Produced by the Office of Communications // April 19, 2012
Cooley to address graduates at commencement
World-renowned surgeon and Texas Heart Institute founder Denton Cooley, M.D., has been named this year’s commencement speaker.
Commencement for the Class of 2012 is set for 4 p.m. Friday, May 25 in the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Surgeon-in-chief and president emeritus of the Texas Heart Institute, Cooley also is chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, a consultant in cardiovascular surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital, and a clinical professor of surgery at the Medical School.
He received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins and also completed surgical training there. He trained for a year with Lord Russell Brock in London, where he participated in the first intracardiac procedures in England. He served as a member of the Baylor College of Medicine faculty for 18 years.
He performed the first successful human heart transplant in 1968, and in 1969 became the first heart surgeon to implant an artificial heart in man.
His numerous honors and awards include the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award; the Rene Leriche Prize, the highest honor of the International Surgical Society; and the National Medal of Technology. He is the author or co-author of more than 1,300 scientific articles and 12 books, including his memoir, “100,000 Hearts.”
“We are honored to have Dr. Cooley as our guest speaker at this year’s commencement and look forward to celebrating graduation with our students and their families,” Dean Giuseppe Colasurdo said.
CenteringPregnancy® program supports high-risk pregnancies at LBJ
CenteringPregnancy®, a national model of group care for underserved pregnant women, is being launched at the Harris County Hospital District’s Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital as part of a new study by Medical School researchers.
“Studies have shown that there are fewer preterm births and greater patient satisfaction for patients delivering at a hospital with this program,” said Dr. Silvia Linares, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and lead investigator of the study, which will focus on high-risk pregnancies.
Part of the non-profit Centering Healthcare Institute, CenteringPregnancy® has three central components: healthcare assessment, education, and support. Other institutions using the program include Vanderbilt, Yale, and Harvard.
The program will begin with two groups of 15 women who are matched for gestational age. At their two-hour group appointment, each woman will be seen separately by her physician, as well as take part in group educational and skill sessions, such as learning how to take their blood pressure. As patients build relationships with each other, they establish a peer support group, Linares said.
Amerigroup, which was founded in 1994 to meet the needs of families enrolled in publicly-funded health care programs, is funding the $35,000 study.
— Deborah Mann Lake, Office of Advancement, Media Relations
Wright wins CCS Research Award
Dr. Anthony Wright, professor of neurobiology and anatomy, is the 2012 recipient of the Comparative Cognition Society (CCS) Research Award.
The CCS Research Award honors scientists who have made major contributions to the understanding of animal cognition during their career. The recognition was established in 2002.
Wright received his award at the 19th International Conference on Comparative Cognition in Melbourne, Florida, in March, where he delivered the master lecture and was honored by a symposium and banquet focusing on his work.
“I was surprised and a bit overwhelmed, but at the same time delighted to be chosen by this prestigious international society as the recipient of the Research Award and have my work celebrated at their annual meeting,” he said.
Wright’s current research is centered on the learning and memory processes of animals and humans.
“Currently we are focused on exploring processes of (retrieval) inhibition that are responsible for memory changes that occur during retention, as well as how previously studied material can interfere with memory for later studied material,” he explained. “We’ve devised tasks where pigeons and rhesus monkeys can perform accurately in these same memory tests and be directly compared to humans.
“Another project involves studying object and location memory in these different species which are the ‘what’ and ‘where’ components of episodic memory. In addition to these behavioral tests, we are recording and specifying which human brain regions are active during these different types of memory in the fMRI scanner. We plan to extend these memory findings to patient populations that suffer memory loss.”
Wright received his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and his master’s and doctorate degrees in psychology from Columbia University. He joined UTHealth in 1972 as an assistant professor of neural sciences in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. He became a professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy in 1995.
His awards include a Fogarty Senior International Fellowship from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and the Alexander von Humbolt Prize.
Founded in 1999, the CCS is a scientific society dedicated to gaining a broad scientific understanding of the nature and evolution of cognition in humans and animals.
— Darla Brown, Office of Communications, Medical School
Harris County Medical Society roster available
The new 2012 Harris County Medical Society/Houston Academy of Medicine Pictorial Roster is now available for purchase.
It is the membership directory of the largest county medical society in the United States, with nearly 11,000 members and contains alphabetical and by-specialty listings of the 7,000 practicing physician members. This is a helpful tool for patient referral and to develop referral relationships by specialty and geography. Additionally, it includes addresses, phone numbers, board certifications, and medical school graduation information.
Events to know
Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology Seminar Series: Dr. A. Mark Evans (University of Edinburgh) presents, “The Lkb1-AMPK signalling pathway is required for carotid body activation and thus the regulation of breathing by hypoxia.”
