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‘We’ is key in battling disease

March 2011

William L. Henrich, M.D. MACP
William L. Henrich, M.D. MACP
Professor of Medicine
UT Health Science Center
at San Antonio
On average, the discovery and development of new, safe and effective treatments take about 12 to 15 years at a cost of around $800 million. But research is worth the time, risk and expense, accounting for millions of lives saved and nearly $500 billion a year in economic gains in the U.S.

The University of Texas Health Science Center is a core contributor to those achievements, being the chief catalyst for the $24.5 billion biosciences and health care industry in San Antonio alone.

This issue of Mission illustrates that fact eloquently with examples of how our researchers and clinicians are working together to translate lab findings into real remedies that immediately benefit patients.

Previously held notions of researchers toiling over microscopes in solitude no longer hold true. Today, the research arena is a very dynamic place, bustling with energy and cooperation.

In Homer’s "The Iliad," as Diomedes prepares for war, he rallies his fellow soldiers: "By mutual confidence and mutual aid, great deeds are done, and great discoveries made."

With the same wisdom and enthusiasm, our scientists battle deadly diseases every day. Similarly, they don’t attempt it alone. They reach out to their colleagues, partners and advocates across South Texas and the globe for support.

You’ll read how Timothy Duong, Ph.D., who is featured on the cover, is collaborating with researchers at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Their studies, funded by the San Antonio Life Sciences Institute, are advancing the development of new methods to detect the debilitating disease glaucoma.

The impressive South Texas Research Facility, specifically designed to encourage teamwork among scientists, will provide further opportunities for research collaboration. The building is set to open this fall.

At the Cancer Therapy & Research Center, Ian M. Thompson, M.D., director, is leading translational science by example, with research that is already benefiting prostate cancer patients worldwide.

Finally, the partnership and generosity of CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital, featured on page 24, are fine examples of all of our missions – research, clinical care, education and community service – in action. Endowments from the Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital Foundation are allowing the recruitment of stellar clinicians, such as Naveen Mittal, M.D., who is saving the lives of South Texas children in desperate need of liver transplants.

I could not be prouder of these achievements or more grateful for your support. Together, we are meeting our mission to make lives better – one discovery, one treatment and one student at a time.


William L. Henrich, M.D. MACP
Professor of Medicine
UT Health Science Center at San Antonio


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