K. Lance Gould, M.D.
K. Lance Gould, M.D.

Perspectives is an ongoing series of Q&A’s with longtime faculty and staff at McGovern Medical School to give readers a glimpse into how the campus has changed over the years the impact the school has had on their professional lives. This week’s edition of Perspectives features K. Lance Gould, Ph.D., professor of cardiovascular medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine.

  • What first brought you to McGovern Medical School?

The opportunity to develop cardiac positron emission tomography as an advanced clinical application of coronary physiology.

  • How has McGovern Medical School changed throughout your tenure here?

Dramatically scientifically, clinically, and administratively.  The school has evolved from an administratively arbitrary, hierarchical club of dictatorial men whose ego dominated use of scientific funds, application of policies, and personal advancement in culminating in the sudden simultaneous firing of 10 Department Chairmen by the President of UTHealth in 1985, six years after I came as director of the Division of Cardiology.  This astonishing event was an instantaneous generational leap into the medical school’s evolving into a current modern, objective, fair, gender sensitive, creative, highly productive, medical school with deep institutional integrity and commitment to teaching, research, clinical service by its individual faculty.

  • Are there any mentors or colleagues that have been instrumental to your development and achievements?

In the early turbulent days of the above environment, the crucial visionary leaders and colleagues for me, among many others, include Roger Bulger, M.D., then President of UTHealth, Frank Webber, M.D., then dean of the Medical School, Tom Burks, M.D., then vice-president for Research and Innovation, and A. G. McNeese, then chair of the UT Board of Regents.

  • Do you have any particular accomplishments, awards, or recognition that stand out and what makes them special?

Our scientific accomplishments derive entirely from the collaboration and supporting team work by enlightened creative administration like those above, the technical and clinical excellence and creativity of colleagues in diverse fields far beyond my personal capabilities, and the their critical but open minded capacity to extend and develop leading, ground breaking but intuitive concepts into hard proven science that has and is changing cardiovascular medicine.  The personal recognition derived from this teamwork that means the most to me include:

  • George von Hevesy Prize for Research in Nuclear Medicine, at the World Federation of Nuclear Medicine, September 17, 1978, Washington, D.C
  • George E. Brown Memorial Lecturer of the American Heart Association, 1990
  • The UT President’s Scholar Award for Research, 2009
  • Simon Dack Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Journals of the American College of Cardiology, 2011.
  • The Hal Anger Memorial Plenary Lecture, Society of Nuclear Medicine, 2017
  • FDA approved HeartSee PET Software for worldwide distribution, 2017
  • American College of Cardiology Distinguished Scientist Award for Translational Research, 2018


  • What have you most enjoyed about your time at McGovern Medical School?

The privilege of pursuing a passion for understanding and translating coronary physiology into clinical application.