October 8, 1999
Volume XXXII No. 40


HSC inventors to receive European patents

oximeter

Drs. A.P. Shepherd (left) and John Steinke, Department of Physiology, hope to develop new applications for their portable blood-analyzing technology. Here the oximeter sits atop a conventional unit.




Five European countries--Denmark, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom--are issuing patents this fall on a portable blood analyzer invented at the Health Science Center. The 4-pound, battery-powered instrument, known as an oximeter, measures oxygen, hemoglobin and other substances in blood and is useful for diagnosing problems such as heart defects.


The technology, invented by Drs. A.P. Shepherd and John Steinke of the Department of Physiology, is licensed by Avox Systems Inc. of San Antonio. More than 700 hospitals in 18 countries have purchased various models of the oximeter since the first model reached the market six years ago.

"These patents are important to the company and the university," said Dr. Shepherd, who founded Avox Systems in 1976. "They give the university and the licensee the exclusive right, in those countries, to continue the commercial development of this technology."

The oximeters shine light through blood samples at different wavelengths and compute the percentage of absorption of each wavelength. "By measuring how much light is absorbed at each wavelength, we can deduce the percentage of hemoglobin saturated with oxygen and the oxygen content of each blood sample," Dr. Shepherd said.

Three products now on the market are based on this technology. The first is a whole-blood oximeter that is used in cardiac catheterization laboratories to measure oxygen saturation. The second is a portable co-oximeter that makes additional measurements including carboxyhemoglobin, a substance found in the blood of carbon monoxide poisoning victims. The third product is a co-oximetry module that is incorporated into a multi-purpose analyzer manufactured under a sublicense to Instrumentation Laboratory, based in Lexington, Mass., and Milan, Italy.

Conventional co-oximeters stand 2 feet tall, weigh 50 pounds and analyze blood samples in 90 seconds. The Health Science Center inventions perform the same functions in 10 seconds. They also weigh only 4 pounds and cost roughly half as much as conventional instruments.

"Because this technology lends itself to miniaturization, we can design small, portable instruments for near-patient testing," Dr. Shepherd said. "Clinicians can use these instruments at the bedside. This gives them information as quickly as possible, which may result in better management decisions and earlier discharge dates for the patients."

Drs. Shepherd and Steinke plan to develop additional instruments from this technology. They are applying for Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants for that purpose, which may result in additional research and development innovations at the Health Science Center.




Health Science Center wraps up
another successful charitable campaign

Despite the earlier time frame and several competing concerns, this year's State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) raised a record--$214,000. The final figure was up 3 percent from last year's total and 36 percent of Health Science Center faculty and staff individually contributed to the campaign.

The SECC Coordinating Council's campaign rode the tide of success of the 1999 NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs, whose chairman Peter Holt is this year's chair of the general campaign for the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County. Holt delivered the keynote address at the Health Science Center's SECC Leadership Breakfast.

In addition to a Spurs Coyote photo opportunity and a campus basketball challenge won by information management services, the SECC Advisory Council held its first Silly Hat Contest, won by Dr. Gary White, student services, and first runner-up Barbara Ballentine, bursar's office. The Second Annual Hawaiian Shirt Contest was won by Gregory DuValle, educational resources, and first runner-up Kathleen "Cookie" Boehme, physiology. This year's Taco Wars were won by custodial services. The grand prize dinner at Sea World for overall best campaign performance went to pediatrics. Eliza Reyna, purchasing, won the drawing for two free airline tickets.

Departments in four size categories also won prizes. In recognition of total contributions received, the Office of the Bursar and the Departments of Anesthesiology, Psychiatry and Purchasing won taco breakfasts. Prizes for the largest amount in per capita giving went to the Office of the Allied Health Sciences Dean, and the Departments of Otolaryngology, Pathology and Pediatric Dentistry. At 140 percent, the Office of the Nursing Dean took the award for the greatest participation. The Telecommunications and Networking Department had the greatest percentage increase in participation over the 1998 campaign--69.9 percent--and MSRDP had the greatest increase in the number of donors over the 1998 campaign--46 additional donors.

