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"What’s Next?"


It's a question world-class cities ask themselves.

In their search for an answer, they gather their best and their brightest. Their visionaries. Men and women, energized by the future, who create a community. One bound by a common cause that seeks to bend the trend line of innovation and achievement emphatically upward.

At Southwestern Medical Foundation, we have witnessed the power of such a community for over 75 years. We believe that Dallas can not only help answer "What's next?" in biomedical research but help to shape its future. It starts with a conversation.

This was the inspiration that led us to create Leading the Conversation on Health – What’s Next?, a forum series that highlights health care leaders in our community whose expertise range from biomedical research to innovations in patient care. 

The event is held on the Old Parkland Campus where Southwestern Medical Foundation started Southwestern Medical College, now UT Southwestern. The Old Parkland campus is a century-old vision that has been fully restored and renewed for the future. Developed by Crow Holdings, the campus is designed for interaction and collaboration, teaching and learning, and innovation and community. The series is hosted by Robert Rowling, Kathleen Gibson and Harlan Crow.


Past Events:


November 30, 2016 – "What's Next? Guarding the Nation's Health: The Role of America's Great Public Health Hospitals "

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dr. David Oshinsky spoke about the evolution and future of America’s public hospitals. The event was held in the Debate Chamber at Old Parkland.


May 9, 2016 – "What's Next? Research Talent and Its Impact in Driving the Future of Texas"

Texas Governor Greg Abbott spoke about the critical need for the highest quality research as a way to continue to accelerate Texas universities and the state's economy. The event was held in the Debate Chamber at Old Parkland.


September 25, 2015 – "What's Next? The Newest in Neuroscience: Moving Beyond the Unknown Unknowns"

Dr. Marc Diamond, one of the world’s leading researchers in Alzheimer’s and neurodegenerative diseases, spoke about unlocking the mysteries of brain disease. The event was moderated by Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky.


May 11, 2015 – "What's Next? Building the Highest Quality Health Care, Student by Student"

Dr. J. Gregory Fitz, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean and Provost at UT Southwestern, spoke with an outstanding medical student, Mary Villani, about advances in the training of physicians for the future.

November 24, 2014 – "How Dallas Brought a Great Dream to Reality"

Filmmaker, journalist and broadcaster Quin Mathews screened a series of film clips that told the remarkable story of how the Foundation and many farsighted donors came together to create UT Southwestern, one of the leading medical research centers in the world. These clips were later shown as part of the Foundation’s 75th Anniversary gala celebration.


April 7, 2014 – "What's Next? Nurturing Scientific Discovery, Accelerating the Future"

Bruce Beutler, MD and Joseph Goldstein, MD, two of UT Southwestern’s six Nobel laureates, spoke about the future of biomedical research. Introductions were made by Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky and the event was moderated by Lee Cullum.


October 15, 2013 – "What's Next? Seizing Opportunities in Biotech and Biomedical Science"

The inaugural event in this series was led by two nationally acclaimed leaders in medical science, Steven McKnight, PhD and Eric Olson, PhD. Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky moderated the fireside chat which included a discussion about the impressive quality of UT Southwestern’s biomedical research and opportunities for more local support for biomedical ventures that result.