TXBiobytes from Texas Biomed https://www.txbiomed.org The latest news on biomedical research and discoveries from Texas Biomedical Research Institute Mon, 16 Sep 2019 12:19:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.3 The latest news on biomedical research and discoveries from Texas Biomedical Research Institute Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean episodic Texas Biomedical Research Institute wrigby@txbiomed.org wrigby@txbiomed.org (Texas Biomedical Research Institute) The latest news on biomedical research and discoveries from Texas Biomedical Research Institute TXBiobytes from Texas Biomed http://www.txbiomed.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/Final-Podcast-Texas_Biomed-649.jpg https://www.txbiomed.org wrigby@txbiomed.org The latest news on biomedical research and discoveries from Texas Biomedical Research Institute TV-G San Antonio, Texas BiWeekly TX Biobytes from Texas Biomed Episode 042 — Considering Cannabinoids https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-042/ Tue, 10 Sep 2019 14:00:01 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=10186 Professor Mahesh Mohan, Ph.D. and Professor Deepak Kaushal, Ph.D., Director of the SNPRC The newest professor at our biomedical research institute is Dr. Mahesh Mohan. His research is focused on HIV…the virus that causes AIDS. However, he’s been branching out into a new area recently: the effect of cannabinoids on the inflammation caused by this disease…and potentially other illnesses as well. Dr. Mohan will also be a member of the Southwest National Primate Research Center on the Texas Biomed campus. He came from the Tulane National Primate Research Center in Louisiana where he worked with rhesus macaques. These animals are a good model for his research, as they can be infected with the monkey version of HIV. Could components of the marijuana plant help patients with the many and varied symptoms created by an HIV infection? That’s one project Dr. Mohan has taken on. He would also like to find out if creating a synthetic compound could help create a new medication. Professor Mahesh Mohan, Ph.D. and Professor Deepak Kaushal, Ph.D., Director of the SNPRC - The newest professor at our biomedical research institute is Dr. Mahesh Mohan. His research is focused on HIV…the virus that causes AIDS. However, Professor Mahesh Mohan, Ph.D. and Professor Deepak Kaushal, Ph.D., Director of the SNPRC<br /> <br /> The newest professor at our biomedical research institute is Dr. Mahesh Mohan. His research is focused on HIV…the virus that causes AIDS. However, he’s been branching out into a new area recently: the effect of cannabinoids on the inflammation caused by this disease…and potentially other illnesses as well.<br /> <br /> Dr. Mohan will also be a member of the Southwest National Primate Research Center on the Texas Biomed campus. He came from the Tulane National Primate Research Center in Louisiana where he worked with rhesus macaques. These animals are a good model for his research, as they can be infected with the monkey version of HIV.<br /> <br /> Could components of the marijuana plant help patients with the many and varied symptoms created by an HIV infection? That’s one project Dr. Mohan has taken on. He would also like to find out if creating a synthetic compound could help create a new medication. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 11:45 TX Biobytes from Texas Biomed Episode 041 — Quantitative Biology adds up to New Insights https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-041-quantitative-biology-adds-up-to-new-insights/ Tue, 27 Aug 2019 14:00:05 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=10071 Assistant Professor Diako Ebrahimi, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Diako Ebrahimi, Ph.D., is one of the newest faculty members at Texas Biomedical Research Institute. He’s a quantitative biologist.  His job is to take massive amounts of data from different disciplines to develop new ways to research virology and cancer. Dr. Ebrahimi joins Texas Biomed from the University of Minnesota where he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics. He is currently the principal investigator on a National Institutes of Health grant focused on Molecular Determinants of HIV Hypermutation that runs through 2020 and another study that concludes this year. For nearly 10 years, Dr. Ebrahimi has focused his research efforts on combining data and information from a variety of scientific disciplines, from chemistry and virology to cancer, genomics, evolution and bioinformatics to develop new research initiatives in viral and cancer genomics using quantitative biology. Big data is changing the way biomedical research is conducted. Dr. Ebrahimi received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Chamran University in Ahvaz, Iran and his Master of Science in Analytical Chemistry from Razi University in Kermanshah, Iran. He obtained his Ph.D. in Quantitative Chemistry in 2007 from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Assistant Professor Diako Ebrahimi, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor Diako Ebrahimi, Ph.D., is one of the newest faculty members at Texas Biomedical Research Institute. He’s a quantitative biologist.  His job is to take massive amounts of data from differe... Assistant Professor Diako Ebrahimi, Ph.D.<br /> <br /> Assistant Professor Diako Ebrahimi, Ph.D., is one of the newest faculty members at Texas Biomedical Research Institute. He’s a quantitative biologist.  His job is to take massive amounts of data from different disciplines to develop new ways to research virology and cancer.<br /> <br /> Dr. Ebrahimi joins Texas Biomed from the University of Minnesota where he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics. He is currently the principal investigator on a National Institutes of Health grant focused on Molecular Determinants of HIV Hypermutation that runs through 2020 and another study that concludes this year. For nearly 10 years, Dr. Ebrahimi has focused his research efforts on combining data and information from a variety of scientific disciplines, from chemistry and virology to cancer, genomics, evolution and bioinformatics to develop new research initiatives in viral and cancer genomics using quantitative biology.<br /> <br /> Big data is changing the way biomedical research is conducted.<br /> <br /> Dr. Ebrahimi received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Chamran University in Ahvaz, Iran and his Master of Science in Analytical Chemistry from Razi University in Kermanshah, Iran. He obtained his Ph.D. in Quantitative Chemistry in 2007 from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 13:22 TX Byobytes from Texas Biomed Episode 040 — In Favor of Vaccinations https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-byobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-040-in-favor-of-vaccinations/ Tue, 13 Aug 2019 14:00:32 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=9928 Professor Joanne Turner, Ph.D.VP for Research As students gear up to head back to classes, public health officials and school districts encourage parents to make sure their children are up-to-date on their immunizations. A new trend called “vaccine hesitancy” has created unwarranted fear of these life-saving preventive measures. Texas Biomed scientists are working hard to create better and new vaccines….and to educate people about why following a vaccine schedule is so important to protect you, and everyone else around you, from infectious diseases. Professor Jean Patterson, Ph.D. Professor Joanne Turner, Ph.D., is Texas Biomed's Vice President for Research. She also serves as the Executive Director of the Vaccine Development Center of San Antonio. Professor Jean Patterson, Ph.D., is a virologist.   Professor Joanne Turner, Ph.D.VP for Research - As students gear up to head back to classes, public health officials and school districts encourage parents to make sure their children are up-to-date on their immunizations. Professor Joanne Turner, Ph.D.VP for Research<br /> <br /> As students gear up to head back to classes, public health officials and school districts encourage parents to make sure their children are up-to-date on their immunizations. A new trend called “vaccine hesitancy” has created unwarranted fear of these life-saving preventive measures. Texas Biomed scientists are working hard to create better and new vaccines….and to educate people about why following a vaccine schedule is so important to protect you, and everyone else around you, from infectious diseases.<br /> <br /> Professor Jean Patterson, Ph.D.<br /> <br /> Professor Joanne Turner, Ph.D., is Texas Biomed's Vice President for Research. She also serves as the Executive Director of the Vaccine Development Center of San Antonio.<br /> <br /> Professor Jean Patterson, Ph.D., is a virologist.<br /> <br />   Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 14:04 TX Biobytes from Texas Biomed Episode 039 — Discovery + Learning = Success https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-039-discovery-learning-success/ Wed, 31 Jul 2019 18:56:29 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=9758 Texas Biomed strives to create an educationally rich learning environment. As part of that initiative, 21 college and university students have spent summer 2019 interning on the campus. They are science and support staff workers. They have spent several weeks in labs and office all around the Institute. Our bright, talented students include: Joshua Castro -- St. Mary's University Payan (Max) Pour -- Southwestern University Catalina Lopez -- Barnard College Sarah Mohamed -- Texas A&M University Nicholas Stefek -- Texas Tech University Lois Randolph -- UTSA Stephanie Nordmeyer -- Texas State University Daniel Astorga -- UTSA Brinley Cannon -- Oklahoma State University Morgan Christian -- Texas A&M University Sara Cotton -- Vassar College Sanjana Mada -- UTSA Olivia Wise-Dent -- Cornell University Kyle James -- UTSA Shayna Scott -- Brigham Young University Chrystelle Lasica -- UPVD Lauren Carruthers -- Glasgow, Scotland Eitienne Daadi -- University of Oregon Jackie Ward -- Palo Alto College Texas Biomed strives to create an educationally rich learning environment. As part of that initiative, 21 college and university students have spent summer 2019 interning on the campus. They are science and support staff workers. Texas Biomed strives to create an educationally rich learning environment. As part of that initiative, 21 college and university students have spent summer 2019 interning on the campus. They are science and support staff workers. They have spent several weeks in labs and office all around the Institute.<br /> <br /> Our bright, talented students include:<br /> <br /> Joshua Castro -- St. Mary's University<br /> Payan (Max) Pour -- Southwestern University<br /> Catalina Lopez -- Barnard College<br /> Sarah Mohamed -- Texas A&M University<br /> Nicholas Stefek -- Texas Tech University<br /> Lois Randolph -- UTSA<br /> Stephanie Nordmeyer -- Texas State University<br /> Daniel Astorga -- UTSA<br /> Brinley Cannon -- Oklahoma State University<br /> Morgan Christian -- Texas A&M University<br /> Sara Cotton -- Vassar College<br /> Sanjana Mada -- UTSA<br /> Olivia Wise-Dent -- Cornell University<br /> Kyle James -- UTSA<br /> Shayna Scott -- Brigham Young University<br /> Chrystelle Lasica -- UPVD<br /> Lauren Carruthers -- Glasgow, Scotland<br /> Eitienne Daadi -- University of Oregon<br /> Jackie Ward -- Palo Alto College Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 12:51 TX Biobytes from Texas Biomed Episode 038 — Aging Answers: Combating Cognitive Decline https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-038-aging-answers-combating-cognitive-decline/ Tue, 16 Jul 2019 14:15:56 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=9632 Associate Professor Marcel Daadi, Ph.D. One of the newest research projects at the Southwest National Primate Center on the campus of Texas Biomed is a study to figure out if a drug -- already approved by the Food and Drug Administration -- can help stave off unwanted cognitive problems that come with aging. Is there a way to repair damage to the cell organelles called mitochondria that become inefficient with age? Baboon at the SNPRCCourtesy Kathy West Studios To test this particular compound, Associate Scientist Marcel Daadi, Ph.D., will be spending the next year testing and treating senior baboons. The animals are able to take a cognitive test involving images on a screen to see if therapy with this medication can help the memory deficits and cognitive decline that monkeys (and men) experience. As more and more people live into their 80s and 90s and beyond, they become more likely to develop age-related problems. The William and Ella Owens Medical Research Foundation is funding the year-long study. Associate Professor Marcel Daadi, Ph.D. - One of the newest research projects at the Southwest National Primate Center on the campus of Texas Biomed is a study to figure out if a drug -- already approved by the Food and Drug Administration -- can help... Associate Professor Marcel Daadi, Ph.D.<br /> <br /> One of the newest research projects at the Southwest National Primate Center on the campus of Texas Biomed is a study to figure out if a drug -- already approved by the Food and Drug Administration -- can help stave off unwanted cognitive problems that come with aging. Is there a way to repair damage to the cell organelles called mitochondria that become inefficient with age?<br /> <br /> Baboon at the SNPRCCourtesy Kathy West Studios<br /> <br /> To test this particular compound, Associate Scientist Marcel Daadi, Ph.D., will be spending the next year testing and treating senior baboons. The animals are able to take a cognitive test involving images on a screen to see if therapy with this medication can help the memory deficits and cognitive decline that monkeys (and men) experience.<br /> <br /> As more and more people live into their 80s and 90s and beyond, they become more likely to develop age-related problems.<br /> <br /> The William and Ella Owens Medical Research Foundation is funding the year-long study. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 12:13 TX Biobytes from Texas Biomed Episode 037 — The Heart of the Problem: A Genetic Study of Native Americans https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-037-the-heart-of-the-problem-a-genetic-study-of-native-americans/ Tue, 02 Jul 2019 14:00:30 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=9541 Thirty years ago, NIH-funded researchers began looking at particular risk factors for heart disease in the Native American population. What Texas Biomed scientists and collaborators across the country have found is impacting all of us. Now, Texas Biomed has received a 7-year, $3 million dollar grant to continue working on the Strong Heart Study of American Indians (SHS). Shelley Cole, Ph.D., Associate Professor and co-lead of the Population Health program at Texas Biomed, will direct the Strong Heart Study Genetics Center and Chair the Strong Heart Study Steering Committee. Associate Professor Shelly Cole, Ph.D. (left of sign), is part of a team of Strong Heart Study investigators from around the country. Participants in the study come from 12 different tribes in 3 different regions: Arizona, Oklahoma, and North and South Dakota. Data and samples collected over the past four decades are a treasure trove of information for researchers. All results from the study receive tribal approval before they are released. The Native Americans also benefit from being involved in the research. For Raymond Roy Almanza -- a member of the Comanche Tribe from Oklahoma -- being a part of the Strong Heart Study was more than just an opportunity to help scientists understand his ethnic group's health issues. It helped his health. Courtesy Strong Heart Study "Because of my participation in the study, I found out I had high levels of blood sugar. I found out I had diabetes. The people at the Strong Heart Study caught the situation before it became a serious threat to my health," Almanza said. “We really want to find culturally appropriate ways of improving American Indian health,” Cole stressed. “It’s not going to be the same approaches taken with the community at large in the U.S. As a human geneticist, I know that we really need to have information on all human population groups to make wise decisions about how to handle public health issues.” Thirty years ago, NIH-funded researchers began looking at particular risk factors for heart disease in the Native American population. What Texas Biomed scientists and collaborators across the country have found is impacting all of us. - Now, Thirty years ago, NIH-funded researchers began looking at particular risk factors for heart disease in the Native American population. What Texas Biomed scientists and collaborators across the country have found is impacting all of us.<br /> <br /> Now, Texas Biomed has received a 7-year, $3 million dollar grant to continue working on the Strong Heart Study of American Indians (SHS). Shelley Cole, Ph.D., Associate Professor and co-lead of the Population Health program at Texas Biomed, will direct the Strong Heart Study Genetics Center and Chair the Strong Heart Study Steering Committee.<br /> <br /> Associate Professor Shelly Cole, Ph.D. (left of sign), is part of a team of Strong Heart Study investigators from around the country.<br /> <br /> Participants in the study come from 12 different tribes in 3 different regions: Arizona, Oklahoma, and North and South Dakota. Data and samples collected over the past four decades are a treasure trove of information for researchers. All results from the study receive tribal approval before they are released.