University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)
Established 1972
Type Public
Endowment $222 million (November 2014)[1]
President Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, M.D.
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Postgraduates 4,556[2]
1,045 Medical School
472 Graduate School
171 Biomedical Informatics
536 Dentistry
1,072 Nursing
1,260 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; 4.1 million ft2

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) is a comprehensive academic health center 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: UTHealth McGovern Medical School, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 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 and the Fayez S. Sarofim Research Building

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.

In 2014, UTHealth had an operating budget of $1.19 billion, $223.3 million in research expenditures and more than 1.5 million total patient visits. The university has 4.3 million sq. ft. in more than 85 buildings and facilities. Since the university was established in 1972, 39,153 students have graduated.[6]


UTHealth is a comprehensive health science center that offers 19 degree granting programs. It is composed of six schools, all of which are located in Houston and a School of Public Health with other regional campuses across Texas. The President of UTHealth is Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, M.D..[7]

McGovern Medical School[edit]

The sixth-largest medical school in the United States, the UTHealth 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 more than 6,900 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 General Hospital. The current 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 GSBS 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.[10] 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 more than 11,000 dentists, dental hygienists and post-graduate specialists. Currently, the school offers 10 accredited programs: DDS, dental hygiene, two primary care general residency programs and six specialty programs in pediatric dentistry, endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, prosthodontics, periodontics and orthodontics.[11] The current 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 comorbidities. 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.[12] The UTHealth 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 1,000 students currently enrolled, UTHealth School of Nursing graduates an average of 185 new nurses and 130 nurses with graduate degrees each year. More than 9,600 nurses have graduated since 1972. The dean of the nursing school 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 their 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.[13]

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. By August 2011, graduates of the School of Public Health numbered more than 6,000. The school is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) and the university if accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The current interim dean is Osama Mikhail, 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 current dean is Jiajie Zhang, Ph.D..


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: Palmer Beasley, M.D. (1999) and Stanley Schultz, M.D. (2006). There are a number of other distinguished faculty at the school, including:

6 members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

  • L. Maximilian Buja, M.D.
  • John H. Byrne, Ph.D.
  • Kathleen Gibson, Ph.D.
  • Irma Gigli, M.D.
  • Samuel Kaplan, Ph.D.
  • Jerry Wolinsky, M.D.

3 members of the Institute of Medicine

  • Irma Gigli, M.D.
  • Roberta Ness, M.D., M.P.H.
  • James T. Willerson, M.D.

2 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

  • Irma Gigli, M.D.
  • John L. Spudich, Ph.D.

13 members of the American Academy of Nursing

  • Mara Baun, DNSc, R.N.
  • 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.
  • 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]

The university has two student housing properties, 7900 Cambridge and 1885 El Paseo.[15] The student housing on Cambridge, a two-story complex, was built in 1982 and includes the Child Development Center. The student housing on El Paseo, a four-story complex, was built in 2005.

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 at Houston


Collaborative Research Centers and Institutes

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^  Missing or empty |title= (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. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  12. ^
  13. ^ [1] Retrieved April 12, 2012.
  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]