Wednesday, September 02, 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?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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