Dr. Nisha Jain Garg,
professor in the departments of Microbiology and Immunology and of Pathology, was awarded $2.3 million from the National Institutes of Health to examine the previously unknown role of a DNA repair protein called PARP1 in increasing the risk of heart damage that often accompanies Chagas disease. The chronic disease is caused by a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi, which is spread by the so-called kissing bug, triatomine. Chagas disease affects an estimated seven million people worldwide, mostly in the Americas. Each year, Chagas disease is responsible for about 17,000 deaths and costs around $8 billion in health care costs and lost productivity. The goal of this grant is to gain new insight into how how the parasite damages the body and offer a new therapy for minimizing bodily damage in people with Chagas disease.
Dr. Christine Baker,
professor, Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health Professions; Dr. José Barral,
professor and vice chair for operations, Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology and Anatomy, and associate dean for academic affairs in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; and Dr. Yolanda Davila,
professor, School of Nursing; have been accepted as members of the University of Texas System Kenneth I. Shine, MD, Academy of Health Science Education for 2018. The academy is a formal organization of distinguished scholars recognized for their teaching excellence, and serves UT System through the support and promotion of excellence in all aspects of health science education, educational scholarship and leadership.
UTMB’s Galveston and League City campuses
donated more than 1,500 pounds of nonperishable food items as a community partner in the 37th annual ABC13 Share Your Holidays Food Drive in December. Lori Blackwell,
UTMB’s coordinator for the food drive and administrative manager with University Events and Conferences, was joined by Larry Krcma,
associate vice president of University Events, and Julian Ramirez,
catering attendant, to drop off UTMB’s contributions on Dec. 8 at Ball High School in Galveston. All contributions collected in Galveston County are administered by the Galveston County Food Bank for distribution throughout the local area.
Dr. Michael Leger,
director of Quality and Healthcare Safety, was recognized at a recent Health System Leadership Team meeting for his act of kindness toward a stranger at a Galveston grocery store. Donna Sollenberger, executive vice president and CEO of the UTMB Health System, shared a letter submitted by someone who observed Leger buying groceries for a woman in the Arlan’s Market checkout line. The woman didn’t have enough money to pay for her items, which included ingredients for making her daughter’s birthday cake. The letter said, “…when he realized what was happening, he handed his credit card to the cashier and told her to charge that lady’s groceries to him… All he said was, ‘Sometimes you have to pay it forward.’ … Although I’m sure many people at UTMB do nice things every day, I just thought you should know what he did to make someone’s day better and probably make a little girl’s birthday so special.”
Thirty-two students from UTMB’s School of Medicine, School of Nursing and School of Health Professions
traveled to Peru during their holiday break in December to provide care to the underserved community. Drs. Ben and Sharon Raimer
(SOM) and Dr. Adrianna Laprea
(SHP) supervised the students during this ninth trip to Lima with Hands and Feet Medical Missions. The group saw 525 people over the course of four days, working in small interdisciplinary teams to assess and treat their patients.
was recently recognized in several categories in the 2017 Best of the Island Awards sponsored by Galveston. com. Recognition included Best Place to Work, Best Large Business, Best Physician and Best Nurse. For a complete listing of the awards, visit www.galveston.com/bestofgalveston/