Dr. Randall J. Urban has assumed the role of vice dean of clinical research in the school of medicine Thursday. In his new role, Urban will work to help faculty and health care providers get more involved in cutting-edge clinical research. Employing clinical trials, philanthropy/grants and mentorship, as well as marketing, Urban will work with Dr. David Niesel, chief research officer, to support the UTMB researcher. Urban will continue as chair of the department of internal medicine while a national search is conducted to hire his successor.



Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in America and is expected to cause more than 50,000 deaths in 2018. However, it is also one of the most preventable types of cancer, and is often curable when detected early. UTMB experts recommend regular screenings beginning at the age of 50 for men and women. Some common risk factors include a history of the disease in your family, a high-fat, low-fiber diet with lots of red or processed meats and obesity. Not everyone will have symptoms of the disease, but some things to look for include losing weight unexpectedly, blood in the stool or a significant change in bowel movements. To schedule a screening appointment, call the League City campus at 832-505-1800; Galveston campus at 409-772-4798, or the Angleton campus at 979-848-9111.


UTMB has two leading experts who are studying why the number of women who die after having a baby has increased. Drs. Gary Hankins, chair of obstetrics and gynecology, and George Saade, director of maternal and fetal medicine, will speak about the issue in the next UTMB Health Policy Dialogue. Their presentation, “Postpartum Care: Decreasing Maternal Mortality and Improving Long-Term Health,” will be at noon March 28 in the Levin Hall dining room on the Galveston campus. For information, email rltrout@utmb.edu.


Just about everyone knows about March Madness, the college basketball playoff tournament. For UTMB, March is all about STAT Madness. To explain, UTMB is in a national competition for the best ideas in biomedical science. It’s a contest run by STAT, a national online publication focused on science, medicine and scientific discovery.

The competition is called STAT Madness and has a bracket format similar to the college basketball March Madness. UTMB has advanced to the field of 32 and is the only public Texas university that has two scientific studies, one is about Zika and the other about multiple sclerosis, in the contest.

STAT Madness is meant to be fun and also raise awareness about the importance of scientific research. We hope that you can take the time to vote! Vote from your laptop, your phone or your desktop. Vote at https://www.statnews.com/feature/stat-madness/bracket/.

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