This story was originally posted on Center Times Plus on October 14, 2018.
An endowment fund to support the Dennis K. Stone University Lecture for Translational Science has been established at UT Southwestern in memory of the late Dr. Dennis K. Stone, an accomplished scientist who fostered biotech development at UT Southwestern and throughout North Texas. This annual lectureship for the research community will commemorate Dr. Stone’s leadership in life sciences, his commitment to training physician-scientists, and his vision to make UT Southwestern a hub for translational research.
More than $300,000 has been raised to support the endowment, including a $250,000 gift from Dallas entrepreneur and philanthropist Lyda Hill, President of LH Holdings Inc. As founder of Remeditex Ventures, which supports biomedical research and institutions, Miss Hill worked closely with Dr. Stone, who served as the company’s Chief Scientific Officer from 2011 until 2016.
“We are grateful for this effort to honor Dr. Stone’s legacy,” Miss Hill said. “Training the dedicated physicians who have chosen to devote their time and efforts to research and discovery of knowledge helps to foment medical advances that will impact all of our lives.”
Born and raised in Dallas, Dr. Stone attended UT Austin before training at UT Southwestern Medical School and at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in internal medicine. In 1984, he joined the UT Southwestern faculty as a kidney specialist in the Department of Internal Medicine and spent the next 27 years as a physician-scientist taking care of patients, running the hemodialysis unit at Parkland Hospital, teaching in the Medical School and Graduate School, and maintaining a research laboratory. Dr. Stone shared a strong passion for the UT Southwestern mission with his wife and colleague, Dr. Helen H. Hobbs, Director of the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development, Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Genetics, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern, said there is no better way to honor Dr. Stone’s legacy than through a fund to support the physician-scientists who will advance medicine for future generations.
“At UT Southwestern, Dennis developed a clear understanding that issues arising in the clinic are some of the best ways to inform research carried out in the laboratory,” Dr. Podolsky said. “This lectureship supports the training of physician-scientists who will commit themselves to research, discovery, and the application of new knowledge to develop innovative approaches to care. The work of physician-scientists is at the heart of academic medicine and is what bridges the gap between scientific knowledge and medical practice.”
Dr. Stone’s experience in translational medicine led him to assume leadership of a new Office for Technology Development at UT Southwestern, where he directed licensing operations, developed biotechnology, and formed partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. In addition, he promoted the formation of several new companies in the region and created the UT Southwestern BioCenter to accommodate new startup companies and help spur biotech innovations.
His research led to a close collaboration with a pharmaceutical company, which sparked his interest in developing new medical therapies. He spearheaded UT Southwestern’s efforts to both translate biomedical discoveries from the lab into the clinic and to foster early visions of biotech development for the Medical Center and for Dallas. In 2002, he represented UT Southwestern in the Dallas Plan’s Biotechnology Initiative and assisted the city of Dallas in developing a strategic plan to establish the Dallas-Fort Worth area as a biotechnology hub. In recognition of his contributions to the life sciences, bionorthTX, the leading trade association for life sciences in North Texas, established the Dennis K. Stone Life Science Achievement Award. Dr. Stone left UT Southwestern in 2011 to join Remeditex Ventures.
If you are interested in making a secure online donation to support the Dennis K. Stone University Lecture for Translational Science, visit engage.utsouthwestern.edu/stone-memorial.