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Harvard microbiologist John Collier speaks April 15 at UTSA on diphtheria toxin



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(April 14, 2011)--The UTSA South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases in the UTSA College of Sciences will present "An Ode to the Study of Diphtheria," a technical lecture featuring R. John Collier, professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at Harvard Medical School. Free and open to the public, the lecture sponsored by the Ewing Halsell Foundation, will be 9-10 a.m., Friday, April 15 in the Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering Multifunction Room (2.102) on the UTSA Main Campus.

The bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheria causes diphtheria, a disease now rare in the United States because of mandatory vaccination, but once was extremely common. The bacterium is highly contagious, and the disease has a relatively high fatality rate because the toxin produced by the bacteria can cause systemic and lethal effects.

Collier has been studying diphtheria toxin for nearly 50 years, and his research has been seminal in the understanding of how bacterial toxins enter host cells and cause lethal effects. The seminar will provide a retrospective analysis of his influential studies of diphtheria toxin action.

Collier is one of the most preeminent researchers in bacterial pathogenesis. His four-decade career began when he earned his Ph.D. in biology at Harvard University in 1964. Upon completing post-doctoral studies in biology at the University of Geneva (Switzerland) Molecular Biology Institute, Collier joined the faculty at UCLA, where he served in numerous capacities from 1966 to 1984.

In 1984, Collier joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School. Five years later, he was named the Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. In 1991, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

More recently, he served as a consultant to various biomedical companies such as Cetus Corporation (1982-1984), Virus Research Institute (1994-1998), AVANT Immunotherapeutics (1998-2000) and CombinatoRx Inc. (2005-2008). In 2001, he co-founded PharmAthene Inc., an Anapolis-based biodefense company.



Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

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

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

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

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UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

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.

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