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It is sometimes difficult to determine just where momentum begins and how it builds, but at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus we’ve witnessed incredible progress since day one. A 40-year vision for building a premier academic medical center on the grounds of the former Fitzsimons Army Hospital was realized in a mere 12 years, and we haven’t slowed for even a moment. With your help, we’ve accomplished tremendous things, and I hope you are as excited as I am to watch the future unfold. Thank you for helping to keep the momentum going. – CU President Bruce Benson



CARE + COMMUNITY | Bringing Mental Health into Family Practice. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 2 SPOTLIGHT | Edward + Karen Skaff. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 5 RESEARCH | It’s Personal: Pioneering New Approaches to Individualized Health Care. .. .. .. .. .. .. 6 SPOTLIGHT | The Connor Family . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 9 IMPACT | A Longstanding Partnership: The ALSAM Foundation. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 10 EDUCATION | Collaboration Takes Center Stage at the Frontier Center. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 12 PROFILES | Meet the Deans . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 14 RESEARCH | Challenging Conventional Treatments, One Cell at a Time. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 16 SPOTLIGHT | Wagner, MD, + Annalee Schorr. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 17 IMPACT | By the #s . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 18 MESSAGE | Greetings from the Chancellor. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 21 PROFILE | Lauren Fishbein, MD, PHD. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 22

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Mental health professionals need to be in the family medicine center side by side. Everything works better when we manage all the problems patients are facing in coordination. - Frank DeGruy, MD



BRINGING MENTAL HEALTH INTO FAMILY PRACTICE Many of us find boarding an airplane for a lengthy international flight anxiety-inducing. Sleep, if you are able, can offer some relief. Ben Lawful, a professional research assistant in the CU Department of Psychiatry, has always found it challenging to relax on an airplane. Like many people, he finds sleep is the best remedy for enduring airline travel, but it does not come easy. When preparing for a recent trip, Ben paid a visit to his primary care physician at A.F. Williams, an innovative family medicine clinic that is testing new models of health care delivery. “I just needed help sleeping to get through a long flight,” he said. His hope was a prescription sleep aid. It was this seemingly routine visit to his doctor that started a journey toward understanding, diagnosing and treating Ben’s underlying anxiety disorder. He is one of the first to benefit from integrated care being offered by faculty from the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center embedded in local family practice facilities a new approach to addressing prevalent mental health challenges in the primary care environment made possible in large part by a transformational philanthropic investment by the Denver-area Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation. Before this particular trip to his doctor’s office, Ben had considered seeking professional mental health care, as he had suspicions that he may be dealing with anxiety. Taking the initial step of seeking counseling is difficult, and Ben never quite found the time to schedule an appointment. Many people find seeking mental health care a daunting prospect, and the integrated health care model pioneered at A.F. Williams is designed to help patients overcome those obstacles. During Ben’s appointment, his trusted physician recognized the symptoms of anxiety and had the resources in-house to refer him immediately to clinical psychologist Sam Hubley, PhD, who holds joint appointments at the Johnson Depression Center and the CU Department of Family Medicine. Within the scope of a routine primary care appointment, Ben’s physician and Dr. Hubley were able to get to the root of Ben’s insomnia and chart a treatment path forward. All of this took place in the comfort of an exam room at A.F. Williams. Ben continues to see Dr. Hubley monthly, and they are now working to keep Ben’s anxiety under control. This is just one case of integrated care working at its best, thanks to the collaborative relationship between mental health professionals at the Johnson Depression Center and primary care physicians in the community working together toward new, fully integrated models of care. 3

investing in the CU Depression Center. This support is transforming the lives of people living with depression and mood disorders.” Philanthropy has been integral to the center’s work since 2008. The farsighted leadership and extraordinary generosity of George Wiegers were instrumental in its establishment on this campus, as well as in the creation of a 22-member National Network of Depression Centers dedicated to transforming mental health in the U.S. The impact of his vision, leadership and generosity has been profound.

Advancing Integrated Care “Mental health professionals need to be in the family medicine center side by side. Everything works better when we manage all the problems patients are facing in coordination,” said Frank DeGruy, MD, Woodward Chisholm Professor and Department of Family Medicine chair. A team of faculty at CU, including Hubley, DeGruy and

Fueled by Philanthropy

a number of others, are deeply involved in introducing

The Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation has

mental health services to primary care settings. They

been supporting CU since 1979, leaving a lasting

note there is a stigma associated with seeking mental

impact on a number of programs - from performing

health treatment - a stigma so negative it prevents

arts to nursing and mental health. After the Johnson

people from finding the treatment they need.

