Wednesday, August 05, 2015

UTSA infectious disease researchers develop international partnerships in Lebanon

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In Beirut (from left) are Karl Klose, Alexander Abdel-Noor, Bernard Arulanandam and Janakiram Seshu

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(May 25, 2011)--Karl Klose, UTSA professor of microbiology and director of the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases (STCEID), and colleagues Bernard Arulanandam, associate dean of research for scientific innovation, and Janakiram Seshu, associate professor of microbiology, traveled to Beirut May 9-14 to develop international collaborations with microbiology-immunology researchers and clinicians at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon. Their travel was funded by the U.S. Department of State through the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The AAAS Center for Science, Technology and Security created the exchange as part of International Engagement: Responsible Bioscience for a Safe and Secure Society. The program introduces researchers in the United States to researchers in the Middle East or Northern Africa to develop research collaborations in health, agriculture and security with the potential to improve the well-being of the international community. Klose and Alexander Abdel-Noor, chairman of the AUB microbiology and immunology department, were awarded funds for the exchange program, which also will involve Lebanese scientists from AUB visiting UTSA later this year.

The UTSA infectious disease researchers traveled to Beirut on behalf of the UTSA South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases (STCEID), which was established to support UTSA's teaching and research initiatives in molecular microbiology, immunology, medical mycology, virology, microbial genomics, vaccine development and biodefense. The center's researchers study the pathogenesis of emerging infectious diseases such as chlamydia, tularemia, cholera, Lyme disease, valley fever and others.

"When you collaborate with international researchers, it's so important to meet face to face in order to understand their research capabilities, their scientific culture and their most pressing research concerns," said Klose. "And, it's critical to keep up those relationships through personal contact. That is the key to the most successful scientific collaborations.

"Because of our visit to AUB, we now have a better idea of areas of common scientific interest and the expertise available in Beirut. Moreover, it has built a level of trust between the U.S. and Lebanese scientists that will greatly enhance these collaborative projects."

The AUB was established in 1866 and is home to nearly 700 faculty and approximately 8,000 students. It is ranked among the world's top 350 universities and is regarded as offering the best medical and engineering schools in the Middle East and Africa. Researchers in UTSA's STCEID also collaborate with scientists and clinicians in India, Chile, Colombia, Malaysia, Malawi, Germany, Austria, Spain and Norway.

 

 

Did You Know?

For acclaimed UTSA writer, poetry rhymes with life

Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.

Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.

Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.

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