<br /> <br /> The Native Americans also benefit from being involved in the research. For Raymond Roy Almanza -- a member of the Comanche Tribe from Oklahoma -- being a part of the Strong Heart Study was more than just an opportunity to help scientists understand his ethnic group's health issues. It helped his health.<br /> <br /> Courtesy Strong Heart Study<br /> <br /> "Because of my participation in the study, I found out I had high levels of blood sugar. I found out I had diabetes. The people at the Strong Heart Study caught the situation before it became a serious threat to my health," Almanza said.<br /> <br /> “We really want to find culturally appropriate ways of improving American Indian health,” Cole stressed. “It’s not going to be the same approaches taken with the community at large in the U.S. As a human geneticist, I know that we really need to have information on all human population groups to make wise decisions about how to handle public health issues.” Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 11:08 TX Biobytes from Texas Biomed Episode 036 — Animal Behaviorists: Monitoring the Monkeys https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-036-animal-behaviorists-monitoring-the-monkeys/ Tue, 18 Jun 2019 14:00:02 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=9488 Heath Nevill records behavior of baboons at the SNPRC. Texas Biomed is home to one of only seven National Primate Research Centers in the country. We house more than 2,000 nonhuman primates including baboons, rhesus macaques and marmosets. Besides veterinarians and technicians, the Southwest National Primate Research Center also employs animal behaviorists. Much of the animal behaviorists’ time is spent observing the animals, recording their behavior and gathering data.  If observation alone isn’t enough, sometimes animal behaviorists use recordings. Director of Behavioral Services, Corrine Lutz, Ph.D., and nonhuman primate Lab manager of the Behavioral Services group, Heath Nevill, talk about taken care of research animals. Both say it's their passion. Corrine Lutz, Ph.D., and Heath Nevill work wit the Behavioral Services Department. Heath Nevill records behavior of baboons at the SNPRC. - Texas Biomed is home to one of only seven National Primate Research Centers in the country. We house more than 2,000 nonhuman primates including baboons, rhesus macaques and marmosets. Heath Nevill records behavior of baboons at the SNPRC.<br /> <br /> Texas Biomed is home to one of only seven National Primate Research Centers in the country. We house more than 2,000 nonhuman primates including baboons, rhesus macaques and marmosets. Besides veterinarians and technicians, the Southwest National Primate Research Center also employs animal behaviorists.<br /> <br /> Much of the animal behaviorists’ time is spent observing the animals, recording their behavior and gathering data.  If observation alone isn’t enough, sometimes animal behaviorists use recordings.<br /> <br /> Director of Behavioral Services, Corrine Lutz, Ph.D., and nonhuman primate Lab manager of the Behavioral Services group, Heath Nevill, talk about taken care of research animals. Both say it's their passion.<br /> <br /> Corrine Lutz, Ph.D., and Heath Nevill work wit the Behavioral Services Department. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 11:36 TX Biobytes from Texas Biomed Episode 035 — The Buzz About Zika https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-035-the-buzz-about-zika/ Tue, 04 Jun 2019 14:00:37 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=9411 Zika VirusCourtesy: NIH Image Gallery What’s the latest buzz about Zika? The mosquito-borne virus is still infecting people around the globe -- even in the U.S. -- and putting unborn babies in particular at risk. Texas Biomed has just won a grant from the federal government to test two different ways of immunizing pregnant women. The idea is to prevent transmission of the infectious disease from expectant woman to her child. Zika has been around for decades, but the virus roared into the headlines when it caused a spate of terrible birth defects in Brazil four years ago. While Texas Biomed is providing the nonhuman primate animal models and the expertise in virology for this project, partners in New York are looking at other aspects of a possible Zika vaccine. Professor Jean Patterson, Ph.D., is the Principal Investigator on the project at Texas Biomed. Zika VirusCourtesy: NIH Image Gallery - What’s the latest buzz about Zika? The mosquito-borne virus is still infecting people around the globe -- even in the U.S. -- and putting unborn babies in particular at risk. Zika VirusCourtesy: NIH Image Gallery<br /> <br /> What’s the latest buzz about Zika? The mosquito-borne virus is still infecting people around the globe -- even in the U.S. -- and putting unborn babies in particular at risk. Texas Biomed has just won a grant from the federal government to test two different ways of immunizing pregnant women. The idea is to prevent transmission of the infectious disease from expectant woman to her child.<br /> <br /> Zika has been around for decades, but the virus roared into the headlines when it caused a spate of terrible birth defects in Brazil four years ago.<br /> <br /> While Texas Biomed is providing the nonhuman primate animal models and the expertise in virology for this project, partners in New York are looking at other aspects of a possible Zika vaccine.<br /> <br /> Professor Jean Patterson, Ph.D., is the Principal Investigator on the project at Texas Biomed. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 10:48 TXBioBytes from Texas Biomed Episode 034 — The impact of marmosets from A to Z: Aging to Zika https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/txbiobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-034-the-impact-of-marmosets-from-a-to-z-aging-to-zika/ Tue, 07 May 2019 14:00:17 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=9258 Marmosets are small New World monkeys from South America. © Clem Spalding 210-271-7273 Marmosets are a useful biomedical research animal model that is growing in popularity with researchers. The monkeys' small size and shorter life span make it an easier model to work with, in some cases, than larger nonhuman primates. Texas Biomed currently has more than 350 of these squirrel-sized monkeys. UT Health San Antonio and the Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies have just signed an animal care and joint research agreement with Texas Biomed. The new collaboration involved moving dozens of marmosets from the UT Health campus into a newly-renovated facility that is part of the Southwest National Primate Research Center on the Texas Biomed campus. The new home for marmosets can house up to 550 of the research animals, making it the largest marmoset colony in the U.S. dedicated to aging and infectious disease research. Corrina Ross, Ph.D. Associate Professor Corinna Ross, Ph.D., talks about the projects these animals are involved with and the challenges researchers face when trying to find answers to complex human health questions. Marmosets are small New World monkeys from South America. © Clem Spalding 210-271-7273 - Marmosets are a useful biomedical research animal model that is growing in popularity with researchers. The monkeys' small size and shorter life span make it an e... Marmosets are small New World monkeys from South America. © Clem Spalding 210-271-7273<br /> <br /> Marmosets are a useful biomedical research animal model that is growing in popularity with researchers. The monkeys' small size and shorter life span make it an easier model to work with, in some cases, than larger nonhuman primates. Texas Biomed currently has more than 350 of these squirrel-sized monkeys.<br /> <br /> UT Health San Antonio and the Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies have just signed an animal care and joint research agreement with Texas Biomed. The new collaboration involved moving dozens of marmosets from the UT Health campus into a newly-renovated facility that is part of the Southwest National Primate Research Center on the Texas Biomed campus. The new home for marmosets can house up to 550 of the research animals, making it the largest marmoset colony in the U.S. dedicated to aging and infectious disease research.<br /> <br /> Corrina Ross, Ph.D.<br /> <br /> Associate Professor Corinna Ross, Ph.D., talks about the projects these animals are involved with and the challenges researchers face when trying to find answers to complex human health questions. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 13:56 TXBioBytes from Texas Biomed Episode 033 — Celebrating Biomedical Research Awareness Day https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/txbiobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-033-celebrating-biomedical-research-awareness-day/ Tue, 23 Apr 2019 14:00:10 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=9207 Enrichment specialists at Texas Biomed celebrate BRAD by treating the research animals to Fiesta munchies. We owe many ways to treat and prevent disease to biomedical research, but none of our scientific discoveries would be possible without teamwork—that is, teamwork between scientists and research animals.   BRAD celebrates the many contributions of research animals to human health. Biomedical Research Awareness Day (BRAD) was created by Americans for Medical Progress to educate students and the public on the importance of biomedical research and the humane use of research animals. Animals play a huge role in making biomedical research possible by serving as effective models for human ailments. Without the teamwork between scientists and animals, and the dedication of those who care for research animals, we would not be able to serve the world’s health needs. In observance of BRAD, Texas Biomed’s Veterinary Technicians Joseph Roberts and Martin Carias, Staff Scientist Olena Shtanko, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor Ian Cheeseman, Ph.D., explain why biomedical research is critical to keeping both humans and animals healthy. Enrichment specialists at Texas Biomed celebrate BRAD by treating the research animals to Fiesta munchies. - We owe many ways to treat and prevent disease to biomedical research, but none of our scientific discoveries would be possible without teamwor... Enrichment specialists at Texas Biomed celebrate BRAD by treating the research animals to Fiesta munchies.<br /> <br /> We owe many ways to treat and prevent disease to biomedical research, but none of our scientific discoveries would be possible without teamwork—that is, teamwork between scientists and research animals.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> BRAD celebrates the many contributions of research animals to human health.<br /> <br /> Biomedical Research Awareness Day (BRAD) was created by Americans for Medical Progress to educate students and the public on the importance of biomedical research and the humane use of research animals. Animals play a huge role in making biomedical research possible by serving as effective models for human ailments. Without the teamwork between scientists and animals, and the dedication of those who care for research animals, we would not be able to serve the world’s health needs.<br /> <br /> In observance of BRAD, Texas Biomed’s Veterinary Technicians Joseph Roberts and Martin Carias, Staff Scientist Olena Shtanko, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor Ian Cheeseman, Ph.D., explain why biomedical research is critical to keeping both humans and animals healthy. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 8:16 TXBioBytes from Texas Biomed Episode 032 — TB and HIV: Battling Back Against a One-Two Punch https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-032-tb-and-hiv-battling-back-against-a-one-two-punch/ Tue, 09 Apr 2019 16:40:29 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=9117 Deepak Kaushal, Ph.D. Co-infections with HIV and TB are a persistent health problem. In otherwise health people with latent TB, only 5% will go on to develop active tuberculosis. In HIV/AIDS patients, the risk of developing active TB increases ten-fold to 50%. Workers in Dr. Kaushal's lab take part in TB/HIV experiments. About a third of everyone who has HIV dies of complications from TB. Professor and Director of the Southwest National Primate Research Center, Deepak Kaushal, Ph.D. a Texas Biomed researcher, recently published a collaborative study pinpointing a possible new avenue of protection for these patients. Deepak Kaushal, Ph.D. - Co-infections with HIV and TB are a persistent health problem. In otherwise health people with latent TB, only 5% will go on to develop active tuberculosis. In HIV/AIDS patients, the risk of developing active TB increases ten-f... Deepak Kaushal, Ph.D.<br /> <br /> Co-infections with HIV and TB are a persistent health problem. In otherwise health people with latent TB, only 5% will go on to develop active tuberculosis. In HIV/AIDS patients, the risk of developing active TB increases ten-fold to 50%.<br /> <br /> Workers in Dr. Kaushal's lab take part in TB/HIV experiments.<br /> <br /> About a third of everyone who has HIV dies of complications from TB. Professor and Director of the Southwest National Primate Research Center, Deepak Kaushal, Ph.D. a Texas Biomed researcher, recently published a collaborative study pinpointing a possible new avenue of protection for these patients. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 8:15 TX BioBytes from Texas Biomed Episode 031 — Battling Bacteria and Biofilms https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-032-battling-bacteria-and-biofilms/ Tue, 26 Mar 2019 14:00:10 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=9003   Biofilm is a thin, slimy film of bacteria. Daniel Wozniak, Ph.D., of The Ohio State University is a recognized expert in the field of infectious diseases. Recently, he visited Texas Biomed as the keynote speaker at the Research Symposium 2019. Dr. Wozniak is looking for new ways to treat stubborn infections that often make life miserable for patients or ultimately claim their lives. These secondary infections are the kinds of diseases caused by bacteria that often plague vulnerable patients. He specializes in the kinds of infections suffered by patients with cystic fibrosis and wound care patients. Daniel Wozniak, Ph.D., served as keynote speaker at Texas BIomed's Research Symposium 2019. Bacteria that cause chronic infections in patients create problems that add up to more than $25 billion dollars in health care every year in the U.S. Part of Dr. Wozniak's work focuses on biofilms which are microorganisms that are attached to a surface, play a critical role in infectious diseases. They are innately resistant to antibiotics and often difficult to et rid of. Dr. Wozniak calls the treatment of biofilms a "critically important challenge for anti-infective programs in the pharmaceutical industry."   - Biofilm is a thin, slimy film of bacteria. - Daniel Wozniak, Ph.D., of The Ohio State University is a recognized expert in the field of infectious diseases. Recently, he visited Texas Biomed as the keynote speaker at the Research Symposium 2019.  <br /> <br /> Biofilm is a thin, slimy film of bacteria.<br /> <br /> Daniel Wozniak, Ph.D., of The Ohio State University is a recognized expert in the field of infectious diseases. Recently, he visited Texas Biomed as the keynote speaker at the Research Symposium 2019.<br /> <br /> Dr. Wozniak is looking for new ways to treat stubborn infections that often make life miserable for patients or ultimately claim their lives. These secondary infections are the kinds of diseases caused by bacteria that often plague vulnerable patients. He specializes in the kinds of infections suffered by patients with cystic fibrosis and wound care patients.<br /> <br /> Daniel Wozniak, Ph.D., served as keynote speaker at Texas BIomed's Research Symposium 2019.<br /> <br /> Bacteria that cause chronic infections in patients create problems that add up to more than $25 billion dollars in health care every year in the U.S.<br /> <br /> Part of Dr. Wozniak's work focuses on biofilms which are microorganisms that are attached to a surface, play a critical role in infectious diseases. They are innately resistant to antibiotics and often difficult to et rid of. Dr. Wozniak calls the treatment of biofilms a "critically important challenge for anti-infective programs in the pharmaceutical industry." Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 10:15 TXBioBytes from Texas Biomed Episode 030 — Collaborating to Control A Killer https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-030-collaborating-to-control-a-killer/ Tue, 12 Mar 2019 18:09:12 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=8908 Dr. Larry Schlesinger visited India in Feb. 2019. The President and CEO of Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Dr. Larry Schlesinger, is a physician researcher who is a leader in his field – infectious diseases and tuberculosis in particular. He recently traveled to India to visit one of the many places across the globe where TB has a huge impact. The 8th annual RePORT India Joint Leadership Meeting was held in Chennai, India, February 4-6, 2019. Dr. Larry Schlesinger visited India in Feb. 2019. - The President and CEO of Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Dr. Larry Schlesinger, is a physician researcher who is a leader in his field – infectious diseases and tuberculosis in particular. Dr. Larry Schlesinger visited India in Feb. 2019.<br /> <br /> The President and CEO of Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Dr. Larry Schlesinger, is a physician researcher who is a leader in his field – infectious diseases and tuberculosis in particular. He recently traveled to India to visit one of the many places across the globe where TB has a huge impact. The 8th annual RePORT India Joint Leadership Meeting was held in Chennai, India, February 4-6, 2019. