(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 annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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