Doctor looking at tablet


A five foot tall white robot in a hospital hallway

UTMB Deploys Robots to Support Hospital Staff

The University of Texas Medical Branch welcomed some new staff members at the Angleton Danbury campus this week: two nearly life-sized robots programmed to support the human staff and free up nurses from certain tasks to allow them more time to spend with patients.

Three-Year Anniversary of the Pandemic; Plus, the Origins of COVID-19

Dr. Pei-Yong Shi, professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, explained the work his team did that contributed to the rapid development of the first COVID-19 vaccine in humans, the research done to understand the variants and the future strategy of the vaccine.

Creating a versatile vaccine to take on Covid-19 in its many guises

Collaborators at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston carried out experiments that showed a strong immune response in mice given the vaccine. The mice in this experiment did not die but were “humanized,” meaning that they had an HLA molecule found in human cells.

Texas City students to get a lesson in drunk driving

Public school students will see a gruesome depiction of the effects of drunken and drugged driving during an interactive presentation March 10. Texas City ISD, with the help of the University of Texas Medical Branch, will stage a live production to vividly portray the devastating effects of the common occurrence, officials said.

Focus on the right fatty foods

“It may come as a surprise for some that fat is an essential food,” wrote Dr. Sally Robinson in her column. Healthy fat is critical for a child’s growth and brain development.

What is the effect of religion on your health?

Numerous studies show how religious involvement affects our coping skills, improves the quality of life, decreases anxiety and depression symptoms, lowers suicide risk and can even add years to your life, Dr. Samuel Mathis wrote in his column.

Artificial intelligence says it's not after your job

Dr. Cody Dodd, a child psychologist who works in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Medical Branch, spoke to The Galveston County Daily News about the pros and cons of artificial intelligence. “What we know is if you get good treatment that’s great, but what’s better is getting treatment from somebody that you feel understands you. Until we can get to the point where people can form relationships with AI, this is going to be very tough for AI to take a therapist’s job.”

Residents near the Jones Road Superfund Site call for more testing

Local environmental group THEA has partnered with researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch in the area both inside and outside the EPA's official boundary. “The purpose of whatever we find whether good or bad is for them to be able to utilize that in requesting any additional services from EPA if necessary,” Dr. Lance Hallberg with UTMB previously told Houston Public Media.

A different way to take the vaccine

“Most people would love it if vaccinations didn’t involve needles and the ouch that goes with them,” wrote Drs. Norbert Herzog and David Niesel in Medical Discovery News. “But for respiratory infections, vaccinations given into the nose or mouth may be more effective than intramuscular (IM) inoculations.”

What is non-sleep deep rest and how to practice it?

Non-Sleep Deep Rest, also called Yoga Nidra, is a way to help the body relax and replenish dopamine levels. Dr. Samuel Mathis described how to do a simple exercise and offered his personal results after trying it.

Evolution turns these knobs to make a hummingbird hyperquick and a cavefish sluggishly slow

Muscle is extremely important for regulating whole-body metabolism, said Dr. Tray Wright, who studies animal physiology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “In many animals, muscle mass can make up 40 to 50 percent of their body mass, and it is a really metabolically demanding tissue. By tuning that metabolism in the muscle, you really affect a lot of animal fitness.”

Fact check: No evidence vitamin C prevents pregnancy, doctors say

Vitamin C actually makes pregnancy more likely, said Dr. Shannon Clark, a professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch’s department of obstetrics and gynecology. It can increase progesterone levels, which thickens the lining of the uterus, thus potentially making it more receptive to a fertilized egg.

Understanding the recommendations for COVID-19 booster shots

Don’t take over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen before getting your booster, cautions Dr. Susan McLellan, a professor in the infectious diseases division and medical director of the Biocontainment Treatment Unit at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. These may lessen the effectiveness of the boosters.

The story of Texas’ first Black medical school graduate

Five years before Brown v. Board of Education desegregated public schools in the south, the first Black student was accepted into a Texas medical school. Dr. Herman Barnett applied to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1949, in direct challenge to the state’s segregation laws at the time. Barnett attended UTMB on the condition that he’d later transfer to a separate medical school for Black students that the university planned to build. But that school was never built, and Barnett ended up making history.

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