Wednesday, July 29, 2015

UTSA receives $4.6 million to create Center of Excellence in Infection Genomics

STCEID researchers

STCEID researchers are (back row from left) Jose Lopez-Ribot, James Chambers, Karl Klose, Brian Wickes (UTHSCSA) and Neal Guentzel, and (front row) Guangming Zhong (UTHSCSA), Janakiram Seshu, Bernard Arulanandam, Floyd Wormley and Jieh-Juen Yu.
Not photographed are Stephen Saville and John Hart (UTHSCSA)/
(Photo by Mark McClendon)

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(June 15, 2011)--The South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases (STCEID) at The University of Texas at San Antonio will receive $4.6 million over the next five years from the U.S. Department of Defense Army Research Office to establish a Center of Excellence in Infection Genomics (CEIG). The grant will support microbiology research, teaching and outreach activities aligned with Army priorities. Infection genomics is the scientific discipline in which biologists characterize functional properties of the entire genome of infectious organisms.

"This new center is a winning proposition for both UTSA and the military," said Bernard Arulanandam, UTSA's Jane and Roland Blumberg Professor in Biology and associate dean of research for scientific innovation in the UTSA College of Sciences. "UTSA researchers will study infectious organisms that threaten the Army here and abroad and develop technology to translate that research into practical solutions for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases. All the while, we will train students to become great microbiologists for the Department of Defense."

UTSA's CEIG will focus on four core areas of expertise: the genomics of intestinal and respiratory pathogens; the biochemistry and molecular biology of vector-borne pathogens; the immunopathogenesis of fungal infections and anti-fungal drug development; and vaccine development.

Long-term center goals include:

  • Enhancing UTSA's core research capacity in molecular genetics and genomics by building on the university's existing strengths and infrastructure
  • Increasing the number of underrepresented minority graduates at all levels in molecular microbiology and immunology
  • Increasing the pool of students from area high schools who are interested in pursuing microbiology careers through outreach and teacher training

"Since its inception, the STCEID has contributed to moving UTSA to Tier One research status," said Edwin Barea-Rodriguez, chair of the UTSA Department of Biology. "The high school training component included in this new Department of Defense grant provides broader impact by training future scientists in San Antonio and the United States."

In addition to working closely with the Army Research Office, the center's researchers will collaborate with experts at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the San Antonio Military Medical Center, a premier Army hospital and level I trauma center for wounded members of the military.

"The research and educational programs offered though our South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases are second to none and continue to grow year after year," said Robert Gracy, UTSA vice president for research. "This new Center in Infection Genomics adds to that momentum, leveraging the researchers' collective expertise and offering students of all levels the best possible training in microbial genetics, medical mycology, pathogenesis and immunology through Army-related projects."

 

 

Did You Know?

Sometimes you have to see the little picture

UTSA researchers are exploring matter at the atomic level with Helenita. It's one of the most powerful microscopes in the world, with the ability to operate near the theoretical limit of resolution. At 9 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing more than two tons, Helenita can dissect almost anything. With Helenita's resolution, researchers can study particles atom by atom to see how they behave.

That's critical in developing nanotechnology that will help diagnosis early-stage breast cancer or make helmets that are uber strong. Moreover, the detail that Helenita provides will allow nanotechnology researchers to create new therapies and treatments to fight a wide range of human diseases.

Did you know? Helenita can magnify a sample 20 million times its size, which would make a strand of human hair the size of San Antonio.

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July 30, 5 - 7 p.m.

Networking and happy hour with AIA San Antonio's Women in Architecture

Join AIA San Antonio’s Women in Architecture group for their networking and happy hour event, where all design professionals are welcome.
Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St.

Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle

Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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