The University of Texas of the Permian Basin


Dr. John H . Doran

Opening the Window on Neurological Diseases

With close to four decades of practicing medicine, John H. Doran, M.D., F.A.C.P., has witnessed many advancements in medicine, and he is hopeful that diseases of the nervous system will soon be better understood. If cardiology research reached unprecedented heights in the 20th century, neurology is poised to follow in the 21st.

“We are just getting started, but in the next 10-to-30 years, with the right people working on it, we can make significant advances in our understanding of neurological disorders,” Dr. Doran states. Then, based on those findings, new medical procedures, therapies and drug protocols can be developed—just as they were for heart disease. “The field can advance when the window opens,” says Dr. Doran, who is doing his part to ensure that that window stays open.

In 2014, Dr. Doran established two endowments for The University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB): the Ace G. & Bertha L. Doran Endowed Scholarship, which supports undergraduate students majoring in Biology, Chemistry, Pre-Med or Physics, and the John H. Doran, M.D., F.A.C.P, Graduate Research Fellowship Endowment, which supports graduate students completing research in Biological Sciences.

Through the scholarship, Dr. Doran says he is honoring his parents, who supported him through his undergraduate studies at UT Austin and then through medical school at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio; and, when Dr. Doran decided to move to London for a research cardiology fellowship at the Royal Brompton Hospital, his parents came through once again. “They gave me both financial and moral support,” he says. “They kept me going.”

As fate would have it, it was his experience in England that would determine his future career path.“It was a great learning experience and clarified my clinical direction. I realized I didn’t want to pursue invasive cardiology, after all. I would, instead, become an internal medicine clinician: a primary care physician.”

He would join a practice in his native Odessa, becoming the 5th internist in town at the time (there are about 50 today, Dr. Doran estimates); he remains active in the practice of internal medicine, and has had what he describes as “a successful, rewarding career.” Life as a primary care physician has afforded him many joys, he notes, including the opportunity to care for his ailing parents and to work with his patients in restoring their health. “I love the challenge of solving patients’ medical issues. I love it as much today as when I first started. I can’t think of anything better.”

The need to address medical conditions that continue to mystify gave Dr. Doran the impetus for establishing a graduate research fellowship at UTPB and an endowed chair at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio (see box). “UTPB is flourishing right now,” says Dr. Doran, adding that with a new science building and space for a biology lab, conditions are good for rigorous neurobiological research. “We need to advance our knowledge of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as their appropriate treatment.” Furthermore, says Dr. Doran, “I think you should help your own, and it was time for me to help.”

If you would like more information about how to start an endowment, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement via e-mail at or by telephone at 432-552-2802.