Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Researcher Ashlesh Murthy '06 receives $144K NIH grant to combat female infertility

Ashlesh Murthy

Ashlesh Murthy

>> Watch a KENS-TV news story (8/4/10) on Ashlesh Murthy's research on chlamydia.

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(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."

 

 

Did You Know?

Sometimes you have to see the little picture

UTSA researchers are exploring matter at the atomic level with Helenita. It's one of the most powerful microscopes in the world, with the ability to operate near the theoretical limit of resolution. At 9 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing more than two tons, Helenita can dissect almost anything. With Helenita's resolution, researchers can study particles atom by atom to see how they behave.

That's critical in developing nanotechnology that will help diagnosis early-stage breast cancer or make helmets that are uber strong. Moreover, the detail that Helenita provides will allow nanotechnology researchers to create new therapies and treatments to fight a wide range of human diseases.

Did you know? Helenita can magnify a sample 20 million times its size, which would make a strand of human hair the size of San Antonio.

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July 30, 5 - 7 p.m.

Networking and happy hour with AIA San Antonio's Women in Architecture

Join AIA San Antonio’s Women in Architecture group for their networking and happy hour event, where all design professionals are welcome.
Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St.

Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle

Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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