Faculty in the News

White coat hypertension and masked hypertension associated with higher rates of heart and vascular disease

November 9, 2015 – “Previous studies on white coat hypertension – blood pressure that is high in a medical setting but normal at home – have shown conflicting results, and many in the medical community have viewed it as a benign condition. But our research suggests that white coat hypertension is associated with an increase in heart and vascular disease,” said Wanpen Vongpatanasi, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern and senior author of this study.

Geneticist receives Breakthrough Prize

November 9, 2015 – UT Southwestern Medical Center geneticist Helen H. Hobbs, M.D., is a 2016 recipient of the prestigious Breakthrough Prize in Life Science.

Exercising two to four times minimum levels progressively reduces risk of heart failure

October 8, 2015 – Exercising at double or quadruple current recommended minimum levels significantly reduces the risk of heart failure, a study by UT Southwestern Medical Center cardiologists found.

Lung cancer researcher named Giant of Cancer Care

October 6, 2015 – Cancer biologist John Minna, M.D., with the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has been named a “Giant of Cancer Care” in recognition of his work developing lung cancer cell lines that are now used to develop and test new therapies by thousands of researchers worldwide.

Geneticist to receive Pearl Meister Greengard Prize

September 28, 2015 – UT Southwestern Medical Center geneticist Helen Hobbs, M.D., is the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Pearl Meister Greengard Prize. The prize recognizes Dr. Hobbs’ research, which advances understanding of heart disease and other complex disorders.

Immunotherapy superior to chemotherapy for lung cancer in international trial involving cancer researchers

September 28, 2015 – An international team of cancer researchers that included UT Southwestern Medical Center physicians announced “game-changing results” using the immunotherapy drug nivolumab to treat certain lung cancers that failed to respond to first-line therapies.

Researchers studying whether gout drug prevents progression of kidney damage in diabetes patients

September 14, 2015 – UT Southwestern Medical Center has joined an international clinical trial studying whether a drug traditionally used to treat gout can help prevent kidney damage in patients with Type 1 diabetes. Researchers in the Preventing Early Renal Loss in Diabetes (PERL) clinical trial are evaluating the drug allopurinol in patients who have nephropathy, an early-stage kidney disease that is a frequent complication of Type 1 diabetes.

Studies show exercise is safe, improves quality of life for pulmonary hypertension patients

September 2, 2015 –  “Clinicians have traditionally been skeptical about prescribing exercise for patients with chronic pulmonary hypertension due to concerns that training might put further strain on the heart,” said senior author Dr. Jarett Berry, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Clinical Sciences, and Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care at UT Southwestern.

Cardiologist to monitor swimmer’s heart during historic effort to swim across the Pacific Ocean

August 14, 2015 – UT Southwestern cardiologist Dr. Benjamin Levine will use NASA-honed technology to monitor swimmer Ben Lecomte as he plunges into the ocean off of a Tokyo beach this summer heading for San Francisco in his record-setting goal to become the first person to swim across the Pacific Ocean.

Pulmonologist Girod selected to receive 2015 Watson Award for Excellence in Clinical Medicine

August 3, 2015 – Dr. Carlos E. Girod, Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has been named the recipient of the 2015 Patricia and William L. Watson, Jr., M.D. Award for Excellence in Clinical Medicine. “I am deeply honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Dr. Girod, who also serves as Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs for the Parkland Health & Hospital System. “This is a most prestigious recognition, and I owe an extraordinary amount to UT Southwestern, as well as to mentors who have guided my career. I am proud to join the past recipients, whom I admire as heroes and people I look up to for their excellent patient care and collegiality.”

Pulmonary Hypertension Program accreditation highlights advances in treatments and research of disease

July 29, 2015 – “An accredited Pulmonary Hypertension Care Center is not just an institution that treats patients who have pulmonary hypertension. You have to be at the forefront of treatment, as well as being involved in clinical trials and moving the field forward,” said Dr. Fernando Torres, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, who developed UT Southwestern’s Pulmonary Hypertension Program 15 years ago.

Yan chosen for Burroughs Wellcome Foundation award

July 2015 - The Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) has selected Nan Yan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and of Microbiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, as one of its 2015 Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases.

Lipid enzyme heightens insulin sensitivity and shows promise as potential therapy to treat Type 2 diabetes, study shows

July 16, 2015 – Reducing high concentrations of a fatty molecule that is commonly found in people with diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease rapidly improves insulin sensitivity, UT Southwestern Medical Center diabetes researchers have found. 

