What To Know: A Bi-Weekly Video Series

Join us every other Friday for our video series hosted by Dr. John Warner, Executive Vice President for Health System Affairs, and featuring UT Southwestern specialists who are on the front lines of caring for our community. As the only academic medical center in North Texas, we consider it our mission to provide our patients with access to the most advanced treatments, technology, and research in modern medicine.

Brain Power


Advances in brain mapping, CRISPR technology, and neurosurgery are being transformed into life-changing treatments for patients at UT Southwestern’s Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute. Dr. William Dauer, Director of the Institute, and Dr. Nader Pouratian, Chair of Neurological Surgery, discuss how their teams are unlocking the mysteries of brain diseases, from epilepsy to Alzheimer’s.

Featured this week:

Past episodes:

A Healthy New Year


Research shows that committing to healthy lifestyle changes can reduce and even reverse the effects of chronic illness, such as diabetes and heart disease. UT Southwestern internal medicine physicians Dr. Jaclyn Albin and Dr. Bethany Agusala share real-world strategies for making lasting and healthy lifestyle choices in 2022.

Evolving Omicron


The emergence of the highly mutated, fast-spreading variant is creating concerns about a winter surge of COVID-19 cases. Dr. Trish Perl, Chief of Infectious Diseases at UT Southwestern, and Dr. Julie Pfeiffer, a UTSW Professor of Microbiology who studies virus evolution, offer insights on the potential trajectory of Omicron and how it stacks up against the vaccines.

Outsmarting Cancer


Adaptive radiation therapy represents a paradigm shift in cancer care, and UT Southwestern is leading the charge in delivering these more precise and personalized treatments. Dr. Robert Timmerman, Interim Chair of Radiation Oncology, and Dr. Nina Sanford, Chief of Gastrointestinal Radiation Oncology, explain how “smart” radiation benefits patients, and why it is at the heart of our newly expanded Radiation Oncology building in Dallas.

Instilling confidence in COVID-19 vaccines for kids


Navigating the information (and misinformation) about COVID-19 vaccines for young children can be challenging. Dr. Jennifer Walsh, a pediatric and adult care specialist, and Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UT Southwestern, provide answers to parents’ most asked questions about the safe and effective prevention tool.

Untangling Alzheimer’s


Researchers at UT Southwestern, led by Dr. Marc Diamond and Dr. Lorena Saelices, are zeroing in on the root cause of the progression of Alzheimer’s disease – misfolded proteins in the brain – in hopes of discovering new diagnostic tools and therapies for the millions who suffer from neurodegenerative conditions.

Protecting Pregnancies and Women’s Health


COVID-19 has created new health challenges for women, particularly expectant moms. Dr. Catherine Spong, Chair of UT Southwestern’s Ob/Gyn Department, discusses the risks, as well as the top treatments, screenings, and preventive measures for women during the pandemic.

A Crucial COVID-19 Briefing


Dr. John Warner, Executive Vice President for Health Systems Affairs, and four UT Southwestern infectious diseases experts provide a snapshot of key COVID-19 topics in Texas and answer your questions about vaccines, booster shots, kids and COVID, and much more.

Cultivating Optimism Amid the Pandemic Stress


After 18 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on mental health. UT Southwestern’s Dr. Preston Wiles, Assistant Dean, Student and Resident Mental Health and Wellness, and Dr. Susan Matulevicius, Assistant Dean of Faculty Wellness, have helped our community navigate what can seem like a “forest of doom” to find a sense of optimism and gratitude amid these anxious times.

A Third Dose? Weighing in on COVID-19 Booster Shots


We’ve learned throughout the pandemic that vaccinations are important for everyone. But now that a third dose has been approved, how crucial is that? Dr. John Sweetenham of UT Southwestern’s Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Dr. Reuben Arasaratnam, a UTSW infectious disease specialist, share their insights about who should take advantage of the third-dose opportunity – and about who should get it first.

Straight Talk on COVID-19


As cases surge, two of UT Southwestern’s foremost experts on COVID-19, Dr. Julie Trivedi and Dr. Brad Cutrell, answer your most pressing questions about vaccines, variants, back-to-school safety, breakthrough infections, booster shots, and more.

