University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)
Type Public
Established 1972
Endowment $269 million (market value)[1]
President Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, M.D.
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Postgraduates 4,811[2]
1,060 Medical School
437 Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
245 Biomedical Informatics
548 Dentistry
1,247 Nursing
1,274 Public Health
Location Houston, Texas, USA
29°42′12″N 95°24′10″W / 29.703251°N 95.402871°W / 29.703251; -95.402871Coordinates: 29°42′12″N 95°24′10″W / 29.703251°N 95.402871°W / 29.703251; -95.402871
Campus Urban; 4.57 million ft2
McGovern Medical School at UTHealth

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) was created in 1972 by The UT System Board of Regents. UTHealth is located in the Texas Medical Center, considered the largest medical center in the world.[3] It is composed of six schools: McGovern Medical School, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston, UTHealth School of Dentistry, UTHealth School of Nursing, UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics and UTHealth School of Public Health. UTHealth faculty have been instrumental in pioneering the use of Tissue plasminogen activator[4] and the development of Life Flight.[5]


University Center Tower

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) was established in 1972 as Houston’s health university. The most comprehensive academic health center in The UT System and the U.S. Gulf Coast region, UTHealth is home to schools of biomedical informatics, biomedical sciences, dentistry, medicine, nursing and public health. UTHealth educates more health care professionals than any health-related institution in Texas. It also includes the Harris County Psychiatric Center (HCPC) and a growing number of clinics throughout the region.

For the 2016 fiscal year, UTHealth has an operating budget of $1.36 billion. In FY2015, UTHealth had $222.7 million in research expenditures and more than 1.76 million total patient visits. The university has 4.57 million sq. ft. in buildings and facilities. Since the university was established in 1972, 40,559 students have graduated.[6] The President of UTHealth is Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, M.D..[7]


McGovern Medical School[edit]

One of the largest medical schools in the United States, the McGovern Medical School was established by the University of Texas System Board of Regents in 1969 to help shore up the projected state and national shortages of physicians. The school has graduated 7,179 physicians. The school is divided into 24 departments and various specialized research centers. The school's primary teaching hospitals are Memorial Hermann - Texas Medical Center, Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital and Harris Health Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital. The dean of the medical school is Barbara Stoll, M.D.. On November 23, 2015, UTHealth announced that the UTHealth Medical School had been renamed the John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Medical School in honor of a $75 million gift from the John P. McGovern Foundation, the largest gift in the university’s history.[8]

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences[edit]

In 1962 there was a movement, led by then MD Anderson Hospital President, R. Lee Clark, M.D., to establish The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston. At that time there were 13 predoctoral students studying with scientists at MD Anderson who were enrolled through The University of Texas at Austin. Six MD Anderson scientists were special members, and four students were special associates, in the Graduate School Faculty at Austin. The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences was established on June 11, 1963, and activated by the Board of Regents of the University of Texas on September 28, 1963.[9]

After a two-year national search to recruit an outstanding scientist as dean of the new school, Paul A. Weiss, Ph.D., was chosen. At the time of his appointment he was 66 and had just retired from the Rockefeller Institute. The Rockefeller graduate program, where the curriculum was interdisciplinary, was the prototype for Dr. Weiss' plan for the curriculum. This tradition has been integral to the mission of the GSBS.[9] Currently, the deans of the school are Michael Blackburn, Ph.D., and Michelle Barton, Ph.D..

School of Dentistry[edit]

Since its founding in 1905, the School of Dentistry has graduated approximately 11,000 dentists, dental hygienists and post-graduate specialists. Currently, the school offers 10 accredited programs: D.D.S., dental hygiene, two primary care general residency programs and six specialty programs in pediatric dentistry, endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, prosthodontics, periodontics and orthodontics.[10] The dean of the dental school is John A. Valenza, D.D.S..

