About UTMB Health

About UTMB Health The University of Texas Medical Branch

UTMB Through the Ages

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  • 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
  • 1896
    Medical Department faculty helps construct first X-ray machine in Texas

    Training School for Nurses becomes part of Medical Department
  • 1897
    Medical School expands to a four-year curriculum

    Medical Department graduates first woman

    Yellow fever is a major public health concern in Galveston, creating the need for infectious diseases expertise at the new Medical Department
  • 1899
    Medical Department heads smallpox quarantine camp on Galveston’s East Beach
  • 1900
    The infamous 1900 Hurricane hits Galveston Island; despite damage, classes resume a short time later after Board of Regents decree: “The University of Texas stops for no storm”
  • 1912
    First woman on faculty heads Department of Histology and Embryology
  • 1913
    Medical Department’s Chair of Surgery is founding member and first vice president of American College of Surgeons
  • 1917
    Medical Department raises entrance standards to require two years of college, up from four years of high school
  • 1918
    “Spanish flu” hits Galveston
  • 1919
    Medical Department officially renamed The University of Texas Medical Branch
  • 1922
    The Sealy & Smith Foundation for the John Sealy Hospital chartered
    thmb_1922-John-Sealy-II  thmb_1922-Jennie-Sealy
  • 1925
    Medical Laboratory Building opens
  • 1940
    American Board of Plastic Surgery founded by UTMB faculty
  • 1941
    John Sealy Hospital becomes a state facility operated by The University of Texas
  • 1942
    UTMB graduates two medical classes in one year to meet demand for physicians during World War II
  • 1947
    UTMB mobilizes to care for victims of Texas City explosion; under direction of Dr. Truman Blocker, employs methods of triage learned from World War II
  • 1949
    Herman Barnett, UTMB’s first African-American medical student, enrolls
  • 1952
    Biomedical graduate programs begin
  • 1954
    New John Sealy Hospital building opens

    R. Waverley Smith Memorial Pavilion opens
  • 1962
    General Clinical Research Center opens
  • 1966
    First Shriners Burns Institute dedicated on UTMB campus
  • 1967
    Dr. Truman Blocker becomes UTMB’s first president
  • 1968
    School of Allied Health Sciences established

    Jennie Sealy Hospital dedicated
  • 1969
    Marine Biomedical Institute established

    Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences established
  • 1971
    Libbie Moody Thompson Basic Science Building completed
  • 1972
    Moody Medical Library opens
  • 1973
    Institute for the Medical Humanities established
  • 1974
    Dr. William C. Levin becomes UTMB's second president
  • 1978
    Current John Sealy Hospital tower opens
  • 1983
    Texas Department of Criminal Justice Hospital opens on the UTMB campus
  • 1987
    Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Training in International Health established

    Dr. Thomas N. James becomes UTMB's third president
  • 1989
    Regional Maternal and Child Health Program sees first patient
  • 1992
    Sealy Center for Molecular Sciences established
  • 1994
    Correctional Managed Care contract with Texas Department of Criminal Justice begins

    UTMB conducts its first telehealth consultation
  • 1995
    UTMB’s Center for Tropical Diseases designated a World Health Organization Collaborating Center

    UTMB acquires World Reference Center for Arboviruses

    Sealy Center for Structural Biology established

    Sealy Center for Cancer Cell Biology established
  • 1996
    Lee Hage Jamail Student Center opens

    Primary Care Pavilion opens

    UTMB’s Center on Aging named a Sealy Center
  • 1997
    UTMB receives federal biodefense grant

    Dr. John D. Stobo becomes UTMB's fourth president
  • 1999
    UTMB designated a Level I Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons
  • 2000
    UT System approves construction of Biosafety Level 4 lab on the UTMB campus


    Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Unit opens in John Sealy Hospital; later named among the best such units in the country for patient satisfaction

  • 2001
    John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine inaugurated at UTMB


    Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases announced

    Sealy Center for Vaccine Development established
  • 2002
    School of Nursing graduates first Ph.D. students
  • 2003
    UTMB designated as lead institution for Western Center of Excellence for Infectious Diseases Research by the National Institutes of Health

