News and Publications

James T. Willerson, MD"Heart to Heart" from Dr. James T. Willerson

With gratitude and excitement, I am happy to report that ExxonMobil announced today some generous grants to the Texas Heart Institute (THI), The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and Texas Children’s Hospital that will help energize research and improved care and prevention for cardiovascular disease, cancer and children’s health issues.
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Heart to Heart archive  

November 24, 2014
Hispanic mothers of large families in danger of this heart issue
Hispanic women with five or more children are more likely to develop the heart condition, ventricular diastolic dysfunction, compared to women who have fewer children. Women who have ventricular diastolic dysfunction experience an abnormal heart pumping cycle. According to the Texas Heart Institute, electrical signals in the heart muscle cause it to contract, pushing blood from the top chambers to the lower chambers. In people who have diastolic dysfunction, the lower chambers of the heart fail to relax while blood is being pumped into them. Read more in LaOpinion.

November 19, 2014
Capstone Pioneers in health science careers
Students from Capstone College and Career Advising recently toured the Texas Heart Institute as part of their initiative, Capstone Pioneers, a group formed to help students explore their dream careers. Student Joseph Goodwin spoke of the impact that meeting Dr. Denton Cooley had on on him during the tour, "When I heard Dr. Cooley say, this is what it's all about, that he was able to save the life of another person through his work—this definitely inspired me to continue on my path to becoming a surgeon and being able to help and save lives just as Dr. Cooley has done.”  Tyler Morning Telegraph

November 17, 2014
Medical Breakthroughs Made In Texas:  The Future of Medicine is Stem Cell Research
Doris Taylor, Ph.D. at Houston’s Texas Heart Institute is regenerating hearts and lungs in awe inspiring work. Imagine not having to wait on a heart transplant donor, but to have a new perfectly matched heart made from your own stem cells. Texas CEO Magazine.

November 17, 2014
Female stem cells could be better for heart repair, disease treatment
Some of theDr. Doris Taylor most prominent diseases that older people have to fight - heart disease, diabetes, age-related degenerative diseases and other disorders - may meet their match in the coming decade with the development of stem cell therapies. And when it comes time to enter the ring, research shows you may want to place your bets on female stem cells to pack the stronger punch. "We always knew women were awesome," said Dr. Doris Taylor, director of Regenerative Medicine Research at the Texas Heart Institute. "Now we have science to back it up."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

November 13, 2014
Dr. David A. Ott
Texas Heart Institute Announces Appointment of Dr. David A. Ott as Surgeon-in-Chief
Dr. Denton A. Cooley, founder and President Emeritus of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) and Dr. James T. Willerson, President of THI, have announced the appointment of Dr. David A. Ott as THI’s Surgeon-in-Chief.

Dr. Ott, who has been a member of the THI professional staff for 35 years, succeeds Dr. Cooley, who held the position for the past 50 years and now will be Surgeon-in-Chief Emeritus.

November 6, 2014
Deep in the HearDr. Denton Cooley and Donna Spannt of Texas
Dr. Denton Cooley is one of the most respected heart surgeons in the world.

He is the man who implanted the first total artificial heart and saved more than 100,000 people's lives. One of those lives saved is from Tyler, 50 years ago, and that person got to reunite with the doctor who repaired her heart and gave her another chance at life. Read more at KETK NBC news.

November 5, 2014
Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology convenes external Commercialization Advisory Group
The Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology convened its External Commercialization Advisory Group here on Nov. 4, 2014, to discuss commercialization opportunities for the research collaboration between the Texas Heart Institute and the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. The group is chaired by Dr. Richard Dixon, director of THI’s Wafic Said Molecular Cardiology Research Lab.

October 20, 2014
Radically changing human lifeDoris Taylor, PhD, FAHA, FACC
THI's Dr. Doris Taylor is leading a team competing for the Palo Alto Longevity Prize - aimed at extending the healthy human lifespan beyond its current limits. The new health-related incentive prize competition pays $1 million to the winner and reflects a turning tide in the way that doctors and scientists look at aging.  Go to the McGill Daily to find out more.

October 14, 2014
THI begins study to help identify patients at increased risk for heart attacks
Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center is enrolling participants in the Lipid-Rich Plaque (LRP) Study - a large-scale, multi-center, international study aimed at linking the presence of LRP, a type of fatty coronary artery plaque, to the occurrence of a heart attack or other cardiac event. Read more in the Spring Observer.

October 6, 2014
ExxonMobil donates $18 million to top Houston health institutions
ExxonMobil said it is donating $18 million to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Texas Heart Institute and Texas Children's Hospital for research, prevention programs and patient care. "These world-renowned institutions are helping improve the health and lives of families in the greater Houston area and around the world, and we're proud to support their important mission," said Rex W. Tillerson, Exxon Mobil Corp.'s chairman and CEO. Houston Chronicle

October 2, 2014
THI Grateful Beneficiary of $5 million ExxonMobil Gift for Cardiovascular Research
Officials with the Texas Heart Institute at CHI St. Luke’s Health-Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center expressed their gratitude today to ExxonMobil for a pledge of $5 million to fund ground-breaking cardiovascular research. It is the largest such corporate gift in the more than 50-year history of the nonprofit Texas Heart Institute.

Publications of the Texas Heart Institute

Heart to Heart e-newsletter from THI President, Dr. James T. Willerson 

UPDATE recognizing donors and highlighting events 

Heart Watch research newsletter for medical professionals (En español)   

Texas Heart Institute Journal peer-reviewed scientific journal   

Index of Collected Papers of THI professional staff  

Library and LRC E-News resources, services and classes  

Women's Heart Health E-News "Straight Talk" by Dr. Stephanie Coulter 

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