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University of Colorado Hospital

As the Rocky Mountain region's academic medical center we are always among the first – and sometimes the first – in the nation to bring advanced medicine to the bedside. We are long-recognized as one of America's best hospitals by others ranging from U.S.News & World Report to the American Nurse Credentialing Center.
The University of Colorado Hospital offers a comprehensive benefit package for CARE Team members in regular status positions (benefit eligible) beginning the first of the month after you start with University of Colorado Hospital. The cost to the CARE Team member depends on the plans and levels of coverage selected. Benefits Summary
  • Several Healthcare Plans
  • Two Dental Plans
  • Vision Plan
  • Life Insurance
  • Accidental Death Insurance
  • Dependent Life Insurance
  • Healthcare and Dependent Day Care
  • Discounted Health Club Membership
  • Retirement Plans
  • Generous Tuition Reimbursement Program
  • Generous Continuing Education Program
  • Accrued Paid Time Off (Holiday/Vacation/Sick Time)
  • Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Plans (when eligible)
Retirement Plans
  • Basic Pension plan
  • A 401(a) Retirement Investment Plan
  • Optional 403(b) Matching Account Plan
Career Opportunities
The Anna and John J. Sie Foundation/University of Colorado Grant $1 Million in Down Syndrome Scientific Awards
New Initiative Aims to Eradicate Ill Effects Associated with Down Syndrome

DENVER, Colo (May 10, 2006) – The Anna and John J. Sie Foundation, in conjunction with the University of Colorado, have just awarded $1 million to 13 grant recipients to stimulate new scientific research on Down syndrome with the very bold aim of eliminating the major effects of Trisomy-21. The existence of three copies (typically two) of the 21st chromosome causes 90-95 percent of all cases of Down syndrome.

The grants are part of the Down Syndrome Break-Through Research Initiative, created by the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation through CU in 2005.

As a result of the initiative’s January 2006 Down Syndrome “Call to Action” Symposium, 34 grant proposals including 21 from the CU community and 13 from scientists outside of CU were submitted.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the number and quality of proposals submitted for our grants,” said Michelle Sie Whitten, executive director of the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation. “Our mission is to get a large number of pre-eminent scientists interested in Down syndrome research and to inspire new approaches by providing seed grants to science that focus on eradicating the ill effects of the third chromosome 21 and therefore can lead to life enhancement for people with Down syndrome as soon as possible. This is an amazing first step and it should be very exciting news for the 350,000-plus people with Down syndrome and their families in the United States, and the countless more abroad.”

"What the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation and CU are doing is truly pioneering work. I believe it will help scientists look at Down syndrome from the human perspective and it will help people with Down syndrome in years to come," said Colorado Gov. Bill Owens in a statement. "I am proud that this kind of personal/community-based initiative is happening in our state, and I hope that it serves as a model for other states."

The Initiative began 10 months ago with a summit meeting at CU-Boulder that brought together some of the best minds in science to examine the current state of Down syndrome research and explore new and innovative research approaches.

Nobel Laureate Tom Cech served as the moderator of the summit, and conclusions drawn from the event served as criteria for bestowing what was expected to be six individual grants totaling $600,000. The proposals were so compelling, however, that the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation and CU contributed additional funds to underwrite 13 grants totaling $1 million.

John Sladek, PhD, vice chancellor for research at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center (UCDHSC), is effusive about the Initiative: “This novel initiative sponsored by a partnership between the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation and the University of Colorado is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and already has succeeded in attracting more than two dozen experienced research scientists into the field of Down syndrome research. They all are experts in other related fields of importance to our overall goal of eradicating the disability that occurs in individuals who are born with this genetic disorder. We are extremely pleased with the overwhelming response to our invitation to propose new approaches for Down syndrome research by so many outstanding laboratories in the CU system, throughout the state of Colorado, and from coast to coast in the United States. In fact, there were so many meritorious proposals that we decided to contribute another $300,000 to help match the wonderful gift from the Sie Foundation, which will fund another seven pilot projects.”

The grant selection committee was chaired by Leslie Leinwand, PhD, professor, chair of the Department of Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology at CU-Boulder and a current Howard Hughes Professor. Committee members consisted of highly respected senior members of CU’s faculty, including Thomas Blumenthal, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at UCDHSC; David Braddock, PhD, a UCDHSC professor of psychiatry, executive director of the Coleman Institute, and associate vice president of the CU system; Larry Gold, PhD, a professor of molecular cellular and developmental biology at CU-Boulder, and president and CEO of Somalogics Inc., and Sladek, PhD, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience and vice chancellor for research at UCDHSC.

Grants chosen represent different approaches to tackling Down syndrome, including stem cell research, auto-immune disease investigation, genotyping, bio engineering and clinical drug research. Grant recipients (by primary investigator in alphabetical order) are:

