Meet a Roadrunner: Alumnus to take regenerative medicine to bedside
(Sept. 17, 2014) -- Meet Claudio Macias. After graduating from UTSA in May, he's attending Harvard Med to take regenerative medicine from the laboratory to the bedside.
Now on the road to earning Ph.D. and M.D. degrees at Harvard, his course was set through strong mentoring at UTSA. When he moved from Mexico at age 12, he already was interested in biology and medicine, but UTSA classes and programs opened his eyes to regenerative medicine, a field that many say will greatly improve people's lives.
Macias heard about biomaterial and tissue engineering research in the laboratory of Joo Ong in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He began research there and found strong mentors in Ong and the MARC-U*STAR program.
MARC-U*STAR (Minority Access to Research Careers - Undergraduate Student Training for Academic Research), a pre-Ph.D. program for students in the biomedical, behavioral and chemical sciences, helped Macias develop his research skills.
"Dr. Gail Taylor in MARC-U*STAR is someone who helped me a lot to prepare for conference presentations," said Macias. "This is something that most undergraduates don't do, and it gave a much more prominent presence to my honors thesis project in regenerative tissue."
Macias worked with Ong to build bone scaffolds, which are laboratory-grown tissue that attach to bone, grow cells and repair damage. The scaffolds are constructed of a ceramic-like substance, calcium phosphate, which is naturally found in bones. To replace bone tissue, cells are attached to the scaffolds with a laboratory-created coating of collagen and other natural proteins.
"At UTSA, I had the opportunity to work in a research laboratory as an undergraduate, which is unusual," said Macias. "UTSA is a close community. I was surprised at the number of experts and the amount of mentoring in research."
After serving as an undergraduate research assistant at MIT (summer 2012), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (summer 2013) and UT Health Science Center at San Antonio (summer 2014), Macias proceeded to Harvard Med this fall, armed with his UTSA bachelor's degree (Magna Cum Laude) in biology and mathematics and a minor in physics. After graduating, he plans to stay in the United States because of the many resources and research facilities.
"This will help me achieve my goal of taking research from the laboratory to the real world," he said. "UTSA put me on track to my dream."
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A presentation on Mesoamerican archaeology by Juan Carlos Fernández Díaz and Jason Yaeger. Fernández Díaz’s 30-minute talk, “10 Years and 10,000 Square Kilometers: Empowering the Archaeological Geospatial Revolution in Mesoamerica,” will focus on the broader contributions of LiDAR mapping to Mesoamerican archaeology. Yaeger’s 15-minute talk, “LiDAR Survey and New Insights Into Ancient Maya Civilization in Central Belize,” will describe some of the specific archaeological discoveries that he has made in Belize, thanks to LiDAR data. Admission is free and open to the public.Biosciences Building (BSB 3.03.02), Main Campus
The Friday Nights Celestial Lights lecture series continues with a discussion on the topic of women trailblazers in the field of astronomy.Flawn Science Building, Lecture Room (FLN 2.02.02), Main Campus
Admission is free to all Alumni Association members. Nonmember adult admission is $20; children 16 and under are free. Anyone who wants to get rowdy is welcome! Giveaways, music, UTSA Cheer & Rowdy, Pep Band and more!e!Alamodome Lot C, 100 Montana St., San Antonio
Southern Miss comes to town for a gridiron battle with the Roadrunners.Alamodome, 100 Montana St., San Antonio
Mark Hayward, professor of sociology and Centennial Commission Professor in Liberal Arts at UT Austin, will speak as part of the Demography Lecture Series.Monterey Building (MNT 3.240), Downtown Campus
Admission is free to all Alumni Association members. Nonmember adult admission is $20; children 16 and under are free. Anyone who wants to get rowdy is welcome! Giveaways, music, UTSA Cheer & Rowdy, Pep Band and more!Alamodome Lot C, 100 Montana St., San Antonio
UTSA plays its last home game of the season against Florida Atlantic.Alamodome, 100 Montana St., San Antonio