Prizes for the most money contributed to SECC went to the Department of Medicine (first prize), the Office of the Medical Dean (second prize), and the Department of Molecular Medicine (third prize).

Dr. Deborah Greene, vice president for institutional effectiveness and planning and this year's Health Science Center campaign coordinator, remarked that despite the growth in SECC-related events, this year's campaign was challenging. Setting a new record is a very welcome outcome.

"If it were not for the continued support of the more than 1,900 individual donors who were able to contribute this year, including first-time participants from the School of Public Health and retirees who were invited to participate, and the new leadership donors who contributed $25,000 new dollars to our campaign, we would not have been able to meet the challenge," said Dr. Greene. "I am very proud of what this Health Science Center has been able to achieve for the community."

The kickoff for the general campaign was held Oct. 5, and a community goal of $32 million was announced. The pacesetter campaign total of $13.2 million was applauded. A major activity of the general campaign is the Days of Caring, held Oct. 19-23. This year's project will be the creation of a 23-acre park in an under-served Northeast neighborhood. For more information, contact Joe Ocampo at ext. 2980, or email him at <ocampo@uthscsa.edu>.




Year 2000 countdown begins
for Health Science Center

In dealing with upcoming Year 2000 issues, the Health Science Center has employed the dual strategy of preparation and communication in the face of its own unique Y2K challenges.

Work began in 1995 to convert the university's mainframe administrative systems for Y2K compliance. The Health Science Center then formed a 14-member task force devoted to Y2K issues in 1997, targeting and items on campus that may be vulnerable to Y2K problems, including research equipment, building automation, security systems and outside vendors the institution uses to conduct business.

In conjunction with the task force, a coordinator was picked from each of the university departments to serve as a primary contact on Y2K topics and to identify potential problems with his or her department's equipment. Departments also have been urged to contact outside vendors and manufacturers who supply researchers with samples or equipment and to find out if these organizations are Y2K compliant.

Jim Barrett, academic liaison in the Computing Resources Department, said more than 380 companies were identified as providing critical supplies and services to the university, and each was sent a letter requesting information on its own compliance status. The vast majority of companies have responded to the university and outlined strategies and actions.

The Health Science Center has a Web site devoted to Y2K that includes
a database of the suppliers and vendors who are in compliance with Y2K standards, and a tool that allows faculty and staff to check their own computer software for problems.

Barrett said one of the major areas of attention for Y2K is the Health Science Center's research, because so much depends on temperature control and electrical power.

"There are so many research projects dependent on power," Barrett said. "Many projects are temperature sensitive and the loss of electricity can destroy years of research."

In an effort to prevent potential research disasters on Jan. 1, the task force asked departments to identify appliances that hold specimens and important supplies. Those devices should either connected to the university's emergency power system, or should be part of another contingency plan.

The task force has been communicating with faculty and staff members regularly through brochures and the university Web site detailing possible Y2K issues, including what effect the date change will have on direct deposit and university services, and how those matters have been addressed.

"We have always felt communication was as important as any of the other issues," said Dr. Frank Stafford, director of the Computing Resources Department and chair of the university's Y2K task force. "Fear isn't the only thing we have to worry about, but it is one issue."

The Health Science Center has been working with other area businesses on Y2K matters through the Greater San Antonio Area Y2K Coalition. The group exchanges information and ideas on how to deal with problems, and being a part of the coalition has provided the Health Science Center with points of contact for some of the area's largest companies.

"We are trying to present the information honestly and allay some of the fears," Dr. Stafford said. "I think this institution is reasonably well prepared."




Spirit of Giving meeting set for Oct. 19

The Gifts for Children program will hold its annual kickoff meeting Tuesday, Oct. 19, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in room 4.484T.

Through the Gifts for Children program, Health Science Center employees raise money for and donate hundreds of presents throughout the year to children who are hospitalized or receiving clinical care.

The Oct. 19 Gifts for Children meeting is open to anyone interested in helping the gifts drive.


books


The Special Events Council held a book fair Sept. 29, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 in the third-floor snack area of the Medical School to benefit Gifts for Children. Faculty, staff and students were able to browse the stacks for discount books, stationery and children's educational activities. Proceeds from the book fair will support the charitable program.




