UTMB scientists awarded NIH grant for lab-grown lung tissue project
Bio-Medicine, July 27, 2012
UTMB researchers have been awarded a two-year, $1.25 million National Institutes of Health grant to develop a method of custom-growing human lung tissue to make a three-dimensional model for biomedical studies. "We've been working on tissue engineering for a long time, and developing this kind of model has always been one of our goals, said UTMB professor Joan Nichols, principal investigator on the project. "These systems could really change the paradigm of what we do."
UTMB scientists tie DNA repair to key cell signaling network
Science Daily, June 15, 2012
UTMB researchers have found a surprising connection between a key DNA-repair process and a cellular signaling network linked to aging, heart disease, cancer and other chronic conditions. The discovery promises to open up an important new area of research — one that could ultimately yield novel treatments for a wide variety of diseases. "This is a totally new concept — it goes against current dogma about the role of DNA repair," said UTMB professor Istvan Boldogh, senior author of a paper on the work now online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. "We couldn't believe it ourselves, but the data convinced us."
Houston rabies case poses new questions about age-old illness
Austin American-Statesman, April 1, 2012
UTMB researchers are working to test the effectiveness of a rabies treatment. The test animals are ferrets, in which rabies closely mimics the form seen in humans. The idea is to standardize the Milwaukee protocol — what length of coma to induce, which antivirals to use — so that it could be used anywhere, said Dr. Nigel Bourne, the researcher in charge of the project, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Galveston Ball High School joins UTMB for research program
The Daily News, March 27, 2012
Galveston's Ball High School and UTMB are collaborating on a program that might be the only one of its kind in the nation. For the past 15 years, the medical branch has opened the doors of its research labs to a select group of high-achieving juniors and seniors from Ball High School chosen to participate in a yearlong Scientific Research and Design Independent Study course.
A Ball High student has written about the experience as well, in her article, "UTMB's research class an exciting opportunity."
ASM's Infection and Immunity (IAI) Most Read Articles during February 2012
American Society for Microbiology, March 6, 2012
Two publications from UTMB M&I scientists were highlighted by ASM's Infection and Immunity journal as the 3rd and 8th most read articles for February 2012:
Molecular Mechanisms That Mediate Colonization of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Strains by Mauricio J. Farfan and Alfredo G. Torres.
A Double, Long Polar Fimbria Mutant of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Expresses Curli and Exhibits Reduced In Vivo Colonization by Sonja J. Lloyd, Jennifer M. Ritchie, Maricarmen Rojas-Lopez, Carla A. Blumentritt, Vsevolod L. Popov, Jennifer L. Greenwich, Matthew K. Waldor and Alfredo G. Torres
Accolades for M&I students
UTMB Department of Microbiology & Immunology, March 1, 2012
Anthony Cao has been selected for a lecture presentation of his work, "TLR4 regulates IFNg and IL-17 production by both natural and induced Foxp3+ Tregs in the inflamed intestine," during Digestive Disease Week in San Diego, California, May 19-22, 2012. Anthony is a graduate student in Dr. Yingzi Cong's lab, as well as a McLaughlin Fellow.
Matthew Huante won a travel award from the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development to attend the 6th Vaccine and International Society for Vaccines Congress in Shanghai, China, October 14-16, 2012. His winning poster is titled, "HIV-1 Alters the Cytokine Microenvironment and Effector Function of DC8+ T cells upon Antigen-specific Activation with Mycobacteria."
Hope Liu has been awarded a 2012 AAI Abstract Trainee Award and will give an oral presentation of her work, "A4 flagellated bacteria inhibit intestinal Th2 response," at the 99th AAI Annual Meeting, IMMUNOLOGY2012™, in Boston, Massachusetts, May 4-8, 2012. Hope is a graduate student in Dr. Yingzi Cong's lab.
Ron Veselenak won a travel award from the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development to attend the 6th Vaccine and International Society for Vaccines Congress in Shanghai, China, October 14-16, 2012. His winning poster is titled, "An Adjuvanted HSV-2 Plasmid DNA Vaccine is Effective for Prophylactic and Therapeutic Use in the Guinea Pig Model of Genital Herpes."
Research sheds light on how immune system's 'first responders' target infection
The UTMB Newsroom, February 29, 2012
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers have discovered previously unsuspected aspects of the guidance system used by the body’s first line of defense against infection.
The new work focuses on the regulation of immune response by two forms of the signaling molecule IL-8, as well as IL-8’s interaction with cell-surface molecules called glycosaminoglycans (or GAGs for short).
New model accurately predicts who will develop deadly form of dengue fever
Medical News Today, February 20, 2012
Researchers at UTMB have developed the first accurate predictive model to differentiate between dengue fever and its more severe form, dengue hemorrhagic fever. The breakthrough, which could vastly reduce the disease's mortality rate, was reported in related papers in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and Clinical and Translational Science. "We've proved it is feasible to identify predictive proteins associated with DHF," said lead author Allan Brasier, director of UTMB's Institute for Translational Sciences. "If future research bears out these candidate proteins as firm predictors of DHF, doctors can act early to save lives — the highest hope for personalized medicine."
Medical research is key to nation's health
Galveston County Daily News, February 12, 2012
In this guest column, UTMB's Dr. Cary W. Cooper writes about the importance of medical research to the nation's health. "At UTMB, we're investing heavily in the facilities and expertise needed to be a world leader in medical research. … We all want to reduce the deficit. But let's not jeopardize the next generation of cures by cutting funding for medical research."
Three UTMB departments near top in NIH grants survey
Galveston County Daily News, January 25, 2012
A survey of National Institutes of Health grant funding received by medical school departments in 2011 ranked three UTMB departments in the top 10 in their respective fields, and placed the medical branch's microbiology and immunology department sixth in the nation. The report found the medical branch's obstetrics and gynecology and pathology departments both came in eighth nationally in NIH awards in their respective categories.
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