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Ronald Sokol

Sokol Named a University of Colorado Distinguished Professor

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Ronald J. Sokol, MD has been named a University of Colorado Distinguished Professor. Dr. Sokol is one of 136 CU faculty members among the four campuses to have earned this distinction since its inception in 1977.

Dr. Sokol is the Chief Scientific Officer, Child Health, a role he stared in May 2022. An expert in pediatric liver disease and pediatric liver transplantation at the Digestive Health Institute and in the section of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Dr. Sokol is an accomplished clinician, researcher, mentor, administrator, advocate, and leader. As the Chief Scientific Officer, Child Health, leads the child health research enterprise on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.

Dr. Sokol co-founded the Pediatric Liver Center – one of the first pediatric liver centers in the United States. He has run a basic science laboratory on campus 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. 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 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. Dr. Sokol has been invited to give more than 380 presentations around the world and he has received numerous national and international awards and honors.

A National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded investigator since 1986, Dr. Sokol has received more than $200 million in grant support to date. He was responsible for CU Anschutz Medical Campus receiving the largest biomedical research and training grant from the NIH in the state’s history – $76 million in 2008, which founded the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI). That grant was renewed in 2013 and again in 2018 when it received a five-year renewal with $46.5 million in NIH support. As of 2018, total funding from the NIH to the CCTSI exceeds $187 million. Dr. Sokol continues to lead the CCTSI as Director and Principal Investigator.

Dr. Sokol is a strong advocate for collaborative research. He has chaired the steering committee of the NIH-funded Childhood Liver Disease Research Network (ChiLDReN), a network of 14 leading centers in North America studying nine rare childhood liver diseases, since 2002. The CU Anschutz Medical Campus offers a unique opportunity for collaboration by bringing together on one campus expert researchers, clinicians, and educators to serve our community. In his role as Chief Scientific Officer, Child Health, Dr. Sokol oversees basic, translational, clinical and population health research activities related to child health research on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.

As the Bruce and Bev Wagner Family Endowed Chair for Child Health Research, Dr. Sokol encourages innovative, cutting-edge pediatric research that leads to better care for children everywhere.