Newly Granted

The following new and competitive renewal grants and awards were recorded in the Office of Grants Management for July 1999.


Biochemistry

"Biochemistry/Molecular Biology of OP-1," Dr. John Lee, Stryker Biotech, $662,400, 2 years.


Cellular & Structural Biology

"Virologic & Immunologic Studies of Murine CMV Retinitis," Dr. Sally Atherton, National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Eye Institute (NEI), $60,000, 1 year.

"Selecting New Coding Sequences by PCR with CDNA Primers," Dr. Pudur Jagadeeswaran, NIH/Kalgen Inc., $125,078, 1 year.


Dean, Nursing School

"Professional Nurse Traineeship Program," Dr. Janet Allan, Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS)/Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), $43,498, 1 year.


Family Nursing

"Mexican-American Infant Feeding Beliefs," Dr. Sara Gill, Texas Department of Health, $4,075, 3 months.

"Nurse Practitioner & Nurse Midwifery Program," Dr. Judith Longworth, DHHS/HRSA, $302,450, 1 year.


Family Practice

"Environmental House Calls," Dr. Claudia Miller, The National Environmental Education & Training Foundation Inc., $15,000, 1 year.


Institute of Biotechnology

"Multicorn as an Example of Regulation of Proteolytic Activities of Large Complexes on a Molecular Level," Dr. Maria Gaczynska, National Science Foundation, $389,260, 2 years.

"Cancer Suppression by the Retinoblastoma Gene," Dr. Wen-Hwa Lee, NIH/National Cancer Institute (NCI), $1,038,784, 9 months.


Medicine

"Host Genetic Determinants of HIV Pathogenesis," Dr. Sunil Ahuja, NIH/National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID), $643,363, 1 year.

"Intergovernmental Personnel Act Agreement for Jerry Alan Bates," Dr. Robert Clark, South Texas Veterans Health Care System, $54,247, 2 years.

"Development of Pressure, Volume Relationships in Small Animal Hearts," Dr. Marc Feldman, Millar Instruments Inc., $26,300, 1 year.

"Randomized, Controlled Trial of SCH 56592 Oral Suspension vs. Fluconazole Suspension in the Treatment of Oropharyngeal Candidiasis (OPC) in HIV-Positive Patients," Dr. John Graybill, Schering-Plough Research Institute, $29,571, 2 years.

"Primary Care Residency Program," Dr. Mark Henderson, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, $45,000, 1 year.

"Study of Intravenous Immunoglobulin in Generalized Myasthenia Gravis," Dr. Carlayne Jackson, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, $9,259, 1 year, 8 months.

"Targeted Antibody Inhibition of Bone Metastases by Prostate Cancer," Dr. Xiaochun Li, Department of the Army, $83,642, 2 years.

"Effects of Tumors on the Skeleton," Dr. Gregory Mundy, NIH/NCI, $5,355,647, 5 years.

"A Double-Blind, Randomized, Multicenter Trial Comparing the Efficacy & Tolerability of 250 MG of Faslodex with 20 MG of Nolvadex in Postmenopausal Women with Advanced Breast Cancer," Dr. Peter Ravdin, Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, $67,997, 1 year.


Ophthalmology

"Evaluation of Photo-oxidative Stress in H-Tert Transfected Cells," Dr. Randolph Glickman, Geron Corporation, $33,993, 5 months.


Orthopaedics

"Characterization of Wear Debris Produced at Sulzer Orthopaedics," Dr. Mauli Agrawal, Sulzer Orthopaedics Inc., $30,000, 1 year.


Pathology

"Clinical Utility of EBV Viral-Load Assays in HIV Patients," Dr. Margaret Gulley, Cancer Therapy & Research Center, $42,709, 1 year.

"Biomarkers of Clinical Outcome in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma," Dr. Margaret Gulley, Cancer Therapy & Research Center, $40,296, 1 year.

"GPS-014/QDA FDA Clinical Susceptibility Study," Dr. James Jorgensen, Biomerieux Vitek, $14,000, 6 months.

"Analytic Laboratory Agreement," Dr. Michael Rinaldi, Novartis Consumer Health Inc., $89,900, 1 year.


