Kate Morris, Member of The Cary Council
At age five, I was diagnosed with leukemia. I spent much of the next three years at Children’s Medical Center, receiving treatment by extraordinary doctors and nurses. The fact that I am a healthy adult is a testament to the world-class patient care, research and education that UT Southwestern has been providing to patients in our city for decades.
So when my friend, Michael Kahn, approached me to join The Cary Council, an organization designed to support the mission of Southwestern Medical Foundation and UT Southwestern, I did not hesitate to say yes. Not only was Michael’s enthusiasm contagious, but my own personal experience inspired me.
Attending Cary Council events like the recent lab tour with UT Southwestern’s Dr. Eric Olson, Director of the Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine, is an invaluable experience for those of us who want to understand how UT Southwestern is changing the face of medicine.
Dr. Olson is working on groundbreaking gene therapy research, and along with his UT Southwestern colleagues, he is pioneering the field of “regenerative medicine.” The Olson Lab is developing new therapies for treating countless types of genetic disorders and age-related disorders. As Dr. Olson explained it, regenerative medicine is the future of biology and the future of medicine.
As Dr. Olson described his team’s work on regenerating the human heart, it struck me that Dr. Olson and The Cary Council have a similar mission: In essence, we are both trying to regrow the heart.
It struck me that Dr. Olson and The Cary Council have a similar mission: In essence, we are both trying to regrow the heart.
While the Olson Lab is creating innovations in tissue and gene editing, the Cary Council is creating a new generation of leaders who are heartened and engaged as ambassadors of UT Southwestern and Southwestern Medical Foundation. Members of The Cary Council support the unique value proposition that academic medicine brings to our community. Dr. Olson is also a tireless mentor to an upcoming generation of scientists. During our visit we learned that he is a wonderful role model for all young leaders.
After discussing his incredible research, his team gave us an exciting hands-on tour of their lab, where we put on gloves, peered through microscopes, and conducted experiments. There is so much pioneering research being done right now at UT Southwestern, and for me, visiting with Dr. Olson was a poignant reminder of UT Southwestern’s long legacy of extraordinary patient care.
Thanks to new therapies and early-interventions, countless children today and in the future will also be able overcome disease and live long, fulfilling lives. But as Dr. Olson explained, life-saving research can’t be done without significant resources. Through The Cary Council, I am honored to play a role in supporting and championing the importance of academic medicine to our city. For Dallas, UT Southwestern is the heart of academic medicine. It trains doctors and many other health care professions. It conducts research of the highest quality. It cares for patients with the benefit of the latest advancing knowledge.
I would like to thank everyone at Southwestern Medical Foundation and my colleagues in The Cary Council for spreading the word about the all the important medical advances being made right here in North Texas. I could not be more proud to see what Dr. Olson and the doctors and researchers of UT Southwestern are doing to truly reshape the medical landscape of Dallas and to help build a healthy future for people like me.
To see photos from the event click here.