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Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Health initiatives welcomes alumna

Biomedical engineering assistant professor, administrator and UH College of Optometry alumna Kathryn Peek, who has been a part of the Texas Medical Center for 25 years, is joining the UH health initiatives.

Health initiatives deal with health research by faculty and students. Peek said about 255 UH students declare majors related to the health field.

‘I am investigating research centers and what their engagements are with other centers,’ Peek said.

Numerous UH faculty already collaborate with Medical Center colleagues on a wide variety of inter-institutional programs and research projects.

‘Over the last 25 years, I have been on the faculty of the Texas Medical Center as well as M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Texas Women’s University,’ Peek said. ‘I have maintained my connections with ‘hellip; UH, and I was recruited to come and speak about the health initiatives that Dr. Renu Khator is trying to make.’

Some of Peek’s goals for the initiative are to maintain comprehensive inventories for health initiatives for several UH health institutions. She is also developing a Web site that will provide access to all this information.

‘The inventory is about seeing where the students’ majors are, their minors and their interests in the health-related profession,’ Peek said.

The U.S. needs more health care providers, and UH should be a part of where those people who work for health care should come from, Peek said.

UH is engaged in identifying the health profession’s needs and designing education programs to meet those needs.

‘I want to expand education in health care fields at the University. We need more people in the fields of physicians, nurses and other health-related professions,’ Peek said.

Peek plans to survey students to see how they would feel about being a part of a university that has ties to the Medical Center.

‘I want to help build a new relationship with the Texas Medical Center,’ Peek said. ‘I also want to define and increase benefits to be members of the TMC partnership.’

Peek said her interest is in cancer research. She worked at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and is investigating how UH can be a part of that research.

‘The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas is an organization that funds cancer research, and I want to make sure the University of Houston is on the table to get their share of the money,’ Peek said.

Having Peek with UH is a start to formally organize the collaboration between the TMC and UH.

‘We are further along in tier-one for health than many imagined only a few years ago,’ John Antel, UH provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, said in a press release.

‘Dr. Peek will help us pull together as an institution and get the word out to the community about our great programs.’

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