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Putting a patient in the driver’s seat

Putting a patient in the driver’s seat

Laser surgery sets epilepsy patient free

Getting your driver’s license is a liberating moment, but for Christine Melody, it meant so much more than the freedom of the open road. Finally getting behind that wheel marked an end to the phase of her life where she was imprisoned by epilepsy and the happy beginning of living life to the fullest.


Kathaleen Wall, Donor
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A Family Tradition

How Generosity Propels Brain Research

Growing up on a cattle ranch in East Texas, Kathaleen Wall learned her foundational values from her parents: faith, family, community—and generosity.

Dr Sean Savitz and stroke patient
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A paradigm shift for stroke

Reducing inflammation to preserve the brain (and the person)

Unbeknownst to Sean I. Savitz, MD, his professional career would take on a momentum of its own when he was recruited to join McGovern Medical School at UTHealth faculty more than 10 years ago as a stroke specialist with a background in stem cells.

Cizik School of Nursing doctoral student Yun-Ju Lai believes a high level of optimism will not only improve recovery for stroke victims, but it also will help improve everyone’s life.
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Better living through better thinking

Using optimism to improve stroke recovery

Behind the body, an amazing machine made up of muscle and blood, skin, and bones, is the essence of what makes a person—the mind and influence of emotions. Figuring out the connection between mental and physical health is what keeps Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth doctoral student Yun-Ju Lai up at night.

Gabriela Colpo, PhD and Natalia Pessoa Rocha, PhD, work to give hope to patients with Huntington’s disease.
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Looking Beyond a Disease

Unraveling Huntington’s Disease Through Research

The patients who see Natalia Pessoa Rocha, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Antonio L. Teixeira, MD, PhD, carry a heavier burden than most. Some come in wheelchairs, bereft of muscle control in their legs. Others seem the perfect picture of health. But one tie binds them inextricably together: Huntington’s disease.

Ian de Koster, Patient
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Restoring Health, Restoring Identity

High School Soccer Star Returns to His Passion

Ian de Koster took aim at the soccer ball and launched himself into the air. As the 17-year-old high school soccer player’s head propelled the ball downfield, an opponent’s skull whacked into his. Ian recalls a daze creeping into his vision and seeing things as if they were happening in a movie, but he quickly collected himself and continued playing.

Schmitz and Lane are leading innovative research to better understand addiction and how best to treat it.
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Addressing a Growing Crisis

Merging Biological and Cognitive Science to Tackle Addiction

Addiction, one of the leading behavioral disorders, takes a heavy toll on individuals, their families, and entire communities. When caught in the downward spiral of addiction—whether to drugs or alcohol—families suffer because of destructive behavior, diminished health, and problems at home or work.

Shawn S. Adibi, DDS
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Getting to the root of disorders

Integrative solutions for enigmatic jaw disorders

“The more conservative care we can give to a patient, the better the result is for the individual and our society.” Davor Seferovic embraces his mentor’s motto as he pursues his future as a dentist.

Cody Comeaux, Patient
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Mending the Body and Mind

Nearly Fatal Accident Begins a Long Road to a New Journey

The car accident was bad. Cracked skull. Broken face. Crushed ankles. Limited brain activity. Coma

Diana and Russell Hawkins support a “rapid strike force” for cutting-edge research through their endowed fellowships at The University of Texas MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
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Leading by Example

Diana and Russell Hawkins Open Doors to Discovery

Diana Mayor Hawkins begins her 20th year as a member of the UTHealth Development Board by   assuming the role of Chair, a position she will hold for two years. She has served as a member of the board’s membership committee, executive committee, and campaign cabinet. She also is a past chair of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Advisory Council.