Foundation made a historic commitment to mental

By treating patients for mental health in primary

health in 2015, the university named the

care facilities, physicians can immediately share

Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center in

information and provide patients mental health care

recognition of their longstanding partnership. Today,

in the comfort of their primary care office. Faculty

Johnson Depression Center Executive Director

at the Johnson Depression Center are working at

Marshall Thomas, MD, is putting this investment

various levels of coordination, ranging from referrals to

to use supporting team-based integrated care like

embedding mental health professionals in the primary

Ben received, as well as research, telehealth

care setting, all with the goal of increasing access to

initiatives, and outreach and education programs for

mental health resources.

depression and related mood disorders. Dr. Thomas said, “The family and board of the Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation have made an extraordinary commitment to mental health care in Colorado by

Primary care physicians are also benefiting from mental health training and resources that enable them to more effectively handle patient needs. In the integrated care model, primary care providers

New Center Dedicated to Innovative Behavioral Health Solutions Made possible with one of the largest program pledges in the history of this campus from The Anschutz Foundation, the National Behavioral Health Innovation Center is Colorado’s newest center dedicated to improving mental and behavioral health in the state and around the country. Under the direction of Executive Director Matt Vogl, MPH, the NBHIC will bring together the resources and expertise needed to rapidly transform the behavioral health landscape.

Our vision for the NBHIC is to build a model for how people who suffer from mental illness or substance abuse should be treated as part of the health care continuum. — Matt Vogl, MPH

have near-instant access to mental health professionals who can encourage patients to seek specialized care and, in emergency situations, come up with immediate


intervention plans. For professor and vice chair of the Department of Family Medicine Colleen Conry, MD, this is key. “One of the central aspects of integrated care is that someone is available all the time to help with behavioral health,” she said. This approach empowers primary care physicians by giving them the resources they need to address mental and behavioral health issues during the short amount of time they have with their patients. Fundamentally redefining the model of care does come with some hurdles. Conry said, “Economic problems with the current funding model are the primary issues preventing fully integrated health care.” To change the way mental health is treated, the funding model must be changed to promote better overall

Edward Skaff, Karen Skaff, Lou Diamond and Ralph Altiere at the scholarship fund signing.

A Full-Circle Gift Thanks to the thoughtful generosity of CU alumni Edward and Karen Skaff, select Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences students will begin building a very special tradition starting next year.

health outcomes, rather than number of

The Edward and Karen Skaff Endowed Scholarship Fund

patient visits. This sentiment is shared by both

will offer financial support to promising Doctor of Pharmacy

Dr. DeGruy and Dr. Hubley. “Private support

students who will become part of the Skaff Scholarship

is necessary to bridge the initial funding gap

Society. Ed and Karen hope that the Skaff Scholars will

as we test this new model of care and expand

share a unique bond, and that the assistance they receive

integrated care into clinics in Colorado and

will ensure that they graduate from CU Anschutz ready to

the broader U.S.,” said Dr. DeGruy.

embark upon rewarding careers in pharmacy, as Ed did.

Philanthropic support from the Johnson

“Lifting crates of lettuce was heavy and boring,” says Ed.

Foundation is accelerating CU’s efforts to

“So, I decided that dispensing medicine would be a more

further refine this new model of care. With

interesting and prestigious career.” It was this realization

continued support from the community

that led him from working in his father’s grocery store in

and the dedication of faculty, the Johnson

Del Norte, Colorado, to CU Boulder, where he earned a

Depression Center is poised to lead the

combined business and pharmacy degree in 1959. He went

transformation of health care delivery, in

on to serve rural Colorado communities with pharmacies in

partnership with the Department of Family

Evergreen, Idaho Springs and Aspen Park before selling his

Medicine, and to expand the reach of the

pharmacies and fully retiring in 2011.

integrated care model that is already changing the lives of people like Ben Lawful. n

Ed and Karen were instrumental in raising the funding necessary to complete the 65,000-square-foot facility that today’s pharmacy students call home. Ed was also an early advocate for the state funding that enabled CU to implement the PharmD program, and has helped the school grow its pharmaceutical biotechnology and drug development programs. The Skaffs decided now was the perfect time to pay it forward. “We realize how difficult it is for students to balance the demands of pharmacy school and the costs to attend,” Ed says. “We want to offer aid to these students that will encourage them to be successful.” As longtime supporters of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy, the Skaffs are bringing their years of generosity full circle with the creation of this scholarship program – gaining the satisfaction of seeing their gifts make a difference in students’ lives, while fostering a close-knit society that will unite Skaff Scholars for decades to come. n 5