Pediatrics

"HIV Pediatric Surveillance," Dr. Victor German, Texas Department of Health, $1,276, 1 year.

"A Randomized, Comparative Study of Alatrofloxacin vs. Centriaxone with Optional Vancomycin in Children with Bacterial Meningitis," Dr. Hal Jenson, Pfizer Inc., $24,000, 1 year.

"Texas Genetics Network," Dr. Celia Kaye, Texas Department of Health, $39,489, 1 year.


Pharmacology

"Analytical & Pharmacokinetic Analysis of MGI 114," Dr. John Kuhn, MGI Pharma, $38,024, 1 year.

"A Randomized, Double-Blind, Amlodipine & Losartan-Controlled Study of Omapatrilat in Subjects with Mild to Moderate Hypertension," Dr. Alexander Shepherd, Bristol Myers Squibb, $29,855, 6 months.


Psychiatry

"Program for Minority Research Training in Psychiatry," Dr. Charles Bowden, American Psychiatric Association, $33,012, 1 year.

"Technical Services for Psychotherapeutic Drug Levels," Dr. Martin Javors, University Health System, $3,600, 1 year.

"The Texas Approach to Psychosocial Rehabilitation Plan," Dr. Delia Saldana, Texas Department of Mental Health & Mental Retardation, $50,000, 2 years.

"The Texas Approach to Psychosocial Rehabilitation Plan," Dr. Delia Saldana, Texas Department of Mental Health & Mental Retardation, $2,000, 2 years.


Radiology

"DNA-Damaging Agents & Apoptosis in Prostate Cancer," Dr. Barbara Woynarowska, NIH/NCI, $546,575, 4 years.


Respiratory Care

"A Randomized, Controlled Study to Evaluate the Role of an In-Home Asthma Disease Management Program Provided by Respiratory Therapists in Improving Outcomes & Reducing the Cost of Care," Dr. Terry Legrand, American Association for Respiratory Care, $115,378, 2 years.


Student Services

"Pell Grant Program," Dr. Robert Lawson, Department of Education, $446,126, 1 year.


Surgery

"Educational Support for the Portland Bone Symposium" Dr. John Schmitz, NIH/National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), $9,375, 1 year.

MERIT honoree heads team studying gene therapy for kidney inflammation Dr. Hanna Abboud, professor of medicine and chief of the Nephrology Division, is seeking genetic keys to slow or even reverse kidney damage. His research findings soon may help those who are susceptible to renal disease, freeing them from the threat of kidney failure and the confinement of blood-filtering dialysis treatments.

Dr. Abboud is one of about 10 Health Science Center researchers who hold the prestigious MERIT designation from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). MERIT, which stands for "Method to Extend Research in Time," provides long-term, stable support for an investigator's research program. Dr. Abboud's lab team is studying potential gene therapy for glomerulonephritis, which is inflammation of the capillaries or small blood vessels in the kidney.

In addition to receiving the MERIT Award in 1998, Dr. Abboud's team captured a highly competitive Research Enhancement Award from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Only two renal research programs received this funding nationwide; the other program is in South Carolina. Dr. Abboud is the principal investigator on this grant, which brought support of more than $1.3 million to the Health Science Center and matching funds in the same amount to the South Texas Veterans Health Care System.

Co-investigators on the "Gene Therapy for Glomerulonephritis" grant are Drs. Dan Riley, Jeffrey Barnes, Sherry Abboud, Balakuntalam Kasinath and Goutam Ghosh-Choudhury, all from the Department of Medicine.

The researchers have identified several signaling molecules involved in the progression of kidney inflammation. This inflammation, called glomerulonephritis, results in about one-third of all cases of end-stage renal disease. Patients with this severity of disease must undergo dialysis treatment regularly to remove waste products from their bodies. Currently the damage is irreversible. The scientists hope to find gene therapies to halt the inflammation process and prevent end-stage renal disease.

Dr. Abboud and his colleagues plan to study experimental models of renal disease (mice and rats) investigating ways to neutralize the effect of the culprit molecules. "We want to knock out action at specific points in inflammation pathways," he said. The result may be a significant breakthrough in the prevention and treatment of kidney disease.




