About UTMB Health

About UTMB Health The University of Texas Medical Branch


For more than 125 years, UTMB has stood with Texas—training the health care workforce; helping make the state a leader in advancing the understanding and treatment of illness and injury; serving as a major provider of health care for Texans and their families; and innovating the future of how care is delivered.

UTMB opened in 1891 as the nation’s first public medical school and hospital under unified leadership—already a pioneer. What began as one hospital and medical school building in Galveston is now a major academic health sciences center of global influence, with medical, nursing, health professions and graduate biomedical schools; a world-renowned research enterprise; and a growing, comprehensive health system with hospitals on four campuses and a network of clinics. Today, UTMB has a $3.3 billion annual statewide economic impact, in terms of business volume, personal income and durable goods purchases. More than 46,000 jobs in Texas are directly or indirectly attributed to UTMB.

UTMB includes schools of Medicine, Nursing, Health Professions and Graduate Biomedical Sciences; four institutes for advanced study; a major medical library; a network of hospitals and clinics that provide a full range of primary and specialized medical care; and numerous research facilities. UTMB is a part of The University of Texas System and a member of the Texas Medical Center.


UTMB Through the Ages

  • 1881
    Galveston chosen as site for University of Texas Medical Department by popular vote of state’s citizens
  • 1884
    A $50,000 bequest from Galveston businessman John Sealy is designated for construction of a hospital in Galveston
  • 1890
    John Sealy Hospital Training School for Nurses holds first classes

    John Sealy Hospital opens
  • 1891
    Medical Department holds first session in the Ashbel Smith Building, named for the physician who advocated creation of the University of Texas and its medical department; building becomes known as “Old Red” for its ruddy granite, brick and sandstone exterior
  • 1892
    Three men receive medical degrees from the Medical Department
  • 1894
    First women admitted to Medical Department
See Entire UTMB Timeline


Dr. David Callender, UTMB President

A Message from the President

"UTMB has a long and marvelous history of advancing health sciences education, research and patient care. It was the first academic health center in Texas and is home to the state’s first schools of medicine, nursing and allied health sciences. For more than 125 years, the university has maintained a forward-thinking spirit that has enabled it to serve its students, its patients and people in Texas and beyond in innovative ways.

That pioneering spirit is alive and well today, enabling us to honor our legacy even as we expand our focus to improve health care worldwide. The members of the UTMB community share a deep commitment to service, an enduring dedication to excellence, a strong desire to blaze new trails and a great willingness to leverage their extraordinary expertise."


Dr. David L. Callender
President