Ricardo M. La Hoz, MD, FACP
Transplant Infectious Diseases
Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (MD), University of Alabama at Birmingham (Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases)
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX.
My research focuses on the use of innovative data mining tools to extract information, in an automated manner, from the electronic medical record with the purpose of establishing a retrospective and prospective database of infections in solid and stem cell transplant recipients at UT Southwestern Medical Center. The data collected will allow us to monitor the incidence of infectious complications and develop quality improvement and research projects to improve care of transplant recipients.
What made you decide to work in transplantation?:
I was initially drawn towards transplant infectious diseases due to its complexity. It is the perfect combination of infectious diseases, immunology, surgery, ethics and policymaking. While the complexities of the field sparked my interest, it was the mentorship that I received that cemented my decision. During my training, I was exposed to a wonderful group of transplant “specialists” that included: donors, recipients, coordinators, pharmacists, and physicians. They shared their passion for transplantation and it was contagious!
What do you find to be the most valuable aspect of your work?:
Transplantation gives a second chance at life to those suffering from life-threatening diseases. This would not be possible without the gift of life from deceased and living donors. Unfortunately, this gift is frequently jeopardized by infectious complications. A transplant infectious disease specialist serves as a vital part of the process of transplantation by evaluating donors and recipients, designing prophylactic strategies, and treating those with serious infectious complications. Every day I have the opportunity to be challenged by a scientific field that is known for pushing boundaries, and am inspired by my colleagues and patients. The most valuable aspect of my work is the teamwork that occurs in this discipline. What is the reward you may ask? The reward of doing transplant infectious diseases is getting to do transplant infectious diseases!
I am an amateur sailor. I love to sail as it has the perfect combination of art, science and unpredictability.