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Cancer Center has new interim director

Andrew Thorburn, Ph.D., will become interim director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center for the next six months. On July 1, Dan Theodorescu, M.D., Ph.D., will assume the post. Theodorescu currently is director of the Mellon Urologic Cancer Institute at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Thorburn, who has served as deputy director of the center, also is an associate director for cancer prevention and control at the center, and is associate dean for public health practice at the Colorado School of Public Health.

For the past year, Tim Byers, M.D., M.P.H., served as interim director of the Cancer Center. He will return to his duties as deputy director of the center and as an associate director for cancer prevention and control.

Associate professor earns award for epilepsy research


Manisha Patel, a researcher at the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy, was one of three recipients of a 2010 Innovator Award worth $50,000 from Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE).

"The vast majority of epilepsy research is focused on channels and synapses and only a minority focuses on metabolic processes," said Patel, an associate professor at the school. "Although anticonvulsant drugs remain frontline therapies for controlling epilepsies, the search for novel disease-modifying drugs is highly desirable to halt the development, progression and cognitive changes associated with chronic seizures. This CURE award will enable us to conduct a proof-of-principle study to test the benefits of a unique antioxidant compound that targets metabolic dysfunction."

Launched this year, the CURE Innovator Award supports principal investigators in pursuing innovative research studies. The award supports high-risk studies that have the potential to reveal new avenues for investigation. Since its inception in 1998, CURE has raised more than $10 million to fund 93 cutting-edge research projects.

Boulder, Denver researchers elected as fellows

Three University of Colorado at Boulder faculty members and two University of Colorado School of Pharmacy researchers have been named fellows of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for 2009.

Cumalat Johnson McKnight
Agarwal and Carpenter
Agarwal Carpenter
The three Boulder faculty members are John Cumalat of the physics department, Thomas Johnson of the integrative physiology department and Diane McKnight of the civil, environmental and architectural engineering department.

Raj Agarwal and John Carpenter are two of only eight Pharmaceutical Sciences AAAS fellows elected in 2009.

The five were among 531 AAAS fellows elected by their peers for efforts to advance science or foster scientifically or socially distinguished applications. They will be honored at the Fellows Forum during the AAAS annual meeting, Feb. 20 in San Diego.




Leader in sustainable development new director of real estate program

Susan Watts, a nationally recognized leader in sustainable development, has been named executive director of the University of Colorado Real Estate Center, an academic real estate program for graduate and undergraduate students attending the Leeds School of Business.

Watts spent 25 years in senior management for development industry leaders in California, Arizona and Florida. She also taught at the University of Arizona's School of Renewable Natural Resources.

"Susan's background in academia, her thorough knowledge of the real estate industry and commitment to sustainability make her the ideal candidate to lead the CU Real Estate Center into its exciting next chapter," said Byron Koste, founding director of the 12-year-old center.

In her new position, Watts will continue to enhance the graduate and undergraduate real estate curriculum; maintain and expand relationships with local, state, and national professional associations to foster best practices in real estate development and management; and provide opportunities to apply best practices and research related to public and private land use and environmental groups.

"I look forward to working with the dedicated members of the CU Real Estate Council, led by incoming Chairman Sherman Miller, the CU Real Estate Foundation and the top-notch faculty to provide the skill sets necessary for the next generation of students entering an industry that is focused on sustainable development," Watts said.

She also will develop student internships and recruit and provide guidance to the center's director of the Initiative for Sustainable Development. The search process for the new director for sustainable development is under way; Watts is participating on the search committee and is currently interviewing candidates.

Philosophy professor to lead international organization


David Hildebrand, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado Denver, was recently elected president of the Southwestern Philosophical Society, an association of scholars and philosophers founded in 1936.

The group provides a forum for philosophical and scholarly research. Originally serving philosophers in the American Southwest, it has been for many years been a national and international society, with its own journal, Southwest Philosophy Review.



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