Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Meet a Roadrunner: UTSA Professor Brian Hermann hopes to restore fertility in boys following cancer treatments

Brian Hermann

Brian Hermann

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(Feb. 12, 2014) -- Meet Brian Hermann. He, his students and staff are conducting stem cell research that has the potential to impact generations.

Each year, millions of patients undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments to battle devastating diseases such as cancer. Often, those treatments render the patients infertile, which can shatter their dreams of having children in the future.

While men can preserve their fertility by storing their sperm before harsh treatments and later using those sperm for assisted reproductive technologies, prepubescent boys don't have that option.

In collaboration with researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Magee-Womens Research Institute, Hermann and his collaborators have developed a promising technique to give these patients hope for their future fertility. Their process involves harvesting and transplanting spermatogonial stem cells, the precursors to sperm production. And, it's already proven to work in monkeys.

Hermann and his UTSA students are now working to help move that research forward. They are currently studying ways to improve the transplants so more sperm are produced. Likewise, they're also studying ways to make more spermatogonial stem cells in the petri dish.

"For a long time, oncologists have been unable to address the long-term consequences of life-saving chemotherapy and radiation treatments such as infertility," said Hermann. "That is now beginning to change."

Hermann is among two dozen researchers and business leaders who will share their progress at this week's San Antonio Conference on Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, Feb. 13-14. The local conference is a precursor to the 2014 World Summit, the nation's largest stem cell conference, which is slated for San Antonio in December.

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Do you know a UTSA researcher whose work has the potential to improve lives? Email us at social@utsa.edu so we can consider your suggestion for our next installment of Meet a Roadrunner.

 

 

Did You Know?

For acclaimed UTSA writer, poetry rhymes with life

Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.

Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.

Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.

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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. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 6, 5 - 7 p.m.; 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

6th Annual Texas Higher Education Symposium

This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
Downtown Campus

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. 17, 11:30 p.m.

Midnight Light

Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus

Aug. 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Plaza

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus

Aug. 18, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Lawn

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus

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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