Tuesday, July 28, 2015

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.

 

 

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.

Read More »
Events
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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