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Bernard Arulanandam
Bernard Arulanandam

Bernard Arulanandam named UTSA College of Sciences associate dean

By Amanda Beck
Communications Specialist, College of Sciences

(Oct. 15, 2009)--Professor Bernard Arulanandam has been named associate dean of research for scientific innovation in the UTSA College of Sciences (COS). Arulanandam is a professor of biology and a member of the UTSA South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases.

"We are excited to have Dr. Arulanandam working in this capacity," said George Perry, COS dean. "His expertise in the area of commercializing intellectual property will add a much needed component to the research efforts in our college."

At UTSA since 2001, Arulanandam's research focuses on the development of vaccines and therapies, which is accomplished through a better understanding of the immune system. Much of his work includes the study of mucosal surfaces such as the lungs and the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts, significant entry points for pathogens and often the body's first line of defense.

His laboratory is pursuing two major projects. The first relates to the body's defenses against respiratory infections of the bacterium Francisella tularensis, which causes a disease called tularemia or rabbit fever. F. tularensis is particularly dangerous because potentially it could be used as a bio-weapon.

The second project is to develop a vaccine against the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, which causes the sexually transmitted disease, chlamydia. In collaboration with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Arulanandam has established an exclusive license and sponsored research agreement with Merck and Co. Inc. to develop a vaccine for chlamydia.

This recent agreement paves the way for Arulanandam's work under his new title to develop intellectual property ventures. As associate dean of research for scientific innovation in the COS, Arulanandam will:

  • Identify and pursue intellectual property development for discoveries originating from faculty members and researchers of the COS
  • Serve as an alternate reviewer and approver for proposals and sponsored support originating from the COS
  • Lead efforts that ensure limited submission grant proposals are announced and proposals are received, screened and prioritized for rank order submissions to the Office of the Vice President for Research and Office of Sponsored Programs
  • Serve as advocate of the COS on matters concerning governing university rules and regulations related to COS research programs with particular emphasis in intellectual property development

The UTSA College of Sciences hosts more than 5,000 students and employs more than 130 tenure and tenure-track faculty members through 12 undergraduate and 14 graduate programs in five departments: Biology, Chemistry, Geological Sciences, Mathematics, and Physics and Astronomy. Students are exposed to collaboration within UTSA and through partnerships with local external research institutions including the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Southwest Research Institute and the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research.

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