What To Know: A Video Series

What To Know Video Series: 2021

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.