Health Science Center biochemist Reto Asmis to speak at UTSA Sept. 15

Reto Asmis

Reto Asmis

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(Sept. 8, 2010)--The academic community is invited to attend a technical seminar, "Phytonutrients as Atheroprotective Compounds: Novel Mechanisms and Targets," featuring Reto Asmis, professor of clinical laboratory sciences and biochemistry and director of clinical laboratory sciences at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Hosted by UTSA and the Health Science Center, the seminar is 4 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 15 in the Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering Building Multifunction Room (2.102) on the UTSA Main Campus.

Asmis will describe his research about the mechanisms underlying chronic inflammatory diseases, in particular atherosclerosis, and the role that monocytes and macrophages play in the origin of these diseases. His laboratory recently identified a novel mechanism that appears to contribute to atherosclerosis and the dysregulation of blood monocytes.

The mechanism may provide a link between metabolic disorders such as high cholesterol or diabetes, oxidative stress, and the onset and progression of atherosclerosis. Asmis also will describe a class of plant-based compounds that he recently identified that may prove useful in preventing atherosclerosis and other complications of diabetes.

Asmis has 25 years of biochemistry research experience and has held academic appointments in Switzerland, Germany, California, Kentucky and Texas. A specialist in atherosclerosis and related diseases, he has received more than $6.1 million in funding for his work. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry and the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and is a member of the United Peer Review Steering Committee for the American Heart Association.

He earned his postdoctoral degree in biochemistry from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland and completed post-doctoral fellowships in 1992 and 1995 at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Berne in Switzerland, respectively.

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The Seminars in Translational Research series brings together investigators from basic, clinical and social sciences to highlight the bidirectional and multiple stages of the scientific translation of research discoveries from the laboratory bench to the bedside and ultimately the community.

The monthly seminars are jointly sponsored by the UTSA Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI), the Health Science Center Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science (IIMS)/Novel Clinical and Translational Methodologies, and the UTSA/UT Health Science Center joint graduate program in biomedical engineering. RCMI and IIMS are supported by the National Center for Research Resources in the National Institutes of Health.