* Regents rally 'round the Pac-10
* Governor makes flexibility official
* Co-chairs to lead Staff Council in coming year
* The Bard is back in town
* Five questions for Brian Shimamoto
* Renowned geneticist heralds in new era for people with Down syndrome
* Did you know?
* People
* Letters to the editor
  Study finds ocean may have covered one-third of Mars
  New pedestrian walkway nears completion
  Maymester a call to action for students studying in Guatemala
  UCH receives prestigious nursing designation
  Book honors local writer and alum
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CU pain research gets royal nod from Spain


Linda R. Watkins, distinguished professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has won Spain's Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research.

The award, announced this month, recognizes Watkins' groundbreaking work in understanding the mechanisms and potential control of pain. She shares the 2010 award with two other leading pain researchers, University of California physiologist David Julius and University of Jerusalem biochemist and geneticist Baruch Minke.

Working independently, the trio has "discovered, from complementary approaches, the causes and mechanisms via which pain is produced and perceived, as well as other sensations such as cold, heat and taste," the Prince of Asturias Foundation stated.

"I am deeply honored to be selected for this prize, with my co-recipients Dr. Julius and Dr. Minke," Watkins stated. "There are numerous people who have importantly contributed to the understanding and recognition of glia as powerful modulators of pain and opioid actions, both within my laboratory and beyond."

Watkins and her colleagues are striving to develop new drugs that enhance the ability of opioid drugs to treat pain, while decreasing negative side effects such as tolerance, dependence and addiction.

The Asturias prizes, which will be formally awarded in the autumn, include a stipend of 50,000 Euros and a sculpture by artist Joan Miro. The Prince of Asturius Foundation bestows eight awards annually to encourage and promote "the scientific, cultural and humanistic values that form part of mankind's universal heritage."

Watkins, who has been at CU since 1988, is a CU President's Teaching Scholar and directs the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Ph.D. program. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute for Mental Health, the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke, the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, and the National Institute for Drug Abuse. She has written or co-written more than 250 book chapters, review articles and journal articles.

Professor of medicine earns 'Colorado Nobel'


Charles Dinarello, a professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado Denver, recently was awarded the Bonfils-Staton Award, also known as the Colorado Nobel Prize.

Dinarello is considered one of the founding fathers of cytokines, which are signalers secreted by certain immune system cells and play a role in inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

This year, Dinarello also was awarded the 2010 Ehrlich Prize, one of the most prestigious international prizes awarded in recognition of achievements in immunology, cancer research, microbiology and chemotherapy. Dinarello received the honor for his contributions in the field of cytokines.

In 2009, Dinarello was jointly awarded the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research for his work in cytokine research. The $500,000 Albany Prize is the United States' largest prize in medicine. Dinarello also was jointly awarded the $500,000 Craford Prize in Polyarthritis by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, presented to him by the King of Sweden. Dinarello donated the prize money to the Interleukin Foundation, which he founded to help fund biomedical research.

Dinarello received his medical degree from Yale and was a professor of medicine at Tufts University. He has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Professor, youth advocate earns kudos from state

Elaina Verveer, a youth advocate and professor at both Naropa University and the University of Colorado-Boulder, was recognized May 15 for her years of work in the community when she was awarded the title of 2010 "Outstanding Civic Leader" by the Colorado Governor's Commission on Community Service.

Because of Verveer's work and passion, youth all over our county are creative positive change in
the community. Elaina works with middle, high school and college students all over the county, inspiring all of them to make the community a stronger place. She teaches such classes as "The Art of Community Organizing," "Democracy, Education and Social Change," "Renewing Democracy in Communities and Schools," and "Teaching Social Justice," in which she supports college students as they create positive change in the area. Secondary school participants in her "Public Achievement" program have marched from Boulder to Lafayette on Cesar Chavez Day for immigration reform and produced public service announcements about local teen violence, changing school and local policy, and addressing various – inequities in the community.

Members of the Lafayette Youth Advisory board, a group of middle and high school students that work with the Lafayette City Council to address issues impacting local youth, with Verveer's help have successfully raised funds for a Layfayette skate park.

Lafayette Mayor Chris Cameron said, "You can bet that if young people are doing something good in Lafayette, Elaina has been involved somewhere along the line."

UCH nurse named practitioner of the year


Tracey Anderson, MSN, CNRN, FNP-BC, was named Nurse Practitioner of the Year for 2010 at the recent National Conference of Nurse Practitioners (NCNP) in Chicago. Anderson is a critical care nurse practitioner and director of neurocritical care program development at University of Colorado Hospital.

The award "honors excellence in clinical expertise, leadership, community service, and education."

In nominating Anderson for the award, Mary Tierney, RN, MSN, ANP-BC, FNP-BC, nurse practitioner in neurovascular interventional radiology, wrote, "(Anderson) has a true gift for caring and exemplifies all the attributes that this award represents.... She is respected by patients, families, physicians, staff, students and peers and is known as the 'go to person' when clinical advice or direction is needed."

Effort to improve efficiency nets half-million dollars in savings

Andrea Buchmeier, director of clinical research in the Clinical Investigations Core at the University of Colorado Hospital, helped lead an effort to reduce inefficiencies in billing trial sponsors and insurance companies that has reduced the number of disputed claims by 40 percent and saved the hospital more than $500,000.

Clinical trials patients account for about 20,000 research-related encounters each year. About 5 percent of the hospital's total charges are billed to trial sponsors.

Last spring, Buchmeier and Mary Schumer, the hospital's regulator and financial affairs administrator, approached hospital leaders for help with a system that caused bills to "age" past 90 days, many uncollectible.

Dropping names ...


Stephan Durham, College of Engineering at the University of Colorado Denver, recently was selected by a Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) research study panel for a CDOT-funded 18-month research grant for his proposal entitled "Developing Criteria for Performance-Based Concrete Specifications." The goal of this study is to establish criteria for performance-based concrete specifications for Colorado. ... Deputy Chief Doug Hayes of the University Police at the University of Colorado Denver recently completed testing to become a Certified Protection Professional (CPP). This certification is administered by the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS); there are only 10,000 people worldwide who have achieved this certification. Hayes was tested regarding security vulnerabilities, policies, planning, training, budgeting, response coordination, and preparedness evaluation. ... Anu Ramaswami of the University of Colorado's College of Engineering delivered the key note speech at the recent Colorado School of Mines 2010 Forum on Philosophy, Engineering and Technology. Her speech was titled "Challenges in Sustainability Engineering Design for Whom, How and Why?" An abstract of her presentation can be found at http://philengtech.org/.



Want to suggest a colleague — or yourself — for People? Please e-mail information to Jay.Dedrick@cu.edu

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