The University of Colorado School of Medicine had another newsworthy year! Our communications team shared more than 110 stories that highlighted our incredible faculty, researchers, staff, trainees, and students.
In 2023, the School of Medicine spotlighted our faculty's research on long COVID, welcomed new chairs to lead the Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery and Department of Dermatology, celebrated our graduating students at Match Day, addressed "concert amnesia" following Taylor Swift's Eras Tour, highlighted the work of the CU School of Medicine’s Sickle Cell Treatment and Research Center, and looked into the effects of video games and your heart health.
These are the top stories of 2023 for the School of Medicine:
Even though the COVID-19 public health emergency classification expired this spring, the lingering effects of the pandemic remain. A constant puzzle to solve since the first year of the pandemic has been "long COVID," a condition in which those infected with the virus have symptoms that linger months or even years after they have cleared the initial infection.
“Long COVID is estimated to affect one out of every five people who get COVID,” says Brent Palmer, PhD, associate professor of allergy and clinical immunology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “It’s described as persistent symptoms that last longer than four weeks post-initial infection. Those symptoms can include chest pain, cough, shortness of breath, brain fog, and fatigue.”
It’s a concert that many will want to remember forever, but some Eras Tour attendees say that they can’t recall parts of the three-hour jam-packed show orchestrated by pop star Taylor Swift. Even though they were there, singing along at the top of their lungs and recording songs on their phones, some memories seem to have disappeared.
“Now that it’s over, my brain seems to be trying to convince me I wasn’t there,” one fan posted online after attending a show earlier this year.
“I think we just blacked out from all of the magic,” another writes.
Flu season has arrived, bringing with it questions about vaccines, symptoms, testing, and more. During the 2022–23 flu season, it’s estimated that there were as many as 670,000 hospitalizations and 58,000 deaths from the virus in the U.S.
For a better understanding of this year’s flu season and how to prepare for it, we spoke with vaccine researcher Jenna Guthmiller, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology in the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
We know a game of soccer is good for your cardiovascular health but how about a game of MarioKart?
They’re not quite the same thing, explains Dustin Nash, MD, an assistant professor of pediatric cardiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine who studies the relationship between video games and heart health. And while there have been cases of video games triggering serious cardiac events in younger gamers, those were rare cases in which the patients were already at risk for heart problems due to genetic disorders, he says.
We spoke with Nash about the dangers posed by video games and what parents and gamers need to know about keeping their hearts healthy.
When music and fashion superstar Rihanna took the stage at this year's Academy Awards to perform her Oscar-nominated song “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” the moment was memorable for many reasons.
She glowed in a two-piece custom ensemble by John Galliano for Maison Margiela and gave a performance that was heartfelt and intimate, only her second public performance following a five-year musical hiatus. And as for the first performance? It was last month’s Super Bowl halftime show, when she made perhaps one of the most iconic pregnancy announcements of all time.
Following Rihanna’s Super Bowl stunner and again after Sunday’s Academy Awards performance, much media and internet attention continues focus on "two under 2" – having two children close enough together that the older is under age 2 when the younger is born.
They are going to Pittsburgh and Providence, to Omaha and Oakland, to Santa Barbara and St. Louis. They will learn to be doctors at Travis Air Force Base, at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, at the Mayo Clinic.
Some will stay in Colorado, and many more will fan out across the United States. They are going places.
This past march, members of the University of Colorado School of Medicine class of 2023 learned where they matched for their residencies. A longtime medical school tradition, Match Day is not only a celebration of the preceding four years’ hard work, but a commencement of the next chapter in the journey to becoming a doctor.
Yuri Agrawal, MD, MPH, an accomplished clinician with a substantial research portfolio and a demonstrated commitment to education, was named chair of the Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, effective August 1, 2023.
Agrawal previously served as professor of otology, neurotology, and skull base surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an attending physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
The University of Colorado School of Medicine’s Sickle Cell Treatment and Research Center entered its 50th year with a major research victory: An experimental gene therapy has been successful in curing a patient of sickle cell disease (SCD), which affects millions of people around the globe.
This is the second time a person has been cured of the disease through a nationwide stem cell infusion trial and the first at the center on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. Up until now, the only cure for SCD has been a bone marrow transplant, which requires a well-matched donor to be successful.
Christopher McKinney, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the CU School of Medicine, led the gene therapy trial at the center.
Maryam M. Asgari, MD, MPH, was named the inaugural University of Colorado Medicine Endowed Chair of the Department of Dermatology for the CU School of Medicine, effective May 1, 2023.
Asgari previously served as a professor of Dermatology and Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School specializing in patient-oriented research in dermatology and Mohs micrographic surgery. She has had nearly two decades of strategic leadership experience with diverse health care delivery systems, which has given her deep knowledge of clinical practice and a strong commitment to training and career development in clinical care.
A little boost from a morning cup of coffee may be a welcome stimulant on a busy day and even offer health benefits for some people, but how much caffeine is too much?
The answer varies from person to person, but overall, experts say it’s safe for a healthy person to consume about 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. That amounts to about four or five cups of regular coffee, says dietician Bonnie Jortberg, PhD, RD, CDCES, associate professor family medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.