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 8:27 TXBioBytes from Texas Biomed Episode 029 — Out of Africa: Teaming up to Develop a New TB Test https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-029-out-of-africa-teaming-up-to-develop-a-new-tb-test/ Tue, 26 Feb 2019 15:00:43 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=8700 Dr. Jordi Torrelles meets with future collaborators on a 2019 trip to Africa. Tuberculosis is the deadliest infectious disease in the world: tuberculosis. Somewhere in the world, a person dies of TB every 21 seconds. Africa is a continent full of supreme beauty. Sadly, it is also a continent facing some intense health crises. Imagine trying to test for TB in areas where there may not be electricity of even running water. One of Texas Biomed’s TB researchers traveled to three countries Africa in early 2019 to create collaborations to help test a cheaper, faster, easier way to detect the disease and pinpoint the best course of treatment. Many parts of Africa are still wild and home to spectacular animals. While he was in Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa, Professor Jordi Torrelles, Ph.D., spent much of his time talking to people at various clinics and research facilities. Working in collaboration with these groups, Dr. Torrelles is planning to have samples from some of the many TB patients in this region processed, frozen and shipped to San Antonio, Texas, so that Texas Biomed researchers can work on an experimental detection system.   TB clinics in the southern part of Africa do what they can with few resources.   Dr. Torrelles' research reaches to many others part of the globe as well, including Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, China, Ukraine.           Dr. Jordi Torrelles meets with future collaborators on a 2019 trip to Africa. - Tuberculosis is the deadliest infectious disease in the world: tuberculosis. Somewhere in the world, a person dies of TB every 21 seconds. - Dr. Jordi Torrelles meets with future collaborators on a 2019 trip to Africa.<br /> <br /> Tuberculosis is the deadliest infectious disease in the world: tuberculosis. Somewhere in the world, a person dies of TB every 21 seconds.<br /> <br /> Africa is a continent full of supreme beauty. Sadly, it is also a continent facing some intense health crises. Imagine trying to test for TB in areas where there may not be electricity of even running water. One of Texas Biomed’s TB researchers traveled to three countries Africa in early 2019 to create collaborations to help test a cheaper, faster, easier way to detect the disease and pinpoint the best course of treatment.<br /> <br /> Many parts of Africa are still wild and home to spectacular animals.<br /> <br /> While he was in Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa, Professor Jordi Torrelles, Ph.D., spent much of his time talking to people at various clinics and research facilities. Working in collaboration with these groups, Dr. Torrelles is planning to have samples from some of the many TB patients in this region processed, frozen and shipped to San Antonio, Texas, so that Texas Biomed researchers can work on an experimental detection system.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> TB clinics in the southern part of Africa do what they can with few resources.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Dr. Torrelles' research reaches to many others part of the globe as well, including Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, China, Ukraine.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />   Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 10:45 TXBioBytes from Texas Biomed Episode 028 — “Lab on a Chip” Holds the Power to Test for Zika https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-028-lab-on-a-chip-holds-the-power-to-test-for-zika/ Tue, 12 Feb 2019 15:00:06 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=8411 This technology would help clinicians tailor therapies. (Photo courtesy of Josh Parks) A collaboration of scientists including Texas Biomedical Research Institute’s Professor Jean Patterson, Ph.D., are working on a new way to detect Zika virus that will help guide clinicians in their treatment of patients with the disease. The new technology will screen bodily fluids such as blood, urine or semen, for the presence of the virus. The experimental diagnostic tool will also help pinpoint the stage of the disease in those infected. Researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Brigham Young University, and the University of California at Berkeley developed the technology that is now being tested to see if it is effective. Electrical engineering Professor Holger Schmidt, Ph.D., of UC Santa Cruz is one of the leading researchers testing the technology, which he describes as “a lab on a chip.” Texas Biomed’s role in this scientific advancement is to provide knowledge about the virus and viral material to the team of researchers. “What this technology will do is tell us, first of all, if you’ve already been infected,” Dr. Patterson explained. “If you have antibodies, you wouldn’t be at risk for a new infection. It will also tell us where you are in your infection.” Knowing the stage of the disease is critical since many antivirals only work early in infections and are not effective later in the course of the disease. This particular diagnostic test would tell clinicians if the patient is showing a sign of recent infection or if the disease has progressed. The mosquito-borne illness was first identified in Uganda in 1947, but Zika roared into international headlines in 2014 when cases of the virus in Brazil were shown to have a connection to devastating birth defects in babies born to mothers who had Zika while pregnant. The study into a new diagnostic technology to pinpoint Zika started two years ago. Patterson is confident her work will contribute to more effective diagnostics. “We’ve got this,” Patterson stated. The same test is being developed for another pathogen Texas Biomed researches: Ebola virus. Dr. Schmidt is hopeful this technology would be helpful for people in remote areas affected by Ebola, such as parts of Africa. The collaboration of scientists working on the project have applied for another scientific grant and they plan to apply for a grant to commercialize the experimental Zika test. This technology would help clinicians tailor therapies. (Photo courtesy of Josh Parks) - A collaboration of scientists including Texas Biomedical Research Institute’s Professor Jean Patterson, Ph.D., are working on a new way to detect Zika virus that ... This technology would help clinicians tailor therapies. (Photo courtesy of Josh Parks)<br /> <br /> A collaboration of scientists including Texas Biomedical Research Institute’s Professor Jean Patterson, Ph.D., are working on a new way to detect Zika virus that will help guide clinicians in their treatment of patients with the disease. The new technology will screen bodily fluids such as blood, urine or semen, for the presence of the virus. The experimental diagnostic tool will also help pinpoint the stage of the disease in those infected.<br /> <br /> Researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Brigham Young University, and the University of California at Berkeley developed the technology that is now being tested to see if it is effective. Electrical engineering Professor Holger Schmidt, Ph.D., of UC Santa Cruz is one of the leading researchers testing the technology, which he describes as “a lab on a chip.”<br /> <br /> Texas Biomed’s role in this scientific advancement is to provide knowledge about the virus and viral material to the team of researchers.<br /> <br /> “What this technology will do is tell us, first of all, if you’ve already been infected,” Dr. Patterson explained. “If you have antibodies, you wouldn’t be at risk for a new infection. It will also tell us where you are in your infection.”<br /> <br /> Knowing the stage of the disease is critical since many antivirals only work early in infections and are not effective later in the course of the disease. This particular diagnostic test would tell clinicians if the patient is showing a sign of recent infection or if the disease has progressed.<br /> <br /> The mosquito-borne illness was first identified in Uganda in 1947, but Zika roared into international headlines in 2014 when cases of the virus in Brazil were shown to have a connection to devastating birth defects in babies born to mothers who had Zika while pregnant.<br /> <br /> The study into a new diagnostic technology to pinpoint Zika started two years ago. Patterson is confident her work will contribute to more effective diagnostics.<br /> <br /> “We’ve got this,” Patterson stated.<br /> <br /> The same test is being developed for another pathogen Texas Biomed researches: Ebola virus. Dr. Schmidt is hopeful this technology would be helpful for people in remote areas affected by Ebola, such as parts of Africa.<br /> <br /> The collaboration of scientists working on the project have applied for another scientific grant and they plan to apply for a grant to commercialize the experimental Zika test. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 9:48 TXBioBytes from Texas Biomed Episode 027 — Epigenetics & Childhood Obesity https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-027-epigenetics-childhood-obesity/ Tue, 29 Jan 2019 15:00:01 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=8177 Childhood obesity is one of the most pressing public health issues of our time. Now, with the help of a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Associate Professor Melanie Carless, Ph.D., is using the field of epigenetics to study this nagging problem. Dr. Carless will look at the way DNA, RNA, and proteins are affected by both the environment and genetic makeup to impact the risk of obesity. Melanie Carless, Ph.D. Two Texas Biomed researchers are collaborating with Dr. Carless. Associate Professor Tiziano Barberi, Ph.D., is lending his expertise in the development of pluripotent stem cells. Associate Professor Shelley Cole, Ph.D., is helping with the date from the cohort of 900 Texas Hispanic children used in the study.   Childhood obesity is one of the most pressing public health issues of our time. Now, with the help of a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Associate Professor Melanie Carless, Ph.D., is using the field of epigenetics to study this... Childhood obesity is one of the most pressing public health issues of our time. Now, with the help of a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Associate Professor Melanie Carless, Ph.D., is using the field of epigenetics to study this nagging problem. Dr. Carless will look at the way DNA, RNA, and proteins are affected by both the environment and genetic makeup to impact the risk of obesity.<br /> <br /> Melanie Carless, Ph.D.<br /> <br /> Two Texas Biomed researchers are collaborating with Dr. Carless. Associate Professor Tiziano Barberi, Ph.D., is lending his expertise in the development of pluripotent stem cells. Associate Professor Shelley Cole, Ph.D., is helping with the date from the cohort of 900 Texas Hispanic children used in the study.<br /> <br />   Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 17:29 TXBioBytes from Texas Biomed Episode 026 — ‘Colaboracion con Mexico’ Targets Cardiovascular Disease https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-026-colaboracion-con-mexico-targets-cardiovascular-disease/ Tue, 15 Jan 2019 15:00:59 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=7893 Raul Bastarrachea, MD, and Jack Kent, Ph.D. Texas Biomedical Research Institute scientists have been granted funding from the National Institutes of Health to pursue a promising study on the ultimate causes of heart disease and metabolic disorders. Principal Investigators Raul A. Bastarrachea, MD, and Jack W. Kent Jr., Ph.D., of Texas Biomedical Research Institute have designed the GEMM Family Study (Genetics of Metabolic Diseases in Mexico or Genética de las Enfermedades Metabólicas en México). The GEMM Family Study examines volunteers from 10 university hospital sites in Mexico. Blood samples and tissue samples collected from participants are analyzed at Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. Healthy adults provide baseline blood samples and muscle biopsies at fasting. Then, they are given what’s called a meal challenge. The volunteers eat 30 percent of what their bodies need for their individual daily energy needs based on their Base Metabolic Rate (BMR) and activity level. If their metabolism is working correctly, that food – a balanced mix of proteins, carbohydrates, fat and micronutrients – should be metabolized, oxidized, or stored within five hours. By taking another muscle biopsy and blood samples at several points during the five hours following the meal, the researchers hope to find out why some otherwise healthy people may have an impaired response to a meal which can lead to cardiovascular disease over time. “The idea behind the GEMM Family Study is to pinpoint novel biomarkers of metabolic responses that could be early predictors of cardiovascular disease,” explained Dr. Bastarrachea. Distinguishing those biomarkers could lead to earlier diagnoses and interventions based on individual results. Heart disease is a major health problem for Hispanic Americans. High rates of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure put them at great risk for cardiovascular problems like strokes and heart attacks. The scientists anticipate that findings from the GEMM Family Study will have implications for diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded the GEMM Family Study researchers $544,803 over two years to study data from 40 people in Mexico. Using that preliminary data, Texas Biomed scientists plan to apply for a larger NIH grant that would fund the study of data collected from 400 individuals. Texas Biomed has a long history of researching genetic contributors to heart disease risk in family studies, including ongoing collaboration in the StrongHeart Study of American Indians. The GEMM Family Study is being supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R56DK114703. This study will involve collaborative research by scientists at TBRI and UT Health San Antonio. Molecular analyses of gene expression will be conducted by the laboratory of Dr. Shelley Cole and the TBRI Genomics Sequencing Core. Other molecular profiling will be conducted at the UT Health Mass Spectrometry Laboratory under the supervision of Drs. Susan Weintraub and Xianlin Han. The locations in Mexico where volunteers are taking part in the GEMM Family Study are: MONTERREY, Facultad de Enfermería, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL), Facultad de Salud Pública y Nutrición (Faspyn), UANL, Hospital Metropolitano Monterrey (Dr. Esther Gallegos and Dr. Edna Nava) MERIDA, Escuela de Ciencias de la Salud de la Universidad Marista de Mérida (Dr. Hugo Laviada and LN Maria Fernanda Molina) CUERNAVACA, Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos (Dr. Jesús Santa-Olalla and and Dr. Jose Ángeles Chimal) CHIHUAHUA, Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua (Dr. Irene Leal) MORELIA, Raul Bastarrachea, MD, and Jack Kent, Ph.D. - Texas Biomedical Research Institute scientists have been granted funding from the National Institutes of Health to pursue a promising study on the ultimate causes of heart disease and metabolic disorders. Raul Bastarrachea, MD, and Jack Kent, Ph.D.<br /> <br /> Texas Biomedical Research Institute scientists have been granted funding from the National Institutes of Health to pursue a promising study on the ultimate causes of heart disease and metabolic disorders. Principal Investigators Raul A. Bastarrachea, MD, and Jack W. Kent Jr., Ph.D., of Texas Biomedical Research Institute have designed the GEMM Family Study (Genetics of Metabolic Diseases in Mexico or Genética de las Enfermedades Metabólicas en México).<br /> <br /> The GEMM Family Study examines volunteers from 10 university hospital sites in Mexico. Blood samples and tissue samples collected from participants are analyzed at Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.<br /> <br /> Healthy adults provide baseline blood samples and muscle biopsies at fasting. Then, they are given what’s called a meal challenge. The volunteers eat 30 percent of what their bodies need for their individual daily energy needs based on their Base Metabolic Rate (BMR) and activity level.<br /> <br /> If their metabolism is working correctly, that food – a balanced mix of proteins, carbohydrates, fat and micronutrients – should be metabolized, oxidized, or stored within five hours. By taking another muscle biopsy and blood samples at several points during the five hours following the meal, the researchers hope to find out why some otherwise healthy people may have an impaired response to a meal which can lead to cardiovascular disease over time.<br /> <br /> “The idea behind the GEMM Family Study is to pinpoint novel biomarkers of metabolic responses that could be early predictors of cardiovascular disease,” explained Dr. Bastarrachea. Distinguishing those biomarkers could lead to earlier diagnoses and interventions based on individual results.<br /> <br /> Heart disease is a major health problem for Hispanic Americans. High rates of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure put them at great risk for cardiovascular problems like strokes and heart attacks. The scientists anticipate that findings from the GEMM Family Study will have implications for diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.