RESEARCH IT’S PERSONAL: PIONEERING NEW APPROACHES TO INDIVIDUALIZED HEALTH CARE They say there are inflection points in history – periods during which a confluence of factors propels us forward at previously unfathomable rates and alters the trajectory of our path. Today, we have reached such an inflection point in health care, and one that promises to revolutionize the way we understand and treat illness and disease. Whether referred to as “personalized medicine” or “precision medicine,” this movement is driven by genomic data and promises a whole new approach to patient care. While you may not yet see this move toward personalized medicine at your family doctor’s office or your pharmacy, that day is just around the corner. Researchers all over the globe are working to harness the power of genomic data and technology to enable highly tailored, exquisitely precise predictions of illness and disease, and increasingly efficient drugs and therapies. The shift takes us beyond costly, ineffective one-size-fits-all approaches to treatment, to targeted approaches that take an individual’s genetic makeup into account to find the drug or intervention most likely to work for their unique set of characteristics and predispositions. Thirteen years ago, the culmination of the Human Genome Project brought to light exciting new possibilities by fully sequencing the first human genome. In the years since, scientists and researchers have built from that initial genetic map of the human body, sequencing thousands more individuals and analyzing the resulting data to inform research and development. In January 2015, President Obama launched a $215 million Precision Medicine Initiative, including investments in a one-million-person research cohort to build a database

“Our goal is to become leaders in the application of genomics research to transform the way we make decisions in the clinic and in our research.” – Kathleen Barnes, PhD

of genetic and other information to help advance these efforts on a national scale. Last fall, the Anschutz Medical Campus staked a claim at the forefront of this ever-evolving field with a multimillion-dollar institutional commitment to a robust personalized medicine initiative, investing in its continued rise toward becoming one of the premier academic medical institutions in the country helping to redefine modern medicine.

Staking a Claim in Personalized Medicine The personalized medicine initiative at the Anschutz Medical Campus began with a partnership between the CU School of Medicine, Children’s Hospital Colorado, UCHealth and University Physicians, Inc. As a first step, the CU School of Medicine established a Division of Bioinformatics and Personalized Medicine, and recruited one of the world’s top scholars in the field to lead the effort.


begin collecting DNA samples, the

information stored in the biobank will be linked with University Hospital’s

I chose to come to CU Anschutz because the leadership and institutional support for personalized medicine here is extraordinary.

electronic health record system, making volumes of new information available to clinicians in real time as they diagnose and create treatment plans for patients.

Recruiting the Greatest Minds To lead these efforts at CU Anschutz, the university recruited Kathleen Barnes, PhD, from Johns Hopkins University to head up both the Division of Bioinformatics and Personalized Medicine and the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine. After earning her PhD in biomedical

– Kathleen Barnes, PhD

anthropology from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Dr. Barnes joined

In addition to an academic division, the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine was created to house the research and data capabilities associated with the initiative. Plans are in the works for a new facility on campus that will serve as its headquarters. Earlier this year, premier DNA sequencing company Illumina announced that it would be partnering with four institutions to map a total of 200,000 DNA samples and gain insight into the genetic factors that may contribute to complex diseases like bipolar disorder, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. CU Anschutz is one of just four chosen to take part in this biobanking deal, and will genotype 30,000 samples on Illumina’s chip technology to

the Johns Hopkins Asthma and Allergy Center as a fellow in 1993 and later joined the faculty. Well-known for her impact in genetics research, she is one of the foremost minds in the field and the ideal fit for leading this initiative on one of the fastest growing medical campuses in the country. “Our goal is to become leaders in the application of genomics research to transform the way we make decisions in the clinic and in our research,” said Dr. Barnes. “This initiative demonstrates the importance of collaboration between academic research programs, clinical affiliates and private industry, as we work together to revolutionize medicine, research and education.”

collect and analyze 2,000 DNA samples, giving

Dr. Barnes was drawn to the Anschutz Medical

researchers an unprecedented level of information.

Campus by its leadership in this fast-evolving field,

Once the pilot study is complete, the new biobank

and she assumed her role in the division and the

will analyze hundreds of thousands of samples per

center last October. “I chose to come to CU Anschutz

year over the next several years, advancing our

because the leadership and institutional support for

understanding of human biology in profound ways.

personalized medicine here is extraordinary,” she

This collaborative effort has applications for basic

said. “The university’s health system possesses

and translational research, and will soon inform

attributes that uniquely position us in this field,

clinical care at University of Colorado Hospital. Once

including rich demographic diversity and outstanding

the Illumina technology is set up and researchers

health care provider organizations, all of which

provide opportunities to disentangle the impact of

“The Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine

environment and our genomes in conferring risk of

building will set CU Anschutz apart from its peers,”

disease and maintenance of health.”

said Chancellor Don Elliman. “It will help us attract eminent scholars and clinicians, and advance medicine at an unprecedented rate.”

