In many ways, research is the final frontier. Through research, we can find
ways to fight diseases that have plagued us from the beginning of time.
The remarkable breakthroughs that will virtually prevent or eliminate today's diseases are being discovered now by unseen scientists who toil for long hours in their laboratories.
These researchers are men and women who devote their lives to unraveling the secrets of human disease in their quest to help others.
At the Health Science Center, we are privileged to have some of the most talented researchers in the world. Because their work is sometimes very technical and difficult to understand, the progress of these fine scientists too often goes unheralded. Many times they make discoveries that will impact our lives and improve our health while their names remain unknown to the general public.
In this issue of The Mission, we are grateful for the opportunity to introduce a few of the many brilliant researchers who call the Health Science Center home. Their unfaltering research has given us the theme for this magazine - Research: the Brilliance of Discovery.
Robert Castro, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics, cares for newborns while conducting research on surfactant treatment for respiratory failure. Dr. Castro is leading the Health Science Center's role in a nationwide study aimed at helping newborns suffering from Meconium Aspiration Syndrome.
Susan L. Naylor, Ph.D., professor of cellular and structural biology, and her team of scientists are working with colleagues around the world to create a genetic blueprint of human DNA. By understanding the exact order of genetic material in chromosomes, Dr. Naylor and others involved in the Human Genome Project will help change the face of disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Gregory R. Mundy, M.D., professor of medicine, and his researchers are studying statins, which are widely used in well-known cholesterol-lowering drugs. Dr. Mundy's research is showing that statins may have another very important use for the millions of people who suffer from the bone-thinning disorder called osteoporosis. His laboratory research reports dramatically increased bone formation that one day may lead to preventing fractures in those suffering from osteoporosis.
In addition to performing research on the number one non-viral sexually transmitted disease, John F. Alderete, Ph.D., professor of microbiology, is leading an effort to inform the community, especially adolescents, about this infectious disease and its health risks.
Another team of researchers, led by H. Ralph Rawls, D.D.S., professor and head of the Division of Biomaterials in the Department of Restorative Dentistry, is developing new materials and methods of treating the age-old problem of cavities.
In addition, Susan Ruzicka, Ph.D., R.N., assistant professor of family nursing care, is studying chronic pain in the elderly. George Kudolo, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, is investigating Gingko biloba and its effects on diabetes.
A number of other renowned researchers from across the Health Science Center are highlighted in this issue of The Mission. There are countless others here whom we do not have room to include.
While these dedicated people perform research on everything from diabetes to heart disease to various forms of cancer, we hope the community will continue to support their endeavors. With support from all of us, these gifted scientists will continue to make breakthroughs that benefit us all.
|John P. Howe, III, M.D.