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This Week with Vineet

Farewell to Summer, Upcoming Mentorship Opportunities and More

Dear Colleagues,

It was lovely to see many of you at our End of Summer Celebration last night. Between the delicious food, raucous games of ping-pong, and meeting/seeing so many members of our department, my cup is full with the power of community and connection. What a wonderful way to send off summer – thanks to those of you who made it out!


The School of Medicine hosted its first new chairs’ and leaders’ orientation yesterday and I, along with several other deans, clinical, and basic science chairs led discussions ranging from navigating the School of Medicine, how to build your leadership team to acculturating to Denver. We represented the department well with Executive Vice Chair Edward Stenehjem, MD, and Division Heads Jennifer Christie, MD, FASGE, Cari Levy, MD, PhD and Kristi Kuhn, MD, PhD all in attendance. This is a new leadership focused session, and like our New Faculty Orientation, served to highlight resources and bring leaders together on our shared journey.


Speaking of opportunities for growth and development, I am excited to share that the 2023 Mentorship Academy – a joint initiative between the University of Michigan and the University of Colorado – is right around the corner. This one-day workshop features incredible speakers (including many from our campus) and will be held on October 27, 2023. I encourage junior faculty, mentors and mentees to attend to learn more about how to craft your mentoring teams, manage conflict, and enhance communication among several other aspects. It is a truly energizing day for all – so please save the date! Registration for in-person and virtual attendance opens on September 24

On the topic of mentorship, applications are now open for the 2023–24 Staff Mentorship Program. As a reminder, we are the only department to offer this program on campus and have received super feedback on the program and support this has provided to our staff. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to apply by Friday, September 8.
Thank you to all who attended the Draft Research Strategic Plan Town Halls last week. I am grateful for the feedback that we have received thus far. If you haven’t had the chance to weigh in, please provide feedback by August 21 so that we can continue to iterate.

As you know, I love highlighting our many incredible faculty and wins so here are just a few to celebrate:

  • Congratulations to Manali Kamdar, MD, associate professor of medicine – hematology and bone marrow transplantation and clinical director of lymphoma services who has been named the inaugural recipient of the Morton and Sandra Saffer Endowed Chair. This is a well-deserved honor for Dr. Kamdar, who since her arrival at the University of Colorado in 2014 has developed and overseen the successful lymphoma program, which is now nationally recognized for its innovation and excellence in clinical care. Dr. Kamdar has pioneered the implementation of cellular therapies for lymphoma patients and has been integral to many significant advances in drug development for lymphomas over the last decade. This endowed chair was created by the Saffer family, in appreciation for the care received by their family following a lymphoma diagnosis. We are grateful for their generosity and dedicated support for the CU Cancer Center and Division of Hematology over many years.
  • Congratulations to the more than 70 faculty in the Department of Medicine who made 5280’s Top Doctors list! Our department continues to dominate this list in terms of healthcare providers!
  • Cecilia Low Wang, MD, is one of two medical directors for the new CU Anschutz IND/IDE Office, a new campus resource for projects that require FDA submissions related to Investigational New Drug (IND) applications or Investigational Device Exemptions (IDE). See Vice Chancellor of Research Thomas Flaig, MD’s full announcement.
  • UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital was ranked the No. 1 hospital in the state by U.S. News and World Report for the 12th year in a row. In specialties, the rankings put UCHealth University of Colorado No. 6 in the Nation for Pulmonology and Lung Surgery in a ranking shared with National Jewish Health, and as No. 26 in the Nation for Diabetes and Endocrinology. Additionally, our specialties of cancer, gastroenterology & GI surgery, geriatrics and rheumatology were all rated as high performing!
  • Congratulations to Jonathan Gutman, MD, Brandon McMahon, MD, Tyler Buckner, MD, Michael Aubrey, MS, Brent Palmer, PhD, Geoffrey Connors, MD and Selene Brunner, MSN, RN who authored a case report in the August 17 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine entitled "A Case of Fetal-Induced Graft-versus-Host Disease," which describes an unusual case of GVHD emanating from fetal attacking maternal cells. The case offers unique insights into our immune mechanisms and questions whether the disease may occur sub-clinically more often than previously recognized.

    For those of you who have children returning back to school this week, I wish you a smooth immersion! We are busy on this front in the Chopra household!

    I look forward to our continued success together.