Cyclospora: Why You Should Be Sure To Wash Your Produce

July 6, 2015 – KERA – Christian Mayorga, M.D., â€‹Chief of Digestive and Liver Diseases for Parkland Health & Hospital System and Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, talked about the resulting illness, cyclosporiasis, as well as treatment and prevention

Cell that replenishes heart muscle found by researchers

June 22, 2015 – Regenerative medicine researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified a cell that replenishes adult heart muscle by using a new cell lineage-tracing technique they devised.

Immunity enzyme defends against tuberculosis infection

June 2, 2015 – “Based on this outcome, we believe that modulating cGAS activity could be a novel approach to therapy. There remains a dire need for new therapies against tuberculosis, and thus identifying pathways to stop the pathogen is of vital importance,” said Dr. Michael Shiloh, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology at UT Southwestern, and co-senior author of the study published in Cell Host & Microbe.

1990s Anderson recruit Girod selected to hold Anderson Professorship

June 2015 – Dr. Carlos Girod, Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs for the Parkland Health & Hospital System, has been named the inaugural holder of the Ron Anderson, M.D. Professorship in Clinical Care and Education at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

The endowment that created the Ron Anderson Professorship was established in 2012 by the Dallas-based Hoblitzelle Foundation as a tribute to Dr. Anderson’s commitment to public health and to care of the indigent.

500th lung transplant brings relief for cystic fibrosis patient, puts Medical Center among top 25 in U.S. to reach benchmark

May 29, 2015 –  Dr. Fernando Torres, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Medical Director of Lung Transplantation, said every transplant is a remarkable accomplishment and stories such as Mr. Vera’s underscore the significance of reaching volume milestones. Fewer than 25 medical centers in the country have performed more than 500 lung transplants.

Mutations in two genes linked to familial pulmonary fibrosis and telomere shortening

May 4, 2015 – Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified mutations in two genes that cause a fatal lung scarring disease known as familial pulmonary fibrosis“Although RTEL1 had been previously linked to telomere biology, our finding that PARN was involved in telomere regulation and human disease was completely unexpected,” said senior author Dr. Christine Kim Garcia, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and with the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development.

Scherer to receive Banting Medal for diabetes research

April 29, 2015 – Dr. Philipp Scherer, Director of the Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research at UT Southwestern Medical Center, will receive the prestigious Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement, the highest honor bestowed by the American Diabetes Association.

Parkland physician named one of nation’s ‘Leading Experts in Patient Safety’

April 28, 2015 – The Chief of Infection Prevention at Parkland Health & Hospital System, Pranavi Sreeramoju, M.D., has been named one of the “50 Experts Leading the Field of Patient Safety” in the United States by the prestigious healthcare industry publication Becker’s Hospital Review.

Three faculty elected as new members of the American Society for Clinical Investigation

April 3, 2015 – Dr. Jay Horton, Professor of Internal Medicine and of Molecular Genetics at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has been elected a Councilor of The American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious medical honor societies. In addition, the ASCI announced the election of three UT Southwestern physician-scientists to the organization.

Lung transplant breathes new life into father’s world

March 31, 2015 – UT Southwestern researchers, led by Dr. Christine Garcia, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development, have identified mutations in three genes that are linked to familial pulmonary fibrosis. Mutations in two of the genes affect telomeres, which are specialized structures at the ends of chromosomes, and the third affects a protein expressed only in the fluid that bathes the lung’s epithelial cells.

Number of births may affect mom’s future heart health

March 23, 2015 – Women who give birth to four or more children are more likely to have cardiovascular changes that can be early indicators of heart disease than women who have fewer children, new research by UT Southwestern Medical Center cardiologists finds.

Hill named Editor-in-Chief of Circulation

March 2015 – Joseph Hill, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Biology, and Chief of Cardiology was recently named the next Editor-in-Chief of Circulation, the premier cardiovascular journal in the world. Circulation, which is published weekly, is the vanguard of emerging cardiovascular science, education, and practice. The entire portfolio of Circulation journals, which report to the Circulation editorial office, will be moving to UT Southwestern:

  • Circulation
  • Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology
  • Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics
  • Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging
  • Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions
  • Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes
  • Circulation: Heart Failure

Often-ignored glucose value in routine blood tests correlates with risk of type 2 diabetes

March 4, 2015 – Glucose values obtained during routine blood tests are often overlooked, but could provide valuable insight into whether someone is at risk for having type 2 diabetes, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

New cancer treatments could evolve from research showing that acetate supplements speed up cancer growth

Feb. 17, 2015 – UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers seeking novel ways to combat cancer found that giving acetate, a major compound produced in the gut by host bacteria, to mice sped up the growth and metastasis of tumors.

