Jan. 4, 2002
Volume XXXV, No. 1


Year in Review


Proud Moments of 2001

The year of the Sept. 11 attacks will never be forgotten. Health Science Center faculty and staff made many noteworthy contributions during this time of testing and triumph.


Photo Dr. Ravikumar Hanumanthaiah (left), cellular and structural biology, and Ph.D. student Michael Gregory are part of the UTHSC research team studying normal and abnormal coagulation in zebra fish models.

• The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Research Resources Program funds six grant proposals totaling more than $210,000.

• Dr. Sunil Ahuja, medicine/infectious diseases, becomes the first UTHSC faculty member to receive the Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. He is one of four doctors honored nationwide.

• Dr. Frank Harrison is named president emeritus. Dr. Harrison was the Health Science Center's first president from 1972 until 1985.

• UTHSC scientists develop the first zebra fish model for blood clotting. Their goal is to identify genes that play a role in clotting diseases.

• Health Science Center doctors perform the first NeuroControl™ FREEHAND® System surgery in the state of Texas. The procedure enables a patient to move paralyzed hand muscles by using external electrical stimulation.


Photo of Baker painting

• Medical illustrator David Baker paints a portrait of sisters Barbara and Jenna Bush. President Bush brings the painting to the White House.

• Dr. John F. Alderete, microbiology, is elected as a fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology.

• Dr. David V. Espino, community and family medicine, is appointed to the National Institute on Aging National Advisory Council.

• The scientific journal Nature publishes a landmark paper co-authored by Dr. Susan Naylor and Dawn Garcia, cellular and structural biology. Dr. Naylor worked with colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine and Washington University to sequence human chromosome 3. The chromosome accounts for 7 percent of a person's genetic blueprint.

• The National Institute of Mental Health selects the UTHSC to become one of 18 sites in a nationwide bipolar study. Dr. Charles L. Bowden, psychiatry, serves as the principal investigator.

• The University of Texas System Board of Regents approves planning authority for graduate-level academic programs in the life sciences to be offered jointly by the UTHSC and UTSA.

• Dr. Peter M. Ravdin, medicine/medical oncology, and his team design a computer program that helps doctors discuss breast cancer options with patients. The Journal of Clinical Oncology reports on the program in its Feb. 15 issue.


• UTHSC researchers identify key brain circuits that activate when a person is short of breath. The findings may one day help explain the severity and frequency of breathlessness in conditions such as asthma, congestive heart failure, emphysema and panic disorder.

• The UT System Board of Regents names a major research center "The Sam and Ann Barshop Center for Longevity and Aging Studies" in honor of the former UT System Regent and his wife. The Barshops donated $4 million to the project.

• Dr. Jaime R. Garza, surgery/plastic and reconstructive surgery, is named associate vice president, South Texas/Border Region initiative.


• The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism selects the UTHSC to conduct a major new alcoholism treatment study called Combining Medications and Behavioral Interventions (COMBINE).

• Drs. Barbara Boyan and Peter Fox are awarded fellowship in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

• The UTHSC launches the San Antonio Center of Biomarkers of Risk for Prostate Cancer project, known as SABOR. The ambitious five-year, 10,000-patient effort is designed to improve screening and testing for prostate cancer. Dr. Ian Thompson, surgery/urology, is the principal investigator.


• In what is considered a major coup for aging research, the Health Science Center recruits three of the nation's top scientists. Drs. James R. Smith, Olivia M. Pereira-Smith and Peter J. Hornsby agree to leave Baylor College of Medicine in Houston to work in San Antonio.

• Dental students hold the ninth annual Miles for Smiles event and raise more than $2,500 for preventative dental care programs in underserved schools.

• U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm tours the Texas Diabetes Institute and meets with Health Science Center faculty and staff.

Photo Dr. Francisco G. Cigarroa, president, greets U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm at the Texas Diabetes Institute.

• Dr. Judy Teale, professor in the department of microbiology, is inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

• The UTHSC hosts the 17th annual Fiesta de Tejas event. More than 9,000 people take part in the festivities.

• The Houston Endowment donates $1 million to the Center for Biomolecular Structure Analysis. The grant funds equipment for the research facility.

• Dr. Gustavo Román, professor of medicine/neurology, is appointed as a consultant to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

• The fourth annual Mini-Medical School is hailed as a success. More than 1,000 participants come to the Health Science Center campus for this free educational course.


• The Texas Senate confirms San Antonian Cyndi Taylor Krier to the UT System Board of Regents. Krier served as Bexar County judge for eight years. She resigned the post to become a regent.

• The Southwest Texas Addiction Research & Technology (START) Center holds its grand opening May 11. The facility serves as a center for substance abuse treatment and research.

• The Medical School names Dr. Stanley Culotta, a 1978 graduate, the 2001 Distinguished Alumnus. Dr. Culotta is the principal of Holy Cross High School on San Antonio's West Side.

• The UT System Board of Regents approves a new graduate degree program for physician assistants at the Health Science Center.

Group photo
President Cigarroa, Dr. Steven Wartman and Dr. Leonel Vela lead medical students on a visit to a RAHC clinical site. A Harlingen neonatologist also is pictured.

