The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is supporting one-year pilot projects through the Sealy Center for Environmental Health and Medicine. The projects include research on innate immune response pathways by Dr. Allan Brasier; the role of environmental contaminants in prostate tumors by Marxa Figueiredo; environmental tobacco smoke in lung inflammation by Deepthi Kolli; and environmental estrogen in relation to allergic asthma by Dr. Terumi Midoro-Horiuti. Each received $50,000 for these pilot studies designed to improve health through basic and translational research.

Dr. Karen Dineen Wagner, the Marie B. Gale Professor and Vice Chair of the UTMB Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, has been elected President of the Society of Professors of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the national organization for directors of child and adolescent psychiatry programs. 

An internationally recognized expert in the treatment of childhood mood disorders, Dr. Wagner’s work has led to the development of evidence-based treatments for children and adolescents with major depression and bipolar disorder.



The City of Bullard, Texas has renamed a portion of TX Highway 69 to North Doctor Marjorie Roper Parkway.  Roper is a 1943 Graduate and one of the first female graduates of the School of Medicine.  She spent her career caring for the citizens of Bullard, Texas where she was born and raised.  Roper celebrated her 93rd Birthday on June 9, 2014. 

Congratulations to UTMB students Katie Frank, Maria Tavera, Jane Umotong, Stoni Johnston, Sheri Olayiwola and John Michael Leger for receiving Healthcare and Nursing Education Foundation Nursing Scholarships.

The HNEF awarded academic scholarships to more than 21 Houston-area students dedicated to pursuing a nursing career. Scholarships are awarded according to academics, leadership ability, community involvement, financial need and commitment to pursuing a professional nursing career in the Houston area.  

More than 45 students are currently receiving assistance from the Healthcare and Nursing Education Foundation which was founded in 1994 and strives to make a critical difference in the health of the greater Houston community by providing nursing scholarships and community grants.

The Health Promotion and Wellness team would like to thank all of you who registered for and completed the UT System Physical Activity Challenge – Living Well, Moving Well. We are very proud to say that UTMB had more than 1,400 employees register for this six-week event, and we have already heard many wonderful and uplifting stories from those of you who have made lifestyle changes to include more physical activity into your daily routines. If you came up a little short in reaching the weekly or six-week goal, keep going and remember that every step counts! Please use the Living Well portal powered by Provant as a health and wellness resource as you prepare for next year’s challenge.

Of the top 50 UT System members who completed the challenge goal, 16 were from UTMB. The member with the most steps logged by all challenge participants was UTMB’s very own Prasanth Manukonda!

Everyone who participated in the challenge is a winner, but the two special winners for our sixth-week drawing are:

  • Lynda Williams – Educator, Respiratory Care Services in Internal Medicine
  • Beth Pipkin – Cluster Nurse Manager CMC Eastham Unit

Congratulations to all of our challenge participants and keep moving!


Congratulations to Drs. Rebecca Blue and James Vanderploeg in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health (PMCH). Both recently received major honors during the 2014 meeting of the Aerospace Medical Association.

Dr. Rebecca BlueDr. Blue, PMCH aerospace medicine physician and Aerospace Medicine Residency and MPH program graduate, received the Julian E. Ward Memorial Award. This award as established by the Society of U.S. Air Force Flight Surgeons in memory of its first member to lose his life in an aircraft accident, and to honor all flight surgeons whose lives have been lost in flying activities related to the practice of aerospace medicine. The annual award is for superior performance and/or outstanding achievement in the art and science of aerospace medicine during residency training




Dr. James VanderploegDr. Vanderploeg, PMCH faculty and Director of the Clinical Preventive Medicine Division, received the Louis H. Bauer Founders Award.  This award was established to honor Louis H. Bauer, M.D., founder of the Aerospace Medical Association. It is given annually for the most significant contribution in aerospace medicine.




In addition to these faculty honors, three UTMB Aerospace Medicine residents received awards:

  • Dr. Natacha Chough was awarded the Aerospace Medical Association Jeffrey R. Davis, MD, Endowed Scholarship and the Society of NASA Flight Surgeons Outstanding Student Award.
  • Dr. James Pattarini received the Aerospace Medical Association Jeffrey R. Davis, MD, Endowed Scholarship and the Space Medicine Association Wyle Scholarship.
  • Dr. Robert Mulcahy was selected from among more than 200 competitors for the Jeff Myers Young Investigator Award.

The team of Drs. Chough, Pattarini, and Mulcahy also won the RAM Bowl, a quiz competition among teams from Aerospace Medicine Residency programs.