Building a Hub of Creative Collision A new, state-of-the-art facility will further bridge campus partners and serve as the home of this

Realizing an Ambitious Vision

initiative. The Colorado Center for Personalized

CU Anschutz has the top talent and technology, the

Medicine will stand as a campus landmark and a

hospitals and research partners that make the campus

testament to CU’s commitment to personalized

a hot spot of transformative care. There will soon be

medicine. Currently in the planning stages, the

a time when genomic mapping is routine, and doctors

building will be situated at the heart of campus,

have encyclopedic amounts of data at their fingertips,

and connect research at CU with clinical care

enabling them to make individualized care decisions

across the lifespan at University of Colorado

with their patients in a matter of minutes, rather than

Hospital and Children’s Hospital Colorado.

days or weeks. Finding the right drug will happen

It will serve as a hub of innovation at the intersection of technology and medicine, elevating our stature among the top academic medical institutions

on the first try. And illness and disease will be more efficiently managed, meaning money and time saved for patients.

leading the field. The building will house the center

It is an exciting time on the Anschutz Medical

headquarters, a high-tech data center, molecular

Campus as we work together toward a future in

diagnostics and advanced analytics, a DNA bank,

which all medicine is personalized medicine, and

bioinformatics capabilities, and dynamic teaching

we have staked our claim to lead this revolution in

and learning space.

health care. n


A Different Kind of Cancer The Connor family knows all too well how the effects of breast cancer impact lives at a young age. CU alum and former assistant professor Patricia Anne Connor dealt with the disease herself at age 40, after her grandmother had gone through two bouts of breast cancer. The BRCA gene - shown to radically increase the risk of cancer in those who carry it - was found in a member of the extended family. After several members of the Connor family were treated at CU Anschutz, they decided to do something to recognize the excellent care they received.

The Connor family with CU Cancer Center faculty at the chair celebration event.

With commitments from Patricia Anne Connor and the John J. Connor & Irene A. Connor Family Foundation, the family established the Robert F. and Patricia Young Connor Endowed Chair in Young Women’s Breast Cancer Research in their parents’ names. The Connor Chair is held by one of the world’s leading cancer experts, Dr. Virginia Borges. Dr. Borges’ lab is focused on individualized treatments for breast cancer, including immunotherapies that use patients’ own immune systems to target cancerous cells. “Our family has been very impressed by Dr. Borges’ recognition that breast cancer is a different disease in young women, and by her promising research to affect treatment and longevity,” said Patricia A. Connor. “We believe in Dr. Borges and in her team’s work, and want it to continue.” n


IMPACT A LONGSTANDING PARTNERSHIP THE ALSAM FOUNDATION The Skaggs family has pioneered new approaches to pharmacy and drug distribution since the early 1900s – making high-quality treatments accessible and affordable to people across the United States. Through The ALSAM Foundation, the charitable institution they established in 1984, the family has held a decades-long philanthropic partnership with the University of Colorado that has helped to transform pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences education, and has fueled innovation in research. With investments in everything from student scholarships, to faculty research, to facilities and equipment, The ALSAM Foundation has helped accelerate the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences’ growth from a 16-faculty-member school in the 1980s to a leading institution of more than 750 students and 80 faculty members that is ranked #4 among the 134 pharmacy schools in the country for funding from the National Institutes of Health. n

Fueling Innovation Among the seven Skaggs institutions across the U.S., The ALSAM Foundation created the Skaggs Scholars Program to fuel high-risk, high-reward research taking place collaboratively among Skaggs institutions. Projects are selected based on their potential to transform pharmaceutical sciences and patient care. Over the past six years, 14 initiatives involving CU Anschutz faculty have received funding. In 2013, Tom Anchordoquy, PhD, received funding from the Skaggs Scholars Program to research acute and chronic inflammation as it relates to environmental toxins transported in cells. This research was conducted in coordination with the University of Montana Skaggs School of Pharmacy. The two labs developed techniques to visualize toxins within cells, and then tested current drugs to see if they were successful in preventing inflammation. The results were promising - they found that existing pharmaceuticals may be useful for treating chronic inflammation. The next step is to compete for NIH funding and expand the research. “With the increasingly stringent funding limits at the NIH, the role of organizations like ALSAM is becoming ever more important. The amount of preliminary data needed to successfully compete for a major grant is extensive, and organizations like ALSAM allow novel ideas to ‘get off the ground’ instead of dying in academic hallways.” n