    UTMB chosen as site of one of only two proposed national biocontainment laboratories

    Biosafety Level 4 laboratory facility dedicated as John Sealy Pavilion for Infectious Diseases Research

    Telemedicine program logs its 100,000th consultation since its inception
  • 2004
    George and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research established

    Institute for Human Infections and Immunity established
  • 2005
    Galveston National Laboratory groundbreaking
  • 2007
    Dr. David L. Callender becomes the fifth UTMB president


    The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences becomes the first public institution in Texas to offer a doctoral degree in clinical science

  • 2008
    Galveston National Laboratory opens as one of only two National Biocontainment Laboratories established by the NIH

    The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases awards $10.9 million contract to UTMB to establish the Clinical Proteomics Center for Infectious Diseases and Biodefense

    The Department of Physical Therapy offers doctoral degree in physical therapy

    Hurricane Ike hits UTMB Galveston Campus on Sept. 13

    2008-Hurricane Ike

    UTMB opens four mainland clinics in first week after storm

    UTMB delivers its first baby since Hurricane Ike in October

  • 2009
    Governor Perry signs legislation authorizing recovery funding for UTMB

    UTMB begins massive Hurricane Ike Recovery Projects totaling $947M; designed to make the campus more resilient and to preserve mission-critical education, research and patient care operations

    Blocker Burn Unit reopens for adult patients in January

    UTMB re-opens John Sealy Hospital as full-service facility with 200 beds in January

    NIH awards UTMB prestigious $21.5M Clinical Translational Sciences Award

    UTMB’s Emergency Room re-opens as a Level III trauma center in August; faculty, staff and administrators begin working toward Level I re-designation

  • 2010
    UTMB launches new brand identity, new logo and tagline “Working Together to Work Wonders”


    UTMB becomes a full member institution of the Texas Medical Center

    UTMB receives over $4 million in funding for cancer research

    NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute awards UTMB $11 million to study conditions associated with airway inflammation
  • 2011
    UTMB ED is re-designated as a Level 1 Trauma Center, 1 of 3 in the greater Houston area


    Researchers awarded $4.8 million to develop Argentine hemorrhagic fever vaccine

    Texas Legislature approves necessary funding to build new hospital, continue Ike recovery

    Researchers receive $3 million NIH grant to study aging in Mexico

    The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approves Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program for UTMB’s School of Nursing

    UTMB researchers awarded $7.8 million by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to study effects of BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

    Researchers develop new candidate vaccine to protect against chikungunya virus

    NIH awards $1.7 million for research to fight plague

    Board of Regents approves new Jennie Sealy Hospital; The Sealy & Smith Foundation pledges $170 million
  • 2012
    UTMB breaks ground for new Jennie Sealy Hospital on Galveston Campus


    UTMB selected to manage Center for Polar Medical Operations


    The Moody Foundation of Galveston pledges $9 million to support traumatic brain injury research at UTMB
  • 2014
    UTMB enters into formal relationship with Angleton Danbury Medical Center, establishing UTMB Angleton Danbury Campus


    UTMB named a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Vaccine Research, Evaluation and Training on Emerging Infectious Diseases—only the second university named in the Western Hemisphere

    UTMB researchers announce effective treatment against Ebola virus

    Time magazine’s 2014 Person of the Year is not one but many—the Ebola fighters—and spotlights UTMB’s Thomas Geisbert

  • 2015
    The UTMB fall semester begins with 3,200 students and nearly 900 faculty members; enrollment increased 42% since 2006

    The Sealy & Smith Foundation provides $75 million to renovate both the interior and exterior of John Sealy Hospital


    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services names UTMB a regional treatment center for patients with Ebola or other highly infectious diseases


    The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center partners with UTMB to construct outpatient cancer center on the UTMB League City Campus


    School of Health Professions graduates first master’s degree in nutrition students


  • 2016
    The 125th Anniversary of UTMB

    Opening of new Jennie Sealy Hospital


    Opening of new hospital on UTMB League City Campus