Updates: On Aug. 12, the CDC recommended booster doses for immunocompromised individuals and formally recommended vaccines for pregnant women.

Going Back to School During the Delta Surge


Rising COVID-19 cases are creating a new wave of confusion for families returning to in-person learning. Dr. Jeffrey McKinney, an infectious disease expert from UT Southwestern's Pediatric Group, and Dr. Joan Buchanan Hill, head of The Lamplighter School, discuss how the Delta variant, vaccines, masks, and last year’s experience will affect classrooms in 2021.

Breakthroughs in Gene Editing


CRISPR, a technology that functions like a spell-editor for DNA, is giving scientists the power to fix genetic mutations that cause devastating diseases. UT Southwestern’s Dr. Eric Olson and Dr. Rhonda Bassel-Duby are at the forefront of this revolutionary research and explain how it may soon help correct conditions such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Gut Check Time for Colonoscopies


With the average age of colon cancer patients trending lower, early screenings have never been more vital. UT Southwestern’s Dr. Emina Huang and Dr. Nina Sanford, experts in gastrointestinal cancers, explain the rise in cases and talk about ways that colonoscopies can lower your risk.

How TAVR has transformed heart valve treatments


In the past decade, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) has spared thousands of patients the ordeal of open-heart surgery. UT Southwestern interventional cardiologists Dr. Dharam Kumbhani and Dr. Anthony Bavry explain how the minimally invasive procedure has revolutionized the field of heart surgery.

Innovations in Hip Care


As people live longer and play harder, their hips bear an increasingly heavier load. Dr. Joel Wells, a comprehensive hip surgeon, and Dr. Megan Sorich, the leader of UT Southwestern’s Geriatric Fractures program, discuss advances in hip preservation and replacement as well as strategies to safeguard your long-term hip health.

Staying Safe in the Sun


As the Texas summer months approach, UT Southwestern dermatologists Dr. Stephanie Savory and Dr. Divya Srivastava shine a light on the increased skin cancer risks and offer strategies to enjoy the rays while still protecting yourself and your family.

The Science of Stroke


Every 40 seconds in the U.S., somebody suffers a stroke. Recognizing the warning signs – and acting fast – are the keys to successful treatment. UT Southwestern stroke specialists Dr. Nneka Ifejika and Dr. Erica Jones examine the science of stroke and share the most effective ways to prevent it.

Redefining Heart Surgery


When Aaron Salter learned he had a leaky mitral valve, he went searching for an alternative to open-heart surgery. He found it at UT Southwestern, where Dr. Neelan Doolabh, Director of Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery, offers a “mini-valve” approach that uses a 2-inch incision between the ribs, delivering shorter recovery time and excellent results.

CAR T-Cell Therapy Fights Cancer with a Live Weapon


By harnessing the full force of a patient's immune system, the targeted approach of CAR T-cell therapy makes it possible to mount a highly effective attack against certain cancers. Dr. Robert Collins, Director of UT Southwestern’s Blood Cancers Program and a leader in immunotherapy, explains how advances in this field offer hope to pediatric and adult cancer patients.

HIFU: A New Horizon for Tremor Treatment


High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a breakthrough treatment now being offered at UT Southwestern for some patients with essential tremors and Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Bhavya Shah, who leads UTSW’s Neuro HIFU Program, explains how the noninvasive technology can help transform lives.

Life After Vaccination


A year after the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in North Texas, more people are getting vaccinated and wondering what’s next in this new phase of the pandemic. Dr. Brad Cutrell, an infectious disease specialist at UT Southwestern, answers some of the big questions about what’s safe post-vaccination.

After the Vaccine: Reconnecting Safely


As more seniors get their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, they are eager to see family and friends and hug their grandchildren again. But it’s hard to know what’s safe. UT Southwestern geriatric specialists Dr. Namirah Jamshed and Dr. Molly Camp offer guidance for this crucial turning point in the pandemic.

