June 11, 2021
Dear Members of the Baylor College of Medicine Community,
The world of COVID continues to improve in the United States and Houston, though there remain serious areas of concern in the world. Half of all people in the United States have started the vaccination process and 41 percent are fully vaccinated. Of concern is the number of doses administered each day has fallen more than half from its April peak.
In the Texas Medical Center, the numbers are good but it is important to note this week we still had an average of 279 new cases of COVID each day. Last week it was 315 and last month it was 529 cases. It is a much better situation, but it is not “over.”
The video this week has a special focus. We recorded in the new Organoid Core Lab of Dr. Mary Estes and Dr. Sarah Blutt. Dr. Estes was the first to bring the organoid approach to virology, when trying to culture norovirus from the gut. Now this area has expanded at Baylor to where we can study viruses in other tissue, including the lungs, gut and brain. Our scientists are now studying coronavirus in these three dimensional organoids. The approach shows how biological processes work in humans and are a new way of testing medications. Dr. Estes and I have a conversation about organoid research as part of the video. I think you will find it very interesting, and another example of how Baylor leads.
Finally, there’s Dimmit County, which continues to have a high number of cases. Lily has a plan though, and is seeking support.
Have a great weekend! Stay safe.
Paul Klotman, M.D.
President & CEO