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February 2024 Research Bulletin

Volume 5, Issue 1

Vice Chancellor for Research
Thomas Flaig, MD Vice Chancellor for Research

Dear Research Colleagues,

Last month, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) hosted its annual Federal Policy and Strategy Update for the CU Anschutz research community. Thanks to political expert Brett Roude, CU’s assistant VP of federal relations and health policy, and Laura Buccini, assistant vice chancellor for research development and strategy, for providing an overview of the federal legislative landscape and related campus initiatives. The event recording can be found here

For a complete listing of OVCR upcoming events and newsletters please visit the website.

The 2023-24 CU Anschutz Research Awards ceremony will take place Tuesday, February 27 at 4pm in the Elliman Conference Center at the Anschutz Health Sciences Building. For anyone interested in attending and joining the celebration, please RSVP so we can plan accordingly.

We are honored to announce the following 2023-24 CU Anschutz Campus Research Awardees: 

Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Lectureship Award 
Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD 
David A. Schwartz, MD   

Faculty Research Excellence Award
Wendy Kohrt, PhD 

Fadul Award
Catherine Anderson 

Research Administration Award
Natalie Buys   

Research Collaboration Team Award 
Center for Innovative Design and Analytics — Central Research Resource
mAb Colorado Team – Research Team   

Research Faculty Collaborator Award
Daniel Frank, PhD 

Research Mentor Award 
Karen Hampanda, PhD, MPH — Early Career Mentor 
Sean Colgan, PhD – Senior Mentor 

Rising Star Research Award
Jenna Guthmiller, PhD 

Research Staff Collaborator Award
Cole Jurecka, MPH 

Trainee Research Excellence Award 
Daniel Colon Hidalgo, MD, MPH 
Michaele Francesco Corbisiero, MSc, MPH
Yan Hu, PhD

Thomas Flaig, MD
Vice Chancellor for Research

Lori Sussel PhD


Lori Sussel, PhD 

Assistant Vice Chancellor, Basic Science Research

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research continues to seek the highest qualified researchers for our limited submission nominations program. This program has been established to provide access to funding mechanisms where CU Anschutz is only able to submit a defined number of applications. These mechanisms are posted on the Research Development and Strategy website where you will find information about the funders’ criteria and the required information for an internal nomination. 

A standing committee with cross campus representation reviews and ranks the applications. Please visit Funding Focus for current opportunities. If you hear of new opportunities that have not been posted, please email




Ben Echalier, MS, MBA 

Assistant Vice Chancellor, Clinical Research Operations

The Clinical Research Recruitment Program (Recruitment Program) began in 2022, with the primary goal to increase diversity of research participants being enrolled in research studies at CU Anschutz by aligning recruitment resources, driving awareness and utilization of central recruitment resources, and establishing an infrastructure and team to provide support and key services.  

The Recruitment Program offers one-on-one consultations with research teams to help develop study specific recruitment strategies, leads the development of social media campaigns for clinical research recruitment, and oversees the Research Studies website and newsletter. Since December 2023, the Recruitment Program has conducted 15 consultations and has developed 10 social media campaigns. 

The Research Studies website displays key study information on an easily accessible, public-facing website to inform interested individuals about actively enrolling studies. Currently, the website has more than 900 studies actively recruiting participants. The Research Studies newsletter is a bimonthly and highlights studies that are currently recruiting participants.

To learn more about our program or accessing our services, please visit our website. The Recruitment Program is led by Kiley Vander Wyst, PhD, MPH and is partially funded by NIH/NCATS Colorado CTSA Grant Number UM1 TR004399.


Ron Sokol


Ron Sokol, MD

Assistant Vice Chancellor, CCTSI

The CCTSI has many great funding and training opportunities. One of the most exciting is the T32 Pre- and Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program: Team Oriented Training across the Translational Spectrum. These awards provide financial and educational support for pre- and post-doctoral trainees to develop skills in conducting team-oriented clinical and translational research across the pre-clinical to population health spectrum. Candidates will receive co-mentoring from faculty members with diverse clinical and translational interests and expertise. The program is now accepting applications, with a deadline of March 29, 2024. Learn more about the Pre-Doctoral Fellowship and Post-Doctoral Fellowship.

