Tuesday, July 28, 2015

SwRI and UTSA researchers to advance clean emissions, explore novel antimicrobials

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(June 23, 2014) -- Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and UTSA announce funding for two new joint research projects to advance clean emission technologies and study novel antimicrobials targeting Lyme disease. Funding through the organizations' Connecting through Research Partnerships ("Connect") program has been granted for $250,000 through August 2015 -- $125,000 for each project.

Established in 2010, the Connect program, coordinated between SwRI and the UTSA Office of the Vice President for Research, annually funds projects to stimulate inter-organizational research between the two institutions in fields such as advanced materials, chemistry and chemical engineering, energy, the environment, security and manufacturing. To date, seven projects have been funded totaling $1,230,863.

"Development of New Ruthenium Catalysts for the Low-temperature Reduction of NOx Emissions from Vehicle Exhaust" will be led by SwRI Principal Scientist Dr. Gordon J. Bartley of the Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division and Assistant Professor Zachary J. Tonzetich in the UTSA Department of Chemistry.

One of the main groups of pollutants resulting from fuel combustion is the oxides of nitrogen, or NOx. Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technologies effectively reduce NOx, but they require high operating temperatures above 200 degrees C. Future fuel economy standards will result in lower exhaust gas temperatures and limit the use of high-temperature SCR. SwRI and UTSA plan to develop a novel catalyst for low-temperature SCR to reduce emissions.

"Evaluation of Anti-Bacterial Effects of Novel Formulations that Target an Essential Metabolic Pathway of the Agent of Lyme Disease" will be led by SwRI Principal Scientist Dr. Gloria Gutierrez of the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division and Associate Professor of Bacterial Pathogenesis Janakiram Seshu in the UTSA Department of Biology. Seshu also is a member of the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Center of Excellence in Infection Genomics.

Lyme disease remains a challenge to treat with more than 300,000 new cases every year in the United States and no viable vaccine currently available. Gutierrez and Seshu expect to inhibit the mevalonate pathway – an essential metabolic pathway -- of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterial agent of Lyme disease. This research could hinder the growth and survival of the agent of Lyme disease, and the principles can be readily used to control other infectious diseases caused by multi-drug-resistant strains of bacteria.

SwRI is an independent, nonprofit, applied research and development organization based in San Antonio with nearly 3,000 employees and an annual research volume of $592 million. Southwest Research Institute and SwRI are registered marks in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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For more information, visit the Southwest Research Institute website or SwRI newsroom.

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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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Meet a Roadrunner

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Victor Cyrus, Jr will see his first book of poetry published this fall

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