• By UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH
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Scott Weaver, an internationally-renown expert in mosquito-borne diseases, has been named chair of the Microbiology and Immunology department. The John Sealy Distinguished Chair in Human Infections and Immunity, Weaver is a virologist and vector biologist who studies arthropod-borne viruses,…

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When the Galveston National Laboratory opened months after Hurricane Ike in 2008, leaders knew researchers there would battle infectious diseases on a global scale — forever changing the status of the University of Texas Medical Branch.

  • By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION
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The gala, which will be from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 17 at Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Blvd., will have a major focus on the initiatives and achievements over the past 20 years, including lifesaving technologies the association has helped fund at the medical branch and local hospital systems.

  • By DR. MICHAEL M. WARREN
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Doctors get sick. When we do, we have to face the same troubles that the non-physician does. We have to fill out the same forms to get into the hospital. We have to deal with our insurance companies, and we face all the old and new rules to save money.

  • By THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH Special to The Daily News
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A new large-scale population-based study from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston showed for the first time that older men using testosterone therapy were less likely to have complications that require them to go back to the hospital within a month of being discharged than men not using this therapy.

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What should you do in light of a new warning putting meats like bacon and hot dogs in the same health classification as cigarettes?

  • By SALLY ROBINSON
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The Academy of Pediatrics’ Healthy Children (healthychildren.org) have recommendations about the amount of vitamin D to be taken daily for all infants. It is recommended that all infants, children and adolescents take 400 IU daily. Low levels of Vitamin D are associated with rickets which is a condition of weakened deformed bones. New information now suggests that vitamin D has a role in immunity and reduces the risk for certain chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

  • By SALLY ROBINSON
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Last week we discussed what cancer is, and how it begins when microscopic cells that make up a normal body part start growing out of control. This week we discuss some of the different types of childhood cancer. 

  • By NORBERT HERZOG and DAVID NIESEL
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Almost every week there is another report about the catastrophe of drug-resistant bacteria, and very few new antibiotics have been developed to treat people who have been infected. But a possible solution to this modern-day problem has been discovered in a 1,000-year-old source: an eye salve, as recorded in a ninth-century text, has effectively killed methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

  • By UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH
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Dr. David Callender recently accepted a $100,000 check on behalf of UTMB, proceeds from the 19th annual San Luis Salute. The Salute, hosted by Tilman and Paige Fertitta, celebrates Mardi Gras! Galveston by providing a charitable aspect to the city’s annual celebration. Each year, the Salute recognizes the extraordinary work of doctors and scientists, and also funds UTMB programs. This year’s Salute benefitted UTMB’s National Biocontainment Training Center. Honorees included Drs. Alan Barrett, Thomas Geisbert, Thomas Ksiazek, James LeDuc and Scott Weaver.

  • By DR. VICTOR S. SIERPINA
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Do you ever feel overwhelmed with life? So many things simply need doing and you have not enough time to do them. You might feel like a victim of one more demands on your time and energy.

  • By SALLY ROBINSON
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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that one in every 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer? The next three articles will discuss cancer and its treatment.

  • By PROFESSORS NORBERT HERZOG AND DAVID NIESEL
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If you live in a rural area, you’ve probably had to deal with snakes. Almost 500,000 people are bitten by snakes and more than 20,000 die from them worldwide each year, although the World Health Organization notes these figures may be closer to 1.8 million incidents and 94,000 deaths. Opossums, on the other hand, never have to worry about that since they are resistant to snake venom. Opossums have a protein in their blood that binds to the toxins in snake venom and neutralizes them. Now scientists are looking into whether this protein could be used to treat human victims of snake bites.

  • By DR. VICTOR S. SIERPINA
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Gratitude opens untold blessings in our lives. The cultivation of gratitude requires constant discipline in an era often surrounded by a mentality of lack, of ever needing more material goods to believe we can be happy, or when we blame others for not meeting our expectations to make our lives better.

  • By UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston a $1.05 million grant to study the implementation of a school-based healthy relationship program for teens. The study to be conducted in Houston-area high schools will allow researchers…

  • By SALLY ROBINSON
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Despite a growing concern in the medical community over antibiotic resistance, parents still request that pediatricians prescribe such medications for their children even when the antibiotics are unnecessary, according to a study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Information from www.healthychildren.org state that most of the time, children don’t need antibiotics to treat a respiratory illness. Most coughs, ear infections and sore throats are caused by viruses. In fact, antibiotics can do more harm than good.

