Multidisciplinary Teams Focus on MS in Annual Capra Symposium

It’s possible that the seminal moment in the 2013 Capra Research Symposium occurred in the waning moments of the event, at the close of a round-table discussion that sought to answer questions of the morning’s event: “Multiple Sclerosis: Diagnosis, Treatment & Management.”

“This symposium is what we envisioned when we started talking about multidisciplinary communication,” said J. Donald Capra, M.D., who along with his wife, Patricia Capra, Ph.D., has sponsored the event annually since 1998. “As a basic scientist and my wife a clinician, this is what we wanted to see happen here and we’re very grateful to all who made the symposium today so gratifying.”

Speakers at the Capra Symposium, which highlights a single topic each year, included: Elliot Frohman, M.D., Professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, Professor of Ophthalmology, and Director of UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Multiple Sclerosis Program; Teresa Frohman, a certified physician assistant and principal collaborator in the MS clinic; and Scott Davis, Ph.D., Director of the Applied Physiology Laboratory at Southern Methodist University, whose lab is a part of the MS Program.

The trio wound up the proceedings with a panel discussion on “The Future of Multiple Sclerosis Medicine at UT Southwestern” and were joined on the dais by Diana Logan, Nurse Practitioner in the MS clinic; Chung-Yi Chiu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Counseling; Kelly Tarricone, Registered Dietitian; Nathan Sutti, Certified Prosthetic Orthotist; and Kelli Doern, former Faculty Associate in Physical Therapy.

The symposium drew an audience of about 300 people, including faculty, students, and members of the community who are interested in the concerns of people living with MS.

Dr. J. Donald Capra served as the Edwin L. Cox Distinguished Chair in Immunology and Genetics at UT Southwestern and directed the Molecular Immunology Center from 1990 to 1997. Dr. Patricia Capra went back to school mid-career to earn a doctorate from UT Southwestern and became an academic clinical psychologist at the university, where she served as vice chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology for the last five years of her professional career. Additionally, under the leadership of Dr. Gordon Green, the former dean of the School of Health Professions, she spearheaded an interdisciplinary focus at UT Southwestern.

The couple now reside in Oklahoma City.