Supported School of

Created the Skaggs Scholars

Celebrating its 100th anniversary, the

Pharmacy move to the

Program, to stimulate

School of Pharmacy was renamed

Anschutz Medical Campus

collaborative research between

the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and

in Aurora

faculty and colleagues at other

Pharmaceutical Sciences and moved

Skaggs institutions

into its current home

2007 2010 2011 10

“It’s very easy to demonstrate the transformation of the school because of the investments and involvement of the Skaggs family and The ALSAM Foundation.” – Dean Ralph J. Altiere, PhD

Established the Pharmacy Diversity

Established the Mont Gutke

Student Scholarship Fund that has

Lectureship, named for a

supported 150 students; school

CU faculty member and local

moved to CU Health Sciences


campus in Denver



Bringing Dreams into Reach Sandra Leal, PharmD’98, knew she wanted to be a pharmacist from the time she was a child, and was the first in her family to attend college. At CU, she received full-tuition funding through the Pharmacy Diversity Scholarship. Leal graduated and returned to her home state of Arizona where she worked with veterans and community health centers. In 2001, she became the first pharmacist in her state to earn limited prescribing rights, and garnered attention from the White House in 2011 by leading a grassroots effort to gain provider status for pharmacists. Her advocacy will one day allow pharmacists to work directly with physicians to provide coordinated patient care. Leal said, “At a very simple level - just to have the opportunity to review a patient’s chart, make a recommendation or intervention, and then be accountable for what’s happening with the patient is at a minimum how pharmacists should be utilized.” Her efforts are transforming the role of pharmacists in Arizona and her work is impacting the entire field. n

Created the L.S. Skaggs

Enabled the school to

Funded therapeutic innovation

Professorship to foster top

purchase advanced mass

research grants focused on

talent in drug discovery and

spectrometer equipment and

promising new drugs

precision medicine

fund a new faculty position in pharmacogenomics

2013 2015 2016 11



Uweh has enjoyed the ability to immerse herself in the

Medicine, future dentists, physicians and other

dental school to better understand the needs of dental

health care professionals are learning in a unique


environment that embraces the new interconnected realities of patient care. The Frontier Center, established 10 years ago with generous contributions from the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation, offers students hands-on interprofessional opportunities in a collaborative, team-based setting. Kimberly Uweh, a pharmacy student, decided to attend the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at CU Anschutz because of the leading-edge interdisciplinary research and education taking place on campus. Uweh was excited for the opportunity to attend a highly collaborative university where she could develop her professional skills, and the Frontier Center in the CU School of Dental Medicine offered just that. “My most memorable experience thus far has been working with the CU School of Dental Medicine,” she said. 12

“My work at the Frontier Center provided me with the opportunity to talk with dental students about smoking cessation, specific antibiotics and special patient cases,” said Uweh. This cross-disciplinary experience is what the Frontier Center fosters, helping prepare students to deliver quality patient care in an increasingly interconnected health care field. The Frontier Center is dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of oral health, and the connections between good dental health and overall health, by encouraging interactions between dentistry and medicine. “Research continues to indicate a connection between oral health and overall health when it comes to disease management,” said Barbara Springer, executive director of the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation.

“By creating opportunities for students to observe and participate in these new models of care delivery, we hope to better prepare our future health care workforce to deliver the best possible care for decades to come.” – Dean Denise Kassebaum, DDS, MS

“To really make an impact in student learning and

Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Eric Gilliam said, “By

patient care, an interprofessional approach is

working alongside dental students and seeing firsthand


the importance of preventative oral care, our pharmacy

In total, over 3,500 students, residents and practitioners have taken part in the interprofessional programming at the Frontier Center, which received national recognition in 2013 when the CU School of Dental Medicine received the prestigious American Dental Education Association Gies Award for Innovation by a Dental Institution. In 2015, the Frontier Center received an additional $1 million gift from the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation to create the Frontier Center 4 Health initiative, which will expand the center’s focus by addressing new realities in patient care and the health care environment of the future. Over the next four years, FC4Health will introduce students and faculty to new models of care, which will include an interprofessional health clinic within the CU School of Dental Medicine. This health clinic will offer opportunities for greater collaboration between medical and dental faculty and students as they work together to address individualized patient needs.

students become much more aware of the impact that a patient’s oral health has on that patient’s prescription needs.” For future pharmacists like Uweh, this experience is invaluable in preparing them to effectively treat patients. “It’s exciting to share information with my peers in other disciplines,” she said. “Everyone is extremely intelligent, and this program provides an opportunity to better understand other medical fields.” The momentum that has been building at the CU School of Dental Medicine over the past decade is due, in large part, to the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation’s ongoing support. “This gift allows us to strengthen our clinical programs by creating new interprofessional practice opportunities in which both dental and other health care students on campus can participate,” said Dr. Denise Kassebaum, dean of the CU School of Dental Medicine. “By creating opportunities for students to observe and participate in these new models of care delivery, we hope to better prepare our future health care workforce to deliver the best possible care for decades to come.” n 13