<br /> <br /> The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded the GEMM Family Study researchers $544,803 over two years to study data from 40 people in Mexico. Using that preliminary data, Texas Biomed scientists plan to apply for a larger NIH grant that would fund the study of data collected from 400 individuals.<br /> <br /> Texas Biomed has a long history of researching genetic contributors to heart disease risk in family studies, including ongoing collaboration in the StrongHeart Study of American Indians.<br /> <br /> The GEMM Family Study is being supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R56DK114703.<br /> <br /> This study will involve collaborative research by scientists at TBRI and UT Health San Antonio. Molecular analyses of gene expression will be conducted by the laboratory of Dr. Shelley Cole and the TBRI Genomics Sequencing Core. Other molecular profiling will be conducted at the UT Health Mass Spectrometry Laboratory under the supervision of Drs. Susan Weintraub and Xianlin Han.<br /> <br /> The locations in Mexico where volunteers are taking part in the GEMM Family Study are:<br /> <br /> MONTERREY, Facultad de Enfermería, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL), Facultad de Salud Pública y Nutrición (Faspyn), UANL, Hospital Metropolitano Monterrey (Dr. Esther Gallegos and Dr. Edna Nava)<br /> MERIDA, Escuela de Ciencias de la Salud de la Universidad Marista de Mérida (Dr. Hugo Laviada and LN Maria Fernanda Molina)<br /> CUERNAVACA, Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos (Dr. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 13:55 TXBioBytes from Texas Biomed Episode 025 — Tissue Bank Deposits Generate Interest https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-025-tissue-bank-deposits-generate-interest/ Tue, 01 Jan 2019 15:00:42 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=7697 Samples from nonhuman primates make up the tissue bank at the SNPRC. In the Hixon Hospital, drawers upon drawers hold thousands of animal tissue samples. Protected in wax, this collection is a valuable resource for Texas Biomed scientists and researchers at other institutions that participate in a tissue sharing program. Scientists who wrote a recent article published in the Journal of Medical Primatology titled “Papio Spp. Colon microbiome and its link to obesity in pregnancy” used tissue samples from the Southwest National Primate Research Center to test a hypothesis: Are there changes in the kinds of bacteria found in obese animals versus normal weight animals? Could those differences influence the outcome of pregnancy? Obese women at are increased risk of a number of pregnancy complications including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and the need for a cesarean delivery. Edward Dick, Jr., D.V.M., is a veterinary pathologist at the SNPRC who is one of the authors of the article. He explains “the microbiome is a new research area that’s being studied extensively in humans, but no one had really looked at the baboon to see how it compares to the human. This was the first attempt to do that.” Edward Dick, Jr., D.V.M. The colon microbiome is made up of trillions of bacteria, fungi and other microbes. It plays an important role in health, including digestion and immunities. The SNPRC tissue bank provided samples of gut microbiome from four obese pregnant baboons and four normal weight pregnant baboons.  These were evaluated by researchers from the College of Medicine at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. When comparing the samples, scientists noted some differences. For instance, the population of one certain bacterium was increased ten-fold in the obese baboons. Antibodies to this particular bacterium have been associated with metabolic disturbances and insulin resistance in people. On the flip side, two other bacteria used to help ferment carbohydrates and metabolize fatty acids were reduced in the obese baboons. The question is whether differences in the colon microbiome could make a difference in the outcome of pregnancy. The short answer is that it’s possible. Much more research needs to be conducted. The study concludes “changes in the gut microbiome in pregnant obese animals open the venue for dietary manipulation in pregnancy.” If this proves to be the case, researchers may be able to come up with a suitable target for microbiome-related intervention during pregnancy. Thousands of slides are stores in drawers at the SNPRC. The article also acknowledges “the help and dedication of the many excellent animal caretakers, technicians, and veterinarians of the Southwest National Primate Research Center.” Obesity is a public health concern in the U.S. and around the world. Since the children of obese mothers have a risk of future obesity and heart disease, this kind of research into underlying factors that might be controlled during pregnancy is important. Dr. Dick says this collaborative research project is a good example of the power of banked tissue for biomedical research. The SNPRC has samples with records on diagnoses that go all the way back to 1988. Dr. Schlabritz-Lutsevich (Associate Professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at the Permian Basin) is the Principal Investigator, senior and corresponding author on this study.  Study was funded by UTHSCSA, UTHSC and TTUHSC. Dr. Schlabritz-Lutsevich worked closely with the group of Dr. Peter Nathanielsz, who provided continuous support. She assembled the interdisciplinary team, which included Dr. Karen Nelson – the first scientists, who published first microbiome study in 2006, Dr. Christopher Rensing – University of Denmark (in addition to other authors). The help of Dept. of Pathology SNPRC was critical for this research, especially Dr. Edward Dick and Dr. Gene Hubbard. Dr. Samples from nonhuman primates make up the tissue bank at the SNPRC. - In the Hixon Hospital, drawers upon drawers hold thousands of animal tissue samples. Protected in wax, this collection is a valuable resource for Texas Biomed scientists and resear... Samples from nonhuman primates make up the tissue bank at the SNPRC.<br /> <br /> In the Hixon Hospital, drawers upon drawers hold thousands of animal tissue samples. Protected in wax, this collection is a valuable resource for Texas Biomed scientists and researchers at other institutions that participate in a tissue sharing program.<br /> <br /> Scientists who wrote a recent article published in the Journal of Medical Primatology titled “Papio Spp. Colon microbiome and its link to obesity in pregnancy” used tissue samples from the Southwest National Primate Research Center to test a hypothesis: Are there changes in the kinds of bacteria found in obese animals versus normal weight animals? Could those differences influence the outcome of pregnancy?<br /> <br /> Obese women at are increased risk of a number of pregnancy complications including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and the need for a cesarean delivery.<br /> <br /> Edward Dick, Jr., D.V.M., is a veterinary pathologist at the SNPRC who is one of the authors of the article. He explains “the microbiome is a new research area that’s being studied extensively in humans, but no one had really looked at the baboon to see how it compares to the human. This was the first attempt to do that.”<br /> <br /> Edward Dick, Jr., D.V.M.<br /> <br /> The colon microbiome is made up of trillions of bacteria, fungi and other microbes. It plays an important role in health, including digestion and immunities.<br /> <br /> The SNPRC tissue bank provided samples of gut microbiome from four obese pregnant baboons and four normal weight pregnant baboons.  These were evaluated by researchers from the College of Medicine at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.<br /> <br /> When comparing the samples, scientists noted some differences. For instance, the population of one certain bacterium was increased ten-fold in the obese baboons. Antibodies to this particular bacterium have been associated with metabolic disturbances and insulin resistance in people.<br /> <br /> On the flip side, two other bacteria used to help ferment carbohydrates and metabolize fatty acids were reduced in the obese baboons.<br /> <br /> The question is whether differences in the colon microbiome could make a difference in the outcome of pregnancy. The short answer is that it’s possible. Much more research needs to be conducted.<br /> <br /> The study concludes “changes in the gut microbiome in pregnant obese animals open the venue for dietary manipulation in pregnancy.” If this proves to be the case, researchers may be able to come up with a suitable target for microbiome-related intervention during pregnancy.<br /> <br /> Thousands of slides are stores in drawers at the SNPRC.<br /> <br /> The article also acknowledges “the help and dedication of the many excellent animal caretakers, technicians, and veterinarians of the Southwest National Primate Research Center.”<br /> <br /> Obesity is a public health concern in the U.S. and around the world. Since the children of obese mothers have a risk of future obesity and heart disease, this kind of research into underlying factors that might be controlled during pregnancy is important.<br /> <br /> Dr. Dick says this collaborative research project is a good example of the power of banked tissue for biomedical research. The SNPRC has samples with records on diagnoses that go all the way back to 1988.<br /> <br /> Dr. Schlabritz-Lutsevich (Associate Professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at the Permian Basin) is the Principal Investigator, senior and corresponding author on this study.  Study was funded by UTHSCSA, UTHSC and TTUHSC. Dr. Schlabritz-Lutsevich worked closely with the group of Dr. Peter Nathanielsz, who provided continuous support. She assembled the interdisciplinary team, which included Dr. Karen Nelson – the first scientists, who published first microbiome study in 2006, Dr. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 7:57 TXBioBytes from Texas Biomed Episode 024– Natural History Studies https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-natural-history-studies/ Tue, 18 Dec 2018 15:00:05 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=7646 Macaques are used for Ebola research.© Clem Spalding 210-271-7273 When you hear the phrase “natural history” – what comes to mind? A display at a museum? A college course? At Texas Biomed, natural history means a certain kind of study that tracks the course of an infectious disease Associate Scientist Ricardo Carrion, Jr., Ph.D., serves as the Director of Maximum Containment Contract Research. He explains that documenting the course of a disease -- in this case, Ebola virus --in a nonhuman primate helps make sure the monkey is a good and accurate model. Ricardo Carrion, Jr., Ph.D. The FDA will use these animal models to evaluate experimental Ebola vaccines and therapeutics that come through the pipeline. The federal government characterizes Ebola as a high priority threat. That’s why money is being invested – to protect people – with either a vaccine or a therapeutic if the virus happened to come into the United States, as it did in 2014 when two nurses in Dallas contracted the disease from a patient with Ebola who traveled here from Africa. While most people in America don’t see Ebola as a threat, there is a chance the virus could be weaponized for a bioterrorism attack…or it could show up again in a visitor arriving from another country. Texas Biomed competed for -- and won -- the grant to conduct these natural history studies, in part, because of its long and successful history working with high containment pathogens. Macaques are used for Ebola research.© Clem Spalding 210-271-7273 - When you hear the phrase “natural history” – what comes to mind? A display at a museum? A college course? At Texas Biomed, natural history means a certain kind of study that tracks th... Macaques are used for Ebola research.© Clem Spalding 210-271-7273<br /> <br /> When you hear the phrase “natural history” – what comes to mind? A display at a museum? A college course? At Texas Biomed, natural history means a certain kind of study that tracks the course of an infectious disease<br /> <br /> Associate Scientist Ricardo Carrion, Jr., Ph.D., serves as the Director of Maximum Containment Contract Research. He explains that documenting the course of a disease -- in this case, Ebola virus --in a nonhuman primate helps make sure the monkey is a good and accurate model.<br /> <br /> Ricardo Carrion, Jr., Ph.D.<br /> <br /> The FDA will use these animal models to evaluate experimental Ebola vaccines and therapeutics that come through the pipeline. The federal government characterizes Ebola as a high priority threat. That’s why money is being invested – to protect people – with either a vaccine or a therapeutic if the virus happened to come into the United States, as it did in 2014 when two nurses in Dallas contracted the disease from a patient with Ebola who traveled here from Africa. While most people in America don’t see Ebola as a threat, there is a chance the virus could be weaponized for a bioterrorism attack…or it could show up again in a visitor arriving from another country.<br /> <br /> Texas Biomed competed for -- and won -- the grant to conduct these natural history studies, in part, because of its long and successful history working with high containment pathogens. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 7:26 TXBioBytes from Texas Biomed Episode 023 — The Ebola-malaria connection https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-023-the-ebola-malaria-connection/ Tue, 04 Dec 2018 15:00:16 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=7622 Ebola VirusNIH Image Gallery Can an infection with a parasitic disease increase the risk of developing a deadly virus? That's the question under study at Texas Biomed, where Staff Scientist Olena Shtanko, Ph.D. is conducting work as part of a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Olena Shtanko, Ph.D. The hypothesis under study is that people who have acute malarial infection may experience some protective effects against Ebola infection. On the flip side, patients who have been infected with malaria but are no longer in the acute phase of the disease may be more susceptible to Ebola infection. Knowing whether this is true could lead to more targeted therapies and also open the door to new discoveries about the interplay of other infectious diseases. Ebola and malaria are both endemic in Africa. Ebola VirusNIH Image Gallery - Can an infection with a parasitic disease increase the risk of developing a deadly virus? That's the question under study at Texas Biomed, where Staff Scientist Olena Shtanko, Ph.D. Ebola VirusNIH Image Gallery<br /> <br /> Can an infection with a parasitic disease increase the risk of developing a deadly virus? That's the question under study at Texas Biomed, where Staff Scientist Olena Shtanko, Ph.D. is conducting work as part of a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.<br /> <br /> Olena Shtanko, Ph.D.<br /> <br /> The hypothesis under study is that people who have acute malarial infection may experience some protective effects against Ebola infection. On the flip side, patients who have been infected with malaria but are no longer in the acute phase of the disease may be more susceptible to Ebola infection.<br /> <br /> Knowing whether this is true could lead to more targeted therapies and also open the door to new discoveries about the interplay of other infectious diseases.<br /> <br /> Ebola and malaria are both endemic in Africa. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 8:24 TXBioBytes from Texas Biomed Episode 022 – Promising Protection Against a Killer https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-022-promising-protection-against-a-killer/ Tue, 20 Nov 2018 16:53:49 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=7556 Marie-Claire Gauduin, Ph.D. Growing up in Africa, Marie-Claire Gauduin, Ph.D. witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. She decided to study science and work on ways to combat this global killer. Her heart still breaks for the way the African people have suffered in the AIDS epidemic. HIV Infecting a Human CellCourtesy: NIH Image Gallery Now, as a Texas Biomed scientist, she is studying ways to combat HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Dr. Gauduin and her team came up with a patented way to create a vaccine. It's a genetically-engineered vaccine strategy to prevent HIV infection that targets the outer layers of body structures that are the first site of contact for the virus. Designed to be a single dose that lasts a lifetime, the vaccine will lead to the continual production of disease-fighting cells without being eliminated by the immune system. The experimental vaccine is directed to what are known as the musocal layers of the epithelium in the genital and rectal areas where the virus enter the body.         Marie-Claire Gauduin, Ph.D., in Africa   Another feature of the vaccine system is that it could be adapted to other infections. Now, Dr. Gauduin is working on another approach to vaccinating against HIV using a different virus that targets the same area of the body HPV (human papilloma virus). Dr. Gauduin has more than 25 years of experience in HIV/AIDS research and medical microbiology. Marie-Claire Gauduin, Ph.D. - Growing up in Africa, Marie-Claire Gauduin, Ph.D. witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. She decided to study science and work on ways to combat this global killer. Marie-Claire Gauduin, Ph.D.<br /> <br /> Growing up in Africa, Marie-Claire Gauduin, Ph.D. witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. She decided to study science and work on ways to combat this global killer. Her heart still breaks for the way the African people have suffered in the AIDS epidemic.