• Months early and a century behind: Why we know so little about preterm births

    One in 10 babies is born preterm; that is, more than three weeks before the baby’s due date. And, despite the anguish hundreds of thousands of families go through each year—and the billions of dollars it takes to care for the children—little is known about what causes premature births or how to prevent them. “Every time I’m asked by a patient, ‘why did this happen?’ My answer is typically, ‘we don’t know.’ And I’m tired of having to answer, ‘we don’t know,’” said Dr. George Saade, the chief of obstetrics at UTMB and the former president of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, the professional organization for obstetricians who specialize in high-risk pregnancies.

  • Not all heroes wear capes — some sport feathers

    Chickens are useful for monitoring West Nile Virus and St. Louis encephalitis because they don’t get sick from those viruses. A bird bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus will develop antibodies but won’t get sick, said Dr. Scott Weaver, the director of the Institute for Human Infections & Immunity at UTMB. “It’s probably the best way to know if a virus like West Nile is circulating in the area,” Weaver said. “With a sentinel chicken, you’re kind of sampling a lot of mosquitoes with one chicken. If that chicken is sitting in its coop getting bit by dozens of mosquitoes a day, you end up with the equivalent of sampling thousands of mosquitoes with one bird.”

  • COVID Help Desk: How can Houstonians stay safe this Halloween?

    Dr. Susan McLellan, professor of infectious diseases at the University of Texas Medical Branch, has rules for having a COVID-safe Halloween: be vaccinated (if you’re old enough), wear a mask, don’t go to large indoor gatherings, and don’t breathe in each other’s faces.

  • Texas A&M, UTMB construction bill with $90M for Galveston heading to Abbott

    Texas lawmakers agreed Oct. 18 on a revenue bond package to pay for construction and major maintenance projects at universities. Under the bill, UTMB would get $59.9 million. The amounts differ from a bill passed out of the Senate last week. In that bill, the medical branch was slated to receive more than $87 million. The medical branch would use the money for infrastructure and research upgrades, officials said last week.

  • Walk Through Healthcare Simulation Centers with These Virtual Tours

    The Interprofessional Health Education Simulation Center at UTMB has served more than 2,500 learners in its first 90 days of operations. The center contributes to the education, training and development of medical professionals. The HEC mission statement is to lead innovative interprofessional health and science education through cutting-edge simulation to optimize collaborative learning and improve health outcomes.

  • COVID Help Desk: Are elective surgeries back in the Houston area?

    Elective surgeries that were postponed at Houston-area hospitals during the peak of the COVID Delta variant surge are being rescheduled now. UTMB facilities are open for elective cases and are rescheduling any that were postponed in the previous two months, said Dr. Timothy Harlin, executive vice president and CEO of the hospital system.

  • UTMB seeks volunteers with diabetes, cardiac arrhythmia for spaceflight research

    UTMB is studying people with diabetes and cardiac arrhythmia to see if they can safely travel into space. “This will help us better understand how individuals with certain medical conditions may tolerate spaceflight and how to best prepare them for the experience,” said Dr. Rebecca Blue, UTMB flight surgeon and the study's investigator.

  • UTMB researcher's work puts Galveston lab in front lines of COVID battle

    Senior Reporter John Wayne Ferguson profiled Dr. Pei-Yong Shi, whose work on COVID-19 led to millions of people being inoculated against the virus. “We can man-make the virus and we can manipulate the virus in any way we want,” Shi said. “That’s really the landmark of being able to get a handle to study the virus, because all of a sudden, you can make changes in the virus.”

  • Studies show COVID-19 worsens pregnancy complication risk

    A UTMB study showed that pregnant women with symptomatic COVID-19 had a higher percentage of emergency complications when compared to those who tested positive but didn't have symptoms. Many other national news outlets also reported on this study.