UTHCT physicians with national reputations

Friday, April 14, 2006

Timothy Craig Allen, MD, JD, chairman of pathology
The only pulmonary pathologist in North Texas and one of only about 100 in the world, Dr. Timothy Allen completed a fellowship in pulmonary pathology. He is board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology as well as cytopathology, the study of cellular changes caused by disease. Dr. Allen recently was appointed an associate editor for the professional journal Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Peter Barnes, MD, director of the Center for Pulmonary and Infectious Disease Control, professor of microbiology
Dr. Peter Barnes is known for his research in tuberculosis. He was one of the primary investigators in a recent major clinical study of a new blood test for latent TB. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded the study, and Dr. Barnes and his team at the Health Center carried out the laboratory analysis of study results. Dr. Barnes is also involved in a $1.4 million, five-year National Institutes of Health grant to study how a specific protein helps protect people from tuberculosis. He is board certified in internal medicine and infectious disease.

Michael Borucki, MD, associate professor of medicine
Dr. Michael Borucki is well known for his treatment of patients with HIV/AIDS. He spent more than 10 years with the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, the premiere nationwide network for clinical trials of HIV/AIDS; it is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Borucki is currently the principal investigator for UTHSCT’s Collaborative Antiviral Studies Group. He has a special interest in the study and treatment of infectious diseases such as HIV, herpes viruses, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and West Nile virus. Dr. Borucki also is principal investigator in a clinical trial of a new drug regimen designed to treat HIV/AIDS. He is board certified in internal medicine and infectious disease.

David Coultas, MD, UTHSCT physician in chief, chairman of the Department of Medicine
Dr. David Coultas is a nationally known pulmonary specialist and epidemiology researcher. Epidemiology is the study of the incidence, distribution, and control of disease within a population. He has served on a number of national committees for the National Institutes of Health, the National Research Council, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Coultas also reviews scientific papers for a number of medical journals. He is board certified in internal medicine and pulmonary disease.

Pedro Flores-Villanueva, MD, assistant professor of immunology
Pedro Flores-Villanueva, MD, studies population genetics and immunology. In population genetics, researchers analyze the genetic makeup of populations or groups of people. He also conducts research into the genetic variability of the immune system. Dr. Flores-Villanueva is investigating why some people develop tuberculosis while others possess an innate ability to control development of the disease. In the December Journal of Experimental Medicine, he published results from a large study indicating that a small mutation in a particular gene increases a person’s odds of developing active TB. A successful therapy targeting this gene could prevent many people from developing tuberculosis. Before coming to UTHSCT in 2005, Dr. Flores-Villanueva was an instructor in pathology in the Department of Cancer Immunology & AIDS at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical School in Boston. While holding this academic position, Dr. Flores-Villanueva earned a master’s in medical science for physicians that was fully subsidized by the Scholars in Clinical Science Program at Harvard Medical School.

David Griffith, MD, professor of medicine
Dr. David Griffith is nationally known for his expertise in treating patients with tuberculosis and nontuberculous mycobacterial diseases. He is board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary disease, and critical care medicine. Dr. Griffith is medical director of the Texas Center for Infectious Disease in San Antonio, a public health hospital overseen by UTHSCT that treats patients with TB. UTHSCT’s Dr. Richard Wallace and Dr. Griffith are nationally recognized experts in the management of patients with nontuberculous mycobacterial disease and see patients with this disease who are referred from all over the United States. Dr. Wallace and Dr. Griffith have published many articles on nontuberculous mycobacterial diseases that have helped define the current management of care for patients with these diseases.

Dr. Griffith also is the assistant medical director of the Heartland National TB Center, a joint project between UTHSCT and the Texas Department of State Health Services. The Heartland Center is funded by a five-year, $7.5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It began operating last year and provides training, technical assistance, and medical consultation for tuberculosis in a 13-state region. In addition to Texas, other states served by the Heartland Center are Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

Steven Idell, MD, Ph.D., UTHSCT vice president for research
Dr. Steven Idell is internationally known for his research into the causes and treatment of pulmonary fibrosis, or lung scarring. He is director of a five-year, almost $7.8 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, to study how to protect the lungs from scarring. This is the largest NIH grant UTHSCT has received so far. Dr. Idell recently was appointed to an NIH panel that will decide how resources in the Blood Institute of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute will be allocated. He received a second appointment to NIH’s Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Network protocol review panel. That panel will decide which clinical trials involving people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis – lung scarring of unknown origin – will be conducted at participating medical centers throughout the United States.

