Division roots date to Gerald Webb, MD, and James Waring, MD, two tuberculosis
specialists, who in 1924 founded the largest TB sanatorium in the country, the
Webb-Waring Lung Institute in Colorado Springs. As a medical student, Dr.
Waring contract TB. He interrupted his education at Johns Hopkins University
and moved to Colorado to recuperate under the care of Dr. Webb. He later earned
his medical degree from the University of Colorado and was the chair of
department of medicine from 1933 to 1948.
a span of 23 years—from 1930 to 1953—Drs. Webb and Waring, along with
Colorado’s Henry Sewall, MD, a TB researcher and clinician, and Florence Sabin,
MD, a preeminent basic science investigator, would win the American Thoracic
Society/American Lung Association Edward Livingston Trudeau Medal. The medal
recognizes lifelong major contributions to the prevention, diagnosis and
treatment of lung diseases through leadership in research, education or
the second chair of medicine, Gordon Meiklejohn, MD, who served from 1951 to
1975, Roger Mitchell, MD, was recruited in 1955 as the first director of the
division of pulmonary sciences and critical care medicine, a post he held until
1970. He won a Trudeau Medal in 1980.
the division then focused on the development of clinician investigators, its
emphasis shifted in 1970 to one of training for academic careers and leadership
roles in academic pulmonary medicine.
born and raised, Thomas Petty, MD, was named division head in 1971. A graduate
of the medical school and former trainee under Dr. Mitchell, he led the modern
era of the division, time when university physicians made sentinel discoveries.
Claman, MD, who is now emeritus faculty, discovered that the human immune
system must have two lymphocytes, T-cells from the thymus and B-cells from the
bone marrow, in order to form the antibodies for immunity from infectious
diseases. Dr. Petty and Dave Ashbaugh, MD, were the first to identify and
define acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
1978, Dr. Petty and Reuben Cherniack, MD, who was chairman of the department of
medicine at National Jewish Medical and Research Center, integrated the two
pulmonary diseases programs.
Marvin Schwarz, MD, and Peter Henson, MD, were co-division heads for two years,
in 1987 Dr. Schwarz became the sole head of the division, which too produced
future leaders. In 1999, Ed Abraham, MD, became co-division head. Dr. Abraham
was Co-Division Head from 1999-2004.
Geraci became Division Head in 2004.
The Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, first led
by Roger Mitchell, graduated its initial trainee in 1958. At that time, the
Division focused on the development of clinician investigators in clinical and
physiological sciences, with less than half of its graduates through 1970
opting for academic positions. Shortly thereafter, there was a recognized
national shortage of academic pulmonologists in both clinical and scientific
The division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine will be
the source of superior healthcare through innovative research and education.
The division centers on developing the next generation of leaders in
PCCM through its transformative research, comprehensive career development, and