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Inaugural Chief Scientific Officer, Child Health Announced

Significant milestone to advance Child Health Research across the CU Anschutz Medical Campus

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Written by Staff on February 8, 2022
What You Need To Know

With the naming of its inaugural Chief Scientific Officer, Child Health, CU Anschutz will leverage the campus's research tools and technologies to better understand the biological causes of diseases that affect children. This will lay the foundation for the development and implementation of new innovative therapies and prevention strategies to improve the health of children.

Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado), the University of Colorado School of Medicine (CU School of Medicine) and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (CU Anschutz Campus) are announcing that Ronald J. Sokol, MD, will become the inaugural Chief Scientific Officer, Child Health, effective May 1, 2022. As an experienced research leader and expert in pediatric liver disease and transplantation, Dr. Sokol will help formalize a joint research enterprise across the CU Anschutz Campus to promote discovery and increase understanding of childhood diseases, while also advancing clinical care to improve health across the entire lifespan. 


Ronald J. Sokol, MD

“After conducting an extensive search among experts from different areas through the scientific research continuum, Dr. Sokol’s leadership, track record of success and collaborative nature rose to the top,” said Jena Hausmann, president and CEO of Children’s Colorado. “He truly exemplifies our shared vision for our future, which is to leverage our campus partnership and commitment to child health research to profoundly transform the lives of children and the populations we serve.”

Research tools and technologies 

“I am truly honored and humbled to be assuming the role of Chief Scientific Officer, Child Health,” said Dr. Sokol. “We now have the research tools and technologies to better understand the biological causes of diseases that affect children, laying the foundation for development and implementation of new innovative therapies and prevention strategies to improve the health of our children. We will harness our strong transdisciplinary community of child health investigators to build new scientific programs that address both common and rare childhood diseases. We also know that many adult diseases have their precursors before birth or in the first few years of life. The challenge is, how can we predict and how can we intervene early in pregnancy or childhood to prevent these chronic diseases that account for much of adult illness and mortality? Our focus on life course research will continue to advance the health of children and improve their lifelong well-being.”

In collaboration with leaders from each institution, Dr. Sokol will oversee all basic, translational, clinical and population health research activities related to child health on the CU Anschutz Campus. He also will hold the inaugural endowed chair for this new role. Supported by the Bruce and Bev Wagner Family Endowed Chair for Child Health Research, the position will encourage innovative, cutting-edge pediatric research that leads to better care for children everywhere.

“As the leader of the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, Dr. Sokol has demonstrated a commitment to collaborative research, dedication to clinical care, and a passion for community engagement that provides a solid foundation for this important new leadership role on the Anschutz Medical Campus,” said John J. Reilly, Jr., MD, Dean of the School of Medicine and Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs. “We look forward to the vision he will provide as Chief Scientific Officer, Child Health."

Collaborative research and clinical care 

A strong advocate for collaborative research and clinical care, Dr. Sokol co-founded the Pediatric Liver Center – one of the first pediatric liver centers in the United States – to integrate high-quality multidisciplinary pediatric hepatology care, including pediatric surgery and nutrition, with clinical and translational research. In addition, Dr. Sokol has chaired the NIH-funded Childhood Liver Disease Research Network, a network of 14 leading centers in North America studying nine rare childhood liver diseases, since 2002.

A major focus of Dr. Sokol’s research has been defining the causes, development, best management strategies, and outcomes of infant and childhood liver diseases. He has run a basic science laboratory for more than 35 years, and led translational and clinical research related to pediatric gastroenterology and hepatology, publishing more than 280 original articles and 125 book chapters or review articles. Dr. Sokol holds five patents related to the use of antioxidants in the treatment of cholestasis, and his research discoveries have changed the way we diagnose and treat cholestasis-induced vitamin E deficiency in children and adults.

A National Institutes of Health-funded investigator since 1986, Dr. Sokol has received more than $200 million in grant support to date. Dr. Sokol will continue to lead the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute as director and principal investigator.


Children’s Hospital Colorado is one of the nation’s leading and most expansive nonprofit pediatric healthcare systems with a mission to improve the health of children through patient care, education, research and advocacy. Founded in 1908 and recognized as a top 10 children’s hospital by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s Colorado has established itself as a pioneer in the discovery of innovative and groundbreaking treatments that are shaping the future of pediatric healthcare worldwide. Children’s Colorado offers a full spectrum of family-centered care at its urgent, emergency and specialty care locations throughout Colorado, including an academic medical center on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, hospitals in Colorado Springs, Highlands Ranch and Broomfield, and outreach clinics across the region. For more information, visit www.childrenscolorado.org or connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube 



Faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine work to advance science and improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and scientists at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Veterans Affairs Eastern Colorado Health Care System. The school is located on the Anschutz Medical Campus, one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system.



The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is a world-class medical destination at the forefront of transformative science, medicine, education and patient care. The campus encompasses the University of Colorado health professional schools, more than 60 centers and institutes, and two nationally ranked independent hospitals - UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital and Children's Hospital Colorado - that treat more than two million adult and pediatric patients each year. Innovative, interconnected and highly collaborative, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus delivers life-changing treatments, patient care and professional training and conducts world-renowned research fueled by over $650 million in research grants. For more information, visit www.cuanschutz.edu.

Topics: Pediatrics,