  • By NORBERT HERZOG and DAVID NIESEL
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More than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth leading cause of death. Unfortunately, a comprehensive review found that four Alzheimer’s drugs had short-term benefits that are lost after a year and a half of treatment. However, there is some hope in a new drug called aducanumab, which sharply reduced cognitive decline in patients with early symptoms of dementia in a small clinical trial.  

  • By UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH
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UTMB’s Kyriakos S. Markides is this year’s winner of the Robert W. Kleemeier Award — the highest honor given by the Gerontological Society of America — in recognition of his “outstanding research in the field of gerontology.” Markides, editor of the Journal of Aging and Health, is the author or co-author of more than 340 publications, most of which focus on aging and health issues in the Mexican-American population, as well as minority aging issues in general. His research has been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health since 1980. He is a professor in the department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health.

  • By VICTOR S. SIERPINA
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More than a little choked up and tearful at the end of my visit, I was ready to leave. His wife, however, kindly invited me to see his garden. We slipped out the back door past a softly bubbling fountain and koi pond with a dozen or so brightly colored fish flashing in the water. In a plot of ground not much bigger than my arm span and just a few dozen feet long, we entered a cool, shaded area with lush fruit trees bearing oranges, avocados, grapefruit, limes, mangos, bananas, and apples. Most of the trees were 15 to 20 feet tall, healthy and well. There was a cleverly designed drip system for the trees and for raised vegetable beds in which the summer’s last tomato plants were barely hanging on.

  • By UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH
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The Children’s Clinic of Clear Lake and the Brazos Bone and Joint Clinic in Angleton becomes part of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston system today. The Children’s Clinic of Clear Lake, 333 North Texas Ave., Suite 4300, in Webster, is a 5,500 square foot facility run by Dr. Robert Quillin. It receives 3,500 patient visits a month with four physicians on staff across nine exam rooms.

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  • By SARA FOLEY YONKER
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When first-time mom Hillary Gramm noticed her infant daughter, Millie, suddenly went from dirtying one diaper a day to what seemed like hourly diaper changes, she got a little panicked that the baby was dehydrated or sick.

  • By UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH
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The University of Texas Medical Branch’s Institute for the Medical Humanities and the Galveston Arts Center will present “The Creative Expressions Project,” a public reception and one-night exhibition at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Galveston Arts Center, 2501 Market St.

  • By DR. VICTOR S. SIERPINA
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The Latin derivation of the word ‘salad’ simply meant “with salt.” A little sprinkle of salt over green herbs, maybe with a drizzle of olive oil was the essence of a salad. This is a far cry from our current prepared dressings containing hundreds of calories of unhealthy fats and other chemi…

  • By NORBERT HERZOG AND DAVID NIESEL
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When the groundbreaking theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease at 21, he was given two years to live. Now he is 73 years old. How has he managed to survive this invariably fatal disease for so long? We may not have…

  • By THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH
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Jia Zhou, associate professor in the UTMB Center for Addiction Research, has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health for more than $2.46 million. The goal of this 5-year project is to develop small molecules that can regulate the balance of serotonin receptors in the brain in such a way that decreases relapse in cocaine addicts.  

  • By DR. VICTOR S. SIERPINA
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Often when I called my dad to see how he was doing, he’d start with saying, “I’m making a salad.” He died at 92 and taught me the value of how enjoying a salad regularly is a truly healthy habit.

  • By NORBERT HERZOG AND DAVID NIESEL
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In the past 800 years, many things have been blamed for the plague that swept through Europe in the Middle Ages: the alignment of the planets, bad air, lack of proper hygiene, black rats and their fleas. Now scientists have data that suggests the climate in Central Asia at that time influenced the size of the great gerbil population, which triggered cycles of plague in Europe.