• First-year medical students begin rotating through Harlingen, the site of the Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC) Medical Education Division. The facility is expected to open in July 2002.

• A federally funded agreement establishes an early acceptance program between St. Mary's University and the Health Science Center School of Medicine.


• Graduating dental students rank third in the nation on overall National Board Part II scores. It is the highest recent ranking for a class of senior dental students from the UTHSC.

• The San Antonio Area Foundation awards 20 grants totaling $379,257 to the Health Science Center.

• The School of Nursing announces an endowment in honor of Texas First Lady Anita Thigpen Perry during a luncheon sponsored by the USAA Foundation. More than 700 community leaders attend. Mrs. Perry is a graduate of the UTHSC School of Nursing.

Gov. Rick Perry and First Lady Anita Perry listen as Dean Janet Allan, nursing, announces that Mrs. Perry is the school's 2001 Distinguished Alumna.

The Hopkins Medical News features Dr. Steven A. Wartman, dean of the School of Medicine and executive vice president for academic and health affairs, in the article "The Grads Who Would Be Dean."

• Dr. Aurelio Galli, pharmacology, receives the 2001 Lyndon Baines Johnson Research Award from the Texas Affiliate of the American Heart Association.

• Dr. Gregory R. Mundy, medicine/endocrinology and metabolism, is named the SBC Communications Chair and director of the Cancer Therapy and Research Center's Institute for Drug Development.

• Dr. Brad H. Pollock is selected to direct the Center for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, a joint program of the Health Science Center Children's Cancer Research Center and the San Antonio Cancer Institute.

• Dr. Gale L. Haradon, occupational therapy, receives the prestigious Roster of Fellows Award from the American Occupational Therapy Association.

• The 77th Texas Legislative Session yields a $1.2 billion budget increase for UT System general revenue appropriations for direct operations and employee benefits. The approved salary increase means a 4 percent raise or $100 a month pay increase for non-faculty employees.

• The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences awards the UTHSC a $3.5 million grant to develop new mouse models for environmental disease. The Health Science Center is one of five institutions selected nationally.


• Steve Lynch is named as the Health Science Center's executive vice president for business affairs.

• Dr. Mary MacDougall, pediatric dentistry/dental dean's office, wins the 2001 Pulp Biology Research Award from the International Association for Dental Research.

• Dr. Lily T. Garcia is named chairman of the department of prosthodontics.


• Dr. Carlos Roberto Jaén is named chairman of family and community medicine.

• Dr. Arthur S. McFee retires from his position as head of general surgery after 34 years of service.

• The Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games recognizes UTHSC's South Texas Environmental Education and Research Center with the international 2001 Spirit of the Land Award.

• The UTHSC enrolls men in SELECT (the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial). SELECT is the largest-ever prostate cancer prevention trial, enrolling 32,400 men, including 500 at the Health Science Center.

• Prevent Blindness of Texas honors Dr. W.A.J. van Heuven, chairman of the department of ophthalmology, with the People of Vision Award.

Balloons are released as President Cigarroa and area children symbolically break ground for the Children's Cancer Research Center.

• Dr. Charles L. Bowden, professor and chairman of psychiatry, receives the Gerald Klerman Lifetime Research Award at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.

• The Health Science Center breaks ground on the new Children's Cancer Research Center. The $50 million facility will house some of the nation's leading investigators. The CCRC is supported by a $200 million endowment, the nation's single largest cancer endowment.

• During the President's Council luncheon, the Development Board and President's Council hear highlights of Health Science Center achievements and growth and future goals for the UTHSC.

• Dr. Lawrence Harkless, orthopaedics/podiatry, is appointed by Gov. Rick Perry as the chair of the Texas Diabetes Council.

• The Institute for Biotechnology celebrates its 10th anniversary. General Robert F. McDermott is the honored guest.

• Researchers headed by Dr. Bankole Johnson, psychiatry and pharmacology, report further conclusions about drugs that show promise in preventing cocaine-induced strokes among users.


• The office of intellectual property administration is renamed the office of technology ventures, relocates to its new quarters in the San Antonio Technology Center on Magic Drive and is reorganized to provide a higher level of service to the faculty.

• Faculty, staff and students, as well as leaders from across the United States and Mexico, gather at the Health Science Center Sept. 7 to celebrate the investiture of Dr. Francisco G. Cigarroa. More than 1,000 witness the proud moment as Dr. Cigarroa is officially installed as the third president of the UTHSC. Dr. Cigarroa is the first Hispanic to lead a U.S. health sciences university.

UT Regent Patrick C. Oxford assists fellow Regent Cyndi Taylor Krier in placing the Presidential Medallion over Dr. Cigarroa's head.

• The first Artistic Expressions art show is held at the Health Science Center. More than 250 faculty enjoy entries by faculty and staff. More than $2,700 is raised from the event to benefit the newly formed Student Catastrophic Aid Fund.

• Students and faculty return in the fall to find new, state-of-the art technology in their classrooms. The Permanent University Fund (PUF) provides more than $2 million for equipment upgrades.

