Dean's Weekly Message

September 16, 2019

Dear colleague:

Wendy Macklin, PhD, chair and professor of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, has been named a Distinguished Professor of the University, which is the highest honor awarded to faculty across the CU system’s four campuses. Wendy has been chair for the past decade and her research has improved understanding the regulation of myelination in the developing brain and of remyelination in adults following demyelination, as in multiple sclerosis. As a research pioneer, Wendy has developed tools and methods that have transformed how myelin biology in the central and peripheral nervous systems is studied. Wendy also helped develop the School’s master’s degree program in modern human anatomy, which has now trained more than 100 students. 

Six other CU faculty members also were approved by the CU Board of Regents last week to receive the honor of being named a Distinguished Professor and two of them hold appointments on the School of Medicine faculty. Lee S. Newman, MD, professor of environmental and occupational health and epidemiology and director of the Center for Health, Work and Environment in the Colorado School of Public Health. Since 1987, Lee has been affiliated with the School of Medicine’s Department of Medicine and with the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, which became the foundation for the Colorado School of Public Health. Robin Shandas, PhD, professor and founding chair at the Department of Bioengineering at CU Denver and who holds an appointment in the Department of Pediatrics, was also named a Distinguished Professor. Congratulations to all. 

Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Edgar Makowski, MD, former chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, who died Sunday, September 8. Edgar joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1966 and became the department’s second chair in 1976, serving in that role until 1988. A biography on the department’s website outlines his remarkable and productive career. Under his leadership, the residency program nearly doubled in size. Integrating the existing community resident program into the University of Colorado program, it increased from five residents per class to its current nine per class for a total of 36 residents in a four-year program. He also was an outstanding clinical researcher and a leader in many national organizations, including serving as the president-elect of the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society and as a member of the American Gynecological Club, which is holding its annual meeting in Denver this week. Also notable, Edgar was a key administrative leader, instrumental in changing the name of the hospital from Colorado General to University of Colorado Hospital and in organizing the faculty practice organization. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to Edgar L. Makowski, MD, Patricia M. Makowski and Family Endowed Fund in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Brian Brauer, MD, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, who died Saturday, September 7, while on vacation in Hawaii. Brian was 46 years old. He completed CU’s therapeutic endoscopy fellowship program in 2007, joining the CU School of Medicine faculty. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine in 1998, completed an internship at the University of Tennessee, residency and fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis. Brian was a highly regarded and well-liked member of the CU and UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital teams and he will be greatly missed. 

Kaplan Test Prep has issued lists of “Best 10 Medical Schools” in various specialties and four programs from the University of Colorado School of Medicine are on the company’s top 10 lists. Emergency Medicine and Pathology were top ranked. In its highlights of the emergency medicine program, Kaplan notes that it offers a required two-week clerkship in emergency and urgent care and that students are exposed to the pre-hospital and emergency medicine settings to help them better understand patient and provider challenges. For pathology, the company mentions that students rotate through anatomic pathology services (surgical, cytology, autopsy, pediatric). Pediatrics was listed No. 4 on the Kaplan list. CU ranked No. 9 on the best 10 medical schools for Primary Care and our rural track program was specifically identified as a strength. 

Richard Kogan, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and artistic director of the Weill Cornell Music and Medicine Program, will perform a piano concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 19, in Education 2 South Building, Room 1102. Kogan will perform a program titled “Schumann: Music, Mood Swings and Madness” and discuss how Schumann blurred boundaries between genius and insanity.  The event is sponsored by the Arts and Humanities in Healthcare Program in the CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities. Attendance is free and donations are suggested to the Music and Medicine Initiative Fund

Also, the Arts and Humanities in Healthcare Program at the CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities is sponsoring a performance by world renowned soprano Renee Fleming, who will perform on the Anschutz Medical Campus at noon Tuesday, November 12. Save the date.

Construction around UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital will require changes in some traffic patterns for pedestrians and vehicles. On East 17th Avenue, which is the road between the north side of the hospital and the south side of the Leprino parking garage, there will be restrictions. The pedestrian walkway that crosses East 17th Avenue on the east end of the block (nearest to AO1 office building) will be closed and pedestrians will be routed to the crosswalk under the bridge between the hospital and the Leprino building. Parking on the north side of street will be reserved for emergency vehicles. The entrances to the Leprino garage will remain open. Ride-sharing services will be restricted to pick-ups on East 17th Avenue and will be directed to use the lane in front of the Leprino Building. 

While this work disrupts some long-held patterns, it is necessary to facilitate the growth on the Anschutz Medical Campus and while it may present inconveniences, they are part of a larger approach to ensure access to the services of our faculty and our partner hospital. The UCHealth team has recently established a parking division that is working to provide safe and efficient access to facilities. Future announcements about parking enhancements are expected soon. 

A reminder that the Seventh Annual Anschutz Medical Campus Block Party is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, September 18, on Bonfils Circle, directly south of the Fitzsimons Building. This annual event features music, food trucks, and more than 100 booths representing units and services across campus and from the Aurora community. Everyone is invited.

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.  For clinical news and patient stories from UCHealth, please visit UCHealth Today

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Phone: 303.724.5375
Fitzsimons Building - 13001 
E. 17th Place,
Campus Box C290,
Aurora, CO 80045

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