Dr. William C. Levin

Memorial Service for Dr. Levin

The UTMB family lost one of its most prominent members when UTMB President Emeritus Dr. William C. Levin passed away on Jan. 28.

A campus service to celebrate Dr. Levin’s life and legacy will be held at 4 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 28 at William C. Levin Hall, 10th and Market streets. A reception will follow the service in the Levin Hall Foyer.

Under Levin’s leadership, the UTMB campus in Galveston was transformed — with new facilities and endowments to support the university’s vital mission, a twofold increase in external research support, new degree programs that helped define the future of health care, and a renewed commitment to diversity that has become an integral part of the UTMB culture today.

Blocker Burn Champions Run/Walk Feb. 23

The Blocker Burns Champions 1st Annual Stop, Drop and Roll 5K Fun Run/Walk supporting burn survivors will be Saturday, Feb. 23, at Moody Gardens. For more information call the hotline at 409-747-2076 or visit http://www.utmbhealth.com/BlockerBurnUnit

SHP Causeway Fund Run March 2
The March 2 UTMB School of Health Professions Causeway Fund Run includes a kids’ 1K that begins at 7:45 a.m., a wheelchair 5K that begins at 8:05 a.m. and a 5K run/walk that begins at 8:15 a.m. Online preregistration information is available at http://shp.utmb.edu/fundrun/. The cost is $10 for the kids’ run and $25 for the 5K in advance and $20 for the kids’ run and $40 for the 5K on the day of the race. The course is certified.

Pediatric Clinic at Bay Colony offering Saturday hours
The UTMB Pediatric Specialty Center at Bay Colony is now offering Saturday appointments for the convenience of parents and children. The center will be open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The 20,000 square-foot facility is located in League City at 2785 Gulf Freeway South, across the highway from the UTMB Specialty Care Center at Victory Lakes. The UTMB Pediatric Specialty Center provides specialty care for children in asthma, allergy, rheumatology, immunology, cardiology, nephrology, hematology, oncology, diabetes, child development and behavior, neurology and genetics, among other services. “We are excited and proud to bring this added convenience to our patients in the League City area,” said Dr. Joan Richardson, chairwoman of UTMB’s department of pediatrics.
UTMB opened the comprehensive outpatient pediatric facility in Fall 2010. The location is home to cutting-edge diagnostics and treatments for patients, parents and referring physicians, with staff and faculty all specially trained and focused on children.
Services are provided in a family-centered setting with specialized education and support services to optimize care and outcomes for the varied conditions facing children and their families.
More information is available at www.utmb.edu/pedi or call 888-886-2543.

Dr. James Martin appointed
James E. Martin, PhD, has been appointed Associate Vice President for Student Services at UTMB, effective March 1, 2013.  Martin has admirably served in this important position on an interim basis since May, 2011. 
Martin is an accomplished leader in the area of student services and affairs, having previously served as the Chief Student Services/Affairs Administrator at colleges and universities in Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Connecticut and Alabama.  He has been instrumental in the restructuring efforts within Student Services at UTMB to enhance critical services to meet the needs of our diverse student body.  He will continue to lead the Offices of Enrollment Services (Student Financial Aid, Admissions, Records and Registration), Student Life, Student Wellness (Student Health Services and Student Counseling Center), Student Ombudsman, ensure student Title IX coordination, work with our Student Government Association, the Student Honor Pledge Council and oversee services for students with disabilities and coordinate our Welcome Week activities.
While reporting to Dr. Danny Jacobs, Executive Vice President, Provost and Dean of the School of Medicine, Martin will assist Cameron Slocum, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Academic Enterprise, in the operations and strategic planning of Student Services. 

Dr. Eric Walser named department chair
Eric M. Walser, MD, has been named Chair of the Department of Radiology, effective immediately. Walser was appointed Interim Chair in September, 2012 and has done an exemplary job in leading the Department. He also serves as Professor and Director of the Vascular and Interventional Radiology Section, and holder of the George R. Herrmann, MD Professorship. 
Walser is an energetic leader with an outstanding track record as a clinical and translational investigator. He will play a vital role in ensuring that our imaging services continue to flourish. As an internationally renowned interventional radiologist, his clinical interests are wide-ranging and include the use of ablation therapy to treat small tumors of the liver and kidney as an alternative to traditional open surgery. For example, he developed a new program of laser ablation of tumors using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance. His investigational efforts focus on developing interventional procedures using MRI to treat and diagnose patients without the use of harmful ionizing radiation. Using MRI, ultrasound, and CT technology, Walser has developed advanced protocols and techniques to image cardiovascular disease non-invasively.

