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Events to Know

May 22
Neurosurgery Grand Rounds: Dr. Jaroslaw Aronowski (Department of Neurology) presents, “Experimental Intracerebral Hemorrhages.” 7:30 a.m. MSB 7.037.

Microbiology & Molecular Genetics Seminar Series: Dr. M. Gabriela Bowden (Texas A&M University Health Science Center) presents “The Panton Valentine Leukocidin is a virulence factor in S. aureus necrotizing pneumonia.” 4 p.m., MSB 2.103. Reception to follow in MSB 1.180.

May 27
Department of Pediatrics Research Conference: Dr. Katarzyna Cieslik, Department of Pediatrics, presents “14-3-3e knockout leads to cardiac defect and inhibition of cell cycle progression in the developing heart.” Noon MSB B.100.

May 29
Microbiology & Molecular Genetics Seminar Series: Dr. Kim Orth (UT Southwestern) presents “Black Death, Black Spot, Black Pearl: Tales of Bacterial Effectors.” 4 p.m., MSB 2.103. Reception to follow in MSB 1.180.

June 5
Microbiology & Molecular Genetics Seminar Series: Dr. Jun Liu (Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine) presents “A tale of two pathogens: HIV and Borrelia burgdorferi.” 4 p.m., MSB 2.103. Reception to follow in MSB 1.180.

June 12
Retirement planning Q&A session. UT HCPC first floor auditorium. 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

June 26
Presidential Update from Dr. James Willerson. 11:30 a.m. MSB 3.001.

June 26
Presidential Update from Dr. James Willerson. 11:30 a.m. MSB 3.001.

Microbiology & Molecular Genetics Seminar Series: Dr. Barrett R. Harvey (Institute of Molecular Medicine) presents “Passive protection from enterococcal infection.” 4 p.m., MSB 2.103. Reception to follow in MSB 1.180.

Scoop is a weekly electronic newsletter providing timely information to the Medical School.

Submit event items or news tips for Scoop by noon on Thursday preceding the week of publication in which you would like your event or news to appear (seven days in advance).

To submit content for Scoop, send an e-mail to

Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, M.D.

Brian Minton
Web Developer II

Darla Brown
Director of Communications

December 6, 2007
Produced by the Office of Communications

New research space to be unveiled Dec. 14

The Medical School's New Research Space

The Medical School's New Research Space

Faculty, staff, and students are invited to the Medical School’s ribbon-cutting ceremony opening the new six-story research space at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14.

The special event, which marks the end of the Medical School’s construction following Tropical Storm Allison, will feature 15 ribbon cutters, including Dean Giuseppe Colasurdo, President James Willerson, and chair of the UT System Board of Regents Scott Caven.

The $80.5 million facility, which adds 200,673 gross square feet to the Medical School Building, was built on the site of the two-story former John Freeman Building. The new facility will be dedicated to research, focusing on stem cells and regenerative medicine, emerging infection, cell signaling/membrane biology, and neurobiology and neurosciences. New and existing faculty will move to the building, and it will be used as a recruiting tool to grow these areas of research.

“The opening of this building is a great day in the history of The University of Texas Medical School at Houston as it signifies the important role our faculty, staff, and students play in medical research,” said Dean Colasurdo. “Last year, our research expenditures were nearly $115 million, a six percent increase over the previous year – and an incredible feat given the state of national belt-tightening when it comes to federal research dollars. With this new building, we are showing the community and the nation that we are committed to solving the riddles of disease and improving people’s lives. This additional research space affords us the opportunity to add to our talented pool of research faculty and provides us room to grow.”

The building also will be home to a two-story vivarium, which formerly had been housed in the Medical School’s basement.

“After six and a half years of functioning out of nine different buildings, one of the most exciting things is that the whole team will be back together in a single vivarium,” said Dr. Bradford Goodwin, executive director of the Center for Animal Medicine and Care. “This will allow us to be more efficient and provide the best possible care for the animals. I am proud of our dedicated staff. They’ve been through so much, and through it all, we’ve continued our accreditation with the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory and Animal Care.”

