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UTSA receives $600K from Voelcker Fund to support new science faculty

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(Sept. 21, 2010)--Because of the generous support of a two-year, $600,000 gift from the Max and Minnie Tomerlin Voelcker Fund, newly named Voelcker Fellows Oleg Larionov and Brian Hermann will join the faculty in the UTSA College of Sciences. Larionov joined the faculty in the Department of Chemistry this fall. Hermann will join the Department of Biology in fall 2011.

"Doctors Larionov and Hermann are promising young scholars working in important areas of research," said Banks M. Smith, trustee of the Voelcker Fund. "We are pleased to support their recruitment to UTSA and look forward to the world class research they will conduct at UTSA."

Larionov, an organic chemist, specializes in natural product synthesis. At UTSA, he will research chemical compounds that will prove useful to the pharmaceutical industry as cancer treatments, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. In particular, Larionov will study the Myristinin class of compounds, which have proven to be effective in treating cancer without causing the severe and harmful side effects typically caused by chemotherapy.

Educated in Germany at Gottingen University and trained in the U.S. under Nobel Prize winning chemist E.J. Corey at Harvard University, Larionov has published 27 scholarly articles and reviews, a nearly unprecedented track record by a scholar at the early stage of an academic career. Many of those publications appear in top-tier chemistry journals. Larionov also is the recipient of fellowships from the Degussa Foundation (2002-2004) and the Max Planck Society (2006-2007), two of Europe's most prestigious awards for new scholars.

Next year, Hermann will join UTSA's growing group of stem cell researchers in the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Primatology. Hermann and his research collaborators study spermatogonial stem cells, a type of adult stem cell that produces sperm. Their hope is to exploit spermatogonial stem cells to preserve and later restore fertility in prepubertal boys treated with toxic treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.

At UTSA, Hermann's research will focus on understanding the biology of spermatogonial stem cells and maximizing their ability to regenerate spermatogenesis, the process of producing sperm. His stem cell research will contribute to treatments for organs damaged by cancer and other diseases and may have broader implications for other types of stem cells.

Hermann joins UTSA from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where he completed a five-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Magee-Women's Research Institute and Center for Research in Reproductive Physiology. He earned his Ph.D. in 2005 from the University of Kansas Medical Center. Hermann also is the recipient of a prestigious Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) from the National Institutes of Health, which will help launch his research career at UTSA.

Based in San Antonio, the Voelcker Fund is a private nonprofit organization that supports medical research in San Antonio and Bexar County. Target research areas include heart disease, cancer, arthritis, muscular dystrophy and maculative degeneration of the retina.

 

 

Events

Tuesday, May 3, 5 p.m.

Henry B. Gonzalez Centennial Tribute

The College of Public Policy and the Office for Community Services present a 100th anniversary salute to the late Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez. A distinguished panel will discuss Gonzalez's historical impact. Free and open to the public.
Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328) , Downtown Campus

Wednesday, May 4, 5 p.m.

School Psychology Symposium and Reception

Student posters will present case studies based on practicum experiences, literature reviews on topics relevant to educational psychology, and other research experiences this year. The event is free and open to the public.
Durango Building (1.124), Downtown Campus

Thursday, May 5, 5 p.m.

String Project Spring Concert

This end-of-semester concert will feature the 3rd through 8th grade students who have participated in the UTSA String Project this year. The event is free and open to the public.
Buena Vista Theater, Downtown Campus

Monday, May 9, 8 a.m.

The Honeynet Project Workshop

This three-day event will focus on the tools, tactics and motives involved in computer and network attacks. Attendees from around the world will take part in world-class hands-on trainings and technical discussions.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus

Thursday, May 12, 4 p.m.

Master of Public Administration Open House

Visit with faculty, alumni and students to discuss the benefits of and requirements for a Master Degree in Public Administration and/or the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration & Leadership
Buena Vista Building (1.338), Downtown Campus

Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m.

UTSA Spring Commencement: Ceremony One

UTSA Spring Commencement ceremony for the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, the College of Education and Human Development and the College of Sciences.
Alamodome

Saturday, May 14, 4 p.m.

UTSA Spring Commencement: Ceremony Two

UTSA Spring Commencement ceremony for the College of Business, the College of Public Policy and University College.
Alamodome

Sunday, May 15, 2 p.m.

UTSA Spring Commencement: Ceremony Three

UTSA Spring Commencement ceremony for the College of Engineering and the College of Liberal and Fine Arts.
Alamodome

Wednesday, May 18, 3 p.m.

The Great Staff Appreciation Event

The UTSA community is invited to honor the roughly 2,600 UTSA staff members who contribute to the success of the university and its students.
University Center Ballroom, Main Campus

Thursday, May 19, 6 p.m.

Superintendent Certification Program Information Session

Join UTSA faculty and staff, current students, and area central office administrators/program alumni to learn about this exciting accelerated and web-enhanced program leading to Texas Superintendent Certification. The event is free and open to the public.
Buena Vista Building (1.322), Downtown Campus


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