MERIT honoree heads team studying
gene therapy for kidney inflammation

Dr. Abboud

Dr. Hanna Abboud, profssor of medicine and chief of the Nephrology Division, is seeking genetic keys to slow or even reverse kidney damage. His research findings soon may help those who are susceptible to renal disease, freeing them from the threat of kidney failure and the confinement of blood-filtering dialysis treatments.

Dr. Abboud is one of about 10 Health Science Center researchers who hold the prestigious MERIT designation from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). MERIT, which stands for "Method to Extend Research in Time," provides long-term, stable support for an investigator's research program. Dr. Abboud's lab team is studying potential gene therapy for glomerulonephritis, which is inflammation of the capillaries or small blood vessels in the kidney.

In addition to receiving the MERIT Award in 1998, Dr. Abboud's team captured a highly competitive Research Enhancement Award from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Only two renal research programs received this funding nationwide; the other program is in South Carolina. Dr. Abboud is the principal investigator on this grant, which brought support of more than $1.3 million to the Health Science Center and matching funds in the same amount to the South Texas Veterans Health Care system.

Co-investigators on the "Gene Therapy for Glomerulonephritis" grant are Drs. Dan Riley, Jeffrey Barnes, Sherry Abboud, Balakuntalam Kasinath and Goutam Ghosh-Choudhury, all from the Department of Medicine.

The researchers have identified several signaling molecules involved in the progression of kidney inflammation. This inflammation, called glomerulonephritis, results in about one-third of all cases of end-stage renal disease. Patients with this severity of disease must undergo dialysis treatment regularly to remove waste products from their bodies. Currently the damage is irreversible. The scientists hope to find gene therapies to halt the inflammation process and prevent end-stage renal disease.

Dr. Abboud and his colleagues plan to study experimental models of renal disease (mice and rats) investigating ways to neutralize the effect of the culprit molecules.

"We want to knock out action at specific points in inflammation pathways," he said. The result may be a significant breakthrough in the prevention and treatment of kidney disease.




Health Science Center committee
to develop policy for campus facilities

In 1986, the Health Science Center's Executive Committee adopted guidelines for allocating space to academic departments. Thirteen years later, a new Health Science Center committee, chaired by Dr. Deborah Greene, vice president for institutional effectiveness and planning, will re-examine that policy and make recommendations to expand it to include administrative, educational, clinical and research space. Allocations for utilities, telephone and network wiring also will be addressed.

The committee is charged with providing a report and recommendations to Dr. John P. Howe, III, president, by next Sept. 1. Campus locations at 7703 Floyd Curl, 8403 Floyd Curl, the Texas Research Park, and at leased sites in San Antonio will be affected by the allocation policy when it is approved.

The committee will consider and report on administrative (both academic departments and educational support departments), clinical (excluding inpatient care), educational, infrastructure and research space; appropriate factors for each function on which space allocation decisions will be based; priority of space allocations for new multidisciplinary research programs; allocations for replacement faculty and for new faculty lines; allocations for health, safety and utilities; and allocations of administrative support space as a function of clinical, educational or research expansion.

Progress on the committee's work will be provided in future News articles and through broadcast e-mail messages. The committee will solicit input from members of the Health Science Center community as well as feedback when a draft report is available. In October members of the committee will visit faculty councils and assemblies and directors' meetings to provide information about the committee's activities.

In addition to Dr. Greene, committee members include William Allen, medicine; Dr. Olav Alvares, periodontics; Tom Baggs, Center for Distance Learning and Telehealth; Dr. Ann Burgardt, emergency medical technology; Delbert Gonzalez, accounting; Dr. Brenda Jackson, acute nursing care; Dr. Bankole Johnson, psychiatry; Dr. Merle Olson, biochemistry; Carol Van Natta, university relations; Dr. Gary Sertich, intellectual property administration; Daniel Sibley, facilities management; and Linda Styles, planning. Other Health Science Center faculty and staff will be asked to join several subcommittees that will be addressing the five space categories in detail.

To ask questions about or provide input into the committee's activities, please contact Dr. Greene at <Greened@uthscsa.edu>.




