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New funding provided for research into fatty liver disease at UT Health and for new building

The UT School of Public Health San Antonio will welcome its inaugural class in the fall of this year. The school is the result of a partnership between UT Health San Antonio and The University of Texas San Antonio.
Gabriella Alcorta Solorio
/
TPR
The UT School of Public Health San Antonio will welcome its inaugural class in the fall of this year. The school is the result of a partnership between UT Health San Antonio and The University of Texas San Antonio.

UT School of Public Health San Antonio received nearly $3 million in new funding on Monday.

Almost $2 million will go into research for hepatic steatosis, commonly known as fatty liver disease.

The remaining $1 million will be used to renovate of the new building at the UT Health campus.

About 28% of Latinos have fatty liver disease, according to recent research, but that number is higher among Mexican Americans, who are also twice as likely to experience severe cases of the disease.

San Antonio Congressman Joaquin Castro presented new funds at a press conference on Monday.

“Well, as a San Antonian I know that ours is region that confronts many medical challenges,” he said. “We need the UT Health Science Center to succeed.”

San Antonio’s population is about 65% Latino, according to a 2023 city report.

Congressman Joaquin Castro presented the nearly $3 million in grants for the research for hepatic steatosis at UT School of Public Health San Antonio.
Gabriella Alcorta Solorio
/
TPR
Congressman Joaquin Castro presented the nearly $3 million in grants for the research for hepatic steatosis at UT School of Public Health San Antonio.

Fatty liver disease affects people with type 2 diabetes, and Latinos have a high risk for diabetes.

“Type 2 diabetes is rampant in San Antonio and South Texas and among the Latino community,” Castro added. “This will be very helpful in combatting that that and hopefully developing drugs to help patients with [fatty liver disease].”

The UT School of Public Health San Antonio will welcome its inaugural class this fall.

The school is the result of a partnership between UT Health San Antonio and The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Vasan Ramachandran, founding dean UT School of Public Health San Antonio spoke at the presentation of the funding to the UT School of Public Health San Antonio for hepatic steatosis.
Gabriella Alcorta Solorio
/
TPR
Vasan Ramachandran, founding dean UT School of Public Health San Antonio spoke at the presentation of the funding to the UT School of Public Health San Antonio for hepatic steatosis.

The school said in a statement that San Antonio was the largest city in the U.S. without a school of public health. Now, it will be home to graduate students.

“We like to say we are a school without walls,” said Dr. Vasan Ramachandran, founding dean UT School of Public Health San Antonio. “Most of our learning will be outside, the county is our classroom, the community is our curriculum, the people I think we have to meet them where they are.”

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Bioscience and Medicine News Desk including UT Health San Antonio and Dr. Johnny and Joni Reyna, supporting prostate cancer research and early detection to save lives.

Gabriella Alcorta-Solorio is a reporter for Texas Public Radio. She recently graduated from Texas State University with a major in journalism, minoring in women’s studies. She has previously worked as a photojournalist with The Ranger and has reported on Alzheimer’s and dementia using public health data. She plans to focus her career in journalism on women’s rights and human rights.