Building Confidence in the COVID-19 Vaccines


Vaccine hesitancy runs deep in the U.S., particularly in hard-hit communities of color. Dr. Quinn Capers, Associate Dean for Faculty Diversity at UT Southwestern and a national leader on the issue of diversity and inclusion in medicine, says the key to connecting with Black and Hispanic patients is delivering on a message of trust, equality, and an eventual end to the pandemic.

Tracing Coronavirus Variants


New strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus emerging in the U.K., South Africa, and Brazil have raised concerns about whether the current vaccines will fully protect people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. David Greenberg, an infectious diseases specialist at UT Southwestern, and Dr. Vineet Menachery, a virologist at UT Medical Branch at Galveston, are tracking the variants – and the vaccines’ response to them.

Understanding COVID-19 Vaccine Reactions


As the first wave of people receive the COVID-19 vaccines, a few cases of anaphylactic reactions have created concerns among people with severe allergies. Dr. Rebecca Gruchalla, Chief of UT Southwestern’s Division of Allergy and Immunology, explains what might be causing these rare events, and advises how people with severe allergies should proceed.

The Vaccine Facts


The arrival of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines marks an important turning point in the pandemic. It also raises plenty of new questions, which UT Southwestern’s Dr. Julie Trivedi and Dr. Reuben Arasaratnam answer in this week’s episode of What to Know. The infectious disease experts also explain how vaccines will move the needle in this public health crisis.

Going Deep on Sleep


Who hasn’t experienced at least a few restless nights during the pandemic? Dr. Joseph Takahashi, one of the world’s leading authorities on our body’s internal clocks, shares the science behind sleep deprivation, how it affects our bodies, and how we might put some of our fears to rest.

Pandemic Detective Work


UT Southwestern’s COVID-19 surveillance testing program is designed to help schools, businesses, and local organizations uncover the virus in their midst by making rapid, regular, and accurate tests available. Rafael Martín, Vice President at UT Dallas, explains how the pilot program is helping reduce the spread on campus by identifying asymptomatic students early.

Inside Clinical Trials


Promising results for COVID-19 vaccines have shined a spotlight on the evolution of clinical trials during the pandemic. Dr. David Gerber, Associate Director for Clinical Research at UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, says the acceleration of the scientific process could represent a silver lining for patients, both now and in the future.

Staying Healthy During the Holidays


How do we balance the collective craving for a traditional Thanksgiving with concerns brought on by the surging pandemic? Registered dietitian Susan Rodder and Dr. Jaime Almandoz, a weight management expert, share strategies to enjoy the holidays while also maintaining your family’s health and well-being.

Pandemic Ethics: Tackling COVID-19's Tough Questions


Who will get first access to a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available? Dr. Michael K. Gusmano, a bioethicist and public health scholar at Rutgers University and The Hastings Center, joins Dr. John Warner to discuss that question and other ethical dilemmas that have developed during the pandemic.

Holiday Travel Advisory


Holiday traditions will be put to the test this year, as families try to find ways to safely celebrate together. Dr. Trish Perl, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UT Southwestern, and Tony Roach, Managing Director for Customer Experience at Southwest Airlines, offer practical strategies for travelers and important reminders for those staying home for the holidays.

Transforming breast reconstruction


After battling breast cancer, Wendy Razook wanted a seamless reconstruction experience. She found it at UT Southwestern, where the plastic surgery team of Dr. Sumeet Teotia and Dr. Nicholas Haddock has refined the DIEP flap procedure to shorten surgery and recovery times and produce natural results.

Developing COVID-19 Science in Real Time


UT Southwestern is at the forefront of COVID-19 discovery, with more than the 200 research projects under way. Drs. Lenette Lu and Andrew Jamieson provide an insiders’ look at how real-time science such as an artificial intelligence forecasting model and a biorepository of virus samples are having a direct impact on patients and the community.

Breast Cancer Care Can’t Wait


COVID-19 has put many aspects of life on hold, but screening and treatment for breast cancer shouldn’t be among them. UT Southwestern oncologists Dr. Deborah Farr and Dr. Asal Rahimi discuss key strategies and new technologies that are empowering women to maintain their breast health, especially during the pandemic.