Of Note

New electronic services available at Briscoe Library

The Briscoe Library is now offering access to netLibrary, a virtual library of more than 5,000 full-text reference, research and textbooks converted to digital format to become "e-books."

Individuals may browse or conduct searches on individual e-books or the entire collection within netLibrary. The service is available through the full-text books link on the library's Web page .

Through its membership in the Texas State Library Program, Briscoe Library also has received access to Ethnic NewsWatch, a database of full-text newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press.

The Ethnic NewsWatch database is available through the databases and catalog link on the library's Web page. For more information, contact Rajia Tobia or Linda Levy at ext. 2400.


Volunteers participate in health fair at Sea World of Texas

Health Science Center volunteers operated several health fair booths at the Express-News Sports Fiesta Challenge 8K run on Saturday, Oct. 2, at Sea World of Texas.

During the event, Health Science Center volunteers provided eye screenings using the Lions Club Mobile Eye Screening Unit, and gave out information about health issues including dental hygiene and scoliosis.

The Health Science Center was one of the sponsors of the first-time race and 5K walk, which attracted more than 3,000 participants.


Days of Caring begins Oct. 19

The United Way's October Days of Caring are beginning Tuesday, Oct. 19, with the construction of a 23-acre park in an underserved Northeast neighborhood. The project will run daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Saturday, Oct. 23.

The project is designed to provide the neighborhood with a safe place for recreation. During the week, volunteers will be constructing softball fields, creating a nature trail and laying a parking lot.

Volunteers should dress appropriately for outdoor labor in work boots, gloves, and if possible, long-sleeved shirts. Bill Miller's will provide lunch at a cost of $5 in advance or volunteers may bring their own lunches. For more information, contact Mary Yanes at ext. 2205 or e-mail her at <yanes@uthscsa.edu>.


Spurs tickets available

Tickets for the San Antonio Spurs games will be on sale Tuesdays and Thursdays in the third floor Medical School foyer from noon to 1 p.m. Ticket sales are sponsored by the Health Science Center Special Events Council.

Season opener packages will be available, including a preseason game against the Houston Rockets. Prices for tickets range from $32 to $69 and must be paid with cash or a check.




Run 4 Life run and walk scheduled for Oct. 9

The Health Science Center is a contributing sponsor of the Oct. 9 Run 4 Life race to benefit breast cancer screening programs and treatments.

The 5K run/walk begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at the Valero Energy Building. The course will run through Brackenridge Park and conclude at the Valero Building. Children 12 and under can take part in the Children's Fun Run quarter-mile course. All participating children will receive a prize at the finish line. Cash prizes will be awarded to the first place men's and women's finishers and to the first place men's
and women's masters finishers in the competitive divisions.

Registration fees range from $10 for children age 12 and under to $20 for competitive runners. Proceeds help provide free screening mammograms for uninsured women who are at risk for breast cancer.

The event also will include a health fair with information booths on cancer screening programs, nutrition, diabetes and many other programs.

For more information on the race or to register online, visit the Web site, or call the message line at 616-5504.




Warm reception

reception


Incoming Health Science Center students from abroad were welcomed by the HSC International Alliance at a recent dinner reception. From left: International students Song Gao, Hui-Min Tseng, Houyi Wang, Jinsook Chang, Houng-Ru Lin and Xulei Liu mingled and enjoyed the food at the welcome reception.




Telecommunications and Networking
operators move to new location

Effective Oct. 1, the Telecommunications & Networking telephone operators have relocated from room 117E to the Telecommunications & Networking Services area in room 425L.

Customers may now come to room 425L to pick up long-distance calling cards and authorization codes.




Profiles in Medicine: Dr. Francisco Cigarroa

Dr. Cigarroa

Dr. Francisco Cigarroa said pediatric surgery and transplantation was the last thing he thought he would be doing. Yet, now he can't imagine doing anything else. "It's a tremendous joy to be able to do this," he says. "You can really make a difference."

