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UTSA, UT Health Science Center, SwRI, Texas Biomed establish vaccine center

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From left are Robert Gracy (UTSA), Mike MacNaughton (SwRI), Guangming Zhong (UT Health Science Center San Antonio), Bernard Arulanandam (UTSA), Jean Patterson (Texas Biomed) and Ken Trevett (Texas Biomed)

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(April 25, 2012) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio, the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, Southwest Research Institute and Texas Biomed have jointly announced they have together established the San Antonio Vaccine Development Center, a unique partnership that will result in the creation of new vaccines to treat infectious diseases and approaches for quicker and more effective vaccine development.

"It's significant that the city will have a vaccine development center dedicated to safeguarding the community by coordinating effective collaboration between leading health partners that care about people in San Antonio and globally," said San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley.

"As the seventh-largest city in the United States, San Antonio is experiencing solid economic growth and development in 21st century industries like bioscience and health care," said Sculley. "Biotechnology and health care fields contribute $18.9 billion annually to the local economy. This new center will continue to place the city in a position of leadership in the biotechnology and health care industry at the regional, national and global level."

The San Antonio Vaccine Development Center will draw upon the unique and varied expertise of scientists and investigators at the four partnering institutions. Benefits of the partnership include the Southwest National Primate Research Center housed at Texas Biomed, venues for clinical trials and research and development, military partnerships, and federally funded vaccine-related research programs.

The vaccine center will function through two tiers of leadership: a scientific directors team (one representative per institution) and an administrative leadership team (one representative per institution). UTSA Associate Dean of Research Bernard Arulanandam will serve as the UTSA scientific director for the center while Special Assistant to the President Robert Gracy will serve as the center's UTSA administrative director.

The UTSA South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases specializes in microbiology, immunology, medical mycology, virology and microbial genomics and conducts research with a focus on vaccine development.

The San Antonio Vaccine Development Center's research pipeline includes the development of:

  • a vaccine against Chlamydia trachomatis, which causes chlamydia and is the leading bacterial sexually transmitted infectious agent worldwide
  • a bio-defense vaccine against Fracisella tularensis, the causative agent of pneumonic tularemia
  • a vaccine against Lassa virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever in humans
  • vaccine delivery systems using microencapsulation and nanomaterials

Additionally, the center researches Lyme disease, Valley Fever, cholera and other infectious diseases with an eye to creating vaccines to prevent and eliminate widespread outbreaks of those diseases.

Last year, UTSA received funding from the U.S. Department of Defense to establish the Center for Infection Genomics. This support allows UTSA to expand its reach and focus on organisms threatening the well-being of the nation's military and will further support the activities of the San Antonio Vaccine Development Center. The new vaccine center will be managed by a team of four scientific officers and four administrative officers, one of each from the four institutions.

 

 

Events

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

Friday, May 6, 8 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy, Curtis Vaughan Observatory invites everyone to join them for their monthly stargazing event on top of the Flawn Science Building.
Curtis Vaughan Observatory, Main Campus

Sunday, May 8, 1 p.m.

Accordions Across Culture

May’s Free Second Sunday at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures features "Accordions Across Cultures," with performances of Mexican, German and Czech accordion music, a documentary screening and crafts for the kids.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures

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.
Meeting Assembly Room (BVB 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.
H-E-B 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.
BVB 1.322, Downtown Campus


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