Dr. Epstein passes away
Dr. Henry F. Epstein, Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, recently passed away. Epstein recently stepped down as Chair of the Department after serving in this role for nearly 10 years. He was an influential leader and distinguished physician-scientist, and his passing is a great loss to Galveston, UTMB, and to the scientific community at large.  Per his request, a symposium will be held in his memory in the near future and additional information will be forthcoming as the details are finalized.
Epstein began his tenure at UTMB in 2004. Upon his arrival, he led the creation of our Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, which was formed by consolidating the Departments of Anatomy, Neurosciences, Physiology and Biophysics. His leadership was instrumental in the Department’s growth and success. He was privileged to contribute to the work leading to two Nobel Prizes:  Dr. Christian B. Anfinsen's 1972 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Dr.  Sydney Brenner's 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. His distinguished career was marked by pioneering work on the mechanisms of protein folding and in establishing the molecular genetics of muscle development and cell motility. His latest work focused on characterizing novel proteins regulating the cytoskeleton.
Epstein served in a number of professional and scientific organizations, including as President of the Rice-Texas Center Chapter of Sigma Xi, member of the Molecular and Cell Biology Review Committee of the European Space Agency in Brussels, Belgium, and as a long-term member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He co-edited three internationally recognized books in three distinct fields:  Muscle Development: Molecular and Cellular Control, 1982, co-editor M.L. Pearson; Genetics of the X-Chromosome: Studies of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Related Disorders, 1982, co-editor S.G. Wolf; and Caenorhabditis elegans: Modern Biological Analysis of an Organism, 1995, co-editor D.C. Shakes.

Interim Chair named
Jin Mo Chung, PhD, Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, has been named Interim Chair of the Department, effective immediately.

Asthma therapy grant awarded
UTMB has been awarded a one-year grant in the amount of $150,000 from the American Asthma Foundation to pursue research in asthma therapy. Dr. Satish K. Srivastava, Principal Investigator, will use the award to examine the efficacy of the aldose reductase inhibitor, fidarestat, in the prevention of asthma. Prior to clinical trial, Srivastava in collaboration with Dr. William Calhoun, Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, will investigate the efficacy of this inhibitor in clinical samples.
A UTMB faculty member since 1974, Srivastava currently serves as Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  He is nationally and internationally recognized for his studies in chronic inflammation and associated health issues. His research has led to a novel finding in the link between the enzyme aldose reductase and asthma-related lung pathologies. In addition, Srivastava has conducted research in understanding the role of aldose reductase in other inflammation-related diseases such as diabetic complications and colon cancer supported by a merit award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and National Cancer Institute.

UTMB receives $25,000 education grant
UTMB has been awarded a one-year education grant in the amount of $25,000 from the Applied Medical Resources Corporation. Dr. Gayle Olson is Principal Investigator of the grant which is a continuation of a $15,000 award received in 2011. The purpose of the project is to help support research training of our Maternal Fetal Medicine fellows including in study design, responsible conduct of research, surgical and laboratory techniques, NIH funding and grant mechanisms, as well as successful grant writing.  
Olson serves as Associate Professor and Director of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship Program in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. A dedicated physician-scientist-educator, she has worked diligently to develop a high level of educational scholarship in the fellowship program through mentored research and clinical training. 

18th Annual Lefeber Winter Series on Aging
The UTMB Sealy Center on Aging hosts the Lefeber series of lectures, presenting experts from around the country on a variety of topics each Tuesday evening through March 5, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Levin Hall South auditorium and reception in the foyer following. The series continues tonight with “Aging and cancer: Rival demons?” by Judith Campisi, professor at the Buck Institute for Research and Aging and senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Next week features “Why women live longer than men — and the implications for their old age.”