<br /> <br /> HIV Infecting a Human CellCourtesy: NIH Image Gallery<br /> <br /> Now, as a Texas Biomed scientist, she is studying ways to combat HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Dr. Gauduin and her team came up with a patented way to create a vaccine. It's a genetically-engineered vaccine strategy to prevent HIV infection that targets the outer layers of body structures that are the first site of contact for the virus.<br /> <br /> Designed to be a single dose that lasts a lifetime, the vaccine will lead to the continual production of disease-fighting cells without being eliminated by the immune system. The experimental vaccine is directed to what are known as the musocal layers of the epithelium in the genital and rectal areas where the virus enter the body.<br /> <br />     <br /> <br />   <br /> <br /> Marie-Claire Gauduin, Ph.D., in Africa<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Another feature of the vaccine system is that it could be adapted to other infections.<br /> <br /> Now, Dr. Gauduin is working on another approach to vaccinating against HIV using a different virus that targets the same area of the body HPV (human papilloma virus).<br /> <br /> Dr. Gauduin has more than 25 years of experience in HIV/AIDS research and medical microbiology. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 14:48 TXBioBytes from Texas Biomed Episode 021 — Protecting Research Animals https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-021-protecting-research-animals/ Tue, 06 Nov 2018 15:00:58 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=7358 Photo by Kathy West Studios The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is appointed in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act and the Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. But it’s more passion than legal obligation that guides this group. The IACUC Committee at Texas Biomed makes extraordinary efforts to ensure the nonhuman primates that the more than 2,000 monkeys that live at the Southwest National Primate Research Center on our campus have the best care possible. Not only people who work here, but lay people from the community as well help make important decisions about the research conducted on our campus involving the use of animals. Photo by Kathy West Studios Photo by Kathy West Studios - The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is appointed in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act and the Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. But it’s more passion than legal obligation that ... Photo by Kathy West Studios<br /> <br /> The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is appointed in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act and the Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. But it’s more passion than legal obligation that guides this group.<br /> <br /> The IACUC Committee at Texas Biomed makes extraordinary efforts to ensure the nonhuman primates that the more than 2,000 monkeys that live at the Southwest National Primate Research Center on our campus have the best care possible.<br /> <br /> Not only people who work here, but lay people from the community as well help make important decisions about the research conducted on our campus involving the use of animals.<br /> <br /> Photo by Kathy West Studios Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 20:26 TXBioBytes from Texas Biomed Episode 20 — Fitness Tests for Parasites https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-20-fitness-tests-for-parasites/ Tue, 23 Oct 2018 14:00:27 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=7295 Xue Li, Ph.D., Shalini Nair, and Tim Anderson, Ph.D. Malaria is worldwide scourge infecting 200 million people around the world and killing more than 400,000 of them. The parasite is carried by the Anopheles mosquito, particularly in tropical areas like Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Texas Biomed scientists are “particularly interested in the evolution of drug resistance,” said Scientist Tim Anderson, Ph.D., adding that it is “a recurring problem in controlling tropical diseases.” Artemisinin is a recently discovered drug that is the gold standard for treating malaria, considered instrumental in reducing the number of cases of the infectious disease over the last decade. However, more than 125 mutation variations of drug resistance have emerged in Southeast Asia. Those mutations impact the metabolism of the parasite itself – inhibiting growth rate, for instance. A recent NIH-funded study published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy by Anderson and his team looked at one particular drug resistant variant sequence (called an allele) that is outpacing the others. Anderson’s team wanted to test the idea that successful resistance alleles have fewer adverse consequences for the parasites and, thus, thrived and spread. Shalini Nair works with malaria parasites in Dr. Tim Anderson's lab. Senior Research Associate Shalini Nair, who has worked at Texas Biomed for 18 years, was a key part of this project. “I started out by figuring out how to use CRISPR-Cas9 to edit key mutations in the malaria parasite,” Nair explained. CRISPR is short for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. It’s a system for genome editing, using the cell’s own DNA repair mechanism to add or delete pieces of genetic material. To maximize the relevance of their results, the team used “a recently isolated parasite clone from the Thailand-Myanmar border for manipulation rather than a laboratory adapted parasite clone,” the journal article stated. Malaria parasites grow in flasks of red blood cells. In a head-to-head comparison between two mutants – one strong and thriving in patients and one not as strong and waning – researchers grew the parasites in flasks of blood cells in the lab. Scientists measure how the mutations impacted the “fitness” of the parasites. In other words, they checked to see if the mutations impacted the metabolism of the more common and less common strains in the expected way. Scientists hypothesized the more common and thriving mutations would have less “fitness cost” to the parasite. The cultures were maintained for 60 days. Then they extracted DNA and amplified it, comparing frequencies of the different mutations. Xue Li, Ph.D., is a post-doctoral student who compiled the data from the study. “Our results were not the same as our hypothesis,” Li stated. The scientists want to see if there are other mutations in different areas of the genome impacting whether these drug-resistant parasites flourish or fail. The answer may be more complicated than first thought. Dr. Anderson emphasized that malaria researchers like his team need to understand the process by which parasites adapt to anti-malarials.” If we understand that,” he said, “we are in a far better position to then to develop more effective, evolution proof interventions.”   Xue Li, Ph.D., Shalini Nair, and Tim Anderson, Ph.D. - Malaria is worldwide scourge infecting 200 million people around the world and killing more than 400,000 of them. The parasite is carried by the Anopheles mosquito, Xue Li, Ph.D., Shalini Nair, and Tim Anderson, Ph.D.<br /> <br /> Malaria is worldwide scourge infecting 200 million people around the world and killing more than 400,000 of them. The parasite is carried by the Anopheles mosquito, particularly in tropical areas like Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.<br /> <br /> Texas Biomed scientists are “particularly interested in the evolution of drug resistance,” said Scientist Tim Anderson, Ph.D., adding that it is “a recurring problem in controlling tropical diseases.”<br /> <br /> Artemisinin is a recently discovered drug that is the gold standard for treating malaria, considered instrumental in reducing the number of cases of the infectious disease over the last decade. However, more than 125 mutation variations of drug resistance have emerged in Southeast Asia. Those mutations impact the metabolism of the parasite itself – inhibiting growth rate, for instance.<br /> <br /> A recent NIH-funded study published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy by Anderson and his team looked at one particular drug resistant variant sequence (called an allele) that is outpacing the others. Anderson’s team wanted to test the idea that successful resistance alleles have fewer adverse consequences for the parasites and, thus, thrived and spread.<br /> <br /> Shalini Nair works with malaria parasites in Dr. Tim Anderson's lab.<br /> <br /> Senior Research Associate Shalini Nair, who has worked at Texas Biomed for 18 years, was a key part of this project. “I started out by figuring out how to use CRISPR-Cas9 to edit key mutations in the malaria parasite,” Nair explained. CRISPR is short for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. It’s a system for genome editing, using the cell’s own DNA repair mechanism to add or delete pieces of genetic material.<br /> <br /> To maximize the relevance of their results, the team used “a recently isolated parasite clone from the Thailand-Myanmar border for manipulation rather than a laboratory adapted parasite clone,” the journal article stated.<br /> <br /> Malaria parasites grow in flasks of red blood cells.<br /> <br /> In a head-to-head comparison between two mutants – one strong and thriving in patients and one not as strong and waning – researchers grew the parasites in flasks of blood cells in the lab. Scientists measure how the mutations impacted the “fitness” of the parasites. In other words, they checked to see if the mutations impacted the metabolism of the more common and less common strains in the expected way. Scientists hypothesized the more common and thriving mutations would have less “fitness cost” to the parasite.<br /> <br /> The cultures were maintained for 60 days. Then they extracted DNA and amplified it, comparing frequencies of the different mutations.<br /> <br /> Xue Li, Ph.D., is a post-doctoral student who compiled the data from the study. “Our results were not the same as our hypothesis,” Li stated. The scientists want to see if there are other mutations in different areas of the genome impacting whether these drug-resistant parasites flourish or fail. The answer may be more complicated than first thought.<br /> <br /> Dr. Anderson emphasized that malaria researchers like his team need to understand the process by which parasites adapt to anti-malarials.” If we understand that,” he said, “we are in a far better position to then to develop more effective, evolution proof interventions.”<br /> <br />   Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 20:20 TXBioBytes from Texas Biomed Podcast Episode 019 — HIV and the Genome: The Other 97% https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tx-biobytes-from-texas-biomed-podcast-episode-019-hiv-and-the-genome-the-other-97/ Tue, 09 Oct 2018 14:00:38 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=7184 Smita Kulkarni, Ph.D. Despite more than three decades’ worth of research, HIV continues to be a major health threat in the U.S. and around the world. Although effective therapies exist that can give HIV-patients a relatively normal lifespan, the life-long treatment poses an enormous financial burden. That’s why scientists who study the problem of infectious diseases continue to focus on the virus that causes AIDS. Smita Kulkarni, Ph.D., was recently awarded a $525,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct research on the interaction between what are called long non-coding RNAs and HIV, a new area of investigation. Dr. Kulkarni specializes in host-pathogen interactions, specifically involving HIV. “We have worked on HIV and the impact of host factors on HIV for so long,” Dr. Kulkarni said, “but in reality we’ve looked at only 3% of the genome.” Scientists have focused exclusively on protein-coding genes. The rest of the human genome -- 97% -- does not code for proteins. The protein coding genes make RNA messenger molecules that take the coded information from nucleus to cytoplasm where it is translated into proteins. The non-coding RNAs carry out diverse regulatory work in the cells rather than just ferry information. Artist's rendering of HIV Virus in the bloodstream “What we found in our preliminary observations is that one of these long non-coding RNAs can inhibit HIV replication,” Dr. Kulkarni explained. Although this research is in the very early stages, Dr. Kulkarni and her team will try to pinpoint molecular mechanisms which explain how this RNA stops the virus from making copies of itself. Using this novel information, scientists will attempt to come up with a way to use this information against HIV, perhaps opening up a new field for intervention. Dr. Kulkarni also believes these long-coding RNAs have potential for recruitment in therapies against other infectious pathogens that live inside cells.   Smita Kulkarni, Ph.D. - Despite more than three decades’ worth of research, HIV continues to be a major health threat in the U.S. and around the world. Although effective therapies exist that can give HIV-patients a relatively normal lifespan, Smita Kulkarni, Ph.D.<br /> <br /> Despite more than three decades’ worth of research, HIV continues to be a major health threat in the U.S. and around the world. Although effective therapies exist that can give HIV-patients a relatively normal lifespan, the life-long treatment poses an enormous financial burden.<br /> <br /> That’s why scientists who study the problem of infectious diseases continue to focus on the virus that causes AIDS.<br /> <br /> Smita Kulkarni, Ph.D., was recently awarded a $525,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct research on the interaction between what are called long non-coding RNAs and HIV, a new area of investigation.<br /> <br /> Dr. Kulkarni specializes in host-pathogen interactions, specifically involving HIV.<br /> <br /> “We have worked on HIV and the impact of host factors on HIV for so long,” Dr. Kulkarni said, “but in reality we’ve looked at only 3% of the genome.”<br /> <br /> Scientists have focused exclusively on protein-coding genes. The rest of the human genome -- 97% -- does not code for proteins.<br /> <br /> The protein coding genes make RNA messenger molecules that take the coded information from nucleus to cytoplasm where it is translated into proteins. The non-coding RNAs carry out diverse regulatory work in the cells rather than just ferry information.<br /> <br /> Artist's rendering of HIV Virus in the bloodstream<br /> <br /> “What we found in our preliminary observations is that one of these long non-coding RNAs can inhibit HIV replication,” Dr. Kulkarni explained.<br /> <br /> Although this research is in the very early stages, Dr. Kulkarni and her team will try to pinpoint molecular mechanisms which explain how this RNA stops the virus from making copies of itself. Using this novel information, scientists will attempt to come up with a way to use this information against HIV, perhaps opening up a new field for intervention.<br /> <br /> Dr. Kulkarni also believes these long-coding RNAs have potential for recruitment in therapies against other infectious pathogens that live inside cells.<br /> <br />   Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 9:00 TXBioBytes from Texas Biomed podcast Episode 018 — Target: Parkinson’s Disease https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/txbiobytes-from-texas-biomed-podcast-episode-018-target-parkinsons-disease/ Tue, 25 Sep 2018 14:00:02 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=7047 Marmosets in the study were monitored with Fitbit-like devices. What does a monkey wearing a Fitbit-like device have to do with Parkinson's disease? A newly-published study shows marmosets at the Southwest National Primate Research Center can mimic the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's. Marmosets are small, New World monkeys that can mimic the sleep disturbances, changes in circadian rhythm, and cognitive impairment people with Parkinson's disease develop. Associate Scientist Marcel Daadi, Ph.D., leader of the Regenerative Medicine and Aging Unit at the SNPRC, is the lead author of a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE. In addition to monitoring the marmosets, scientists videotaped the animals to document their ability to perform certain tasks and how those abilities were impacted over time by the disease. By developing an effective animal model that can emulate both the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, scientists have a better chance of understanding the molecular mechanisms of the neuro-circuitry responsible for changes in the brain during the course of the disease. Scans like magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) and analysis after dissections may lead to potential targets for new therapies for patients.   Marmosets in the study were monitored with Fitbit-like devices. - What does a monkey wearing a Fitbit-like device have to do with Parkinson's disease? A newly-published study shows marmosets at the Southwest National Primate Research Center can mimic ... Marmosets in the study were monitored with Fitbit-like devices.<br /> <br /> What does a monkey wearing a Fitbit-like device have to do with Parkinson's disease? A newly-published study shows marmosets at the Southwest National Primate Research Center can mimic the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's.<br /> <br /> Marmosets are small, New World monkeys that can mimic the sleep disturbances, changes in circadian rhythm, and cognitive impairment people with Parkinson's disease develop.<br /> <br /> Associate Scientist Marcel Daadi, Ph.D., leader of the Regenerative Medicine and Aging Unit at the SNPRC, is the lead author of a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE. In addition to monitoring the marmosets, scientists videotaped the animals to document their ability to perform certain tasks and how those abilities were impacted over time by the disease.