A message from the president
Strong seniors, healthy futures for people of all ages
While I assist at the helm as president ad interim of our UT Health Science Center, my thoughts and prayers are with Bill Henrich and his family during this time of his medical leave. We all wish him the best of health and look forward to his return to the presidency this coming spring.
Although I am transitioning from the deanship in the Dental School, where I have served for 25 years, it is just not possible to completely fill Dr. Henrich’s shoes. I am proud and humbled to serve in this role during his absence. It is a privilege to work in this capacity, side by side, with the faculty, staff and students who make this university among the nation’s finest.
This Mission illustrates why our Health Science Center is world renowned in research, education, clinical care and community service. For those of us who are 55 and older, this issue is especially interesting. On the cover is Ed Rapier, 79, who is the picture of health, thanks to our UT Medicine San Antonio orthopaedic physicians and physical therapists. Mr. Rapier went from suffering a debilitating muscle tear, to playing golf and basketball in a matter of months. He represents the many seniors who are benefiting from the outstanding research and clinical care of our UT Health Science Center physicians and scientists.
Also in this issue, you’ll learn of the research achievements at our internationally known Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies, which has been called “the gold standard of aging research in the United States.”
Barshop investigators are working to understand the mechanisms of aging by studying unlikely species such as clams and hydras; they are learning to preserve memory by analyzing a compound discovered on an island 2,000 miles from any population center; and they are preparing the next generation of scientists to enter the field of aging research through the nation’s first Ph.D. program focused on the biology of aging.
In other labs at the Health Science Center researchers are understanding how to prevent and better treat osteoporosis and cancer in the elderly. Specially designed hospital facilities accommodate elderly and, in the Dental School, our faculty, residents and students operate a superb dental clinic, one of only a handful in the country, that caters to seniors with special medical needs. I am especially proud to announce that the Senior Care Dental Clinic, along with our other dental clinics, will be greatly refreshed and expanded when they are relocated in 2014 to the new Center for Oral Health Care & Research to be built next to the Medical Arts & Research Center of UT Medicine San Antonio, at 8300 Floyd Curl Drive.
We deeply appreciate your support, as well as the generosity and leadership of our community partners and donors, many of whom are also spotlighted in this issue. Working together with you, we are able to make lives better for people of all ages.
Kenneth L. Kalkwarf, D.D.S., M.S.
President ad interim
UT Health Science Center at San Antonio