Preserving human dignity, how music inspires medicine and a novel approach to cancer were some of the topics that took center stage in Levin Hall as the UTMB community took part in the innovative, technological event known as TEDMEDLive.

TEDMEDLive (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is an annual event broadcast across the globe from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., whose aim is to “unite leaders who share a common determination to create a better future in health and medicine.”
The 3 1/2-day program is done in a spirit of collaboration and information sharing through 15-minute short talks and presentations, via live simulcast and on-demand viewing, from participating medical colleges, teaching hospitals, government agencies and non-profit institutions around the world.
This was a first for UTMB and was the brainchild of two School of Medicine students: Nick Burns, president of the UTMB chapter of the Texas Medical Association/American Medical Association, and Jordan Brewer, SOM Class of 2016 vice president. The two joined forces and within three months – thanks to the Office of Student Life and a host of volunteers – were able to bring TEDMEDLive 2013 to UTMB. The UTMB event incorporated some of the pre-recorded talks from the national TEDMEDLive event in Washington with featured talks and presentations from UTMB students and faculty.
“The conference on campus was organized to take place the Saturday after the national TEDMEDLive event in Washington, D.C. ended. The timing of the national event coincided with exams and finals for many of the schools here, and yet the students were still able to organize the registration, publicity, local speakers, auditions and rehearsals and secure artwork from a local art gallery to display on stage,” said Mike Cromie, Student Life manager. “This is a perfect example of the kind of leaders our students are and what they become as they progress through their education here at UTMB.”
UTMB TEDMEDLive 2013 was an all-day event made up of three separate sessions, two focused on live speakers and one on highlighted talks from the national event. Students were free to come and go during the day, enjoyed breakfast and were treated to a musical performance of Debussy’s "Fireworks" on the piano from Jessica Bracks, UTMB first-year medical student.
TEDMED’s mission is to spark breakthrough thinking in hopes of a better future in health and medicine for people everywhere by bringing together a diverse community of leading doers and thinkers from many disciplines and fields, who cross-pollinate their insights and ideas.
The UTMB TEDMEDLive lineup certainly lived up to that challenge.
UTMB TEDMEDLive 2013 speakers and topics:
"A Novel Approach to Cancer" by Jazmin Gonzalez, a second-year medical student at UTMB and graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso with a Bachelor of Science in microbiology.
"The Art of Medicine: A Medical Student Perspective" by Parag Sevak, a UTMB fourth-year medical student entering the field of radiation oncology and former director of St. Vincent's clinic in Galveston.
"Can We Preserve the Human Body and Human Dignity at the Same Time?" by Dr. Charleen Moore, a distinguished teaching professor in the department of cellular and structural biology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Moore teaches gross anatomy, medical genetics and the history of anatomy.
“The Exceptionalism of Medicine" by Alex Arnold, a second-year medical student at UTMB. Arnold is the president of the UTMB Class of 2015 and 2013-2014 president of the UTMB Student Government Association.
“We All Wear Different Hats” by Jaipreet Suri, a third-year medical student at UTMBwho graduated cum laude from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance witha minor in psychology. He is a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society.
"Consonance in Harmony — What Being a Musician Has Taught Me About Doctoring" by Dr. Matthew Dacso, a graduate of UTMB's School of Medicine, director of the UTMB Center for Global Health Education and assistant professor in the department of internal medicine. He studied music at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and international development studies at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies.
Each year, TEDMEDLive in Washington, D.C. draws in thousands of people to hear health care-centered talks from a broad range of specialists. Brewer said his goal in bringing TEDMED to UTMB was to not only give the UTMB community a chance to hear the national speakers, but to shine the light on UTMB’s extraordinary diversity and talent.
“TEDMED is critical to UTMB in order to remain connected to the excitement and passion in health care,” Brewer said. “This year the president of the Rhode Island School of Design gave a fascinating talk about how leveraging the principles of design and perspective can be used to help solve the problems in our health care system; cancer specialists provided updates on the latest information about the disease, and data analysts gave their insight about how to tease out information from the endless sea of data in our electronic medical records. By hosting the TEDMEDLive event at UTMB, we had free access to a $5,000 per person event via live streaming, and we had the forum to put the spotlight on the local talent we have here at UTMB through our own live speakers. We need to celebrate the hard work of our UTMB community as we work to promote our institution as one of the premier medical schools in the country.”
TEDMEDLive offers a unique venue for people in health care to come together for a common goal: share information and promote out-of-the-box thinking — ideals that are inherent in UTMB’s culture.
“I thought UTMB TEDMEDLive was important because it brought a new forum to UTMB's students to exchange ideas about our common passion as health professionals,” Burns said. “The TED mission focuses on ‘ideas worth sharing,’ and by bringing this event to campus, we were able to foster a fascinating dialogue between all participants. I think I speak for Jordan as well when I say that, by expanding TEDMED and TED-style events in the future, there is a unique opportunity to make UTMB a center of these ideas worth sharing.”
Not only was the event a great experience for all who participated, it also was a prime example of UTMB’s mission to improve health for the people of Texas and around the world.
“TEDMEDLive benefitted UTMB in that we were able to provide the entire UTMB community access to live and on-demand viewing of the presentations at the national conference,” Cromie said. “This was a wonderful learning experience for the students about how all the departments on campus have to work together to make one event successful. It also gave them the chance to share ideas and collaborate to make this event successful. To sum it all up, this was a prime example of Working Together to Work Wonders.”
Student volunteers:
Michael Gillespie
Patrick Reeves
Alexi Bulloch
Skyler White
Kristyn Guilette
Sultana Peffley
Emily Bray
Adam Flink
Moses Azubuike
Axel Moreira
Alaina Brinley
Jonathan Shie
Jessica Bracks
Stephanie Sipp
Jessica Tedford
Adam Hensley
Valena Martinez Sellers
Ralph "Nick" Burns
Jordan Brewer