Dr. Cigarroa, assistant professor at the Health Science Center, performs pediatric surgery at the Medical School in 1995. In 1997 he was part of the surgical team led by Dr. Glenn Halff, director of organ transplantation programs, that split one adult donor liver and transplanted it successfully into two recipients–an adult woman and a 5-month-old boy–for the first time in Texas. Because of the pronounced lack of organ donors among children, this technique of using a sliver of an adult liver in a child represents a huge advance in pediatric transplantation surgery.

Another highlight in his career has been the success of kidney transplants at the Health Science Center. "Transplants are exceedingly complex and labor intensive. They require strong teamwork. Our success has been achieved because of that teamwork," he said. Dr. Cigarroa is currently working with Drs. Robert Esterl and Scott Bishoff on laparoscopic donor nephrectomy (surgical removal of a kidney with minimal incisions).

In addition to transplants, Dr. Cigarroa also performs general pediatric surgery. His tiny patients sometimes weigh less than a pound. "There are huge physiological differences between children and adults," said Dr. Cigarroa. "For one thing, you have to be exquisitely knowledgeable about fluid balance when working on an infant."

Dr. Cigarroa received his undergraduate degree at Yale University in 1979, followed by medical school at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and a residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. During his residency he performed research on fetal growth factors and their potential for inhibiting growth of tumors.

Dr. Cigarroa was introduced to the field of transplantation during a general surgical fellowship at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, and immediately signed on for a second fellowship in transplants.

His move to San Antonio in 1995 felt like coming home, he says. The son of an eminent Laredo physician, Dr. Cigarroa was born and raised in South Texas. "It's delightful to be able to help the region I grew up in," he said. In keeping with the family commitment to medicine, two of his brothers are also physicians, with practices in Laredo.

When he isn't working, Dr. Cigarroa relaxes by playing classical guitar. He spends virtually all his free time with his wife, Graciela, and their two daughters, Christina and Barbara.




Calendar for Oct. 11-17

Monday, October 11
6:30 a.m.
Podiatry Case Conf. (LEC: 2.010)
7:00 a.m.
Orthopaedic Grand Rounds "Metabolic Bone Disease" (MED: 309L)
7:30 a.m.
Neurosurgery Grand Rounds "Concurrent Craniotomies for Multifocal Cerebral Tumors," Dr. Mick Perez-Cruet, Wilford Hall Medical Center (MED: 444B)
8:00 a.m.
Medical Housestaff Specialty Conf. "Residents & Interns: M&M" (MED: 409L)

Tuesday, October 12
8:00 a.m.
Medical Housestaff Specialty Conf. "Hypertension," Dr. Mulrow (MED: 409L)
8:00 a.m.
Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery Grand Rounds "Concepts, Confusion and Conflicts in Cases of Facial Fracture," Col. William Clark, M.D., Wilford Hall Medical Center (MED: 444B)
8:00 a.m.
Rehab Medicine Lecture Series "Special Seating & Wheelchair Cushions," Dr. Donald Currie (UH: Reeves Rehab Center 3rd-floor classroom)
9:00 a.m.
Training Office "How to Use All Copy Machines" (5th-floor Dental School-call ext. 2320 to register)
9:00 a.m.
Training Office "Library Pathways" (Library room 2A-call ext. 2320 to register)
10:00 a.m.
TNT "Health Information Management: Preventing Fraud & Abuse with Coding Compliance," Lynn Marlow, Texas Medical Association, Austin (call ext. 2700 for information)
Noon
Medicine Research Conf. "The Effects of Thyroid Hormone on Signal Transduction," Dr. Paul Davis, Albany Medical College (MED: 209L)
1:30 p.m.
TNT "Laboratory Technology Issues: Chronic Hematologic Disorders," Keila Poulsen, Columbia Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, Idaho Falls, Idaho (call ext. 2700 for information)
4:00 p.m.
Molecular Medicine Seminar Series "DNA Damage & Genomic Instability," Dr. William Morgan, University of Maryland (LEC: 3.002)

