Dr. Chika Nwachukwu, Dr. Olutoyosi Ogunkua, and Dr. Luis Sifuentes-Dominguez


Originally scheduled for April 17, this year’s An Evening with DocStars was postponed due to the COVID-19 virus; however, The Cary Council’s commitment to advance promising biomedical research remains steadfast.

We wish to recognize and give thanks to our event sponsors and various donors throughout the year who generously supported medical innovation and achievement during the most difficult of times and made this year’s funding possible. Our community’s investment in The Cary Council’s mission and medical research has already made a marked impact on the research of six former DocStar recipients, who have sought and received additional funding that is 10 times more than the initial grant amounts.

The Cary Council is pleased to announce our 2020 DocStar grant recipients. For a third year, these DocStar grants are providing crucial funding for the early stage research of young investigators at UT Southwestern Medical Center who demonstrate great promise for continued discovery in their fields.

Meet the DocStars

Chika Nwachukwu, M.D., Ph.D. smiling wearing a white lab coat

Chika Nwachukwu, M.D., Ph.D.

Developing safer and more effective treatment options for cervical cancers

Dr. Nwachukwu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology and received her medical degree from Mayo Medical School after obtaining her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. She was recruited to UTSW in 2019, from Stanford University, as a clinician educator and is an active member of the breast and gynecologic cancers disease-oriented team. Radiation treatment for cervical cancers often kills many blood-producing bone marrow cells within the pelvis, leading to toxic side effects. Dr. Nwachukwu’s research goal is to improve upon treatment options and outcomes for patients with cervical cancers through a combination of bone marrow protectants and more intense, highly-targeted radiation, thus minimizing toxic side effects while killing more of the tumor.

Olutoyosi Ogunkua, M.D. smiling wearing a white lab coat and a blue tie

Olutoyosi Ogunkua, M.D.

Addressing life-threatening risks and complications during childbirth

Dr. Ogunkua is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Management. He received his medical degree from University of Pennsylvania, and completed his Residency and Fellowship at UT Southwestern. Dr. Ogunkua’s work addresses the leading cause of death and complications during childbirth worldwide: severe blood loss after delivery.  His current project aims to determine the effectiveness of a promising drug call tranexamic acid (TXA) on reducing blood loss in women undergoing cesarean delivery.

Luis Sifuentes-Dominguez, M.D. smiling with a beard

Luis Sifuentes-Dominguez, M.D.

Creating novel treatments for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Dr. Sifuentes-Dominguez is currently an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and a member of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology. After completing his subspecialty training at UT Southwestern, he joined the faculty in 2015. Dr. Sifuentes-Dominguez has developed a number of strategies that take advantage of novel animal models and sequencing technologies to define the role of the neuroendocrine system in the intestinal inflammation. His work has tremendous translational potential and could result in novel therapeutic approaches to treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

About The Cary Council

The Cary Council is a new generation of leadership in the Greater Dallas Area that is dedicated to creating greater awareness of the missions of Southwestern Medical Foundation and UT Southwestern among young professionals and community philanthropists. The group raises funds from sponsorships and attendance at their signature event, “An Evening with DocStars,” which showcases current research at UT Southwestern.

Dr. Edward H. Cary’s vision in 1939 to advance medical education, scientific research, and inspire a citizenship to greater deeds led to the establishment of the Southwestern Medical Foundation and Southwestern Medical College, the precursor to today’s UT Southwestern Medical Center. Inspired by his legacy, The Cary Council continues to carry on the visionary tradition that has enabled both the Foundation and the medical school to flourish.

Learn more about An Evening with DocStars 2020

2018 DocStars | 2017 DocStars