January 12, 2001
Volume XXXIV, No. 2


What they said 10 years ago

In the Spring 1991 issue of the university magazine, The Mission, a number of UTHSC researchers accepted the challenge to prognosticate about the future of their fields. The article was titled "2001: Health Science on the Horizon." Here are short excerpts from their right-on-the-money essays.

"By then the human genome will be mapped ... information will be available, in most cases, that will permit researchers to synthesize genes in the correct DNA sequence for use in gene therapy." Dr. Barbara Bowman, cellular and structural biology

"By 2001, we will be able to design more targeted drugs that will actually fit certain receptors in the body. Better targeting will lead to fewer adverse effects." Dr. Alexander Shepherd, pharmacology

"Refinements will enable MRI to largely replace x-rays by the end of the 21st century. Today, perhaps one person in 100 has had an MRI scan. By 2001, up to 20 percent of the population will have had firsthand experience with MRI." Dr. Gary Fullerton, radiology

"Discovery of biological components underlying many emotional conditions will expand and change what we think of as psychiatric illnesses. These changes will affect the way we view and deal with conditions such as alcoholism and smoking." Dr. Charles Bowden, psychiatry

"Doctors will perform much more surgery in technically different ways. Microsurgery is attracting interest among young surgeons ... I expect this field to expand in its capacity to repair severely injured limbs and body parts." Dr. Arthur McFee, surgery

"Safe and inexpensive drugs will be available to reduce high blood cholesterol levels in persons who do not respond to dietary modification." Dr. Henry McGill, pathology

"The future will involve more work on fetal health. Perinatal obstetricians, neonatologists and pediatric surgeons will collaborate to detect and correct conditions prior to births." Dr. Marilyn Escobedo, pediatrics/neonatology

"In the future, drugs will be designed and refined to improve various health conditions that result from the body's resistance to insulin, including hypertension." Dr. Ralph DeFronzo, medicine/diabetes

"I believe we will understand the development of cancer at the genetic level. We will be able to determine a person's probability of developing cancer based on certain DNA tests on a blood sample." Dr. William McGuire, medicine/medical oncology

"We are living in a rapidly aging society, and in the year 2001 aging problems will be among our most serious health care challenges." Dr. Byung Yu, physiology

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