Thursday, September 03, 2015

Meet a Roadrunner: Lorenzo Brancaleon expands international collaborations

Ben Fountain

Student Alicia Vall Sagarra (left) and Associate Professor Lorenzo Brancaleon

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(Oct. 30, 2013) -- Meet Lorenzo Brancaleon. The physics associate professor and chair of the graduate program in the UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy graduate program is fostering collaborations with researchers from the IQS School of Engineering in Barcelona, Spain.

This year, Brancaleon hosted Alicia Vall Sagarra, a 23-year-old chemist from Catalonia, Spain. She's working on a master's thesis about photosensitive dyes and proteins that could one day assist in cancer treatment therapies. Brancaleon is trying to establish the collaboration with her adviser, Santiago Nonell, a world-renowned photochemist.

Before leaving Spain, Vall Sagarra wasn't sure if she wanted to return and spend another five years pursuing a doctoral degree. But, after working in the laboratory under the mentorship of Brancaleon, she is more committed than ever.

"He made me fall in love with this by treating me like a scientist and not like a student," said Sagarra. "He showed me the importance of keeping track of all the work that I do. I feel like I have talent in this area."

Brancaleon is trying to find funding that would allow a stream of physics students to enjoy research opportunities at a university in Spain and also at UTSA.

"This collaboration could expand our research capabilities and also bring more visibility to the types of research we are doing here at UTSA," said Brancaleon.

Since joining UTSA in 2003, Brancaleon has seen physics faculty numbers triple to 16, physics majors increase to 119 and the number of physics graduate students increase to 90. The Physics graduate program is the fifth largest in Texas.

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Do you know someone at UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at social@utsa.edu so we might consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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Sept. 9, 5:30 p.m.

Architecture Connects

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series begins Sept. 9 with Toshiko Mori, the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and principal of Manhattan-based Toshiko Mori Architect.
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UTSA Football vs. Kansas State

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Sept. 24, 6 p.m.

The Power of Story in the Landscape of Memory and Identity

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Oct. 5, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

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