“WE HAVE REALLY GREAT OPPORTUNITIES IN FRONT OF US IN ALL OF OUR MISSION AREAS: EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND CLINICAL CARE.” RALPH J. ALTIERE, PHD Dean and Professor Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences DEAN SINCE: 2006 PREVIOUS INSTITUTION: University of Kentucky School of Pharmacy CU ANSCHUTZ BECAUSE: I had a lot of knowledge of the opportunities ahead for our school and our university, having taught here and served previously as associate dean, and I thought I could help achieve those.

“THERE IS GREAT POTENTIAL FOR CREATING NEW INTERDISCIPLINARY PROGRAMS TO PUSH THE BOUNDARIES OF SCHOLARSHIP.” DAVID ENGELKE, PHD Dean | Graduate School DEAN SINCE: 2015 PREVIOUS INSTITUTION: University of Michigan CU ANSCHUTZ BECAUSE: This position offered me the chance to get involved with a broad spectrum of disciplines and to work with faculty and students to find creative solutions for opportunities and challenges.

“KNOWING THAT WE CAN CREATE A HEALTHIER WORLD IS INSPIRING.” DAVID C. GOFF, JR., MD, PHD Dean and Professor Colorado School of Public Health DEAN SINCE: 2012 PREVIOUS INSTITUTION: Wake Forest University School of Medicine CU ANSCHUTZ BECAUSE: Having admired many outstanding faculty here from afar, it was a privilege to come here and help build a great school of public health and a healthier world.

“I’M SO EXCITED EACH DAY BY THE ENERGY, ENTHUSIASM AND TALENT OF OUR STUDENTS AND FACULTY.” DENISE KASSEBAUM, DDS, MS Dean and Professor School of Dental Medicine DEAN SINCE: 2006 PREVIOUS INSTITUTION: Universiy of Missouri Kansas City School of Dentistry CU ANSCHUTZ BECAUSE: Our school is terrific it is research-intensive, and it offers innovative interprofessional education programs and exceptional community engagement opportunities.

“WHAT UNDERLIES THE TREMENDOUS GROWTH AND EXCELLENCE ON THIS CAMPUS IS OUR FACULTY’S INVESTMENT IN OUR MISSION.” JOHN J. REILLY, JR., MD Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Dean | School of Medicine DEAN SINCE: 2015 PREVIOUS INSTITUTION: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine CU ANSCHUTZ BECAUSE: The trajectory of the Anschutz Medical Campus made coming here an attractive opportunity. We are growing here and will continue to grow.

“THIS IS AN EXCITING TIME IN OUR FIELD. NURSES PLAY A PIVOTAL ROLE IN CREATING CHANGE AT THE FOREFRONT OF HEALTH CARE.” SARAH THOMPSON, PHD, RN, FAAN Dean and Professor College of Nursing DEAN SINCE: 2012 PREVIOUS INSTITUTION: University of Nebraska Medical Center CU ANSCHUTZ BECAUSE: Our college was one of the first west of the Mississippi to offer bachelor’s degrees, and we invented the nurse practitioner curriculum in the 1960s. We have a proud history and I wanted to help carry forward our legacy into the future.

“The groundbreaking discoveries happening here will transform medicine.” - Patrick Gaines



“The Gates Biomanufacturing Facility allows us to take ideas and fully develop them through patient delivery.” This facility propels CU Anschutz to an elite tier of academic medical institutions by empowering the campus to function as “a medical ecosystem that begins with basic research and flows from manufacturing and clinical trials to optimum patient care,” said Gates Center Director Dennis Roop, PhD. The GBF serves academic, clinical and commercial innovators and scientists, both Colorado-based and nationwide, looking to translate their discoveries into

Imagine life-changing regenerative and stem cell

therapies ready for clinical trials. The GBF is a Good

therapies that can cure or significantly reduce

Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facility, which means it

the burden of disease. The Gates Center for

adheres to the rigid FDA guidelines that pharmaceutical

Regenerative Medicine at the CU Anschutz

or tissue engineering manufacturers must meet to ensure

Medical Campus explores new frontiers to expand

that their products are of the highest quality and do not

ways of thinking about personalized medicine.

pose risks to patients.

