Generous donation creates the Dr. Al and Sharon Yurvati DO/PhD Scholarship

By Steven Bartolotta

Dr. Yurvati and Michael Wade

A three-decade long career and counting is in the books, but don’t think TCOM’s Dr. Albert Yurvati is ready to slow down, he’s just shifting gears. A pillar in the osteopathic and research community, Dr. Yurvati made a donation to HSC from the Dr. Al and Sharon Yurvati DO/PhD Scholarship.  

The scholarship will provide $72,000 over a two-year period for a student who enters the DO/PhD program. The first recipient of the scholarship is Michael Wade, who is a currently a Year 2 student at TCOM, set to enter the DO/PhD program in January of 2021. 

“I’m proud to be able to give back and re-invest in TCOM, my alma mater,” DrYurvati said. “What I’m hoping for is this scholarship will create a spark among alumni, maybe different specialties, to get involved and create their own scholarships for other students. My observation is that in order for us to attract the next generation of osteopathic researchers, we need to create and sustain a well-funded DO/PhD program.”  

Himself a DO, PhD, Dr. Yurvati retired as an active surgeon in August of 2020, but remains the Chair of Medical Education at TCOM and is actively involved in education and research.  

“I was incredibly humbled when I discovered that I would be receiving the scholarship,” Wade said. “Dr. Yurvati is a leader in the medical community and has since become a mentor of mine. I’m extremely grateful to him as I know that this is a careerchanging opportunity. 

Wade, will join Dr. Yurvati and Dr. Robert Mallet on a very critical research project. Dr. Yurvati and Dr. Mallet are working to change the solution used to preserve kidneys before a transplant. The research aims to extend the ischemic time of the kidney to up to 72 hours, giving transplant recipients a better opportunity of receiving a kidney from potentially long distances.  

“Helping others is the reason why I got into medicine,” Wade said. “Learning about the impact this project could make made me realize that the unique training you receive as a DO/PhD allows you to innovate and revolutionize medicine. A physician helps the individual but medical research has the potential to affect the masses and improve the wellbeing of everyone. 

The lab, which is funded in part by the Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians (DSWOP), is a few years away from clinical trials, but the newly created scholarship will help lay the foundation for future researchers. It has been decades since the solution has been updated, and Dr. Mallet and Dr. Yurvati feel the timing it right. Adding Wade to their team will be a big boost, but Dr. Yurvati has a long-term vision for the scholarship, which will be continually funded every two years.  

“I would hope to see we have consistently between five and eight DO/PhD students coming out of TCOM every year,” he said. “I want to be able to provide for the next generation. That’s my goal.”

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