<br /> <br /> By developing an effective animal model that can emulate both the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, scientists have a better chance of understanding the molecular mechanisms of the neuro-circuitry responsible for changes in the brain during the course of the disease. Scans like magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) and analysis after dissections may lead to potential targets for new therapies for patients.<br /> <br />   Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 10:03 TXBioBytes from Texas Biomed Episode 017 — Promising Protection Against HIV https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/txbiobytes-from-texas-biomed-episode-017-promising-protection-against-hiv/ Tue, 18 Sep 2018 15:20:10 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=6910 Khamis Tomusange, Ph.D. and Siqi Gong Texas Biomed scientists say what they've learned in the lab recently is an exciting development on the front lines of the battle against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Using macaques as an animal model, the team showed for the first time that an antibody called immunoglobulin M – called IgM – was effective in preventing infection when the monkeys were exposed to HIV in the mucosal cavity. More than 90 percent of new cases of HIV are caused through exposure to the virus in body cavities during sexual intercourse. Creating a manmade version of the IgM molecule in the lab and testing it is challenging. Dr. Ruth Ruprecht leads the team which published its findings in a recent journal. The IgM antibody has multiple arms to catch the virus, making it more efficient in clumping up the virus and keeping it from passing through the mucosal barrier and entering the rest of the body. For more information on this recent work, click here. Khamis Tomusange, Ph.D. and Siqi Gong - Texas Biomed scientists say what they've learned in the lab recently is an exciting development on the front lines of the battle against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. - Using macaques as an animal model, Khamis Tomusange, Ph.D. and Siqi Gong<br /> <br /> Texas Biomed scientists say what they've learned in the lab recently is an exciting development on the front lines of the battle against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.<br /> <br /> Using macaques as an animal model, the team showed for the first time that an antibody called immunoglobulin M – called IgM – was effective in preventing infection when the monkeys were exposed to HIV in the mucosal cavity. More than 90 percent of new cases of HIV are caused through exposure to the virus in body cavities during sexual intercourse.<br /> <br /> Creating a manmade version of the IgM molecule in the lab and testing it is challenging. Dr. Ruth Ruprecht leads the team which published its findings in a recent journal.<br /> <br /> The IgM antibody has multiple arms to catch the virus, making it more efficient in clumping up the virus and keeping it from passing through the mucosal barrier and entering the rest of the body.<br /> <br /> For more information on this recent work, click here. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 8:51 TXBioBytes Podcast Episode 016 — Meet the New Director of the Primate Center https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/txbiobytes-podcast-episode-016-meet-the-new-director-of-the-primate-center/ Tue, 28 Aug 2018 14:00:14 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=6813 Deepak Kaushal, Ph.D. The Southwest National Primate Center's Mission is to improve the health of our global community through innovative biomedical research with nonhuman primate. The newest member of the team who will direct this program -- one of only seven of its kind in the country -- is Deepak Kaushal, Ph.D. He comes to Texas Biomedical Research Institute from the Tulane National Primate Research Center in Louisiana. Dr. Kaushal specializes in tuberculosis (TB) research in nonhuman primates. "I think this is a tremendous opportunity for me to bring my research here and build collaboration with what is already a very strong tuberculosis research team at Texas Biomed," Dr. Kaushal said. "I am also looking forward to the chance to administer a large research center like the SNPRC." Most of Dr. Kaushal's TB research with animals has involved macaques, but he plans on expanding that work using the baboons and marmosets that are also housed at the SNPRC. Dr. Kaushal begins his new job as Director of the SNPRC on January 2, 2019. © Clem Spalding Deepak Kaushal, Ph.D. - The Southwest National Primate Center's Mission is to improve the health of our global community through innovative biomedical research with nonhuman primate. The newest member of the team who will direct this program -- one of... Deepak Kaushal, Ph.D.<br /> <br /> The Southwest National Primate Center's Mission is to improve the health of our global community through innovative biomedical research with nonhuman primate. The newest member of the team who will direct this program -- one of only seven of its kind in the country -- is Deepak Kaushal, Ph.D. He comes to Texas Biomedical Research Institute from the Tulane National Primate Research Center in Louisiana. Dr. Kaushal specializes in tuberculosis (TB) research in nonhuman primates.<br /> <br /> "I think this is a tremendous opportunity for me to bring my research here and build collaboration with what is already a very strong tuberculosis research team at Texas Biomed," Dr. Kaushal said. "I am also looking forward to the chance to administer a large research center like the SNPRC."<br /> <br /> Most of Dr. Kaushal's TB research with animals has involved macaques, but he plans on expanding that work using the baboons and marmosets that are also housed at the SNPRC.<br /> <br /> Dr. Kaushal begins his new job as Director of the SNPRC on January 2, 2019.<br /> <br /> © Clem Spalding Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 8:19 Baboon Brain Scans — TXBioBytes Podcast Episode 015 https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/baboon-brain-scans-txbiobyes-podcast-episode-015/ Tue, 14 Aug 2018 14:00:54 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=6740 A baboon from the SNPRC is undergoing an MRI. Neuropsychiatric diseases affect millions of people and can be disabling. Only about 8% of therapies that work in animal models make it all the way to humans. That's why Texas Biomed scientists are taking part in a study to try and find a better animal model to work with these complex health problems. The ultimate goal of this research, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, is to provide evidence for the use of baboons as a preclinical model for neuropsychiatric diseases. This two-year project involves 32 animals from the Southwest National Primate Research Center at Texas Biomed. The idea is to determine a miRNA biomarker signature of structural variation in the brains of baboons. The animals are being imaged at the Research Imaging institute at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Melanie A. Carless,  Ph.D., Associate Scientist Melanie Carless, Ph.D., an Associate Scientist at Texas Biomed, is principal investigator on the study. A baboon from the SNPRC is undergoing an MRI. - Neuropsychiatric diseases affect millions of people and can be disabling. Only about 8% of therapies that work in animal models make it all the way to humans. A baboon from the SNPRC is undergoing an MRI.<br /> <br /> Neuropsychiatric diseases affect millions of people and can be disabling. Only about 8% of therapies that work in animal models make it all the way to humans. That's why Texas Biomed scientists are taking part in a study to try and find a better animal model to work with these complex health problems.<br /> <br /> The ultimate goal of this research, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, is to provide evidence for the use of baboons as a preclinical model for neuropsychiatric diseases. This two-year project involves 32 animals from the Southwest National Primate Research Center at Texas Biomed. The idea is to determine a miRNA biomarker signature of structural variation in the brains of baboons.<br /> <br /> The animals are being imaged at the Research Imaging institute at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.<br /> <br /> Melanie A. Carless,  Ph.D., Associate Scientist<br /> <br /> Melanie Carless, Ph.D., an Associate Scientist at Texas Biomed, is principal investigator on the study. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 7:45 Animal Enrichment: Munchies for Monkeys — TXBioBytes Podcast Episode 014 https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/animal-enrichment-munchies-for-monkeys-txbiobytes-podcast-episode-014/ Thu, 02 Aug 2018 15:32:34 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=6689 Victoria McFarland creates animal enrichment. The animal enrichment programs at the Southwest National Primate Research Center aim to stimulate species-typical behaviors and promote psychological well-being using social, physical, occupational, feeding and sensory enrichment opportunities, many of which mimic natural behaviors seen in the wild, which we aim to encourage. We also want to prevent or limit the occurrence of abnormal behaviors, which may result from the stress or boredom that sometimes occurs in a captive environment. We use enrichment devices to invite and encourage a wide range of species-typical behaviors that primates living in the wild express. Foraging, locomotion and socializing are all examples of species-typical behaviors. We have developed an Environmental Enhancement Plan that codifies these principles. Also, a list and description of devices can be found in our Enrichment Device Manual, and recipes for treats are found in our new Enrichment Cookbook. Almost all of the primates at SNPRC are housed in groups. They spend much of their time interacting socially, including grooming each other. This rich social environment is important for the well-being of all primates, and is particularly critical for developing infants. For primates that are housed indoors for research, we pair as many individuals as possible. The primates can also see, hear and sometimes touch other primates with which they are not directly housed. All cages are equipped with some form of structural enrichment, such as climbing structures, perches or swings. Baboons, chimpanzees and other monkeys are very agile. They can jump great distances and walk along a rope or chain with ease. They also like to rest in areas above the ground, where they can get away from others in their group if they wish, or just get a better view of the surroundings. Monkeys love oranges. We provide many additional types of structural enrichment, including hanging 55-gallon drums, perches made from PVC or metal pipes, rope and chain swings and tire swings. The baboon corrals have large culverts and climbing structures that also provide shade. The roofs of most chimpanzee housing areas are made of pipes so that the chimpanzees can brachiate from one area to another. We provide a stable, nutritionally complete diet and additional fruits, grains and vegetables to all primates. Our feeding enrichment program also includes foods that are not available very often, such as seasonal fruits, pumpkins at Halloween, yogurt or frozen juice treats. Occupational enrichment includes devices to stimulate problem-solving behavior, motor skills and coordination. Some foods are placed in special devices so that the animal has to spend some time extracting it. For example, balls filled with grain and peanuts must be moved around or shaken so that the food pieces fall out of small holes drilled in the side. Working to acquire food in this manner is similar to foraging for food in the wild. Feeding devices for chimpanzees include those that require the use of a tool. Our simulated termite mounds are filled with applesauce, oatmeal, spaghetti sauce or other thick liquids. The chimpanzees use straws or sticks to poke down into the pipe and pull out a small amount of food at a time. This is a similar process that wild chimpanzees use to get termites or ants from their nests using twigs. Many of our enrichment items increase sensory stimuli; the favorite taste of peanut butter, the new smell of a toy or the feel of a kiwi fruit. Some items are given specifically to elicit particular sensations. For example, mirrors can be attached to the wall so the animals can view their neighbors, radios are placed in indoor areas for extra auditory stimuli and televisions are located in many indoor areas for chimpanzees and monkeys to view television shows and children’s and nature videos. The nonhuman primates enjoy frozen treats inside puzzle balls. Victoria McFarland creates animal enrichment. - The animal enrichment programs at the Southwest National Primate Research Center aim to stimulate species-typical behaviors and promote psychological well-being using social, physical, occupational, Victoria McFarland creates animal enrichment.<br /> <br /> The animal enrichment programs at the Southwest National Primate Research Center aim to stimulate species-typical behaviors and promote psychological well-being using social, physical, occupational, feeding and sensory enrichment opportunities, many of which mimic natural behaviors seen in the wild, which we aim to encourage. We also want to prevent or limit the occurrence of abnormal behaviors, which may result from the stress or boredom that sometimes occurs in a captive environment. We use enrichment devices to invite and encourage a wide range of species-typical behaviors that primates living in the wild express. Foraging, locomotion and socializing are all examples of species-typical behaviors.<br /> <br /> We have developed an Environmental Enhancement Plan that codifies these principles. Also, a list and description of devices can be found in our Enrichment Device Manual, and recipes for treats are found in our new Enrichment Cookbook.<br /> <br /> Almost all of the primates at SNPRC are housed in groups. They spend much of their time interacting socially, including grooming each other. This rich social environment is important for the well-being of all primates, and is particularly critical for developing infants.<br /> <br /> For primates that are housed indoors for research, we pair as many individuals as possible. The primates can also see, hear and sometimes touch other primates with which they are not directly housed.<br /> <br /> All cages are equipped with some form of structural enrichment, such as climbing structures, perches or swings. Baboons, chimpanzees and other monkeys are very agile. They can jump great distances and walk along a rope or chain with ease. They also like to rest in areas above the ground, where they can get away from others in their group if they wish, or just get a better view of the surroundings.<br /> <br /> Monkeys love oranges.<br /> <br /> We provide many additional types of structural enrichment, including hanging 55-gallon drums, perches made from PVC or metal pipes, rope and chain swings and tire swings.<br /> <br /> The baboon corrals have large culverts and climbing structures that also provide shade. The roofs of most chimpanzee housing areas are made of pipes so that the chimpanzees can brachiate from one area to another.<br /> <br /> We provide a stable, nutritionally complete diet and additional fruits, grains and vegetables to all primates. Our feeding enrichment program also includes foods that are not available very often, such as seasonal fruits, pumpkins at Halloween, yogurt or frozen juice treats.<br /> <br /> Occupational enrichment includes devices to stimulate problem-solving behavior, motor skills and coordination. Some foods are placed in special devices so that the animal has to spend some time extracting it. For example, balls filled with grain and peanuts must be moved around or shaken so that the food pieces fall out of small holes drilled in the side. Working to acquire food in this manner is similar to foraging for food in the wild.<br /> <br /> Feeding devices for chimpanzees include those that require the use of a tool. Our simulated termite mounds are filled with applesauce, oatmeal, spaghetti sauce or other thick liquids. The chimpanzees use straws or sticks to poke down into the pipe and pull out a small amount of food at a time. This is a similar process that wild chimpanzees use to get termites or ants from their nests using twigs.<br /> <br /> Many of our enrichment items increase sensory stimuli; the favorite taste of peanut butter, the new smell of a toy or the feel of a kiwi fruit. Some items are given specifically to elicit particular sensations. For example, mirrors can be attached to the wall so the animals can view their neighbors, radios are placed in indoor areas for extra auditory stimuli and televisions are located in many indoor areas for chimpanzees an... Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 8:37 Tackling Liver Cancer Using CRISPR to Develop a New Animal Model — TXBioBytes Podcast Episode 013 https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tackling-liver-cancer-using-crispr-to-develop-a-new-animal-model-txbiobytes-podcast-episode-013/ Tue, 17 Jul 2018 13:00:14 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=6592 Helen Lee Breton is a researcher who works in Dr. Chen's lab. Scientists at Texas Biomed are using CRISPR technology to try to create a new animal model for liver cancer. Liver cancer can have its roots in infectious diseases or metabolic conditions. And it’s a killer worldwide. Promising therapies developed in mouse models have failed in humans. So the experts at the Southwest National Primate Research Center think a bigger animal like a monkey might work better. The Southwest National Primate Research Center at Texas Biomed is home to more than a thousand of these Old World monkeys. CRISPR came on to the scientific scene in 2012. Christopher Chen, Ph.D., says it’s really making a huge impact in labs around the country.   