With the addition of the state-of-the-art Gates Biomanufacturing Facility (GBF) that opened in April 2015, Gates Center faculty and collaborators are pushing the boundaries of the possible, transforming medicine by creating new therapies focused on the underlying causes of disease that repair, replace or

This is the first and only biomanufacturing facility within an 800-mile radius with the ability to produce both biologic and stem cell therapies. With only 24 academic GMP facilities nationwide - and only six, including the new GBF, with the capacity to grow and expand human

regenerate damaged cells in the body.

cells and to manufacture protein-based products for

The new GBF accelerates scientific discovery, with a

from its peers. The GBF is uniquely situated, with easy

focus on translating adult stem cell and protein-based

access to University of Colorado Hospital and Children’s

discoveries from the bench to bedside therapies.

Hospital Colorado, to conduct on-site clinical trials and

For CU physician-scientists, developments in the lab

create collaborative opportunities with partners around

can be taken into production, all without going any

the world. This state-of-the-art facility is attracting

farther than across the street. “The groundbreaking

some of the world’s best faculty and strengthens the

discoveries happening here today will transform

university’s ability to compete for national grant funding

medicine,” ssid Patrick Gaines, executive director of

and industry-sponsored clinical trials.

the Gates Center.

human applications - the facility sets CU Anschutz apart

While stem cell therapies have potential in a number of areas, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and


corneal regeneration, one focus is developing a solution

to inherited skin diseases such as epidermolysis bullosa (EB) and epidermolytic hyperkeratosis (EHK). Fourteen-year-old Adam Klafter, an EHK patient, hopes to be one of the first people to receive treatment developed at the GBF. Klafter leads anything but a normal childhood as the slightest touch - even walking and everyday activities causes painful blisters and tears. EB and EHK patients will soon be able to receive therapies to repair impacted areas of their skin. The therapies will be created using patients’ own stem cells but free of the genetic defect that causes blistering, and will greatly improve quality of life for patients like Klafter. Both the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and the GBF were made possible by Denver

CHANCELLOR’S INNOVATION + DISCOVERY FUND The incredible momentum in regenerative medicine and biomanufacturing at CU Anschutz today creates a perfect backdrop for the newly created Chancellor’s Innovation + Discovery Fund, designed to advance novel approaches to medicine. This fund will raise and leverage $10 million in private philanthropy to invest in highrisk, high-reward ideas with the greatest potential

philanthropist and industrialist Charles C. Gates,

for transforming patient care and for generating

who passed away in 2005, and his family’s Gates

revenue by taking discoveries to market.

Frontiers Fund, co-chaired by his children Diane Gates Wallach and John Gates. Mr. Gates instilled the values of innovation and self-sufficiency into his family foundation, and encouraged investment in bold ideas. A macular degeneration patient, he advocated for the possibilities of stem cell therapies

“We want to promote and support this campus as an engine for new ideas, science that is at the leading edge, and the importance of capturing and capitalizing on commercial impact,” said Chancellor Don Elliman, the driving force behind the fund. n

and the promise of future scientific breakthroughs. n



“The CU School of Medicine – apart from my marriage – was perhaps the key event and driver of where I ended up,” Schorr said. “I feel a debt of gratitude … A very concrete way of repaying that debt is to give back.” After earning his medical degree at CU in 1963, Wag returned for his medical residency and first year of renal fellowship before going to England for the second year of his fellowship. He then returned to Denver to establish the renal unit at Denver General Hospital, and later created a private practice. He and Annalee raised two children who also practice medicine in Colorado. He not only gives back financially, but also gives of his time as president of the CU Medical Alumni Association and member of the School of Medicine

The Power of a Plan

Admissions Committee, among many others. He

CU has left an indelible mark on Dr. Wagner “Wag”

and Annalee are vocal advocates of giving, recently

Schorr, Jr.’s life, and he and his wife, Annalee, have put

underwriting spots on Colorado Public Radio to

plans in place to leave their mark on the university for

inspire planned gifts like their own.

generations to come. Last year, the couple established the Schorr Family Medical Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to deserving medical students each year throughout the Schorrs’ lifetimes and will become endowed with an estate gift funded through their IRAs. The Schorrs have enjoyed a lifelong relationship with the university, and Wag credits his medical education at CU with opening doors for him throughout his career.

“It’s structurally a very easy thing to do,” he said. “We get to use our resources throughout the time we need them and at the end of that time, when we are both gone, those resources can then be put to very good use.” Because of Wag and Annalee’s forethought and generosity, countless Schorr Scholars will have the valuable support they need to become capable future physicians. Good use indeed. n 17



Education + Research






6 739




(U.S. News & World Report) SCHOOL OF MEDICINE 4th pediatrics 5th family medicine 6th rural medicine 11th primary care 35th research

COLLEGE OF NURSING 6th informatics 8th pediatric nurse practitioner

GRADUATE SCHOOL 5th MS program for physician assistants 15th MS/PhD in physical therapy






#1 in Colorado; Top 20 in U.S.



