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Increasing the RPMs

By John J. Reilly, Jr., MD

(December 2015) The University of Colorado School of Medicine is poised for significant achievements in the years ahead and we are taking steps to ensure our faculty, students and staff can fulfill our mission to improve function, relieve suffering, and increase longevity of those we serve.

This fall, I announced the Transformational Research Funding initiative to support development of multidisciplinary research programs that will make a significant impact in their area of focus and will attract additional talent to the School to work together developing new knowledge.

More than 60 letters of intent were submitted by our faculty and final applications are due in December. We are convening a panel of external experts to review the applications and we will select and support no more than four proposals, each with a budget of between $10 million and $20 million over a five-year period. I expect to announce our selections in January at the State of the School address.

The ideal proposals are ambitious and emphasize collaboration. They build on our strong foundation here on the Anschutz Medical Campus and are large enough in scope to raise our national stature. We believe that funding these proposals will position CU as a leader in cutting-edge and emerging fields, attract extramural funding, help recruit and train outstanding faculty, enhance education and training and positively impact human lives and society in Colorado, the nation and the world.

These activities will strengthen the education we provide. We already are training excellent new physicians, scientists, physical therapists, physician assistants and other health care professionals and the funded projects will attract additional talented students to our School.

When the University of Colorado Board of Regents met on the Anschutz Medical Campus last summer, I discussed what made becoming Dean of the School of Medicine such an attractive opportunity. The problems we have here are related to managing growth, in contrast with many other academic medical campuses, where leaders are fighting to hang on to what they have.

Our faculty clinical practice has been a source of strength that has allowed for much of our growth, our research programs have remained competitive in a tough funding environment and our philanthropic support has been increasing. We aim to make all of these sources of support even stronger. We believe that the Transformational Research Funding initiative will help with all those efforts.

The hard work of our faculty and the smart investments of those who built the An-schutz Medical Campus have started the wheel turning and it’s my job to increase the RPMs. Working together, we will make it happen.

With warm regards,  


John J. Reilly, Jr., MD
Richard D. Krugman Endowed Chair
Dean, School of Medicine
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs
University of Colorado