Moss Heart Trust continues four decades of giving with $500,000 gift

By Sharon Reynolds

Harry S. Moss

The Moss Heart Trust’s unwavering commitment to discovery has played an important role in lessening the burden of heart disease in America. The Trust awarded UT Southwestern its first grant in 1973 to create the Harry S. Moss Heart Center, dedicated to healing, innovation, and discovery as well as to educating the next generation of cardiovascular providers and investigators.

With its latest gift of $500,000 to UT Southwestern, Trust funding of almost $42 million has helped build and sustain the Center through long-term grants, endowed faculty chairs, and funding for equipment and special projects.

“We are proud of the advances that have been realized through the Trust’s funding of UT Southwestern and the Harry S. Moss Heart Center,” said Debra Phares, Philanthropic Client Director for U.S. Trust Private Wealth Management, on behalf of the Harry S. Moss Trust, Bank of America NA.

“It was Mr. Moss’ profound hope and belief that his perpetual trust would provide assistance to agencies in our community. The bank is honored to have the opportunity, along with his family, in carrying out Mr. Moss’ wish. The Trust’s support of UT Southwestern’s initiatives in the area of heart research has enabled the Medical Center to recruit and retain an elite cadre of cardiology scientists and clinicians and helped them establish heart disease research and clinical programs that have garnered international acclaim.”

Ongoing philanthropic support from the Moss Heart Trust has had a transformative influence on students, physicians, researchers, and, most importantly, patients at UT Southwestern. The Trust played a vital role in supporting groundbreaking studies by Dr. Jere Mitchell on the cardiovascular response to exercise; the development of cholesterol-lowering, lifesaving statin drugs based on the foundational research of Nobel Laureates Drs. Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein; and the development of a world-renowned cardiothoracic transplantation program under the leadership of Dr. Michael Jessen.

“The lives of millions of people have been improved, extended, and saved because of work supported by the foresight and generosity of the Moss Heart Trust,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern. “Its investment in UT Southwestern has paid unparalleled dividends for patients around the world through breakthrough discoveries in the prevention, treatment, and ultimate cure of heart disease.”

Personal experience fuels passion for research

Dallas philanthropist, oilman, and civic leader Harry S. Moss left an enduring imprint on the world. In 1920, Mr. Moss started the Moss Petroleum Co., where he served as President. He held leadership positions on boards of numerous business and community organizations and worked fervently to make life better for others.

After Mr. Moss suffered a heart attack in the 1960s, he realized the importance of philanthropy to support medical research. He died in 1970, and the Harry S. Moss Heart Trust was established through his estate in 1973 to support organizations working to prevent and cure heart disease. His wife, Florence Moss, who died in 1978, added a substantial portion of her estate to the Trust.

Caring for an aging population

The Moss Heart Trust’s latest gift of $500,000 will support the Dallas Hearts and Minds Study (DHMS) that will explore the underlying biology of healthy aging. The DHMS is an exciting new phase of the Dallas Heart Study (DHS), founded and launched in 2000 by Dr. Helen H. Hobbs, Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Genetics at UT Southwestern, along with Dr. R. Sanders Williams and the late Dr. Ronald Victor.

The DHS has been a powerful resource to inspire new approaches to prevent and treat cardiovascular and liver diseases, including the development of an effective class of drugs for lowering LDL cholesterol – drugs that continue to save lives around the world today.

The new DHMS will study 3,000 healthy, middle-aged adults: 2,000 original DHS participants plus 1,000 Hispanic participants. The large-scale nature of this study mirrors the diversity of the country and will allow unique discoveries overlooked in other studies that had an overwhelmingly Caucasian enrollment.

Dr. Jarett Berry

Dr. Jarett Berry, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Clinical Sciences, is a preventive cardiologist and a cardiovascular epidemiologist now serving as the Principal Investigator of the DHMS.

“Over the last 50 years, we have seen a dramatic decline in cardiovascular disease in the population,” Dr. Berry said. “As a result, the population is aging and the question to focus on in the next 50 years will be how to care for the aging adult. There is little known about the factors that influence healthy aging, and the Moss Heart Trust gift enables us to search for answers through the Dallas Hearts and Minds Study.”

Dr. Berry is a Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care. 

Dr. Hobbs, Director of the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development, holds the Eugene McDermott Distinguished Chair for the Study of Human Growth and Development, the Philip O’Bryan Montgomery, Jr., M.D. Distinguished Chair in Developmental Biology, and the 1995 Dallas Heart Ball Chair in Cardiology Research. 


Dr. Brown, Director of the Erik Jonsson Center for Research in Molecular Genetics and Human Disease and a Regental Professor, holds The W.A. (Monty) Moncrief Distinguished Chair in Cholesterol and Arteriosclerosis Research, and the Paul J. Thomas Chair in Medicine.

Dr. Goldstein, Chair of Molecular Genetics and a Regental Professor, holds the Julie and Louis A. Beecherl, Jr. Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Research, and the Paul J. Thomas Chair in Medicine.

Dr. Jessen, Chair of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, holds the Frank M. Ryburn, Jr., Distinguished Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery and Transplantation.

Dr. Mitchell, Professor of Internal Medicine and Physiology, holds the S. Roger and Carolyn P. Horchow Chair in Cardiac Research, in Honor of Jere H. Mitchell, M.D.

Dr. Podolsky holds the Philip O’Bryan Montgomery, Jr., M.D. Distinguished Presidential Chair in Academic Administration, and the Doris and Bryan Wildenthal Distinguished Chair in Medical Science.

From the heart

Class of 1968 photos

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