Helen Lee Breton is a researcher who works in Dr. Chen's lab. - Scientists at Texas Biomed are using CRISPR technology to try to create a new animal model for liver cancer. Liver cancer can have its roots in infectious diseases or metabolic conditions... Helen Lee Breton is a researcher who works in Dr. Chen's lab.<br /> <br /> Scientists at Texas Biomed are using CRISPR technology to try to create a new animal model for liver cancer. Liver cancer can have its roots in infectious diseases or metabolic conditions. And it’s a killer worldwide.<br /> <br /> Promising therapies developed in mouse models have failed in humans. So the experts at the Southwest National Primate Research Center think a bigger animal like a monkey might work better.<br /> <br /> The Southwest National Primate Research Center at Texas Biomed is home to more than a thousand of these Old World monkeys.<br /> <br /> CRISPR came on to the scientific scene in 2012. Christopher Chen, Ph.D., says it’s really making a huge impact in labs around the country.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />   Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 12:28 Tom Slick: Pioneer of the Possible — TXBioBytes Podcast Episode 012 https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tom-slick-pioneer-of-the-possible-txbiobytes-podcast-episode-012/ Tue, 03 Jul 2018 13:00:38 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=6554 Tom Slick, Jr., is the founder of Texas Biomed The founder of Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Tom Slick, was a man of great vision and curiosity. His niece, Catherine Nixon Cooke, wrote a fascinating book about him title Tom Slick Mystery Hunter. We talked with Cooke about her uncle who lived some larger-than-life adventures and planted to seeds of scientific research in San Antonio that has yielded many breakthroughs in diagnostics, therapies and vaccines. Cooke says Tom Slick would have been delighted at what his vision in the early 40s has become in 2018. Tom Slick, Jr., is the founder of Texas Biomed - The founder of Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Tom Slick, was a man of great vision and curiosity. His niece, Catherine Nixon Cooke, wrote a fascinating book about him title Tom Slick Mystery Hunte... Tom Slick, Jr., is the founder of Texas Biomed<br /> <br /> The founder of Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Tom Slick, was a man of great vision and curiosity. His niece, Catherine Nixon Cooke, wrote a fascinating book about him title Tom Slick Mystery Hunter.<br /> <br /> We talked with Cooke about her uncle who lived some larger-than-life adventures and planted to seeds of scientific research in San Antonio that has yielded many breakthroughs in diagnostics, therapies and vaccines.<br /> <br /> Cooke says Tom Slick would have been delighted at what his vision in the early 40s has become in 2018. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 8:49 Behind Steel Doors: High Containment Laboratories — TXBioBytes Podcast Episode 011 https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/behind-steel-doors-high-containment-laboratories-txbiobytes-podcast-episode-011/ Tue, 19 Jun 2018 13:00:00 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=6489 Developing vaccines and therapies to successfully treat some of the world’s deadliest diseases for which there are no known treatments or vaccines requires the safest laboratory in the world in which to study them. Texas Biomedical Research Institute is home to one of only six such labs in North America and the only operational BSL-4 lab owned by a private institution. Designed for maximum containment, BSL-4 labs offer a safe setting for scientists and the surrounding environment. This unique resource has allowed scientists in Texas Biomed’s Department of Virology and Immunology to become world leaders in the fight against emerging diseases and bioterror agents, such as SARS, Anthrax, Ebola virus and more. Our Biosafety Level 3 lab works on contagious pathogens that are treatable, but contagious. Right now, scientists are focusing on findings new treatments and vaccines for Mycobacterium tuberulosois (M.tb) which causes tuberculosis, one of the world's deadliest infectious diseases. Developing vaccines and therapies to successfully treat some of the world’s deadliest diseases for which there are no known treatments or vaccines requires the safest laboratory in the world in which to study them. Developing vaccines and therapies to successfully treat some of the world’s deadliest diseases for which there are no known treatments or vaccines requires the safest laboratory in the world in which to study them. Texas Biomedical Research Institute is home to one of only six such labs in North America and the only operational BSL-4 lab owned by a private institution.<br /> <br /> Designed for maximum containment, BSL-4 labs offer a safe setting for scientists and the surrounding environment. This unique resource has allowed scientists in Texas Biomed’s Department of Virology and Immunology to become world leaders in the fight against emerging diseases and bioterror agents, such as SARS, Anthrax, Ebola virus and more.<br /> <br /> Our Biosafety Level 3 lab works on contagious pathogens that are treatable, but contagious. Right now, scientists are focusing on findings new treatments and vaccines for Mycobacterium tuberulosois (M.tb) which causes tuberculosis, one of the world's deadliest infectious diseases. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 8:47 Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Cough? — TXBioBytes Podcast Episode 010 https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/whos-afraid-of-the-big-bad-cough-txbiobytes-podcast-episode-010/ Tue, 05 Jun 2018 13:00:49 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=6409 Grandmother is portrayed as the big bad wolf in a whooping cough vaccine PSA. A killer infectious disease called Pertussis is a bacterial infection that causes whooping cough. Vaccines had brought the numbers of cases down dramatically, but now they’re on the rise again and Texas Biomed animals and scientists are involved in the search for something better to treat this health problem that kills more than a hundred thousand infants a year. Pertussis has seen an alarming resurgence in the last decade. That’s surprising, given that a vaccine for this infectious disease has existed since the 1930s. The original vaccine, made with whole-cell killed Bordetella pertussis bacteria, was very effective but associated with some adverse events. A newer acellular pertussis vaccine with fewer adverse events was approved by the FDA in 1997. Recent epidemiological studies have found, however, that the immunity conferred by the new vaccine wears out during adolescence. That’s a problem, because although whooping cough isn’t fatal to adults, adults whose immunity has waned can carry and transmit the disease to infants, for whom it is frequently fatal. Infants typically receive antibodies from their mothers, but if the mother is not immune to pertussis, she cannot pass on immunity to the infant — thus putting the infant at risk of infection. And although the pertussis bacteria can be killed with antibiotics, the toxins released by the bacteria have done irreparable damage to the lung by the time the infant develops whooping cough. A current but imperfect strategy to protect infants is “cocooning” — that is, vaccinating anyone who might come into contact with the infant, including parents, siblings, grandparents, babysitters, and the like. Nevertheless, the loss of pertussis immunity in the population as a whole, combined with the fact that many parents now choose not to vaccinate their children, has caused pertussis to become one of the largest preventable causes of death due to infectious disease worldwide in infants. To address this problem, researchers have been working to develop an improved pertussis vaccine. Some of these new strategies are now ready for pre-clinical testing, which is required by the FDA before moving forward with human clinical trials. Baboons at SNPRC are models for pertussis vaccine research. “It turns out the baboon is the perfect model for pre-clinical testing, because it is the only animal that mimics humans in that infant baboons develop a persistent cough when exposed to pertussis,” explained Robert Lanford, Ph.D., Director of the Southwest Primate Research Center (SNPRC). SNPRC is one of seven NIH-funded primate research centers across the country, and the only one that houses a colony of baboons. It is thus in a unique position to advance pertussis vaccine research at this critical stage. Working with the FDA and pharmaceutical companies, Lanford’s team is using the baboon model for testing new approaches to improving the acellular vaccine. Some of these new approaches use novel adjuvants (compounds designed to enhance immunity to vaccines) that can be used in combination with the existing acellular pertussis vaccine. Photo Courtesy healthcautions.com “The fastest way to get a better vaccine is not to make a new vaccine, because it takes decades to get a new vaccine approved; it is to enhance one that we already know is safe,” Dr. Lanford said. Of course, this isn’t guaranteed to work, so some research groups are taking different approaches and attempting to develop a new vaccine from scratch, he added. The goal is to produce data that will be used by the FDA to evaluate the potential effectiveness of the new vaccine and to decide if it can move forward to testing in human clinical trials, explained Dr. Lanford. It is usually a multi-year process. “Drugs that look most promising at first can run into safety problems,” Dr. Lanford explained. “It’s hard to predict which one will get through... Grandmother is portrayed as the big bad wolf in a whooping cough vaccine PSA. - A killer infectious disease called Pertussis is a bacterial infection that causes whooping cough. Vaccines had brought the numbers of cases down dramatically, Grandmother is portrayed as the big bad wolf in a whooping cough vaccine PSA.<br /> <br /> A killer infectious disease called Pertussis is a bacterial infection that causes whooping cough. Vaccines had brought the numbers of cases down dramatically, but now they’re on the rise again and Texas Biomed animals and scientists are involved in the search for something better to treat this health problem that kills more than a hundred thousand infants a year.<br /> <br /> Pertussis has seen an alarming resurgence in the last decade. That’s surprising, given that a vaccine for this infectious disease has existed since the 1930s. The original vaccine, made with whole-cell killed Bordetella pertussis bacteria, was very effective but associated with some adverse events. A newer acellular pertussis vaccine with fewer adverse events was approved by the FDA in 1997. Recent epidemiological studies have found, however, that the immunity conferred by the new vaccine wears out during adolescence. That’s a problem, because although whooping cough isn’t fatal to adults, adults whose immunity has waned can carry and transmit the disease to infants, for whom it is frequently fatal. Infants typically receive antibodies from their mothers, but if the mother is not immune to pertussis, she cannot pass on immunity to the infant — thus putting the infant at risk of infection. And although the pertussis bacteria can be killed with antibiotics, the toxins released by the bacteria have done irreparable damage to the lung by the time the infant develops whooping cough. A current but imperfect strategy to protect infants is “cocooning” — that is, vaccinating anyone who might come into contact with the infant, including parents, siblings, grandparents, babysitters, and the like.<br /> <br /> Nevertheless, the loss of pertussis immunity in the population as a whole, combined with the fact that many parents now choose not to vaccinate their children, has caused pertussis to become one of the largest preventable causes of death due to infectious disease worldwide in infants. To address this problem, researchers have been working to develop an improved pertussis vaccine. Some of these new strategies are now ready for pre-clinical testing, which is required by the FDA before moving forward with human clinical trials.<br /> <br /> Baboons at SNPRC are models for pertussis vaccine research.<br /> <br /> “It turns out the baboon is the perfect model for pre-clinical testing, because it is the only animal that mimics humans in that infant baboons develop a persistent cough when exposed to pertussis,” explained Robert Lanford, Ph.D., Director of the Southwest Primate Research Center (SNPRC). SNPRC is one of seven NIH-funded primate research centers across the country, and the only one that houses a colony of baboons. It is thus in a unique position to advance pertussis vaccine research at this critical stage. Working with the FDA and pharmaceutical companies, Lanford’s team is using the baboon model for testing new approaches to improving the acellular vaccine. Some of these new approaches use novel adjuvants (compounds designed to enhance immunity to vaccines) that can be used in combination with the existing acellular pertussis vaccine.<br /> <br /> Photo Courtesy healthcautions.com<br /> <br /> “The fastest way to get a better vaccine is not to make a new vaccine, because it takes decades to get a new vaccine approved; it is to enhance one that we already know is safe,” Dr. Lanford said. Of course, this isn’t guaranteed to work, so some research groups are taking different approaches and attempting to develop a new vaccine from scratch, he added. The goal is to produce data that will be used by the FDA to evaluate the potential effectiveness of the new vaccine and to decide if it can move forward to testing in human clinical trials, explained Dr. Lanford. It is usually a multi-year process. “Drugs that look most promising at first can run into safet... Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 8:37 Biomedical Science’s Instrumental Model: Rhesus Macaques — TXBioBytes Podcast Episode 009 https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/biomedical-sciences-most-popular-monkey-model-rhesus-macaques-txbiobytes-podcast-episode-009/ Tue, 22 May 2018 12:00:26 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=6091 A baby rhesus macaque basks in the sunshine with its mother. Rhesus macaque monkeys are nonhuman primates that originate from the jungles of India. Hundreds of them live at the Southwest National Primate Research Center on the Texas Biomedical Research Institute campus. Macaques are useful for studying diseases from HIV to Ebola. While the macaques live in indoor/outdoor housing, the scientific work performed on their samples takes place in a lab setting.   Hundreds of rhesus macaque monkeys are housed at the Southwest National Primate Research Center. A baby rhesus macaque basks in the sunshine with its mother. - Rhesus macaque monkeys are nonhuman primates that originate from the jungles of India. Hundreds of them live at the Southwest National Primate Research Center on the Texas Biomedical Resea... A baby rhesus macaque basks in the sunshine with its mother.<br /> <br /> Rhesus macaque monkeys are nonhuman primates that originate from the jungles of India. Hundreds of them live at the Southwest National Primate Research Center on the Texas Biomedical Research Institute campus.<br /> <br /> Macaques are useful for studying diseases from HIV to Ebola.<br /> <br /> While the macaques live in indoor/outdoor housing, the scientific work performed on their samples takes place in a lab setting.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Hundreds of rhesus macaque monkeys are housed at the Southwest National Primate Research Center. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 8:07 Texas Biomedical Forum: Women Who Support Science — TX BioBytes Podcast Episode 008 https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/texas-biomedical-forum-women-who-support-science-tx-biobytes-podcast-episode-008/ Tue, 08 May 2018 12:00:39 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=6203 The Texas Biomedical Forum started in 1970 as a group of women on a mission – to support the hope and promise of life-saving research at Texas Biomedical Research Institute. What started as the brainchild of a handful of women has turned into an organization that is more than 300 members strong. The Forum raises hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in support of the science at Texas Biomed. From left to right: Jody Lutz, Tena Gorman, Ruth Eilene Sullivan, Courtney Percy The purpose of the Texas Biomedical Forum continues to be to support the Texas Biomedical Research Institute through community relations,volunteer services and fundraising. The Forum hosts student tours of the 200-acre Texas BioMed campus for a handful of high school science programs each year. These tours of San Antonio’s biomedical research jewel expose these bright young students to the exciting possibilities of a career in science. The student tours are a fantastic opportunity for area high school students, and a rewarding experience for Forum volunteers. For the past 21 years, the Texas Biomedical Forum and the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation have joined forces for the Science Education Awards. Local public and private high school teachers are invited to participate. The awards are given to the top six teachers whose proposals demonstrate the strongest commitment to the scientific process and the further development of progressive science education programs. The Forum’s commitment to educating its membership and the community about Texas Biomed’s research is highlighted at the fall and spring Lecture Luncheon events featuring Texas Biomed scientists discussing timely research topics. Held at The Argyle, the lectures inform members and guests about innovative medical topics and the cutting-edge research taking place at Texas Biomed and its positive impact on human health. All Forum members as well as guests are invited to participate in these educational events.   