-D. Brown

For more Headlines, see Page 2 Stories   

Willerson, 20 UT Physicians Named as America’s ‘Top Doctors’

Dr. James T. Willerson

Dr. James T. Willerson

The 6th edition of Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. ‘s America’s Top Doctors selected 21 Medical School physicians in 12 of 25 board-certified medical specialties recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. The outstanding physicians listed in this newest edition of America’s Top Doctors represent the top one percent of U.S. physicians, as chosen by their peers.

This volume recognizes Dr. James T. Willerson, president of the UT Health Science Center at Houston, who is known both nationally and internationally as one of the nation’s top experts in cardiovascular disease. 

Full-time Medical School faculty members listed in America’s Top Doctors include: James A. Ferrendelli, M.D., Ernesto Infante, M.D., James C. Grotta, M.D., and Jerry S. Wolinsky, M.D., for neurology; Jon E. Tyson, M.D., for neonatal-perinatal medicine; Richard W. Smalling, M.D., Ph.D., for interventional cardiology; Frank C. Arnett Jr., M.D., and Maureen Mayes, M.D., for rheumatology.  Also included are exceptional physicians Barry D. Kahan, M.D., Ph.D., for surgery; Hazim J. Safi, M.D., for thoracic surgery; K. Lance Gould, M.D., and David McPherson, M.D., for cardiovascular disease; Hope Northrup, M.D., for clinical genetics; J. Marc Rhoads, M.D.,for pediatric gastroenterology; Carmel Dyer, M.D., for geriatric medicine and William K. Hoots, M.D., for pediatric hematology-oncology.

Others listed in America’s Top Doctors are:Susan E. Denson, M.D., Medical School professor of surgery for neonatal-perinatal medicine;clinical professor and department chairman William H. Donovan, M.D., and clinical associate professor and vice chairman Gerard Francisco, M.D., for physical medicine and rehabilitation.  Donovan also is medical director at Memorial Hermann | TIRR, where Francisco is co-director of the brain injury and stroke program.  Another member of America’s Top Doctors is O. H. “Bud” Frazier, M.D., clinical professor, who also holds an appointment with the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital.

Only physicians nominated and reviewed by their medical peers are eligible for recognition in America’s Top Doctors.  About 230,000 doctors were surveyed before evaluators completed a final list of 5,000 top specialists based on each individual’s rigorous medical training, extensive clinical knowledge and experience, and further training in some specialties. These outstanding physicians not only meet these stringent general criteria, but also possess unique skills in their field.

“We are very proud of these and the many other outstanding doctors at UT-Houston who are all committed to excellence,” Willerson said. “To be recognized by one’s peers speaks to the high quality of physician educators and scientists that we are fortunate to have at UT Houston. For the people of Texas and Houston to have these fine doctors here to serve them is a real treasure.”

Most of the named faculty members hold physician appointments with the UT Medical School at Houston’s two primary teaching hospitals: Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center and the LBJ General Hospital in the Harris County Hospital District.

To schedule an appointment with a UT physician, call 1-888-4UT DOCS or log on to

For more Headlines, see Page 2 Stories

Psychiatry resident wins national honor

Dr. Yvette Drake-McLin

Dr. Yvette Drake-McLin

Dr. Yvette Drake-McLin, a second-year child and adolescent psychiatry resident, recently was named a Laughlin Fellow by the American College of Psychiatrists.  

With only 10 selected each year, Laughlin Fellows are chosen from an elite pool of applicants deemed likely to make a significant contribution to the field of psychiatry. 

"I was extremely honored to be nominated for this award,” Drake-McLin said. “To actually be chosen as a recipient was certainly a surprise and honor and reinforces my commitment to child and adolescent psychiatry and the community. I am looking forward to the great opportunities for mentorship and education that this award will provide." 

Drake-McLin graduated from George Washington University of Medicine and completed her general psychiatry residency at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. She is expected to graduate from her current residency in June 2008.

“Dr. Drake-McLin demonstrated tremendous leadership skills during her general psychiatry residency at Louisiana State University in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and has used this experience to further her dedication to community psychiatry, specifically addressing the impact of trauma and disasters,” said her nominator Dr. Cynthia Santos, program director of child and adolescent psychiatry. “There is no question in my mind that she is truly a future leader in our field.”

-D. Brown

For more Headlines, see Page 2 Stories