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CU School of Medicine Top Stories of 2023

CU School of Medicine Top Stories of 2023

Revisit the top stories from throughout the year.

minute read

Written by School of Medicine on December 15, 2023

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:

Long Covid - 2-10-23

CU School of Medicine Researcher Identifies Potential Cause of 'Long COVID' 

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.” 


Swift - 7-13-23

Why Some Swifties Report ‘Concert Amnesia’ After Attending the Eras Tour

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 2023 - 11-7-23

What to Know About the 2023 Flu Season 

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. 


Video Games - 12-1-23

Are Video Games Bad for Your Heart? 

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.  


Rihanna Oscars - 3-15-23

Rihanna’s Second Pregnancy Stirs Discussion of 'Two Under 2'


Match Day 2023 - 3-17-23-1

Opening the Envelope and Taking the Next Step

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 - 5-18-23-1

Yuri Agrawal, MD, MPH, Named Chair of Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery

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.


Sickle Cell - 5-11-23

Clinical Trial for Gene Therapy Treatment Cures Sickle Cell Disease Patient at CU

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 Asgari - 3-2-23-1

CU School of Medicine Names New Chair of the Department of Dermatology

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.


Caffiene - 11-27-23

How Much Caffeine is Too Much Caffeine?

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.