The Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio has appointed Robert Svatek, MD, MSCI, as chairman of the Department of Urology. Dr. Svatek, who assumed the position Nov. 30, was selected after an extensive national search.
Dr. Svatek was born and raised in Wharton, Texas, and has spent his student and professional career in institutions within The University of Texas System. He earned his medical degree from the UT Medical Branch at Galveston after graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He completed his urology residency at the UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He then completed his fellowship in urologic oncology at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he focused on bladder cancer biology and concurrently earned a Master’s of Science in Clinical Investigation at the nearby UTHealth (Houston) McGovern Medical School.
Dr. Svatek is a surgeon with excellent expertise in both open and robotic management of advanced urinary bladder cancer. Prior to his appointment as interim chair for the Department of Urology, Dr. Svatek served as director of the Genitourinary Oncology Fellowship Program and chief of the Division of Urologic Oncology. He was the leader of the Genitourinary Cancer Disease Site Team and co-leader of the Experimental and Development Therapeutics Program at the Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, which recently received its five-year Cancer Center renewal from the National Cancer Institute, in part because of the strength of this research program.
Dr. Svatek has had a major impact on important initiatives in urologic oncology at a national level. Dr. Svatek runs a productive cancer immunology laboratory that is supported by multiple sources including U.S. Department of Defense funding and R01 grant funding from the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Svatek is the national principal investigator for SWOG1602, a phase III trial evaluating the role of BCG strain differences and intradermal vaccination to boost immune responses and improve outcomes for patients with high-grade bladder cancer. He is committed to teaching and mentorship, from undergraduate through faculty levels, with his clinical fellows and laboratory post-doctoral fellows earning celebrated awards and positions at prestigious institutions.
“Rob said that he stands on the shoulders of giants, and recognizes the enormous contributions that the past chairs, Drs. Ian Thompson, Ron Rodriguez and Stephen Kraus, have made to the department,” said Robert Hromas, MD, professor and dean of the Long School of Medicine, in an email announcing the appointment. “His exciting vision for the future includes incorporating innovative educational techniques, enhancing urology clinical trials, bringing data analytics to bear on the problems facing the field, building new multidisciplinary clinical teams across departments and embracing novel electronic technologies.”
Dr. Svatek is married to Mandie Tibball Svatek, MD, a UT Health Science Center San Antonio pediatric hospitalist and native of San Antonio. Dr. Mandie Svatek is a past Pillar of the Northside Independent School District and chairs the South Texas Asthma Coalition and serves as the medical adviser to the SA Kids B.R.E.A.T.H.E. asthma program.
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The Long School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is named for Texas philanthropists Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long. The school is the largest educator of physicians in South Texas, many of whom remain in San Antonio and the region to practice medicine. The school teaches more than 900 students and trains 800 residents each year. As a beacon of multicultural sensitivity, the school annually exceeds the national medical school average of Hispanic students enrolled. The school’s clinical practice is the largest multidisciplinary medical group in South Texas with 850 physicians in more than 100 specialties. The school has a highly productive research enterprise where world leaders in Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cancer, aging, heart disease, kidney disease and many other fields are translating molecular discoveries into new therapies. The Long School of Medicine is home to a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center known for prolific clinical trials and drug development programs, as well as a world-renowned center for aging and related diseases.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, also referred to as UT Health San Antonio, is one of the country’s leading health sciences universities and is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. With missions of teaching, research, patient care and community engagement, its schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have graduated more than 37,000 alumni who are leading change, advancing their fields, and renewing hope for patients and their families throughout South Texas and the world. To learn about the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.
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