Another exciting opportunity for those interested in Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) is the Colorado Immersion Training (CIT). This unique community-campus educational initiative aims to introduce an expanded pool of researchers to CBPR and community engagement. This six-month program is for researchers from all disciplines seeking new skills and knowledge in community-engaged translational research. The two tracks this year are in the San Luis Valley and Urban Aurora Denver. Deadline is March 1, 2024. Learn more here.

The Clinical Faculty Scholars Program helps emerging investigators secure career development awards or first independent extramural project awards by providing guidance in project development, educational seminars, grant writing classes, and mentorship from experienced researchers in clinical epidemiology, health services research, biostatistics, and health economics. Deadline is March 18, 2024. Learn more here.




Amy Gannon

Associate Vice Chancellor, Financial Services

NIH Salary Cap Update: NIH has issued a new notice for the salary cap to increase amounts for the current year. Effective January 1, 2024, the salary limitation for Executive Level II is $221,900. The notice can be found here.

You can also find additional information about how the cap is calculated in our A-Z section on the OGC website


Jori Leszczynski


Jori Leszczynski, DVN, DACLAM

Assistant Vice Chancellor, Office of Laboratory Animal Resources

Research staff that work with animals are reminded that between March 4 – 7, 2024, the institution will host its triennial AAALAC site visit. AAALAC is a voluntary accrediting body for animal research programs.  The CU Denver | Anschutz program has been accredited for over 50 years, indicating our commitment to high quality animal care and research programs. The site visitors will be visiting all locations where animal research occurs and will be interviewing many staff members, including faculty, students and staff involved with the program.

A Town Hall Meeting recording with information about how to prepare is available on the OLAR Intranet site OLAR - Home ( Individuals involved with the animal care program should also check their email for updates and further resources. If you have any questions or would like more information, please reach out to the IACUC office ( or OLAR (

January 28 through February 3, 2024 was International Laboratory Animal Technician Week. This is an annual celebration that recognizes all individuals working with laboratory animals to ensure they receive consistent husbandry, medical care, and observation to support high quality science. OLAR was able to take the opportunity to celebrate our staff during the week to thank them for all of their contributions to the research conducted for CU Denver | Anschutz.  

Please join me in thanking the OLAR staff for their tireless dedication to the animals and please also thank the technicians that work in your laboratory with the animals to support your research


Alison Lakin


Alison Lakin, PhD

Associate Vice Chancellor, Regulatory Compliance

We are pleased to announce that Christine Ahearn, JD, is the new director of regulatory compliance. Christine serves within the Office of Regulatory Compliance and provides oversight for conflict of interest, data sharing, export control, privacy and clinical contracting which includes clinical trial agreements, confidentiality agreements and material transfer agreements. Additional oversight includes export control regulations, and institutional conflict of interest, with an overall goal of ensuring a culture of compliance with the applicable privacy and other regulatory frameworks on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus and the CU Denver Campus. 

Thank you to everyone who has already completed the CU: HIPAA Regulations CU Anschutz and CU Denver Skillsoft course for this fiscal year. If you have not yet completed the course, and work in a department designated in APS 5055, you may complete the course at any point before 6/30/2024 to satisfy the requirement. Billable providers may complete an alternative through CU Medicine.

For any questions, please email the Privacy Team at

Lastly, we wanted everyone to be aware that beginning February 12, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), including Occupational Health will be relocating to the Fitzsimons building west side 2nd floor. Currently the offices are located in the Anschutz Health & Wellness Building and Bldg 401. More information will be coming soon regarding an open house in this new space.

If you have questions regarding the move or any EHS services please visit the EHS website or email


Buccini Headshot 2022 copy


Laura Buccini, DrPH, MPH, MA

Assistant Vice Chancellor, Research Development and Strategy

CU Anschutz was designated as a spoke of the ARPA-H Customer Experience Hub , a national health innovation network to ensure successful adoption of patient-centered solutions developed within the ARPA-H ecosystem. This designation reflects our capabilities in research, innovation, and patient care, and qualifies CU Anschutz to apply for additional ARPA-H contracts not available to the broader community. Our campus also continues to engage in regional quantum initiatives. Dan LaBarbera, PhD, and Natalie Serkova, PhD, represented CU Anschutz at the Mountain West Elevate Quantum Summit hosted by Governor Polis, where drug discovery as a use case in human health was emphasized as a priority. Visit the Office of Research Development and Strategy website for ARPA-H and other updates.


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