by UTMB Communications

Mary Ellen Bestani from the Mind-Body Center for Alternative Medicine and Massage will show how acupuncture can help with fighting cancer and its side effects at the next meeting of the GI cancer support group at 5:30 p.m. today in Room 1.132 of the Rebecca Sealy Building, at Market and Eighth streets. 

The group meets the second Tuesday of each month. For more information or to RSVP for the meeting, contact Robert Webster at 409-789-5074 or

Health professionals graduate Friday

The UTMB School of Health Professions will confer degrees to its largest class with 305 students at 2 p.m. Friday at Moody Gardens Conference Center. Students will be awarded degrees in clinical laboratory sciences, respiratory care, occupational therapy, physical therapy and physician assistant studies. Chris Reading, president and chief executive officer of U.S. Physical Therapy, will provide the commencement address.

Accolades for diversity

UTMB will be recognized this fall at the UT System Board of Regents meeting for its outstanding Diversity and Equity Program. UTMB completed a survey this spring for the UT System Employee Advisory Council — Recruitment/Retention Committee, reporting its various efforts to ensure diversity and equity in its human resources programs. Based upon that report, UTMB is being recognized for its excellent work in hiring an ethnically diverse staff. UTMB’s Diversity and Equity Program is directed by Adeola Oduwale.

“Reconstruction of a Survivor" 

The next meeting of the UTMB Breast Cancer Support Group for women diagnosed with breast cancer will be from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Christus Victor Lutheran Church, 2098 W. Main St. in League City. The group helps women at any stage of diagnosis and treatment understand that breast cancer affects them both emotionally and spiritually, not just physically. A light meal and refreshments are offered. Meetings are hosted the third Thursday of each month.

UT System Employee Advisory Council

Gerald Cleveland, past chairman of the UTMB Employee Advisory Council, has been elected vice chairman of the UT System Employee Advisory Council. The EAC is comprised of two appointed individuals from each of the 15 institutions along with staff from the UT System Office of Employee Benefits. Each institutional member severs a three-year term. The Executive Committee serves as an informal resource and sounding board for the UT System Chancellor on issues of importance to the UT System employees. 

National appointments

• Krishna Rajarathnam, professor in the departments of biochemistry and molecular biology and microbiology and immunology, has been selected to serve on the Innate Immunity and Inflammation Study Section of the NIH Center for Scientific Review. 

A nationally and internationally recognized expert in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance structural analysis of chemokines and chemokine receptors, he has made noteworthy contributions to the understanding of their fundamental role in immune and inflammation-related processes. 

• Dr. Susan McCammon, assistant professor of otolaryngology and holder of the Jehu Matthew Robison Distinguished Professorship in Otolaryngology, has been named chair-elect of the Ethics Committee for the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. 

The academy is the group’s primary professional society, representing approximately 12,000 surgeons. McCammon is co-director of the Center for Cancers of the Head and Neck and director of residency for head and neck surgery.