  • By NORBERT HERZOG & DAVID NIESEL
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The mummies of ancient Egypt have given science much insight into their lives and deaths. Just a year ago they unearthed an unknown pharaoh from a dynasty whose existence historians had only speculated about. Although ancient tomb robbers had torn his mummy apart, modern archaeologists have …

  • By THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH
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Want to go to medical school? Well, now you can and it won’t cost you a dime. UTMB is offering a three-day Mini Medical School on Aug. 12, 19 and 26 at the League City Civic Center, 400 W. Walker. You can attend just one session, or two or all three. People who attend all three sessions will…

  • By DR. VICTOR S. SIERPINA
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The old Billy Joel song posed the dynamic of choosing the right color of wine. This has long been debated with oenophiles, those that study and love wines, each with strong opinions, including how to pair wines with foods. The classic alignment is white wines with salads, chicken and fish di…

  • By GALVESTON COUNTY HEALTH DISTRICT
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The Daily News, in cooperation with the Galveston County Health District, publishes weekly health inspection reports. These reports are conducted by the health district office and provided to The Daily News.

  • By SALLY ROBINSON
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Nothing is more important to success than learning to read. Those who can’t read have fewer advantages than those that can. Reading is just as important for babies as it is for adults. Early exposure to reading increases the chances of success in school, and children who share books with the…

  • By DR. VICTOR S. SIERPINA
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While there is a debate about the health benefits of red or white wine, which I will cover in next week’s column, there is no debate among health care experts about the benefits of water. In fact, most of us don’t take in enough. 

  • By THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH
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UTMB’s Academy of Master Clinicians recently inducted its inaugural members. They are Drs. Masood Ahmad, J. Sean Funston, Gloria Brandburg, Luis Pacheco, Jennifer R. Raley, Janak A. Patel, William Mileski, Carolyn Utsey, Michael M. Stone, Vinod Panchbhavi, Sunny Hatch and Michelle Mercatante…

  • By NORBERT HERZOG & DAVID NIESEL
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Antibiotic resistance occurs when strains of bacteria that infect people — such as staph, tuberculosis, and gonorrhea — do not respond to antibiotic treatments. In America, 2 million people become infected with resistant bacteria every year and at least 23,000 die each year because of those …

  • By DR. VICTOR S. SIERPINA
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By now, you have heard about probiotics, the healthy bacteria in our system that help maintain our health. This six pound mass of microscopic organisms are essential to digestion as they help us break down cellulose and other plant and animal matter that our bodies’ can’t digest on their own. 

  • By THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH
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Five University of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing faculty members recently received Excellence in Nursing Awards from the Good Samaritan Foundation. A Gold Medal was presented to Thomas Mendez. Yolanda Davila received a Silver Medal, and Bronze Medals were presented to Maureen Wilder…

  • By NORBERT HERZOG & DAVID NIESEL
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In the past decade, autism has garnered a lot of media attention. Lately much of the focus has been on finding the cause. Much is still a mystery, despite confirming that vaccines and parenting are not responsible. Now a new study of twins has given us another clue, revealing that the influe…

  • By DR. MICHAEL M. WARREN
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Medical students are a vital part of your health care, because without medical students, there would be no doctors. We’ve all got to start some place, right? To put it another way, just as the kids in boot camp become seasoned soldiers, medical students are the future doctors of the world.

  • By NORBERT HERZOG & DAVID NIESEL
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You probably know that AIDS, which has affected 79 million people and killed 39 million since 1981, is the result of HIV. What you may not know is that there are several different types of this virus and they did not all come from the same source, making the search for HIV’s origins lengthy …

  • By DR. VICTOR S. SIERPINA
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A fall in an older adult can be a serious matter. A hip fracture can lead to disability and frequently results in death in up to 50% within a year. The reasons for falls are complex, usually involving weakness, poor sight, balance, medication side effects, drops in blood pressure, chronic di…

  • By THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH
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Univeristy of Texas Medical Branch’s Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center has received a $3.4 million grant from the National Institute on Aging. The grant enables the center to continue its mission to improve physical function and independence in older adults. The focus of t…

  • By T.J. AULDS
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LEAGUE CITY — Two of the world’s first all-female set of quintuplets are home from the hospital. Their sisters are expected to be home next week.

  • By THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH
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As part of Nurses Week last month, more than 20 of the University of Texas Medical Branch’s leaders shadowed nurses from across the Galveston and mainland campuses to get a firsthand look at the successes and challenges nurses experience on a daily basis. At the Angleton Danbury Campus, acti…

  • By DR. VICTOR S. SIERPINA
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In high school physics class, I learned from Sir Isaac Newton that a body in motion will stay in motion. The opposite is true and it is called inertia. The other day in clinic, I went in to see Dylan, a 12 year old. He didn’t look up or say hi to me as I came into the room as he was intently…