Breakthrough Discovery Symposium II

Holly Holmes, M.D., MS, AGSF
Division of Geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine
Chair, Breakthrough Discovery Symposium II

Dr. Holly Holmes is an associate professor, Joan and Stanford Alexander Chair in Gerontology, and Director of the Joan and Stanford Alexander Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. She is a geriatrician and epidemiologist, and a former pharmacist whose clinical and research interests are centered on optimizing medication use care for vulnerable older adults.  Dr. Holmes has several years of research experience as a clinician and health services researcher in geriatric pharmacoepidemiology and geriatric oncology. Her primary research has been focused on medication-related issues in older persons, using administrative data, and has been supported by the National Institute on Aging and the Hartford Foundation. She is currently leading a study of deprescribing in primary care.

Matthew Rysavy, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology
Periviable birth: The enormous challenge of medicine’s smallest patients

Dr. Rysavy received his MD at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and Ph.D. in epidemiology with his thesis on prognosis in perinatal medicine. He received the New York Academy of Medicine David E. Rogers Fellowship and co-led the development of the Evidence-based Medicine curriculum for medical students at the University of Iowa. He completed residency and fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa. He is the PI of an ongoing 15-center NICHD-sponsored cohort study of births near the limits of viability. His work on the prognosis of infants born near the limit of viability has been published in the New England Journal of MedicineJAMA Pediatrics, and Pediatrics and featured in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. In 2020, he co-founded the Tiny Baby Collaborative to explore differences in the approach to caring for infants born at 22-23 weeks’ gestation in high-performing centers in several developed countries, including the U.S., Germany, Sweden, and Japan. He currently serves as the Director of Clinical Research in the Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, at McGovern Medical School and serves as a staff neonatologist at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.


Kuang Lei Tsai, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
“A high-resolution window on the regulation of gene transcription”

Dr. Kuang-Lei Tsai is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at McGovern Medical School. He received his Ph.D. degree in Bioinformatics and Structural Biology at the National Tsing-Hua University in Taiwan, studying mechanisms of gene regulation using X-ray crystallography. Dr. Tsai began investigating eukaryotic transcription machinery using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) during his postdoctoral training at the Scripps Research Institute, San Diego. He then joined UTHealth McGovern Medical School in November 2017. His laboratory primarily uses single-particle cryo-EM to obtain high-resolution structural information of large complexes involved in gene regulation and elucidates their functions and molecular mechanisms using a combination of biochemical and biophysical approaches.

Jun Wang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Pediatrics Research Center
“To beat or not to beat: Regulation in the cardiac conduction system”

Dr. Jun Wang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at McGovern Medical School. She received her Ph.D. degree from the Texas A&M University Health Science Center, studying heart development and diseases. She completed her postdoctoral training and became a faculty at Baylor College of Medicine, where she started working on craniofacial development and diseases. Dr. Wang joined the faculty at UTHealth in December 2018. Research in her lab is mainly focused on studying molecular and genetic regulation of cardiovascular and craniofacial development, diseases, and regeneration, using approaches including mouse genetics, physiology studies, genome editing, and next-generation sequencing techniques.