Study finds no reason for cancer survivors to be excluded in advanced stage lung cancer trials

Feb. 9, 2015 – The common practice of excluding patients with a prior cancer diagnosis from lung cancer clinical trials may not be justified, according to a study by researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center. Having previously had cancer did not impact clinical outcomes in advanced lung cancer patients and these patients therefore should be considered for inclusion in clinical trials seeking new therapies, according to the study, appearing in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Study links deficiency of cellular housekeeping gene with aggressive forms of breast cancer

Jan. 30, 2015 – UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists have identified a strong link between the most aggressive type of breast cancer and a gene that regulates the body’s natural cellular recycling process, called autophagy.

Long-term use of ventricular assist devices induces heart muscle regeneration, study finds

January 21, 2015 – Prolonged use of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) by patients with heart failure may induce regeneration of heart muscle by preventing oxidative damage to a cell-regulator mechanism, UT Southwestern Medical Center investigators have found.

Kidney transplant is a game-changer for NFL’s Dallas Cowboys’ timekeeper

Jan. 5, 2015  – Dr. Miguel Vazquez, Professor of Internal Medicine and Medical Director of Kidney Transplantation at UT Southwestern, said transplants can be challenging at first for patients of any age. “It’s not an easy thing. They have a major surgical procedure, the medication burden, just coming to clinic so often to be checked – it’s three times a week at first – all that can be challenging for individuals.”

Researchers confirm whole-genome sequencing can successfully identify cancer-related mutations

Dec. 23, 2014 – UT Southwestern Medical Center cancer researchers have demonstrated that whole-genome sequencing can be used to identify patients’ risk for hereditary cancer, which can potentially lead to improvements in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and care.

National trial first to focus on long-term complications associated with chronic kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension

Dec. 19, 2014 – UT Southwestern Medical Center  in collaboration with Parkland Health & Hospital System, Texas Health Resources, VA North Texas Health Care System, and ProHealth Physicians, Inc. of Connecticut  will lead the first National Institutes of Health-funded, multicenter, clinical trial to address interventions for patients with multiple chronic conditions centered around kidney disease.

Neuro-oncologists discover cancer cells can burn acetate for fuel

Dec. 18, 2014 – UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have discovered that brain tumors are capable of burning acetate for fuel, providing a new potential target for halting tumor growth.

Real-time radiation monitor can reduce radiation exposure for medical workers

Dec. 16, 2014 – It’s a sound that saves. A “real-time” radiation monitor that alerts by beeping in response to radiation exposure during cardiac-catheterization procedures significantly reduces the amount of exposure that medical workers receive, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers found. 

New liver gives mother of three a life without pain

November 20, 2104 – The itching started when Michelle Linss, now 37, was pregnant with her third child. When she told her obstetrician, they thought it was due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy and would resolve following delivery. But the young El Paso woman was still itching a year later, launching a six-year journey of testing and treatment, worry and waiting, finally leading – with the advocacy of a UT Southwestern Medical Center physician – to a liver transplant in August 2014.

Mrs. Linss’ medical problem was diagnosed as primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), a disease in which the bile ducts are damaged, causing bile to build up in the liver. She was treated with a round of prednisone and cyclosporine, but neither worked. Discouraged, she decided to look elsewhere for care and discovered that Dr. Marlyn Mayo, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern, specialized in immune-related liver diseases, such as PBC. UT Southwestern also has a liver-disease satellite clinic in El Paso, which would make the logistics of her care easier.

New measurement of HDL cholesterol function provides powerful information about cardiovascular risk

November 18, 2014 – Groundbreaking research from UT Southwestern Medical Center shows that cholesterol efflux capacity (cholesterol efflux), which measures HDL cholesterol function, appears to be a superior indicator of cardiovascular risk and a better target for therapeutic treatments than standard measurements of HDL. Current measurement methods reflect only the circulating levels of HDL and not the functional properties of this lipoprotein.

Testing of ER patients for heart attack in absence of symptoms widespread

November 17, 2014 – Emergency rooms are testing many patients for markers of acute coronary syndrome who show no signs of having suffered a heart attack, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

Cancer researchers identify gene mutations and process for how kidney tumors develop

November 17, 2014 – Using next generation gene sequencing techniques, cancer researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified more than 3,000 new mutations involved in certain kidney cancers, findings that help explain the diversity of cancer behaviors.