Clinical Care
























*generated from unaudited fiscal year 2016 financial statements





At the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, we seek to provide the finest care available in the world today, while at the same time redefining what health and health care will look like tomorrow. We aim to become a global destination for the highest levels of that care, the research behind it and the training in delivering it. If we succeed, no one from the Rocky Mountain region will ever have to travel beyond our campus to receive the best care in the world. This publication, aptly named Momentum, illustrates the great strides we are making toward achieving our goal. These stories illustrate the strong community of support that keeps CU Anschutz moving forward - support for which we are incredibly grateful. From personalized medicine to our integration of behavioral care and family medicine, from our teaching and learning efforts to our innovations in the field of regenerative medicine, CU Anschutz is making bold breakthroughs in research and pioneering novel therapies with untold promise for the future. Our forward momentum today is transforming the medicine of tomorrow, and you are helping to make our progress possible. Thank you. n


LAUREN FISHBEIN, MD, PHD Inspired by the Possibilities of Personalized Medicine In her dorm room at Vassar College in the picturesque town of Poughkeepsie, New York, something clicked for Dr. Lauren Fishbein. It was the mid-1990s, and the Human Genome Project had just gotten underway. “I read an article about how in the future treatments for any disease might be tailored to match a person’s genetic makeup,” she said. “I thought that concept was fascinating!” The idea of using DNA to individualize treatment for illness and disease inspired the young biochemistry major to apply for graduate programs in cancer genetics. Fast-forward 20 years – after an MD/PhD from the University of Florida, a residency at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an endocrinology fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania – and Dr. Fishbein is leading efforts to unravel the mysteries of neuroendocrine cancer at CU Anschutz. In some ways, she feels like her work is just beginning. Such is the case for increasing numbers of talented researchers at the outset of their careers, for whom philanthropy is proving essential. “Federal funding is tight, particularly for early-career researchers,” said Dr. Fishbein. “Private support is critical to keeping biomedical research moving forward, especially for rare diseases and cancers such as neuroendocrine tumors. Patients and families dealing with them deserve better treatments

and, hopefully, cures.” Propelling her work are gifts from Debra and Donald Silversmith, a Denver-area couple passionate about ensuring that rising stars like Dr. Fishbein have the resources necessary to make the next big breakthrough. “I am so grateful for support from the Silversmiths to help me establish my research here,” said Dr. Fishbein. Understanding the genetics of neuroendocrine tumors is key to advancing novel therapies with the potential to save lives. These tumors range from causing no symptoms at all to wreaking hormonal havoc in a patient. While patients can often be cured by removing the masses, the disease can also spread throughout the body, eliminating surgery as a curative option. “Luckily, we have treatments that often can stabilize the tumors that have spread and patients can live a long time, but we have very little to offer in terms of a cure,” she said. “My goal is to identify genomic markers to predict which tumors will spread and how to better treat, and even cure, the cancer.” There are no good research models for this work today, so Dr. Fishbein is using next-generation sequencing methods to investigate the genetics of tumor samples. In a bit of an aha moment, she was the first to discover that a subset of a type of neuroendocrine tumor, called a pheochromocytoma, has particular gene mutations that are associated with more aggressive forms of the disease. This mutated gene also makes an appearance in other types of neuroendocrine tumors, so her discovery means we now have a crucial genetic link between different neuroendocrine tumors, and can begin developing more effective, more precisely targeted treatment options. “I am as inspired today as I was that day back at Vassar by the potential of personalized medicine. We have a way to go to make this part of everyday medicine, but there are exciting examples of this being done now and impacting lives in very real ways.” n

“My goal is to identify genomic markers to predict which tumors will spread and how to better treat, and even cure, the cancer.” – Lauren Fishbein, MD, PhD


Volume 1 | Fall 2016 Momentum is an annual publication that celebrates the power and impact of philanthropy at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Vice Chancellor of Advancement: Scott Arthur Writing: Trish Blake, Anne Button, Trisha Kendall, Devin Lynn Design: Deborah Beebe | Deborah Beebe Design, Jessica Hui Contributors: Dana Brandorff, Kelly Caldwell, Chris Casey, Mark Couch, Tim Skillern Photography: Josh Barrett | Ignite Images, Kristen Hildebrandt, Trevr Merchant Printing: CU Printing Services

13001 E. 17th Pl., Aurora, CO 80045 303.724.8227

Momentum 2016  

Celebrating the impact of philanthropy at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.

Momentum 2016  

Celebrating the impact of philanthropy at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.