From the Desk of the President

Top Doc – Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) El Paso Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jose Manuel de la Rosa, M.D., MSc, received the Texas Medical Association’s top honor at its annual conference in Austin. Dr. de la Rosa was presented with the TMA’s Excellence in Academic Medicine Platinum Award – which recognizes physicians who have dedicated their lives to the care of their patients and preparation of tomorrow’s physician workforce. Congratulations Manny!

NIH Award – A research project initiated three years ago through the TTUHSC El Paso Institutional Faculty Mentoring Program has received a National Institutes of Health Academic Research Enhancement Award grant in the amount of $382,500 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). PLFSOM Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Himanshu Garg, Ph.D., was awarded the grant for the project Host and Viral Factors in HIV Pathogenesis”, thanks to guidance from his mentor, and Chair of the TTUHSC El Paso Department of Internal Medicine, Debabrata Mukherjee, M.D., as well as co-investigators Anjali Joshi, Ph.D., from the Department of Biomedical Sciences, and Zuber Mulla, Ph.D., from the Department of OB-GYN. Read more in this week’s Tech View blog.

Holistic Approach – The Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM) Department of Biomedical Sciences Center of Emphasis in Neurosciences was awarded a $200,000 grant by The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. These funds will be used to implement the Texas Recovery to Practice (RTP) in Psychiatry Program to educate psychiatry residents throughout the state, as well as train psychiatrists working in key mental health centers and the four largest state psychiatric inpatient hospitals.  RTP is a national initiative promoting recovery-based principles and practices that teaches physicians and students to look at the big picture, including a patient’s cultural background, support system, and health, to name a few – while assisting the patient to live a more productive life.  Great work! 

Teaching Moment – The PLFSOM was well represented by Drs. Tammy Salazar, Janet Piskurich and Naomi Lacy at the Association of American Medical Colleges Southern Group on Educational Affairs Meeting in Charlotte, NC last weekend. Multiple posters and workshops highlighted PLFSOM initiatives in medical education.

Students – I am proud to share that recent PLFSOM graduates and students were recently inducted into the Pathology Honors Society, in conjunction with the Intersociety Council for Pathology Information. They were Benjamin Ramos, M.D., Lily (Sunyu) Tran, M.D., Jonathon Lavezo, Jeffrey Mohlman, Jacob Smith, Astin Powers, Mark Girton, Cynthia Reyes Barron, Leigha Sharp, and James Gaulding. These students were honored for their special aptitude and interest in the field of pathology. No doubt, their passion for answers will take them far.  See photos from there ceremony here.

Special Visit – TTUHSC El Paso Assistant Vice President for Research Peter Rotwein, M.D., and I were in Washington, DC, this past week meeting with several Texas Congressmen and Senator John Cornyn to educate them about our health sciences center and the importance of increasing funding for the National Institute of Health (NIH) and graduate medical education (GME). We appreciate the warm reception we received from all of our legislators and their staff.

You’re Invited – Next, Thursday, May 8, everyone is invited for a Mother’s Day Celebration from noon until 2:30 p.m. in TTUHSC El Paso Baby Café, located at the lower level of the Texas Tech Medical Center Building at 4801 Alberta. This is the second oldest Baby Café in the nation. Everyone is invited to visit its new location to learn more about it – while enjoying a glass of iced tea or lemonade and cookies. Hope to see you there.