Wednesday, October 13
6:30 a.m.
Podiatry Grand Rounds (MED: 309L)
7:00 a.m.
Vascular Surgery Grand Rounds, Dr. Mellick Sykes (MED: 209L)
8:00 a.m.
Medical Grand Rounds "Cardiovascular Risk Management of the Diabetic Lessons from Recent Clinical Trials," Dr. Kenneth Cusi (MED: 409L)
8:30 a.m.
Training Office "Filing System" (call ext. 2320 to register)
9:00 a.m.
Surgery Trauma M&M Conf., Dr. Ronald Stewart (MED: 309L)
10:00 a.m.
TNT "Environmental Services: The Environment of Care & Environmental Services," Gary Butrymowicz, Healthcare Management Alternatives Inc., Vashon Island, Wash. (call ext. 2700 for information)
10:00 a.m.
TNT "Laboratory Management: Clinical Services Management," Peter Martin, Finger Lakes Regional Health System, Geneva, N.Y. (call ext. 2700 for information)
Noon
Cellular & Structural Biology Seminar "Role of Mitochondrial Calcium & pH in Oxidant-Induced Apoptosis," Dr. Brian Herman (MED: 209L)

Thursday, October 14
7:30 a.m.
Thoracic Surgery Resident Teaching Conf. (VA: 4th-floor CT Library A404)
7:30 a.m.
Obstetrics & Gynecology Grand Rounds "Episiotomy: The Surrounding Evidence," Dr. Donald Dudley (MED: 309L)
8:00 a.m.
Neurology Grand Rounds "Alternative Medicine in Neurological Illness," Dr. Susan Rogers (MED: 444B)
9:00 a.m.
Training Office "Educational Resources Tour" (Dental School room 4.476T-call ext. 2320 to register)
11:00 a.m.
TNT "Radiology: Breast Imaging & Intervention," Dr. Pamela Otto (call ext. 2700 for information)
Noon
Pulmonary, Thoracic & Oncology Conf. (MED: 309L)
4:00 p.m.
Surgery Tumor Conference, Dr. Anatolio Cruz (MED: 209L)
4:00 p.m.
Pharmacology Dept. Arthur Briggs Lectureship "How Does a White Blood Cell Know Where to Crawl?" Dr. Henry Bourne, University of California, San Francisco (MED: 409L)
4:00 p.m.
Anesthesiology Grand Rounds "Methods for Motor-Evoked Potential Monitoring," Dr. Tod Sloan (UH: 212)
4:30 p.m.
Citywide Thoracic Grand Rounds Conf. "Case Presentations," Dr. Allan Brants (MED: 309L)

Friday, October 15
8:00 a.m.
Medical Housestaff Specialty Conf. "SVT/Ablation," Dr. Lawrence Widman (LEC: 3.102B)
8:00 a.m.
Rehab Medicine Lecture Series "Wheelchair Prescription," Drs. Charles Dempsey & Donald Currie (UH: Reeves Rehab Center 3rd-floor classroom)
8:30 a.m.
Continuing Dental Education "A Truly Comprehensive Course in Dental Esthetics," Dr. J. William Robbins (call ext. 3177 for information)
Noon
TNT "Histotechnology: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Antigen Retrieval But Never Bothered to Ask," Karlya Wheeler, Dartsmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, N.H.(call ext. 2700 for information)
Noon
Center for Ethics & the Humanities in Health Care "Medical Uncertainties Revisited," Dr. Renee Fox, University of Pennsylvania (MED: 309L)

Saturday, October 16
7:15 a.m.
Surgical Physiology Conf., Dr. Kenneth Sirinek (MED: 209L)
8:30 a.m.
Continuing Dental Education "A Truly Comprehensive Course in Dental Esthetics," Dr. J. William Robbins (call ext. 3177 for information)
9:00 a.m.
General Surgery Grand Rounds, Dr. Wayne Schwesinger (MED: 209L)


Index of issues

THE NEWS is published Fridays by the Office of Public Affairs for faculty and staff of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Vice President for University Relations.....Judy Petty Wolf
Executive Director of Development & Public Affairs.....Dr. Charles Rodriguez
Editor.....Will Sansom
Writers.....Myong Covert, Catherine Duncan, Heather Feldman, Jennifer Lorenzo
Photographers.....Jeff Anderson, Lee Bennack, Lester Rosebrock
Designer.....Kris Doyle
Web Editor.....Joanne Shaw
Production.....Printing Services


Office of Public Affairs, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78284-7768
(210) 567-2570