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President’s Letter
2021 Metrics
Cycle of Translation
Visionary Gifts
Discovery to Clinic
Innovative Education
Translational Luminaries
Science in Service
President's letter
2021 Metrics
Cycle of Translation
From Discovery to Clinic
Translational Luminaries
Translational Luminaries
Translational Luminaries
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Medical innovation begins and ends with the needs of our patients. Clinicians partner with scientists to solve the most pressing challenges in medicine, often creating multidisciplinary and sometimes multi-institutional collaborations to solve complex medical challenges that ultimately serve patients. With seamless integration of research and clinical care as well as local, national and international collaborations that expand the reach of our institution, Houston Methodist faculty are leading medicine.
Highlighted here are our strategic recruits and a few of the many examples of how our faculty and staff drive our national reputation in academic medicine through leadership appointments to, or distinguished recognition from, national and international organizations.
Cesar Arias, MD, PhD
Department of Medicine and the Center for Infectious Diseases Chief of Infectious Diseases at Houston Methodist Hospital, co-Director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research at Houston Methodist and Weill Cornell Medical College
Previously, Arias was the founder of the Center of Antimicrobial Resistance and Microbial Genomics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston’s McGovern Medical School.
Amanda Arrington, MD, MHM, FSSO, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgical Oncology, Director of the Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy Program
Previously, Arrington was an associate professor of surgery, vice chair for community outreach and associate program director of the ACES Adv GI/MIS Clinical Fellowship at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. She specializes in surgical oncology, hepato-pancreato-biliary surgery, colorectal surgery, and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy surgery.
Dierdre Axell-House, MD
Department of Medicine
Previously, Axell-House was an infectious diseases fellow at Baylor College of Medicine. Her research interests include infections in patients with hematological malignancy and recipients of stem cell transplants and antimicrobial resistance.
LaShara Davis, PhD
Department of Surgery and the J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center
Previously, Davis was an assistant professor of communication at DeSales University. Davis’ research focuses on exploring patient-provider interactions and designing health messages that honor patient perspectives and enable informed treatment decision-making.
Eleni Efstathiou, MD, PhD
Section Chief of Genitourinary Medical Oncology
Prior to joining Houston Methodist, Efstathiou was an associate professor of genitourinary medical oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Her research interests focus on prostate cancer and genitourinary oncology.
Rodney Folz, MD, PhD
Pulmonary Division Chief, Department of Medicine, Jerold B. Katz Investigator
Previously, Folz was the chief of pulmonary critical care and sleep medicine at Cleveland Medical Center and a visiting professor at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. Folz is a nationally recognized authority in pulmonary disease, specifically in the areas of lung disease following stem cell transplant, oxidative stress and older adults with asthma or chronic obstructive lung disease.
SIddhartha Ganguly, MD
Carol Cockrell Curran Distinguished Centennial Chief in Hematologic Oncology, Dr. Mary and Ron Neal Cancer Center and Professor of Clinical Oncology
Previously, Ganguly was the A. Drue Jennings Endowed Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Kansas Cancer Center, where he was also the deputy director of the division of hematological malignancies and cellular therapeutics, associate director of the blood and marrow transplantation program, and director of the lymphoma and myeloma program. His clinical and research interests include hematological malignancies, cellular therapeutics, and bone marrow transplantation.​
Kathleen Kobashi, MD
Chair, Department of Urology
Kobashi previously spent 22 years at Virginia Mason Medical Center, where she was a full-time urologist, head of the urology and renal transplantation service line at the main campus and five satellite clinics, founder and program director of the urology residency program and clinical fellowship program in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (which attained ACGME accreditation) as well as director of the Pelvic Floor Center.
Li Lai, PhD
Research Assistant Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences
Before obtaining her current position, Li was an instructor in cardiovascular sciences at Houston Methodist.
Zhonglin Liu, MD
Department of Radiology, PET Imaging Core
Lu was recruited from the University of Arizona, where he was a research professor of medical imaging in the clinical and translational oncology program at the University of Arizona Cancer Center. He has 30 years of research experience in nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, with a long track record of characterizing and developing molecular imaging probes for studying molecular events of human disease.
Yong Lu, PhD
Dr. Mary and Ron Neal Cancer Center
Previously, Lu was an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. His research focuses on tumor immunology, with a particular interest in T-cell-based and immune checkpoint-based cancer immunotherapy targeting melanoma, pancreatic cancer and breast cancer.
Sunil Mathur, PhD
Dr. Mary and Ron Neal Cancer Center
Previously, Mathur was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Dundee. Working at the chemistry/biology interface, Mathur is currently developing new probes for interrogating the behavior of ubiquitin system components. This can lead to advances such as the identification of novel therapeutic targets and the assignment E3 ligases to specific substrate.
Joan Nichols, PhD
Director, Center for Tissue Engineering, Department of Surgery
Nichols came from The University of Texas Medical Branch, where she served as the associate director of the Galveston National Laboratory and professor in the departments of internal medicine and microbiology and immunology. Nichols has held an affiliate appointment at Houston Methodist Research Institute since 2015. She is an expert in alterations in immune response of the lung after exposure to pollutants and/or respiratory pathogens and has expertise in the areas of general immunology, inflammation, disease pathogenesis, stem cell characterization/differentiation, wound healing, transplantation immunology, lung defense and respiratory pathogens.
Amy Waterman, PhD
Director of Patient Engagement, Diversity & Education, Department of Surgery; Division Chief for Patient Engagement and Diversity for the Center for Outcomes Research
Previously, Waterman was a professor in residence in the division of nephrology at UCLA, where she was also director of the Transplant Research and Education Center and director of the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation. Waterman’s interests center on further understanding the critical, modifiable patient-provider and system barriers to donation and designing interventions to overcome them.
Diana Panesso-Botero, PhD
Department of Pathology and Infectious Diseases
Previously, Panesso-Botero was an assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Her research interests include drug-resistant bacterial infections.
Truc T. Tran, PharmD
Department of Pathology and Infectious Diseases
Previously, Tran was an associate professor in the division of infectious diseases, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Her main areas of interest include antibiotic resistance and pharmacology. Through her work, Tran hopes to dissect antibiotic-associated pathways to provide insights into bacterial physiology that could be exploited with novel pharmacological strategies and translated to patient care.
Ming You, MD, PhD
Director, Center for Cancer Prevention, Dr. Mary and Ron Neal Cancer Center
You was recruited from the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he was the Joseph F. Heil Jr. Professor in Molecular Oncogenesis in the department of pharmacology and toxicology, associate provost for cancer research and founding director of the disease prevention research center. His research expertise is focused on the genetics and chemoprevention of lung cancer.
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