Consider all we have at our fingertips. Today we can ask Google to find the latest trend in just about any medical topic and within seconds have access to publications, even live teleconferences and presentations from the far corners of the world. Not so in the early 1960s here in the Texas Medical Center. Fortunately, one early University of Texas faculty member had a vision.
Rice University and the Texas Medical Center (TMC) have a long history as neighbors and collaborators. UTHealth and TMC-wide faculty collaborations with Rice provide much to be proud of for the benefit of student learning and medical research. But how did Rice University come to be our neighbor in the first place and where does the name “Rice” come from? The story behind the creation of Rice University rivals even the best detective novels to be found in your corner bookstore.
When George Hermann died in 1914, Houston lost a most beloved citizen. Hermann, a lifelong bachelor who said he could not afford a wife, left part of his fortune for his city to have a charity hospital in his name. But what about the Hermann Professional Building across the street from the hospital at 6410 Fannin with matching red tiled roof that was purchased by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) in 2004 and renamed the UTHealth Professional Building?
For decades, he’s been called the “father of the Texas Medical Center.” Take a look at the streets through the Texas Medical Center bearing the names of many of our community’s forefathers. Bertner Avenue stands out above all others as the main artery running through the very heart of the medical center, a 1 ½ mile-stretch connecting the Jesse H. Jones Library Building to the north and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) South Campus to the south.
In April 1901, Greek sponge divers off the small island of Antikythera found pieces of an artifact with a preserved clockwork mechanism composed of at least 30 meshing bronze gears. Dating back to 100 B.C., it even had evidence of a hand crank and was later dubbed the Antikythera mechanism. Some scholars speculated that the advanced, unique abilities of the device for tracking the stars and the moon may qualify this barnacle-encrusted Greek artifact as mankind’s first device for mechanical computation.
‘Bout Time is about connecting our past to our present. Dr. Bryant Boutwell is the John P. McGovern Professor of Oslerian Medicine at the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics and a Distinguished Teaching Professor. He is the author of two books on the history of Houston and the Texas Medical Center and writes this column to share the stories of our past—stories that define who we are and how we got here.
September 18, 2015 » Dr. Grant Taylor and early teleconferencing
July 15, 2015 » Edgar Odell Lovett and Rice University
May 19, 2015 » Hermann Professional Building and Parking Garage
April 10, 2015 » Ernst Bertner: Father of the Texas Medical Center
March 06, 2015 » Informatics: From abacus to big data
January 29, 2015 » The long reach of Lyndon Baines Johnson
December 22, 2014 » A bayou runs through it
November 25, 2014 » An Oslerian minute
October 31, 2014 » Country breakfast with Red Duke
October 09, 2014 » M.D. Anderson: More than a hospital name
September 11, 2014 » Appreciating diversity and our Constitution
August 15, 2014 » John Shaw Billings: Not your average surgeon
June 19, 2014 » Who was Ben Taub?
May 22, 2014 » R. Lee Clark, MD and the Pink Palace of Healing
May 02, 2014 » Oscar Holcombe: ‘The Old Gray Fox’
April 11, 2014 » Denton Cooley: Following the heart
March 14, 2014 » John P. McGovern: A legacy of giving
February 28, 2014 » Jesse Jones: Behind the Houston skyline
February 14, 2014 » Unsung heroines of the Texas Medical Center
January 31, 2014 » Fred Elliott and the UTHealth School of Dentistry
January 17, 2014 » Houston's gift to humanity
January 03, 2014 » From forest to Texas Medical Center
December 13, 2013 » George Hermann and his hospital
November 22, 2013 » Living Legend – Dr. James H. “Red” Duke, Jr.
November 07, 2013 » Ashbel Smith, MD, and The University of Texas System