(Aug. 12, 2010)--Ashlesh Murthy, Ph.D. '06, research assistant professor in the Department of Biology and a member of the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, recently received a two-year $144,500 RO3 grant from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease in the National Institutes of Health to uncover new ways to counteract and prevent the side effects of chlamydia. Because of this grant, UTSA researchers will be one step closer to combating the devastating effects of chlamydia in infected women.
A leading cause of sexually transmitted disease, Chlamydia trachomatis affects approximately 4 million new people in the United States each year, the majority of whom are women. The disease has little effect on men, but causes major damage to the reproductive systems of women and can lead to ectopic pregnancies and even infertility.
Murthy has worked with mentor Bernard Arulanandam, professor of biology and associate dean of research for scientific innovation in the UTSA College of Sciences, on other projects related to the disease. Most notably, the UTSA pair teamed with UT Health Science Center scientist Guangming Zhong to secure the university's first revenue-producing license to develop a vaccine against the disease.
In this new project, Murthy will focus on the immune cells in the body that can cause some of the complications that occur in the upper genital tract after the body has been infected with chlamydia. Preliminary studies have shown that mice, which lack these immune cells, display fewer complications while still clearing the infection. Murthy's experiments suggest that it is not the bacteria, but the human response to the bacteria, that leads to some of the damage that occurs during chlamydia infection.
This grant follows funding Murthy received from the San Antonio Area Foundation. Murthy was chosen to give an oral presentation of his research at the 14th International Congress of Immunology, to be held August 22-27 in Kansai, Japan. The meeting, conducted every four years, is attended by thousands of immunologists worldwide. After the conference, Murthy plans to publish his findings in a scientific journal.
"Being chosen to present my research at this prestigious conference is an honor, and indicates the importance of this study to the field of immunology," said Murthy. "I will strive to keep the momentum going to propel future work in order to develop means to prevent and treat chlamydia infections."
The conference is dedicated to sharing recent knowledge and experiences gained in the area of Big Data by researchers in academia, industry and the government sectors within the areas of business, national security, infrastructure, healthcare and visualization.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, via webcast, will examine America’s economic, political and security relations with China during CHINA Town Hall, an 80-city live discussion and Q&A on China and Sino-American relations.
Building Building, Richard Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
The African American Studies program proudly presents William "Cruz" Shaw, San Antonio City Councilman and UTSA Alumnus. Event is free and open to the public.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
The graduate fair is an opportunity for the UTSA student body and local San Antonio community to learn about graduate education opportunities. The event is free and open to the public.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (1.104), Main Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA students to "Pizza With The Prez." Come grab a slice of pizza and take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President. Pizza while supplies last.
Frio Street Building, Food Court Commons Area, Downtown Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA faculty and staff to "Tacos With Taylor." Take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President at any one of these casual meet and greets.
Biotechnology, Science and Engineering Building atrium, Main Campus
The College of Engineering Student Council and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce host this fun and education event. Erika Camacho is the keynote speaker. Children and families are welcome.
East Campus Parking Lot, Valero Way, Main Campus
UTSA Arbor Day event where volunteers will plant trees and give away 100 sapling trees to neighbors in the surrounding communities.
Brackenridge Ave. Lot 5, Main Campus
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