Dr. Idell is a fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians and the American College of Physicians and a past president of the Texas Thoracic Society. He is associate editor for Clinical Pulmonary Medicine and serves on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, and Emergency Medicine. Dr. Idell also is on the advisory board for the International Pleural Disease Newsletter. He is board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary disease, and critical care medicine.

David Lakey, MD, associate professor of medicine
Dr. David Lakey specializes in treating infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. As medical director of UTHSCT’s Center for Pulmonary and Infectious Disease Control, Dr. Lakey is available to answer questions about infectious diseases from physicians around the state. He is medical director for the Public Health Laboratory of East Texas, a joint effort between UTHSCT and the Texas Department of State Health Services. The lab has specialized equipment and facilities needed to identify and analyze microbes that cause infectious disease.

Dr. Lakey also is very active in regional biodefense planning and training. He is the associate director for Biosecurity and Infectious Disease at the Center for Biosecurity and Public Health Preparedness at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston. He is a lieutenant colonel in the Texas Medical Rangers, medical professionals who have been trained to respond in the event of a public health emergency such as a potential bioterrorism incident or an outbreak of infectious disease. The Rangers are affiliated with the Texas State Guard and Medical Reserve Corps. In addition, Dr. Lakey helps educate medical professionals throughout the state and nation in bioterrorism and disaster training seminars. He is also an author and editor of national preparedness education courses. Dr. Lakey is board certified in internal medicine, infectious disease, and pediatric infectious disease. Finally, Dr. Lakey is vice chairman of the board and medical authority for the Northeast Texas Public Health District and an advisor to the Texas Department of State Health Services commissioner on preparedness activities.

Jeffrey Levin, MD, Master of Science in Public Health, chairman of the Department of Occupational Health Sciences and Jesse Jones Distinguished Professor of Occupational Health Sciences
Dr. Jeffrey Levin is director of the Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention, and Education. The federally funded center works with stakeholders in farming, fishing, and forestry to improve workplace health and safety in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Its main focus is research and developing ways to reduce occupational disease and injury. Dr. Levin was lead author of a recent paper in the Journal of Agromedicine about how to educate people about potential agroterrorism using televideo. He also co-directs the federally funded Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health, which aims to increase awareness of children’s environmental health issues in the same five-state region.

Dr. Levin is known for his expertise in illnesses linked to asbestos and other occupational lung diseases. He contributed to the recently published standard asbestos textbook, “Asbestosis: Risk Assessment, Epidemiology, and Health Effects.” He is board certified in internal medicine and preventive medicine-occupational. Dr. Levin is founder of the second non-military program in Texas that trains physicians in occupational medicine.

James Stocks, MD, director of Clinical Research, professor of medicine
Dr. James Stocks is a lung disease specialist and a nationally known expert in Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency – Alpha-1 for short – a genetic condition that can result in serious lung and/or liver disease. UTHSCT’s Center for Clinical Research is one of a few Alpha-1 Resource Centers in the nation, offering treatment and consultative services to patients throughout Texas and neighboring states. Dr. Stocks is UTHSCT’s principal investigator in a number of clinical research projects involving Alpha-1 that will soon begin enrolling patients. Dr. Stocks is board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary disease, critical care medicine, and sleep disorders.

Richard Wallace, MD, professor of medicine and microbiology
Dr. Richard Wallace specializes in treating people with infections caused by nontuberculous mycobacteria, common soil and water microbes that can cause disease in people. Physicians from research institutions such as Johns Hopkins and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center send samples of mycobacteria to Dr. Wallace’s lab to be identified and tested for their susceptibility to antibiotics.

Dr. Wallace and his research team developed the standard treatment for one mycobacterial disease – mycobacterial avium complex, or MAC. MAC is a growing and emerging infection. Patients from all over the United States who have it are referred to Dr. Wallace for treatment. Many patients with cystic fibrosis who are fighting lung infections also are referred to him. Dr. Wallace is board certified in internal medicine and infectious disease.

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