2 p.m., MSB 2.135.
The First Year Medical Class Silent Auction to Build Mgaraganza, Tanzania's First Secondary School.
5:30–7 p.m., Fifth Floor Gallery.
Learn more and/or contribute.
Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Seminar Series: Dr. Paul Hardin (Texas A&M University) presents, “Deconstructing Transcriptional Feedback Loops that keep Circadian Time.”
Noon–1 p.m., MSB 2.135.
Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology Seminar Series: Dr. Brian Wadzinski (Vanderbilt University) presents, “Novel regulatory mechanisms for PP2A family members, key regulators of the cell.”
4–5 p.m., MSB 2.135.
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds: Dr. Nubia Lluberes, resident, presents, “Psychiatry and the Media.”
Noon–1 p.m., HCPC Auditorium.
Family & Community Medicine Grand Rounds: Dr. Nicolas Martinez presents, “PGY III Case Presentation.”
1–2 p.m., MSB 2.135.
UH Friends of NSM Distinguished Lecture Series: Dr. Bruce Spiegelman (Harvard) presents, “Toward a New Generation of Therapies for Diabetes, Obesity and Muscular Disease.”
7–8 p.m., Rockwell Pavilion.
Read more information.
Clinical Research Education— Basic: “Facilitating Excellence in Clinical Trial Management.”
Visit the website for information, fee schedule, and registration.
Department of Surgery Grand Rounds: Dr. Sherry Sixta, surgical critical care fellow, presents, “Thromboelastography (TEG): An overview of clinical applications and resultant treatment strategies in the management of trauma patients.”
7–8 a.m., MSB 3.001.
CME Credit is available.
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Seminar Series: Dr. John Taylor (University of California, Berkeley) presents, “Population genomics, natural selection and adaptive evolution of fungi.”
10:45 a.m., MSB 2.135.
Achieving Communication Excellence (ACE) Lecture Series: Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov (University of Manitoba) presents, “What’s Dignity Got To Do with It? Emerging Opportunities in Palliative Care.”
Noon–1 p.m., Hickey Auditorium, R11.1400, MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Lunch will be provided to the first 150 attendees.
Food for Thought: A Cocktail Reception Celebrating Healthy Brains.
6:30–9 p.m., The Houston Museum of Natural Science, Grand Hall, 5555 Hermann Park
Get expert brain and spine health tips from Medical School neurologists and neurosurgeons affiliated with Mischer Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hermann and enjoy brain-healthy refreshments and a Central Market-sponsored cooking demonstration. To register, please call 713.222.CARE (2273).
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Alliance hosts the 10th Annual William P. Blocker, MD Distinguished Lectureship: presented by Dr. Daniel Dumitru, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.
8 a.m.–noon, Baylor College of Medicine, Kleberg Auditorium.
Concepts in Contemporary Cardiovascular Medicine Symposium.
Hosted by Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute and the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, highlights of this interactive, hands-on symposium include sessions on structural heart disease, TAVR, emerging interventional therapies for acute stroke, as well as developments in antiplatelet and antithrombotic therapy, a half-day STEMI symposium, and simulator training.
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds: Dr. Ashutosh Atri, resident, presents, “Disaster Psychiatry: The Pediatric Patient.”
Noon–1 p.m., HCPC Auditorium.
Women Leading the Way Spring Lecture: Dr. Mary Estes (Baylor College of Medicine) presents, “A Passion for Questions and Gastrointestinal Viral Pathogens.”.
4 p.m., MD Anderson, FCT/ Pickens 3rd Floor, Rooms 3–6.
Medical School Research Committee Workshop: “Infectious Disease”, chaired by Dr. Steve Norris, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine.
9 a.m.–noon, MSB 2.135.
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds: Dr. David Kupfer (University of Pittsburgh) presents The Cooper Lectureship, “On the Road to DSM-5.”
Noon–1 p.m., Cooley Conference Center, 7440 Cambridge.
Clergy/Physician Colloquium: Dr. Kenneth Pargament (Bowling Green) presents, “Vital Signs: Spiritual Assessment and Spiritually Integrated Interventions.”
8 a.m.–3 p.m., Dun Rio Grande Conference Room, The Methodist Hospital.
Register by May 14.
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds: Dr. Sanjay Adhia, resident, presents, “Treatment Resistant Depression.”
Noon–1 p.m., HCPC Auditorium.
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds: Dr. Huiping Xu, resident, presents, “A Complicated Case.”
Noon–1 p.m., HCPC Auditorium.
Don Meade, M.B.A., 53, director of business development for UT Physicians, died Sunday, April 15, 2012, following a battle with cancer.
A graduate of Indiana University, he had served UT Physicians since 2001.
Information regarding services will be forthcoming.
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