The Department of Physical Therapy at the UTMB School of Health Professions is hosting a pro bono, faculty-mentored student clinic this week for those with spine, arm or leg pain as well as problems with muscle weakness or poor balance.

Participants usually have one or two visits during the week. Patients must have a physical therapy referral from a medical professional to participate.

Contact Janna McGaugh or Charlotte Barnhart at 409-772-3068 or

Young investigator award

Dr. Rene Przkora has received one of four awards presented to promising, young investigators from the International Anesthesia Research Society.

He received a 2014 IARS Mentored Research Award for $150,000 for his project “Preconditioning of older patients undergoing hip joint replacement surgery,” which explores the role of anesthesiology in relation to hip replacement surgery from the preoperative period to the surgery’s end.

Chikungunya in the Americas

For the first time in the United States, a case of locally acquired chikungunya virus has been confirmed in Florida.

Scott Weaver, director of UTMB’s Institute for Human Infections and Immunity and a global expert on the virus, recently published a review article in the PLOS-Neglected Tropical Diseases journal on the prospects for spreading and the impact on public health that the chikungunya virus could have the Americas.

New ombudsman

James E. Blankenship has been named the new student ombudsman. His duties will include resolving issues for students and academic leaders.

He has served in a number of positions in his four decades at UTMB including director of the neuroscience graduate program, associate dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and director of the M.D.-Ph.D. Combined Degree Program.

Healing through Humanism

The summer film and discussion series continues with “The search for inner strength” from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. today at the Galveston Island Community Center, 4700 Broadway, Suite B101.

Excerpts include Maestro Christoph Eschenbach discussing his personal story of coming to feel better out of despair and talks about reconnection with the natural world.

Future films include “Confronting despair: The doctor and the patient” and concludes with “All real living is meeting.”

The series is hosted by Meredith Masel of UTMB’s Oliver Center for Patient Safety and Quality Healthcare and the Osher Lifelong Learning Center.

The series is free, but preregistration is required. Call 409-763-5604 or email Julia Sherrod at

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

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