Kristin Artinger, assistant professor, craniofacial biology, UCDHSC – The Use of Neural Crest Stem Cells as a Model for Stem Cell replacement Therapy ($50,000)
Kimberly Bjugstad, instructor, psychiatry, UCDHSC – Neural Stem Cells as Potential for Down Syndrome Using Young and Aged Trisomic Ts65Dn Mice ($100,000)
Mark Dell’Acqua, assistant professor, pharmacology, UCDHSC – Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Altered Excitatory Postsynaptic Structure and Function in Down Syndrome ($50,000)
Ann-Charlotte Granholm, professor, neurosciences, Medical University of South Carolina – Neuroprotective effects of Memantine in Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease ($100,000)
Kenneth Maclean, assistant professor, pediatrics, UCDHSC – Ts65Dn mice as a preclinical model for investigating cognitive enhancement by the acetylcholinesterase ($50,000)
William Mobley , professor, neurology, Stanford University AND Irina Grichtchenko, assistant professor, physiology and biophysics, UCDHSC – Characterization of the pH regulatory systems in Down syndrome: Implication for synaptic and neuronal abnormalities in the dentate gyrus of Ts65Dn mice ($100,000)
Karl Pfenninger, professor, pediatrics, UCDHSC – Role of Down Syndrome Cell Adhesion Molecule in Cognitive Disability ($50,000)
Roger Reeves, professor, physiology, Johns Hopkins University – Genetic modifiers of cognitive function of Down syndrome ($100,000)
Diego Restrepo, professor, cell and developmental biology, UCDHSC – A Systems Neurobiology Approach to Improved Cognitive Ability in Ts65Dn Mice ($100,000)
James Sikela, professor, pharmacology, UCDHSC – Gene Copy Number Variation in Down Syndrome ($100,000)
Richard Spritz, professor/director, Human Medical Genetics Program, UCDHSC – A Chromosome 21 Gene Responsible for Increased Susceptibility to Autoimmune Diseases in Down Syndrome($100,000)
William Strauss, assistant professor, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Department, CU-Boulder – Enabling technology for intervention to the genetic disease, Trisomy 21, Down syndrome ($50,000)
Janas Tadeusz, research associate, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Department, CU-Boulder – A search for membrane RNAs that can inhibit formation of toxic amlyoid aggregates ($50,000)
Dr. Richard Spritz, director of human medical genetics at UCDHSC and a grant recipient is new to the Down syndrome field and excited about the prospects. “The Down syndrome ‘Call to Action’ symposium held at our university in January prompted me to think of new approaches to understanding the genetics of this disorder that affects more than 350,000 Americans and millions more worldwide. I believe that my background and expertise can make a significant contribution to the effort of eradicating the abnormalities associated with Down syndrome. I am extremely pleased to have been selected for one of the awards and look forward to the success of all of the new programs funded by this new initiative through the University of Colorado. It truly is shaping up to be a wonderful team effort,” Spritz said.

Dr. Roger Reeves, a professor of physiology at Johns Hopkins and one of the leading scientists in the field of Down syndrome, is equally optimistic. “These grants are perhaps the most important stimulus to happen in the field of Down syndrome research in years. The Initiative comes at the right time with scientific advancement, Down syndrome parent advocacy for more and better research, and a better understanding of mainstream disease associated with Down syndrome converging to make the environment ripe for real break-through research. My team of investigators could not be more pleased to participate,” he said.

Results of each grant are expected to be published by the end of 2008. One measurement of success for the grants will be the number of recipients who will continue and expand their Down syndrome-related work with subsequent funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The 13 awards will reach 28 scientists throughout the United States, 17 new to the field of Down syndrome, and seven academic institutions, including the University of Arkansas School of Medicine, Eleanor Roosevelt Institute at the University of Denver, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Stanford University School of Medicine, CU-Boulder, and UCDHSC.

Ten departments in the CU School of Medicine and the CU School of Dentistry are involved at UCDHSC, including cell and developmental biology, craniofacial biology, human medical genetics, neurology, pharmacology, physiology and biophysics, pediatrics, psychiatry, pathology, and the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes. CU-Boulder participants include faculty from the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Except in rare cases, Down syndrome results from a spontaneous event that results in having an extra Chromosome 21 (three instead of two) and is not inherited. About one in every 733 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome, making it the most frequently occurring chromosomal condition. More than 5,000 Coloradans and 350,000 people in the United States have Down syndrome. The Anna and John J. Sie Foundation’s goal is to galvanize scientific research with the ultimate goal of eradicating the ill effects of the third chromosome 21 and to make Colorado the best place for people with Down syndrome to live.

For more information, call Michelle Sie Whitten at the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation at (303) 468-6666 or Dr. John Sladek at the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center at (303) 724-3050.
Vision & Mission & Values

University of Colorado Hospital
, the principal teaching hospital for the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, is dedicated to:

Serving the people of Colorado and the nation
Excelling in the education of health professionals
Delivering comprehensive patient care
Acquiring knowledge through research


  • World-class care
  • Amazing service
  • Working together
  • Rock-solid economics


We practice compassionate, patient-centered care.

We deliver amazing service in every encounter with patients, their families and the entire CARE Team.

We provide dedicated, outstanding, professional care and the highest quality education and training through the creative application of knowledge and technology. We strive to continuously improve all that we do.

We act honestly. We treat all persons with dignity and respect, recognizing their individuality.

We make sound financial decisions. We use time, supplies and resources effectively. We keep a clean, neat and comfortable environment.

We recognize our CARE Team as our greatest and most valuable asset.

In addition, we:

  • Communicate effectively

  • Maintain a positive attitude

  • Support each other

  • Encourage personal growth and responsibility

  • Value initiative and innovation

  • Take pride in and responsibility for our performance

  • Embrace change

  • Have fun
University of Colorado Hospital (Map)

University of Colorado Hospital
12401 E. 17th Avenue, A028, Box 6510
Aurora, CO 80045
University of Colorado Hospital is committed to the value of diversity and is an equal employment opportunity affirmative action employer.
The University of Colorado Hospital offers Nurse Internships to provide employment opportunities to BSN nursing students who have completed their first clinical experience. Nurse Interns will work under the supervision of a registered nurse in selected clinical areas. Nurse Interns function as CNA’s with additional specialized skills.