Division News

Thinwa awarded Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award


Josephine Thinwa, M.D., Ph.D., research was recently recognized when she received a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Medical Scientists – making her one of only 14 awardees nationwide this year. The prestigious award provides $700,000 to support her research over the next five years. The award is given to physician-scientists committed to an academic career with funding aimed to help bridge advanced postdoctoral/fellowship training and the early years of faculty service.

Dr. Mocherla appointed to committee position


The Infectious Disease Society of America recently appointed Satish Mocherla, M.D., to sit on the National Histoplasmosis Guideline committee. Dr. Mocherla is a former faculty member of the division of  Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine.

IDSA Fellows announced for 2021


Three of our Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine faculty have been named Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) Fellows. Congratulations to Ellen Kitchell, M.D., Jeremy Chow, M.D.,  and Pearlie Chong, M.D., in addition Francesca Lee, M.D.who holds a secondary position in Infectious Diseases has also been instated as an IDSA fellow. IDSA fellows are recognized individuals who have achieved professional excellence and provided significant service to the profession. 

The Latest On Coronavirus Mutations


Listen to Dr. James Cutrell's recent interview with KERA discussing the latest on Coronavirus Mutations. Dr. Cutrell joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how the virus is changing and spreading, and what it means for the future of the pandemic.

Texas Tribune asks questions about COVID-19


Dr. James Curell discusses questions about COVID-19 breakthrough cases, and other related topics with Kevin Reynolds from the Texas Tribune.

First HIV-positive-to-HIV-positive organ transplant in Texas


Less than three weeks after getting on an organ transplant list for HIV-positive patients, John Welch got the call. A liver was available from a deceased donor, and it was an excellent match.

Welch’s liver transplant took place under the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act, or HOPE Act, a federal law that allows HIV-positive people to become organ donors by matching them with HIV-positive recipients. Before the law was passed in 2013, hospitals were prohibited from taking organs from HIV-positive donors. UT Southwestern’s status as a prominent academic medical center qualified it to become one of the sites in which HOPE Act transplants can take place under the auspices of a clinical trial.

David Wojciechowski, D.O., medical director of the Kidney Transplantation Program, led the transplant planning efforts, while the patient’s HIV status was tended to by Ricardo La Hoz, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and an associate professor of internal medicine.

ID Faculty publish COVID-19 Pharmacologic Treatments in JAMA


The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) presents an unprecedented challenge to identify effective drugs for prevention and treatment. A recent article "Pharmacologic Treatments for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)" published in JAMA by James Cutrell, M.D. and others in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine. The speed and volume of clinical trials launched to investigate potential therapies for COVID-19 highlight both the need and capability to produce high-quality evidence even in the middle of a pandemic.

Cough That Spreads Tuberculosis Has Pain-Linked Trigger


Tuberculosis is distinguished primarily by the persistent cough that serves to spread the disease. Stopping whatever triggers that cough could greatly reduce the transmission of the disease, which annually kills more than 1.3 million people worldwide.

Researchers from The University of Texas at Dallas’ Center for Advanced Pain Studies worked with colleagues from UT Southwestern Medical Center to pinpoint a molecule that the tuberculosis bacterium manufactures to induce coughing.

Their findings, published online March 5 in the journal Cell, could help reduce the impact of tuberculosis, which remains one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

TB produces cough-triggering molecule


The bacteria that cause the deadly lung disease tuberculosis appear to facilitate their own spread by producing a molecule that triggers cough, a new study led by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers shows. The findings, published online today, in Cell, could lead to new ways to prevent the spread of tuberculosis, which is responsible for the death of more than 1.5 million people per year worldwide.

People have known since ancient times that coughing is a primary symptom of tuberculosis and that cough allows for the spread of disease from person to person. However, the cause of tuberculosis-related coughs has been unclear says study leader Michael Shiloh, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor in UTSW’s Department of Internal Medicine’s Division of Infectious Disease and Department of Microbiology. The prevailing hypothesis has been that coughing is triggered by infection-induced lung irritation and inflammation, but this has never been definitively proved.

Putting travel history in the routine medical assessment


Integrating travel history information into routine medical assessments could help stem the rapidly widening COVID-19 epidemic, as well as future pandemics, infectious disease specialists recommend in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Trish Perl, M.D., M.Sc., Chief of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and Connie Savor Price, M.D., of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, say it’s time to add travel history to routine information such as temperature and blood pressure collected in electronic medical records.