Students gain clinical skills in on-site clinics, at affiliated hospitals and through community outreach projects. The school has affiliations with Houston-area hospitals, school districts and a wide variety of clinics, community organizations and long-term health care centers. As the only dental school in southeast Texas, the School of Dentistry is a primary source of quality oral health care for low-income families, the traditionally underserved, and for patients with special needs and/or medical co-morbidities. Among the hospitals affiliated are:

School of Nursing[edit]

Established in 1972, the School of Nursing is ranked in the top five percent of graduate nursing programs in the country and is the highest ranked in Texas.[11] The School of Nursing offers programs resulting in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. The school also provides a wide variety of settings in which students and faculty can study, conduct research and participate in clinical practice. The school is proud of the quality and variety of experiences that are offered our graduate and undergraduate students. With more than 1,200 students currently enrolled, the School of Nursing graduates an average of 185 new nurses and 130 nurses with graduate degrees each year. Since 1972, 10,167 nurses have graduated from the school. The dean is Lorraine Frazier, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N. The School of Nursing and Student Community Center, which opened in 2004, was the first UT System building to be certified with the LEED® Gold rating for sustainability. The 195,000-sq.-ft. facility has received several prestigious local, state and national architectural design awards to date.

School of Public Health[edit]

Following authorization in 1947, the Texas State Legislature first appropriated funds for the School of Public Health in 1967. The first class was admitted in the fall of 1969, occupying rented and borrowed space. The main campus of the school is located in Houston in the Texas Medical Center. In response to the need for graduate public health education in other geographic areas of the state, the School of Public Health established regional campuses in San Antonio (1979), El Paso (1992), Dallas (1998), Brownsville (2000) and Austin (2007). Each campus was established to meet the public health education and research needs of its community. The regional campuses have their own resident faculty and on-site course offerings. Interactive video courses originate from and connect all six of the school's campuses. The school has four academic divisions: Biostatistics; Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences; Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences; and Management, Policy and Community Health; as well as 14 research centers. The School of Public Health has the top-ranked doctoral program in Health Promotion/Health Education.[12]

The school offers graduate education leading to proficiency in the skills needed for public health careers. The main campus in Houston offers four degree programs: M.P.H., Dr.PH, M.S. and Ph.D. The regional campuses provide masters- and doctoral-level education to individuals in areas geographically distanced from Houston. This allows faculty and students to target public health issues of particular relevance to the communities in which they are located. Since 1972, there have been 7,297 graduates of the school. The school is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) and the university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The dean is Eric Boerwinkle, Ph.D.

School of Biomedical Informatics[edit]

The School of Biomedical Informatics, formerly known as the School of Health Information Sciences, was founded in 1972 as the School of Allied Health Sciences and is the newest of the six UTHealth schools. In 1992, UTHealth determined it would focus on graduate education in the health sciences. At that time, the school began to shift from traditional allied health baccalaureate programs toward the development of graduate programs to join the other professional and graduate schools in the university. In 1997, the school created the Department of Health Informatics and began to offer a Master of Science in health informatics. In 2001, the school name was changed to the School of Health Information Sciences, which also subsumed all faculty and students in the department. The school offered a Master of Science in health informatics, a Doctor of Philosophy in health informatics and a certificate program in Health Informatics for non-degree seeking students. In 2010, the school underwent another name change and became the School of Biomedical Informatics. It currently offers certificate programs in health informatics, a Master of Science in Health Informatics with two tracks: a traditional research track and an applied health informatics track, a Doctor of Philosophy in Health Informatics and dual-degree programs with the School of Public Health. The dean is Jiajie Zhang, Ph.D..


James H. “Red” Duke, Jr., M.D.[edit]

James H. "Red" Duke, Jr., M.D., (November 16, 1928 – August 25, 2015) was a Texas icon, renowned trauma surgeon and professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, where he worked on-site since 1972.

As one of UTHealth’s first faculty members at its Medical School, Duke established the trauma service at the primary teaching hospital now called Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. In 1976, he was instrumental in developing Life Flight®, the state’s first lifesaving air ambulance service. For almost four decades, he served as medical director of Life Flight, a signature program of Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute.

A founding member of the American Trauma Society, Duke spent much of his medical career developing an infrastructure to provide better care for injured patients while also focusing on programs to prevent injuries. He played a critical role in the development of the EMS and trauma system in the state of Texas. His tireless pursuits also resulted in serious consideration for the position of U.S. Surgeon General in 1989.

As a result of the nationally syndicated television news program, Texas Health Reports, which educated millions about topics ranging from kidney stones to injury prevention to proper nutrition, he became one of the most recognized personalities in his field.

His trademark bottle-brush mustache, military issued wire-rimmed glasses, Texas twang and colorful stories accented with cowboy hat and folksy humor made Duke a one-of-a-kind folk hero with the personality of an old-fashioned country doctor and the extraordinary talent of modern-day surgeon.

