(June 17, 2013) --University of Texas at San Antonio biomedical engineering Ph.D. candidate Anand Srinivasan has been awarded a $25,000, one-year doctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association (AHA). This highly competitive fellowship provides significant funding to doctoral students to support research and training in cardiovascular and stroke discoveries.
For nearly four years, Srinivasan has developed and tested a series of prototype nanochips under the guidance of UTSA biomedical engineering assistant professor Anand Ramasubramanian and biology professor Jose Lopez-Ribot in collaboration with the director of science at the U.S. Institute of Surgical Research, Kai P. Leung. Their nanochips aid in high-throughput screening, an automated process that allows researchers to quickly test small molecules against an array of thousands of microbial biofilms.
Supported by the AHA, Srinivasan will develop a new chip-based platform that can be used to test the effectiveness of drug treatments for infective endocarditis, a dangerous bacterial-fungal infection of the heart's inner lining. The research is a challenge because it requires Srinivasan to develop a chip that will facilitate bacterial and fungal co-culture biofilms at a nano scale.
Infective endocarditis is an example of a health care-associated infection (HAI), devastating and even deadly infections caused by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungus. Patients generally acquire HAIs when they receive treatment for other conditions, often as a result of their compromised immune systems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one of every 20 hospitalized patients will contract an HAI.
While the medical community is fighting back against HAIs by testing thousands of microbial biofilm samples from hospital surfaces throughout the world, the process is time consuming and costly. The technology currently in use also is outdated.
"The industry standard process currently in place was developed back in the 1950s and tests only a few hundred samples at a time," said Srinivasan. "Using chip-based, high-throughput technology, we have developed a process that is quicker and cheaper. Just one of our nanochips can test 1,200 samples simultaneously."
"We are fortunate to have Anand work on this project," said Ramasubramanian. "He has shown tremendous dedication, resolve and passion all along in integrating microbiology into chip design and fabrication, which is a big challenge."
Srinivasan has authored seven peer-reviewed journal articles and has been invited to give presentations on his discoveries at several conferences across the country, including the American Society of Microbiology and Biomedical Engineering Society. Most recently, his paper, "A High-Throughput Nano-Biofilm Microarray for Antifungal Drug Discovery," was accepted by mBio, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Society for Microbiology, and was published this month.>> Learn more about the UTSA Department of Biomedical Engineering.
The UTSA Interactive Technology Experience Center camps are for curious youth who are interested in STEM and related topics. This week, campers will study environmental science, robotics and computer science.
UTSA Main Campus
In four sessions of this weeklong day camp for 9 to 13-year-olds, campers will participate in indoor and outdoor activities while exploring ancient technologies from around the world and the new technologies archaeologists are using to discover them.
UTSA Center for Archaeological Research, Main Campus
Roadrunner readers dive into exciting topics during this literary adventure summer camp geared toward 6-10-year-olds, occurring Monday through Thursday for two weeks.
Buena Vista Building 3.350, Downtown Campus
This event seeks to uncover overlapping African and Indigenous cultural expressions as points of decolonial praxis within readings of Black, Chicana/o, Mexican American, and African American culture and history. It's free and open to the public.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus
Experience a very different summer camp! The UTSA East Asia Institute is teaching kids Japanese through language, culture, art, crafts, music, cooking and more. For kids age 6-12. For more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Main Building (MB 1.126), Main Campus
7 to 12 year-olds will explore Mayan Culture in a three-day sessions, concluding at the Witte museum, where campers will have the chance to see the new "Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed" exhibit.
UTSA Center for Archaeological Research, Main Campus
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