Bad to the Bones (and Muscles)


COVID-19 is challenging our health in many indirect ways, from nagging back and neck pain due to work-from-home environments to more severe orthopaedic injuries as we return to sports. In this week’s What to Know, UTSW musculoskeletal specialists Kavita Trivedi, D.O., and Jay Shah, M.D., discuss the trends, trouble spots, and treatment options.

The Long Road to Recovery


Jason Leslie contracted COVID-19 in early July. Now, two months after leaving the hospital, the 46-year-old baseball coach from Little Elm is still recuperating from the physical and cognitive effects of the virus. He shares his story and how Dr. Juan Cabrera and UT Southwestern’s COVID RECOVER program are helping him get his life back on track.

COVID-19 + Flu: A Season of Dual Threats


This fall we’re bracing for a flu season like no other due to added concerns about COVID-19. Dr. Julie Trivedi, Medical Director of UT Southwestern’s infection prevention efforts, and Dr. Paul Sue, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist, size up the looming “perfect storm” and offer practical advice to stay safe.

COVID-19’s Hidden Impact on Women


The novel coronavirus is taking a physical toll on women, but it’s also affecting them in less obvious ways – socially, economically, and psychologically. Dr. Kimberly Kho, an Ob/Gyn, and Dr. Sharon Reimold, a cardiologist, discuss how women can safeguard their health and well-being during the pandemic.

Why COVID-19 hits men harder


Studies show that male patients are dying from COVID-19 at a much higher rate than women. Dr. Raksha Jain, a pulmonary specialist whose research focuses on the impact of sex hormones on infections, and Dr. Amit Khera, a preventional cardiologist, uncover some of the biological and behavioral factors that may be putting men at greater risk.

A New Degree of Difficulty


College students will have to rely on two important life skills – resiliency and adaptability – as they return to campus amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Shawna D. Nesbitt, Associate Dean at UT Southwestern, and Pamela McNulty, Director of Pre-Health Advising at SMU, share strategies to help students adjust as the fall semester begins.

Catching up on COVID-19


Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, there still seem to be as many questions as answers. Dr. Brad Cutrell, an infectious disease specialist at UTSW, and Dr. Seth Toomay, Chief Medical Officer, offer their thoughts on several aspects of the virus, including the best type of mask to wear, when a vaccine might be available, and how to stay safe in social situations.

A school year like no other


Parents, educators, and students are facing tough choices as they prepare to return to learning – either in-person or online. Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa and Lamplighter’s Head of School Joan Buchanan Hill provide an insider's perspective on the painstaking preparations and challenges of heading back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pregnant in a Pandemic


For new and expectant moms, COVID-19 is encroaching on nearly every aspect of one of life’s biggest moments. Dr. Shivani Patel, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, and one of her patients, Catandra Byrd, share firsthand the experiences of navigating a pandemic pregnancy – from prenatal care and baby showers to delivery day and postpartum worries.

Culture During a Crisis: 'A Moment to Be Heard'


Against the backdrop of COVID-19 closures and racial unrest, artists are finding new ways to capture this historic moment in time. Jeremy Strick, Director of the Nasher Sculpture Center, and artist Ciara Elle Bryant join Dr. John Warner to discuss the power of art to heal and promote a deeper sense of community.

Cancer Care in a Pandemic


Dr. Madhuri Vusirikala, Medical Director of UT Southwestern's Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Program, and one of her patients, Ericka Thompson, join Dr. John Warner to discuss how virtual health appointments have become vital resources in helping cancer patients stay current with their care and feel supported during the COVID-19 health crisis.

Tracking COVID-19 in DFW


UT Southwestern’s Dr. Amit Singal and Dr. Jasmin Tiro are leading a massive research effort to discover the true impact of the pandemic in North Texas. The DFW COVID-19 Prevalence Study will enroll 45,000 residents from a cross-section of Dallas and Tarrant county zip codes in hopes of building better containment strategies.

