CU School of Medicine receives $1.5 million estate gift

Professor’s commitment made 84 years ago for orthopedics research
By Staff

The University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus has received a $1.5 million estate gift from an early CU professor of orthopedics—nearly 70 years after his death—to fund a new endowment in bone pathology research.

When Samuel Fosdick Jones, a leading Denver physician, was retiring from both his practice and his professorship at CU in 1930, he wanted to give back to the place that had given him his “health, practice and wife,” so he established a trust to benefit bone pathology research, which at the time was an emerging specialty in medicine.

The S. Fosdick Jones Fund will benefit research in the Department of Orthopedics in perpetuity. Four significant research focuses within the department will be near-term beneficiaries of this endowment:

  • Degenerative joint diseases led by Karen King, Ph.D., in the Orthopedics Molecular Biology laboratory
  • Bone-fracture repair and pediatric growth plate tissue engineering led by Karin Payne, Ph.D.,  in the Regenerative Orthopedics laboratory
  • Genetics of scoliosis, limb deformity and neuromuscular disorders led by Nancy Hadley-Miller, M.D., in the Musculoskeletal Research Center
  • Bone cancer and musculoskeletal tumor research led by Bennie Lindeque, MMed, Ph.D.

Bone pathology, also known as orthopedic pathology, is a medical specialty that focuses on the diagnosis, care and treatment of patients with disorders of the musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and skin. The Jones Fund, established in the wake of the trust’s liquidation, will support CU Anschutz’s momentum to build one of the nation’s top orthopedics departments.

“There has been a rapid expansion of the CU School of Medicine, and a phenomenal expansion in the musculoskeletal area,” said Robert D’Ambrosia, M.D., chair of the Department of Orthopedics. “During the generation when Dr. Jones was here at CU, there were only a couple of people in orthopedics. In the last 13 years, the orthopedics department has gone from being an under-recognized department to being one of the largest (orthopedics) departments in the U.S., with almost 90 full-time faculty. This gift will substantially aid that.”

Jones served as the head of orthopedics at CU’s School of Medicine from 1917 through 1928, and he was on staff in 1925 when the new medical center near Colorado Boulevard and Ninth Avenue was dedicated. Jones, who died in 1946, left his estate in a trust that for many years distributed income to friends and family. Upon the death of the last beneficiary, the balance of this trust reverted to CU to benefit surgical bone pathology.