• The UTHSC responds to the Sept. 11 "attack on America." Student nurses raise funds for the United Way of New York City. Dr. Cigarroa allows employees leave time in observance of the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance proclaimed by President George W. Bush.

• Dr. Robin Brey, medicine/neurology, and colleagues at the University of Maryland School of Medicine identify antibodies that seem to double the risk of strokes and heart attacks in men. The study conclusions are published in Stroke.



• Dr. David Senn, head of the preceptor fellowship program in forensic dentistry, travels with fellow members of the Region VI Disaster Mortuary Team (DMORT) to the site of the World Trade Center disaster to assist in identifying the bodies of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.

• Dr. Karl Klose, microbiology, receives a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to pursue studies that will lead to oral vaccines for anthrax and tularemia, two potential biological weapons.

• More than 100 people join Dr. Cigarroa and General Robert F. McDermott, chairman emeritus of USAA, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the McDermott Building.

• Dr. Janet Allan, dean of the School of Nursing, receives the 2001 Nursing Excellence Award from NurseWeek magazine.

General Robert F. McDermott and President Cigarroa celebrate the McDermott Building's 10th anniversary.

• Dr. Mary Dunn is appointed as chair of the department of chronic nursing care.

• Dr. Peter Hornsby, physiology, receives the prestigious Glenn Foundation Award for his research of Alzheimer's disease.

• The Health Science Center is part of a collaborative study that finds the drug Proleukin is possibly the most effective way to treat kidney cancer. Dr. Geoffrey Weiss, medicine, conducts the study in San Antonio.

• Dr. Inmaculada del Rincón, medicine, is the first Health Science Center investigator to receive the K23 Career Development Award in Patient-Oriented Research from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and the Arthritis Investigator Matching Award grant from the Arthritis Foundation and the American College of Rheumatology.

• The PREMIEre Program celebrates its 20th anniversary.


• Dr. Jan Patterson, medicine, and Drs. Charles Bauer, Ladona Farinacci, and Ronald Stewart, surgery, represent the Health Science Center at a seminar on bioterrorism. The UTHSC broadcasts the discussion live to more than a dozen sites across South Texas.

• Dr. Cigarroa and Dr. Charles Cotrell, St. Mary's University president, sign a cooperative agreement that will allow St. Mary's students seeking bachelor's degrees in nursing to take their last two semesters at the UTHSC.

• Drs. Rajam Ramamurthy, pediatrics, and Gail B. Williams, family nursing care, are among 13 educators from throughout the city presented with the prestigious Yellow Rose Award in recognition of their lifetime devotion to teaching.

• Dr. Antonio Furino, family and community medicine, establishes the Health Science Center's Regional Center for Health Workforce Studies.

• The Meadows Foundation awards the Health Science Center $345,000 to establish the South Texas Psychiatric Genetics Research Center, where scientists will seek to improve the identification and treatment of patients with bipolar disorder.

• Dr. Suhad Hadi, orthopaedics/podiatry, oversees testing of diabetic patients with the Peripheral Specified Sensory Device (PSSD). Dr. Hadi's tests and follow-up surgical procedures help restore sensation in the feet of diabetic patients.

• Health Science Center faculty and staff celebrate and share in the University Health System's second consecutive Top 50 Hospitals ranking in U.S. News & World Report.

• Sandra Cedillo, Brian Purcell, Liz Buel, Tania Bardyn and Dina Perry are honored with the Employee Excellence in Service Awards.

• The Health Science Center's first Hispanic Health Initiatives Summit is hailed as a success.


• Dr. Bankole A. Johnson, Wurzbach Distinguished Professor and pioneer investigator in the area of alcoholism and drug addiction, is selected to receive the 2001 Dan Anderson Research Award.

• The UT System Board of Regents approves a proposal to establish a master of science in clinical investigation degree program at the Health Science Center.

• The Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions selects Dr. Marilyn S. Harrington, dean of the School of Allied Health Sciences, to receive a Fellows Program Award.

Dr. Carmelito Arkangel, surgery, hold aloft the Olympic Torch.

• The American Association of Respiratory Care selects Dr. David C. Shelledy, respiratory care, to serve as its next president.

• Dr. Bettie Sue Masters, the Robert A. Welch Foundation Chair in Chemistry in the department of biochemistry, is selected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

• The pathology labs at the Health Science Center receive accreditation with distinction from the Commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists.

• The Dental School is awarded status as a Hispanic Center of Excellence, making the Health Science Center the only one in the country to have Hispanic Centers of Excellence in both medicine and dentistry.

• Dr. Jaime Garza, associate vice president, South Texas/Border Region initiative, is inducted into the National Hispanic Sports Hall of Fame.

• The UTHSC unveils the architectural rendering for the Hidalgo County Medical Research Division of the Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC). The $20 million facility will occupy 45,500 square feet.

• Drs. Carmelito Arkangel, surgery, Charles Coltman, medicine, and Deborah Lundblade, a 1982 graduate of the School of Medicine, each take a turn carrying the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Torch through the streets of San Antonio.