The University of St. Thomas is now one of the nearly 60 institutions that make up the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical complex on planet earth. St. Thomas and TMC were both founded in the immediate aftermath of World War II, inspired by a vision to create a better world through the healing arts and education. They shared in common a mission to improve the lives of men and women in Houston and beyond.
St. Thomas’s great tradition of educating students in the health and life sciences, grounded in a classical liberal arts education, finds common cause with TMC hospitals, research institutes, medical schools and universities, who thrive at the leading edge of the life sciences.
The technological innovations and medical advances that I have seen in my work with member institutions of the TMC are astonishing. After one memorable tour of the Houston Methodist Research Institute, I literally had to sit in my car for 15 minutes to process and reflect on the amazing things I saw. All of them for the purpose of saving lives and improving health. The enthusiasm and commitment of the men and women who explained these innovations to me left a deep impression on me.
But what’s really important is TMC’s commitment to ethical principles, which guide all of its astounding innovations and make TMC institutions such great partners for the University of St. Thomas. For instance, the concern for healing the whole person that lies at the heart of St. Thomas’s Nursing Program finds resonance and strong support from Memorial Hermann Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, St. Luke’s, Baylor College of Medicine, the Catholic Health Initiative, among other institutions.
Another example is St. Thomas’s newly established Master in Clinical Translation Management degree, offered in collaboration the Houston Methodist Research Institute. It aims is to educate students to effectively and efficiently bring pharmaceuticals and medical devices from the discovery phase to market, from lab bench to bedside. In doing so, lives will be saved and health restored. The genesis of this collaborative degree program was a concern for the profound ethical dimensions of this process, as well as the need to graduate highly competent professionals, skilled in all aspects of the translation project.
St. Thomas is a university dedicated to life and human flourishing. Our membership in the TMC presents nearly inexhaustible opportunities for our faculty and students to pursue these great purposes. The future looks great!
By Dominic A. Aquila, D. Litt et Phil.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs