Profiles: Bright Minds at Anschutz

Uncover What We're Discovering


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Vik Bebarta, MD

Department of Emergency Medicine

“In general I’m most proud of the fact that we are changing practice in ways other people have not challenged – all to save and improve lives. Whether that is bringing antidotes and therapies to market, taking care of solutions for our combat soldiers with our military research or just taking care of patients.” 

Learn more about Dr. Bebarta’s work: 

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Robert Valuck, PhD

Department of Clinical Pharmacy

“My most rewarding and humbling experience came when I was asked to lead the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, by our Governor John Hickenlooper. I get to work with, and learn from, so many dedicated and passionate people, coming together to address the opioid crisis in Colorado, and save lives and communities. It is a difficult, complex problem, but with collaboration we can and will solve it. We’re all in this together, and CU is helping lead the way.” 

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Christopher Lieu, MD

Division of Medical Oncology

“If I could have lunch with any person, living or dead, it would be Sidney Farber, who is essentially the father of chemotherapy. He was the first one to try a drug that was successful in childhood leukemia. I think it would be interesting to hear his perspective on the courage that it took to try something that nobody thought would work, and hear his perspective on the progress that we’ve made.” 

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Karen Frankel, PhD

Department of Psychiatry

“The Irving Harris Foundation in Chicago convened a task force, which I was a part of, to develop the diversity-informed mental health tenents. These are a set of aspirational principles for people who work with young children and families about how to work in a culturally sensitive way with families. We looked at how to infuse a social justice approach into mental health work. For the last five years, we have been doing workshops and trainings to disseminate our model domestically and internationally.” 

Learn more about Dr. Frankel’s work: 

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Daniel Goldberg, JD, PhD

Center for Bioethics and Humanities

“I’m currently doing a lot of work with health stigma. I’m particularly excited about an area called public health law research. It’s also called legal epidemiology. The basic idea of that is to look at the laws and policies as variables that you can manipulate – sort of like experimental variables, just like any other scientific variables. I’m trying to figure out the outcomes of manipulating laws and policies, and link them to positive health outcomes.” 

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Karyn Goodman, MD, MS

Department of Radiation Oncology

“I think there’s going to be a new role for radiation oncologists as we combine our treatments with novel options like immunotherapy.   In addition, we are becoming much more cognizant of potential markers that determine whether or not someone will be responsive to treatment. I really see that our goal won’t be to just treat everybody similarly, but to understand when our treatments will be effective and how to tailor our therapies to individual patients.” 

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Jeff Stansbury, PhD

School of Dental Medicine

“One of the things that is most exciting to me professionally is when I see a student who has that ‘a-ha’ moment and says, ‘I get it, I understand now.’ What’s even better is when a student walks into my office and says ‘I understand all this and now here’s my perspective.'” 

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Manali Kamdar, MD

Division of Hematology

“I am so proud of my team. It is an exceedingly dedicated group that has one sole focus to treat and cure patients with blood cancers. I am also very proud of my patients, who are so resilient, handling their cancers with such dignity while fighting such a tough battle. I am also very excited at all the opportunities coming my way in terms of developing new therapies and medications for patients.” 

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Jason Stoneback, MD

Department of Orthopedics

“Within the rodeo community, there is a national finals rodeo that happens every December in Las Vegas. It’s where the top 15 contestants in the world meet to compete over a ten-day-long rodeo. It is the time of year where everyone I know and love travels all the way to Las Vegas. I have friends that compete. It’s a lot of fun.” 

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Benzi Kluger, MD, MS, FAAN

Department of Neurology

“When I finished my training and had the opportunity to develop longer term relationships with patients and their families, it really struck me how many gaps there were in the care that these patients received. There are really a lot of unmet needs that these patients and families are facing. There is almost no formal caregiver support. We do not do a good job preparing patients and families for the future. We do not do a good job helping people with the many difficult emotions that arise during the course of these illnesses.” 

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Rita Lee, MD

Division of General Internal Medicine

“I am most proud of some of the students that I’ve gotten to work with on some of our leadership and advocacy projects throughout the years. Many of them have gone on to do projects that have had a positive impact, both locally but also statewide. Some of them even have been recognized nationally for their work with various scholarships and they’ve gone on to have flourishing careers where they can continue to perpetuate that legacy.” 

Learn more about Dr. Lee’s work: 

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Peter Gottlieb, MD

Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes

“What we are trying to do is redirect the immune system from disease (autoimmunity) to health and so prevent and reverse type 1 diabetes.  With the use of personalized medicine and specific agents that affect the parts of the immune system which are misfiring, we hope to change the course of type 1 diabetes and potentially other autoimmune diseases.” 

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Matthew Rioth, MD

Cancer Center

“I am excited about the possibilities ahead of our organization: we have a strong clinical informatics team, a world-class cancer center, and a dynamic biomedical informatics and personalized medicine division. The programs that we are developing will position our organization to not only innovate care for our patients, but throughout Colorado and the Mountain West and become leaders in personalized medicine nationally.” 

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Michael Rice, PhD, APN

College of Nursing

“I am thrilled with the progress we have made integrating behavioral health in integrated care settings. The psychiatric nursing program collaboration with Wyoming and New Mexico will help train future generations of providers and direct healthcare decisions for the next decade.” 

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Melanie Cree Green, MD, PhD

Center for Women's Health Research

“I absolutely love what I do. I saw this as a career vision twenty years ago, and I feel like I’ve really made it work. I’m doing research with my patients, and the research that I’m doing directly benefits them as individuals. The overall goal is to develop new medications for them. So, we’re hopefully going to change the face of the disease long-term. ” 

Learn more about Dr. Cree Green’s work: 

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Jay Shore, MD, MPH

Department of Psychiatry

“I went into the family business – my father specialized in cross-cultural psychiatry. He was actually the chair and chancellor here at the university in the 2000s. He did work in cross-cultural psychiatry so I grew up spending time in the American Indian community.” 

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