Office of the President

Message From The President - March 2016

Dear Friends,

The world is one step closer to wiping out cancer, and it's because of the work that is taking place at UTSA. Matthew Gdovin, a leading researcher in our College of Sciences, has developed a promising therapy to treat patients with hard-to-reach tumors in the brain stem, aorta or spine. 

The non-invasive therapy destroys 95 percent of treated cells in just two hours' time. After the injection of a chemical compound, a beam of UV light is aimed at the tumor site to help kill the tumor's cells. This therapy could have a major impact on how we treat triple negative breast cancer, one of the hardest cancers to treat, and on how we treat children, who don't respond well to radiation. 

Gdovin is just one of the UTSA faculty members doing groundbreaking research in cancer treatment. UTSA chemists like Donald Kurtz and his team have developed a way to shoot 'iron bullets' at cancer cells and kill them with infrared light. 

UTSA medicinal chemist Doug Frantz, who lost three uncles to brain cancer, is leading a team of UTSA students in molecular research. Because stem cells can become any type of cell in the body, Frantz's laboratory is focused on identifying molecules that can convince stem cells they want to become something other than cancer. It's a very unique approach. 

While several UTSA researchers are working to eradicate cancer, others are working on ways to mitigate challenges related to cancer. 

Mohammad Rahman, a UTSA doctoral student, is looking at the tissue, cellular and subcellular levels of cancer to develop tools that will help scientists and clinicians better predict treatment outcomes. 

UTSA stem cell researcher Brian Hermann is working with a team that has discovered a way to preserve the fertility of pre-pubescent boys who have cancer. 

Cancer research has come a long way in the last few decades. But it's a persistent disease and there is so much work yet to be done. At UTSA, we are committed to world-class research that improves the quality of life. We are equally passionate about training the next generation of brilliant cancer researchers. 

Together, we are working to eradicate this devastating disease. 

Go 'Runners!

Ricardo Romo
President, The University of Texas at San Antonio