Young and Restless


More than 45% of COVID-19 hospitalizations in DFW are people under the age of 50, dispelling the notion that only the elderly or sick are at risk for serious complications. Dr. Sonja Bartolome, a pulmonary specialist at UT Southwestern, and Kara Shannon, co-founder of the lifestyle media company Dallasites 101, analyze the troubling trend and how to reverse it.

Bigger Than Basketball


The Dallas Mavericks are gearing up for the restart of the NBA season, but they remain committed to elevating the conversations around two ongoing pandemics: COVID-19 and racial injustice. Mavs CEO Cynt Marshall and center, Dwight Powell join Dr. John Warner to discuss the ongoing efforts of the players, Mavs' owner Mark Cuban, and the team to help DFW rise above these crises.

Coping with a Surge in Anxiety and Depression


As COVID-19 cases rise in Texas, so do the levels of stress and anxiety. UT Southwestern’s Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, an internationally recognized expert in depression and mood disorders, and Dr. Nicholas Westers, a clinical psychologist at Children’s Health in Dallas, suggest practical solutions for adults and children to maintain their mental health during the pandemic.

COVID-19 on the rise: ‘We’ve let our guard down’


As cities in Texas and across the country have reopened, COVID-19 cases have steadily increased. Dallas COVID-19 Czar Dr. Kelvin Baggett and UT Southwestern infectious diseases expert Dr. Richard Medford discuss the troubling trend, reveal what we can do to help reverse it, and advise when to get tested.

Sports Makes a Comeback


Pro golf returns this weekend at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth with 148 of the world’s best players, but no fans. PGA star Jhonattan Vegas and Tour executive Tom Alter join UTSW’s Dr. John Warner to talk about what went into creating a safe environment for the tournament, how Colonial golf course was chosen for the restart, and what it means to have sports back amid the pandemic.

The Summer of COVID-19 for Kids and Parents


Children who’ve been stuck at home since March are more than ready to dive into pool parties, sleepovers, and seeing friends again. But how will parents know what’s safe? UT Southwestern pediatric specialists Dr. Jeffrey Kahn and Dr. Rinarani Sanghavi join Dr. John Warner to discuss this hot topic.

Taking Flight Again


The COVID-19 pandemic sent the world's travel industry into a free-fall in mid-March, and it is just now beginning to inch its way back. Southwest Airlines' top executive Gary C. Kelly joins Dr. John Warner to talk about the slow and safe journey back for the Dallas-based airline and its passengers.

COVID-19: Endangering our hearts and minds


The pandemic is putting stroke and heart attack victims at increased risk as many are staying away from the ER, despite telltale symptoms. UT Southwestern’s Dr. Babu Welch, a neurosurgeon, and cardiologist Dr. James de Lemos analyze the troubling trend and articulate why 911 is still the safest call.

How Virtual Care is Becoming the New House Call


This week on What to Know, Dr. John Warner discusses the evolution and future of virtual care with Alan Kramer, architect of UT Southwestern’s telemedicine strategy, and Dr. Suzanne Cole, an early adopter of video visits and Medical Director of Simmons Cancer Clinic at Richardson/Plano.

Bedside with COVID-19: The Nurses' Perspective


UT Southwestern’s Chief Nursing Executive Susan Hernandez, along with a nurse from the COVID-19 unit and an ED nurse, join Dr. John Warner to provide an insiders’ perspective on patient care during the pandemic. Staff at Clements University Hospital is delivering safe and expert support to all patients during these challenging times.

The COVID-19 Trials: Chasing Potential Treatments


Dr. James “Brad” Cutrell, Medical Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship at Clements University Hospital, provides an inside perspective on clinical trials and the search for coronavirus therapies, ranging from remdesivir to convalescent plasma to potential vaccines.

The Truth About COVID-19 Testing from an Infectious Disease Expert


On the debut episode of What To Know, infectious disease specialist Dr. Julie Trivedi joins Dr. John Warner to discuss the plan for increased testing, both for the virus and for antibodies. They also tackle the question of when we all might begin to return to normal.