A Message from the President
"What a profound responsibility it is to do this work. Historians will consider this a turning point."
American physician-geneticist Dr. Francis Collins once spoke of the great responsibility associated with his research and leadership of the Human Genome Project. Because of his landmark discoveries of disease genes, he was described as one of the most accomplished scientists of our time.
At The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, our faculty researchers truly understand Dr. Collins’ philosophy. They work to make groundbreaking discoveries every day in areas such as aging, diabetes, cancer and oral health. Not only do they commit their lives to finding cures for diseases that afflict humanity, they take their responsibility further by mentoring the next generation of bioscientists.
On the cover of this issue of Mission is 16-year-old Stephanie Gonzales and her mentor, Veronica Galvan, Ph.D., an assistant professor of physiology and researcher at the Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies. Under Dr. Galvan’s tutelage, Stephanie’s research could one day help lead to the development of drugs that may prevent age-related diseases and extend healthy lifespan. She is one of about 50 high school students who participated this summer in the Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy. Thanks to the generosity of the Max and Minnie Tomerlin Voelcker Fund, our faculty members are preparing students from San Antonio to perform research and advance cures in an array of serious illnesses.
Our students are privileged to receive one-on-one training from outstanding faculty. Over the years, we have recruited some of the world’s top scientists to our Health Science Center.
In this issue, you’ll read about Kenneth Hargreaves, D.D.S., Ph.D., who, in labs in our Dental School, discovered how to block pain-causing compounds in the body, and is now developing a new class of nonaddictive painkillers.
With a $2 million grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), we recruited Dmitri Ivanov, Ph.D., from Harvard University, as the CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research. Page 7 details how Dr. Ivanov is assembling the ultimate team of professionals to fight cancer. They are developing new anti-cancer agents for testing in Phase I clinical trials at our Health Science Center’s Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC).
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