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UTHealth Expert List

Stem Cells

Charles Cox, M.D.

Charles  Cox
  • George & Cynthia Mitchell Distinguished Chair in Neurosciences, Department of Pediatric Surgery, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth
  • Director of the Pediatric Surgical Translational Laboratories and Pediatric Program in Regenerative Medicine, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth
  • Director of the Pediatric Trauma Program, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth/Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital
  • Co-director, Texas Trauma Institute

Charles S. Cox, Jr., M.D., specializes in treatment and research surrounding stem cell therapy for traumatic brain injury and related neurological injuries (hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, stroke, spinal cord injury). He has published results of the first acute, autologous cell therapy treatment in a Phase I study for traumatic brain injury in children. He is also researching the use of stem cell therapies for adult traumatic brain injury and cerebral palsy. 

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Dong Kim, M.D.

Dong  Kim
  • Professor and Chair, Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth
  • Director, Mischer Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hermann
  • Chief of Neurosurgery, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and Chairman, Neurosurgery Council for the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System

Dong Kim, M.D., specializes in intracranial aneurysms, brain tumors, arteriovenous malformations, skull base tumors, carotid disease, trigeminal neuralgia and Chiari malformations. His research centers on the origin, development and treatment of brain aneurysms, including identifying the genes that lead to an inherited risk for aneurysms; in using stem cells for the treatment of neurologic disease and spinal cord injury;  and genetic changes in brain tumors.


Sean Savitz, M.D.

Sean  Savitz
  • Professor and Frank M. Yatsu, M.D. Chair in Neurology, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth
  • Director, Vascular Neurology Program and Fellowship, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth

Sean I. Savitz, M.D., specializes in the treatment and research of acute stroke. His research includes using autologous stem cells after acute stroke given intravenously and subacute stroke given by intra-carotid administration; using umbilical cord tissue-derived cells for acute ischemic stroke; and using tPA in patients who wake up with symptoms of stroke.

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Rick Wetsel, Ph.D.

Rick  Wetsel
  • Professor of Molecular Medicine and the William S. Kilroy Sr. Chair in Pulmonary Disease, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth
  • Director, Irma Gigli & Hans J. Mueller-Eberhard Research Center for Immunology and Autoimmune Diseases at The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases (IMM), a part of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth

Rick A. Wetsel, Ph.D.  is leading a research program on the use of human embryonic stem cells to develop a transplantable source of lung cells that could be used to treat lung diseases such as acute respiratory distress syndrome and emphysema. Wetsel's team also is using these cells for gene therapy for inherited genetic defects affecting the lungs including cystic fibrosis and surfactant protein deficiency.

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