When the father of four wasn’t with his family, in the operating room, at his patients’ bedside or starring on a television program, he was an ardent conservationist, serving as past president of the Wild Sheep Foundation, the Boone and Crocket Club and founder of the Texas Bighorn Society, which has been successful in reintroducing bighorn sheep to West Texas.

Duke was especially dedicated to his ongoing work with the U.S. military to enhance medical technology on the battlefield and surgical techniques supporting the medical needs of our military personnel. As a co-founder of the Texas Medical Center’s Hiring Red, White & You! initiative, he was equally dedicated to finding employment opportunities for military veterans who wanted to transition into the civilian workforce.[13]

Other notable faculty[edit]

While at the university, Ferid Murad was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on nitric oxide as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system.[14] Two faculty have been the recipients of the Prince Mahidol Award for Medicine: the late Palmer Beasley, M.D. (in 1999) and the late Stanley Schultz, M.D. (in 2006). Lex Frieden, disability rights activist and chairman of National Council on Disability, is also a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center. There are a number of other distinguished faculty at the school, including:

7 members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

  • L. Maximilian Buja, M.D.
  • John H. Byrne, Ph.D.
  • Kathleen Gibson, Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus)
  • Irma Gigli, M.D. (Professor Emeritus)
  • Samuel Kaplan, Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus)
  • Kevin A. Morano, Ph.D.
  • Jerry Wolinsky, M.D.

5 members of the Institute of Medicine

  • Lu Ann Aday, Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus)
  • Irma Gigli, M.D. (Professor Emeritus)
  • Roberta Ness, M.D., M.P.H.
  • Barbara J. Stoll, M.D.
  • James T. Willerson, M.D.

3 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

  • Irma Gigli, M.D. (Professor Emeritus)
  • William Jackson Schull, Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus)
  • John L. Spudich, Ph.D.

13 members of the American Academy of Nursing

  • Susan Benedict, D.S.N., CRNA
  • Nancy Bergstrom, Ph.D., R.N.
  • Deanna Grimes, Dr.PH, R.N.
  • Sandra Hanneman, Ph.D., R.N.
  • Joanne Hickey, Ph.D., R.N.
  • Duck-Hee Kang, Ph.D., R.N.
  • Thomas Mackey, Ph.D., R.N.
  • Marianne Marcus, Ed.D., R.N. (Professor Emeritus)
  • Janet Meininger, Ph.D., R.N.
  • Susan D. Ruppert, Ph.D., R.N.
  • Patricia L. Starck, D.S.N., R.N.
  • Geri Wood, Ph.D., R.N.
  • Joan C. Engebretson, Dr.PH, AHN-BC, R.N.

University Housing[edit]

Student housing entrance at El Paseo

The university has three student housing properties, one at 7900 Cambridge (Phase I) and two at 1885 El Paseo (Phase II and III).[15] The student housing on Cambridge, a two-story complex, was built in 1982 and includes the Child Development Center. The Phase II housing on El Paseo, a four-story complex, was built in 2005, and the Phase III complex at the same location was built in 2014.

Minor dependent residents of both complexes are zoned to the Houston Independent School District. Residents of both complexes are zoned to Whidby Elementary School,[16] Cullen Middle School[17] and Lamar High School.[18]

Research Centers and Institutes[edit]

UTHealth includes six schools and several centers and institutes whose work aligns with the university's mission of education, research and clinical care.[19]

McGovern Medical School

School of Biomedical Informatics

School of Dentistry

School of Nursing

School of Public Health

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences


Collaborative Research Centers and Institutes

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help);
  7. ^ "Giuseppe Colasurdo, M.D. appointed sixth president in UTHealth's 40-year history". Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "Single largest gift from John P. McGovern Foundation Renames UTHealth Medical School". Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
  9. ^ a b  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help);
  11. ^
  12. ^ [1] Retrieved April 12, 2012.
  13. ^ "UTHealth: In remembrance - Dr. Red Duke". Retrieved 2016-01-09. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "School of Nursing 2009 – 2011 Catalog." University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. 49. Retrieved on November 24, 2011.
  16. ^ "Whidby Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on November 24, 2011.
  17. ^ "Cullen Middle Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on November 24, 2011.
  18. ^ "Lamar High School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on November 24, 2011.
  19. ^ [2] Retrieved June 19, 2012.

External links[edit]