Jr., MD, the James Dudley Chair in Lung Cancer Research, last week received a worthy tribute on the Oncology Live website for a lifetime of achievement. Paul came to the University of Colorado School of Medicine as the head of the Division of Medical Oncology in 1984 and became the first director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center three years later. He held that position until 2009. In 1992, the center was awarded the federal government’s first Specialized Program of Research Excellence grant in lung cancer. The article notes, “Bunn and the program he helped establish are leading players in national and international research circles.”

A reminder that the deadline for nominations for the 2015 Steven Fadul Award is Wednesday, Nov. 11. The award honors contributions of outstanding professional research assistants or staff in comparable positions in the School of Medicine. Nominees should show initiative in expanding the scope of their work and by mentoring trainees. Nomination letters should be sent to Additional information is available at the award’s website.

The Association of American Medical Colleges released data in late October showing that the number of students enrolling in the nation’s medical schools has increased 25 percent since 2002, reaching an all-time high of 20,630 this year. The total number of applicants to medical school rose by 6.2 percent to 52,550. The University of Colorado School of Medicine has contributed to that enrollment growth, adding a branch in Colorado Springs and expanding its class size in August 2014 from 160 students to 184 students. The additional students in the classes will do their third- and fourth-year clinical rotations in Colorado Springs with the first expanded class starting rotations there next spring. A recent article in the Colorado Springs Gazette provides a good overview of our new branch.

School of Medicine alumnus Kjell Lindgren, MD ’02, walked in space last Wednesday and on Thursday he answered questions from Denver-area schoolchildren during a video chat hosted by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Kjell is scheduled to perform another spacewalk on Friday, Nov. 6 and NASA plans to cover the event. Details are available on the NASA website.

Several young scientists working on graduate degrees on the Anschutz Medical Campus recently discussed their reasons for choosing the University of Colorado for graduate studies in an article posted on the University website. The integration of our educational programs with research and clinical care that matters is often cited as a reason they chose to continue their studies here. Several School of Medicine faculty – Rytis Prekeris, Ph.D., Andrew Thorburn, DPhil, Jeffrey Bennett, MD, Ph.D., and John Cambier, Ph.D. – are noted as mentors. Scott Wemlinger, who is in his second year working toward a Ph.D. in Immunology, describes his feelings about his experience: “This is a happy place to be. I think of some research centers in this country as places where everyone is a competitor. Here we are, collaborators. We are a family.”


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 →


If you would like to receive these emails directly, please contact  
To unsubscribe →

CMS Login