President’s Perspective

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We all have so much to be thankful for. We’re so fortunate to have the medical center here in Houston, with all of the great work that goes on here. Many people take it for granted, and that is easy to do, but it truly is an amazing set of institutions, any one of which you put in any other city and it would be like they won the lotto. We are blessed with an abundance of resources and expertise, all committed to the common goal of improving human health.

As we celebrate Veterans Day and Thanksgiving, it is only fitting that we take time to appreciate the men and women who have helped protect this country and all of the opportunities we are afforded. The Texas Medical Center campus is home to the DeBakey VA Hospital, which is actively involved in helping provide the resources and support our city’s veterans need.

This community is uniquely positioned to serve not only our city, but also the rest of the country through research, education and personalized care. And this is a truly great time to be in science and medicine. I often think of the progress made in genomics and regenerative medicine in the last decade as an indicator of the limitless potential for the future.

Genomic testing started out as a 10-year-long, multibillion-dollar effort, and it now takes 48 hours and costs $1,000 to have your genome sequenced. Amazing progress! Eventually, it will be a one-hour blood test that costs $50, and everyone’s health will be guided by his or her genomic readout. Ten years ago, IPS cells weren’t even known. They were developed in the last five or six years, and the researcher who invented the process, Shinya Yamanaka, won a Nobel Prize for his work. Things are changing rapidly, and progress is important if we are going to improve the health of humanity.

We are grateful for progress, but recognize that there is still so much more work to do. So as the holidays near, take time to pause and give thanks for where we are, and all that we still have to look forward to.

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