David W. Niesel, professor and chairman of the department of microbiology and immunology, has been appointed interim vice president and dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Niesel succeeds Cary Cooper on his retirement. Niesel joined the faculty in 1983 and, under his leadership, the department of microbiology and immunology ranked among the top 10 departments nationally for National Institutes of Health funding.

Niesel is co-creator and co-host of the award-winning radio show and column, Medical Discovery News, which provides insights into a broad range of biomedical science topics and is broadcast on more than 110 stations in 16 states, Puerto Rico, and three countries.

Diabetes support group

“The eyes have it” is the topic for this month’s meeting of the UTMB diabetes support group on Sept. 9. The group meets from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month in Suite 9 of the UTMB Multispecialty Center and Stark Diabetes Clinic, 2660 Gulf Freeway South in League City. To reserve a place, call 832-505-2300.

Gastrointestinal cancer support group

Clinical nurse specialist Jackie Aoughsten will discuss interventional radiology at the next meeting of the GI cancer support group at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 10 in Room 1.132 of the Rebecca Sealy Building, at the corner of Market and Eighth streets in Galveston. The group meets the second Tuesday of each month.

Contact Robert Webster at 409-789-5074 or Captrwebster@aol.com.

The Lunch Bunch

“Teens and technology: From social media to sexting to cyberbullying” will be presented by Jeff Temple at the next meeting of the Lunch Bunch from noon to 1 p.m. Sept. 10 at the UTMB Specialty Care Center at Victory Lakes, 2240 Gulf Freeway South in League City.

Call 832-505-1600 or email VictoryLakes@utmb.edu.

A schedule of future programs can be found at www.utmbhealth.com/LunchBunch.

Star volunteer

UTMB honored its volunteers at the 2013 Volunteer Appreciation Reception. Volunteer Jim Stricklin was recognized this year for 7,000 hours of service to UTMB.

Sasser Foundation

The Sasser Family Foundation has contributed $125,000 to UTMB for its ongoing effort to earn a Baby-Friendly Hospital designation, considered the ideal standard in the care of infants and mothers.

The contribution will allow UTMB to implement breast-feeding practices that improve patients’ health while also reducing health care costs.

Considerable evidence indicates breast-feeding lowers risks for certain diseases and improves the health of both infants and mothers. UTMB alumna Barbara Sasser and her husband, Dominick Sasser, established the Sasser Foundation several years ago.

Inside UTMB is compiled by the communications department at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

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