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UTSA Research July Newsletter


The San Antonio Life Sciences Institute, a joint venture between The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (HSC), has selected the winners of the Postdoc Initiative Pilot Program. The winners, Emily Boice from UTSA and Lei Huang from HSC, will receive $25,000 for their project entitled, "Novel engineered ferritins for tracking and protecting neural stem cells in post-ischemic environment."

The research of Boice and Huang focuses on a treatment for stroke through stem cell therapy. Stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for stroke, but is not without its challenges. After a stroke, the brain has a deficient supply of blood and areas surrounding it are filled with toxic iron. This toxicity is damaging to engrafted stem cells and prevents stem cell induced healing. Boice and Huang are working on an innovative way to protect stem cells in the post-stroke, hostile environment and allow for them to be tracked by MRI machines. Since stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and the leading cause of long-term disability worldwide, their research into this field could not only change the landscape of the disease in Texas, but also the world.

The SALSI Postdoc Initiative program sought to bring together innovative postdoctoral research fellows from UTSA and HSC to collaborate on the development of novel solutions that will ultimately advance research directions in targeted disease areas which impact the south Texas region (e.g., diabetes, asthma, allergies, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury). This initiative aims to benefit both postdoctoral fellows and their faculty mentors by introducing new technologies, expanding the research focus, and yielding data for innovative research proposals.





National Organic Symposium, Doug Frantz and Bobbi Neff.







Funding will help recruit top researcher and educator

(San Antonio) – The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) College of Sciences has received a $1.5 million gift from The Welch Foundation to establish the Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry.  With this support, the university will recruit a distinguished chemist who will contribute to research efforts in chemistry and support the university as it grows to attaining Tier One research status.

The Welch Foundation gift will be matched dollar for dollar by funding available from a university endowment to create a $3 million endowment to attract and recruit a strong leader to teach and conduct research at UTSA.

Texas has three Tier One universities, each of which has at least three Welch Chairs. “Having a Welch Chair has become a symbol of achieving a high level of excellence in scholarly chemistry research, and I am very pleased that The Welch Foundation’s directors recognize UTSA’s progress and promise through the funding of this chair,” said George Perry, dean of the UTSA College of Sciences.

Recruiting top faculty to provide instruction and conduct research that serves society is one aspect of UTSA’s efforts to become a Tier One university.  Such universities provide opportunities that lead to economic growth, generate new discoveries and innovations in science and engineering, and increase exposure to world-class cultural and artistic programs.


"The Welch Foundation endowment is a great opportunity for us.  It will impact the research environment in the Department of Chemistry,” said Waldemar Gorski, chair of the Department of Chemistry.  “The Welch Chair will both amplify our ability to conduct high quality research and catalyze our scientific collaborations."


UTSA’s relationship with The Welch Foundation began in 1993.  Over that time period, foundation funding has grown to more than $4.2 million to support both the chemistry department and individual chemistry researchers.


The Department of Chemistry has research specialty programs including the major sub-disciplines of organic chemistry, biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and physical chemistry as well as other interdisciplinary collaborations including medicinal chemistry and materials chemistry.


The department offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and currently has 350 students enrolled in its programs.


The Welch Foundation, based in Houston, is one of the nation's largest and oldest private funding sources for chemistry research. It primarily supports researchers at Texas institutions of higher education.






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