In the News – December 2011


A hero’s welcome for Nobel winner – Bruce Beutler, UT Southwestern’s newest Nobel laureate, says his motivation to study science came from his late father, who was an acclaimed medical researcher, as well as his own innate curiosity about animals and nature. His dad’s lessons paid off big when the Nobel Assembly in Stockholm awarded Dr. Beutler and two others the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine on Oct. 10. Dr. Beutler’s work, which involved discovering principles that activate the immune system, was done while he was on the UT Southwestern faculty from 1986 to 2000. He recalled that, counting his time as a young intern and resident, he had spent 16 years of his life at UT Southwestern. “I learned the meaning of hard work,” the 53-year-old said of his internship at Parkland Memorial Hospital. “So many days spent working 24, 36 hours – even longer – without leaving the hospital.” The story was covered by more than 90 media outlets, including the Associated Press, The New York Times, ABC News, FOX News, National Public Radio, Dallas Morning News, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Nature, Reuters, BBC News, Forbes, Newsday, Business Week, CNN, and the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Editorial: Nobel laurels at Dallas’ UTSW – The pre-eminence and promise of research at UT Southwestern received the ultimate validation with the Nobel Prize awarded this week to Bruce Beutler for discoveries in how the immune system works. A grateful Beutler made a telling comment about the environment and standards at the Dallas medical school that nurtured his research inquiry: “I don’t think I could have done it anywhere else.”

Research on Bleeding and Heat Could Help Soldiers and Outdoor Workers – Researchers applied so much suction to the box that Antionne Williams was in that the blood in his torso pooled in his legs. Then they raised his body temperature so it was equal to a low-grade fever. Researchers at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas hope the experiment on Mr. Williams will help them better understand how heat stress affects the body’s reaction to hemorrhaging wounds. The research, part of a joint venture with UT Southwestern, is led by Craig Crandall, a professor at the medical school and a thermoregulation expert.

UT Southwestern begins laying base of hospital – UT Southwestern started work Oct. 11 on the foundation of its $800 million, 460-room University Hospital, which is expected to open in 2015. The center said it has received $62 million in gifts as part of a $200 million capital campaign. An additional $200 million from clinical earnings by physicians at the teaching facility has also been committed, with bond sales completing the financing. The 12-floor facility is at Harry Hines Boulevard between Mockingbird Lane and Inwood Road. The project was announced last year. The story also was covered by WFAA (ABC 8), KTVT (CBS 11), Dallas Business Journal, KRLD-AM, WBAP-AM.

Should pregnant moms take on endurance challenges? – After Amber Miller finished the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, she had another endurance challenge to complete – labor. Miller, a veteran marathon runner, ran the race while 38 weeks pregnant. She then headed to a hospital where she gave birth to a healthy, seven pound girl, named June. Pregnant women usually don't get enough exercise. Women who maintain healthy weight during pregnancy are less likely to have complications during labor, gestational diabetes or birth trauma, said Dr. Patricia Santiago-Munoz, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UT Southwestern. “Labor feels like a marathon,” said  Santiago-Munoz.  “The process of labor puts a lot of strain on the heart. There’s a lot more blood flow in the body. The heart needs to accommodate that.  It’s like exercise that way."

KERA (Public Radio, Dallas)
Engineering Hope: Curing Hepatitis C – The Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than three million Americans are chronically infected with hepatitis C. In Dallas, UT Southwestern's Dr. William Lee first started seeing patients more than 20 years ago, when the cure rate was just 5 percent. Now his patients are seeing a cure rate of close to 70 percent thanks to two new drugs that received FDA approval this summer. KERA’s Sujata Dand has more on this groundbreaking research. “The new medications are much better,” Dr. Lee said. “They get the viral load down within four weeks. It’s almost doubled the success rate, it’s going from about 40 percent to about 65 percent to 70 percent.”

UT Southwestern researchers to screen Parkland patients for colorectal cancer – More low-income, uninsured residents of Dallas County will soon have access to screening tests for colorectal cancer, the nation’s No. 2 cancer killer. Researchers at UT Southwestern and Parkland Memorial Hospital  received a $6.3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute that will target 32,000 Parkland patients, ages 50 to 64.