The Forum in partnership with Texas Biomed hosts a Roundtable Discussions evening event annually at The Argyle. These events feature the work being done by a handful of the Texas BioMed research scientists. Attendees are afforded the incredible opportunity of sitting alongside a scientist with the ability to ask questions regarding their current project. This is truly a unique experience where anyone can learn about the exciting research that in ongoing at Texas BioMed in a congenial environment. Forum members and guests are welcome to attend. The first Saturday in May annually marks the occasion of the Forum Gala. One of the most sought after event gala tickets in the city. This is the primary fundraising tool of the Forum. Every summer, the Forum presents Texas Biomed with a sizable check from that year’s Gala proceeds. These funds are then distributed to select scientists in support of their research needs. The Forum sponsors a series of one-year pilot projects that can lead to subsequent and often significant federal research funding. Over the last sixteen years, the Forum has provided over $3 million. The results of those pilot studies has generated an additional $60 million in grant funding for Texas Biomed. The impact of the Forum’s fundraising efforts through the Gala and Forum Grants is a valuable component in furthering Texas Biomed’s mission of enhancing lives through research. The Texas Biomedical Forum started in 1970 as a group of women on a mission – to support the hope and promise of life-saving research at Texas Biomedical Research Institute. - What started as the brainchild of a handful of women has turned into an org... The Texas Biomedical Forum started in 1970 as a group of women on a mission – to support the hope and promise of life-saving research at Texas Biomedical Research Institute.<br /> <br /> What started as the brainchild of a handful of women has turned into an organization that is more than 300 members strong. The Forum raises hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in support of the science at Texas Biomed.<br /> <br /> From left to right: Jody Lutz, Tena Gorman, Ruth Eilene Sullivan, Courtney Percy<br /> <br /> The purpose of the Texas Biomedical Forum continues to be to support the Texas Biomedical Research Institute through community relations,volunteer services and fundraising.<br /> <br /> The Forum hosts student tours of the 200-acre Texas BioMed campus for a handful of high school science programs each year. These tours of San Antonio’s biomedical research jewel expose these bright young students to the exciting possibilities of a career in science. The student tours are a fantastic opportunity for area high school students, and a rewarding experience for Forum volunteers.<br /> <br /> For the past 21 years, the Texas Biomedical Forum and the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation have joined forces for the Science Education Awards. Local public and private high school teachers are invited to participate. The awards are given to the top six teachers whose proposals demonstrate the strongest commitment to the scientific process and the further development of progressive science education programs.<br /> <br /> The Forum’s commitment to educating its membership and the community about Texas Biomed’s research is highlighted at the fall and spring Lecture Luncheon events featuring Texas Biomed scientists discussing timely research topics. Held at The Argyle, the lectures inform members and guests about innovative medical topics and the cutting-edge research taking place at Texas Biomed and its positive impact on human health. All Forum members as well as guests are invited to participate in these educational events.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> The Forum in partnership with Texas Biomed hosts a Roundtable Discussions evening event annually at The Argyle. These events feature the work being done by a handful of the Texas BioMed research scientists. Attendees are afforded the incredible opportunity of sitting alongside a scientist with the ability to ask questions regarding their current project. This is truly a unique experience where anyone can learn about the exciting research that in ongoing at Texas BioMed in a congenial environment. Forum members and guests are welcome to attend.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> The first Saturday in May annually marks the occasion of the Forum Gala. One of the most sought after event gala tickets in the city. This is the primary fundraising tool of the Forum.<br /> <br /> Every summer, the Forum presents Texas Biomed with a sizable check from that year’s Gala proceeds. These funds are then distributed to select scientists in support of their research needs. The Forum sponsors a series of one-year pilot projects that can lead to subsequent and often significant federal research funding. Over the last sixteen years, the Forum has provided over $3 million. The results of those pilot studies has generated an additional $60 million in grant funding for Texas Biomed. The impact of the Forum’s fundraising efforts through the Gala and Forum Grants is a valuable component in furthering Texas Biomed’s mission of enhancing lives through research. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 6:31 Baboons: 50 years of Helping Human Health — TXBioBytes Podcast Episode 007 https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/baboons-50-years-of-helping-human-health-txbiobytes-podcast-episode-008/ Tue, 24 Apr 2018 12:00:22 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=6166 © Clem Spalding Photography The baboon is widely used as a model for the study of genetics of complex diseases, and continues as a successful model for many chronic and infectious diseases, including insulin resistance, obesity, heart disease, hypertension and osteoporosis. This resource has also been used to further studies in contraception, tissue engineered heart valves, epilepsy, immune system aging, pertussis, sepsis and ischemic stroke. SNPRC provides pedigreed baboons for research projects investigating the etiology and pathogenesis of human disease. We have developed and refined the baboon model for biomedical research through selective breeding, inbreeding, environmental manipulations and identifying naturally occurring conditions. Our pedigreed baboon colony was established in 1972 with 200 feral baboons. Today, SNPRC is home to the world’s largest baboon colony, including about 1,100 animals. The structure of the pedigreed baboon colony has been developed carefully over seven generations of baboons. Because of the complex genetic structure of the colony, animals from this population are uniquely suited to genetic research on normal and disease-associated traits. Most of the animals in the pedigreed colony have been genotyped, and we’ve used that information to create the first genetic linkage map of any nonhuman primate. Together, the pedigreed colony and the baboon gene map give scientists an incredibly powerful research tool. It helps to locate the underlying genes that lead to natural susceptibility to or protection from a variety of diseases. More than 100 male baboons live in a six acre corral at the Southwest National Primate Research Center. © Clem Spalding Photography - The baboon is widely used as a model for the study of genetics of complex diseases, and continues as a successful model for many chronic and infectious diseases, including insulin resistance, obesity, heart disease, © Clem Spalding Photography<br /> <br /> The baboon is widely used as a model for the study of genetics of complex diseases, and continues as a successful model for many chronic and infectious diseases, including insulin resistance, obesity, heart disease, hypertension and osteoporosis. This resource has also been used to further studies in contraception, tissue engineered heart valves, epilepsy, immune system aging, pertussis, sepsis and ischemic stroke.<br /> <br /> SNPRC provides pedigreed baboons for research projects investigating the etiology and pathogenesis of human disease. We have developed and refined the baboon model for biomedical research through selective breeding, inbreeding, environmental manipulations and identifying naturally occurring conditions.<br /> <br /> Our pedigreed baboon colony was established in 1972 with 200 feral baboons. Today, SNPRC is home to the world’s largest baboon colony, including about 1,100 animals. The structure of the pedigreed baboon colony has been developed carefully over seven generations of baboons. Because of the complex genetic structure of the colony, animals from this population are uniquely suited to genetic research on normal and disease-associated traits.<br /> <br /> Most of the animals in the pedigreed colony have been genotyped, and we’ve used that information to create the first genetic linkage map of any nonhuman primate. Together, the pedigreed colony and the baboon gene map give scientists an incredibly powerful research tool. It helps to locate the underlying genes that lead to natural susceptibility to or protection from a variety of diseases.<br /> <br /> More than 100 male baboons live in a six acre corral at the Southwest National Primate Research Center. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 15:45 Marmosets: Miniature but Mighty — TXBioBytes Podcast Episode 006 https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/marmosets-miniature-but-mighty-txbiobytes-podcast-episode-006/ Tue, 10 Apr 2018 13:00:09 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=6025 The Southwest National Primate Research Center at Texas Biomedical Research Center is one of only two national primate research centers that provide marmoset research resources. Our resources include the only large population (>70) of aged marmosets (>10 years) in the country. Common marmosets have been a biomedical research resource since the early 1960’s, used predominately in studies of infectious disease, immunology and neuroscience.  Historically, they have been a more commonly used research model in Europe and Japan than in the United States. However, cellular and molecular resources have recently been developed that greatly enhance the value of marmosets in research and have increased interest here in the United States. As a non-endangered anthropoid primate with small size, the highest fertility and the shortest life span, marmosets also offer a remarkably cost-effective, high efficiency nonhuman primate model for biomedical research. In addition, many areas of research take advantage of unique features of its biology for application to human disease. They’re closely related to humans, but marmosets also have unique features that make them particularly valuable for certain types of studies. For example, marmosets have small body size, usually produce dizygotic twins, mature quickly, have the highest fertility of any anthropoid primate and have a short life span. Our marmoset resources have achieved notable accomplishments in genomics, regenerative medicine, obesity, aging and reproduction research. © Clem Spalding 210-271-7273 The Southwest National Primate Research Center at Texas Biomedical Research Center is one of only two national primate research centers that provide marmoset research resources. Our resources include the only large population (>70) of aged marmosets (>... The Southwest National Primate Research Center at Texas Biomedical Research Center is one of only two national primate research centers that provide marmoset research resources. Our resources include the only large population (>70) of aged marmosets (>10 years) in the country.<br /> <br /> Common marmosets have been a biomedical research resource since the early 1960’s, used predominately in studies of infectious disease, immunology and neuroscience.  Historically, they have been a more commonly used research model in Europe and Japan than in the United States. However, cellular and molecular resources have recently been developed that greatly enhance the value of marmosets in research and have increased interest here in the United States.<br /> <br /> As a non-endangered anthropoid primate with small size, the highest fertility and the shortest life span, marmosets also offer a remarkably cost-effective, high efficiency nonhuman primate model for biomedical research. In addition, many areas of research take advantage of unique features of its biology for application to human disease.<br /> <br /> They’re closely related to humans, but marmosets also have unique features that make them particularly valuable for certain types of studies. For example, marmosets have small body size, usually produce dizygotic twins, mature quickly, have the highest fertility of any anthropoid primate and have a short life span.<br /> <br /> Our marmoset resources have achieved notable accomplishments in genomics, regenerative medicine, obesity, aging and reproduction research.<br /> <br /> © Clem Spalding 210-271-7273 Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 6:27 Unraveling a Childhood Medical Mystery: Kawasaki Disease — TXBioBytes Podcast Episode 005 https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/unraveling-childhood-medical-mystery-kawasaki-disease-txbiobytes-podcast-episode-005/ Tue, 27 Mar 2018 13:00:27 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=5785 Dr. Mark Gorelik holds a mouse bred to have symptoms of Kawasaki disease. Kawasaki disease is a rare childhood illness that can cause serious heart trouble for patients later in life. Now, Texas Biomedical Research Institute and Children's Hospital of San Antonio are teaming up to research possible interventions to cut down on the serious side effects of the disease. Dr. Mark Gorelik is a pediatric rheumatologist. He uses a mouse model now housed at Texas Biomed. Jean Patterson, Ph.D., is helping him on the project. Listen to learn more about this exciting collaborative project. Having trained veterinarians taking care of animals at Texas Biomed made it a good fit for the Kawasaki research project. Dr. Mark Gorelik holds a mouse bred to have symptoms of Kawasaki disease. - Kawasaki disease is a rare childhood illness that can cause serious heart trouble for patients later in life. Now, Texas Biomedical Research Institute and Children's Hospital ... Dr. Mark Gorelik holds a mouse bred to have symptoms of Kawasaki disease.<br /> <br /> Kawasaki disease is a rare childhood illness that can cause serious heart trouble for patients later in life. Now, Texas Biomedical Research Institute and Children's Hospital of San Antonio are teaming up to research possible interventions to cut down on the serious side effects of the disease.<br /> <br /> Dr. Mark Gorelik is a pediatric rheumatologist. He uses a mouse model now housed at Texas Biomed. Jean Patterson, Ph.D., is helping him on the project.<br /> <br /> Listen to learn more about this exciting collaborative project.<br /> <br /> Having trained veterinarians taking care of animals at Texas Biomed made it a good fit for the Kawasaki research project. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 7:24 What do Snails have to do with it? — TXBioBytes Podcast Episode 004 https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/what-do-snails-have-to-do-with-it-txbiobytes-podcast-episode-004/ Tue, 13 Mar 2018 13:00:18 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=5825 Winka Le Clec'h, Ph.D., Tim Anderson, Ph.D., and Frederic Chevalier research schistosomiasis at Texas Biomed. Schistosomiasis is an important tropical disease caused by schistosome trematodes (a parasitic blood fluke). Those parasites are found in South America and the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. An estimated 200 million people worldwide are infected with schistosomes and 200,000 people die each year. Schistosomiasis is a waterborne disease. Infected freshwater snails release larvae (cercariae) which can infect humans during their water related activities.   Only one drug – praziquantel – is currently available to treat patients but drug resistance starts to emerge. Vaccines have been designed in laboratory but have never conferred decent level of protection to people in the field. Therefore new approaches are needed to identify drug targets, understand drug resistance, predict vaccine efficacy by understanding parasite population diversity and identify potential vaccine candidates. More than 6,000 snails used for research are housed at Texas Biomed. The Texas Biomed schistosomiasis lab has pioneered the use of genetic crosses between schistosomes in the laboratory for identifying the genetic basis of biomedically important parasite traits. Scientists have used this approach, together with exome sequencing, to identify the precise mutations that underlie oxamniquine resistance, and are now applying the same approach to understand praziquantel resistance, host specificity, parasite virulence, and multiple other important biomedical traits. High speed data processing in the Genomics Computing Center make this research possible. Winka Le Clec'h, Ph.D., Tim Anderson, Ph.D., and Frederic Chevalier research schistosomiasis at Texas Biomed. - Schistosomiasis is an important tropical disease caused by schistosome trematodes (a parasitic blood fluke). Winka Le Clec'h, Ph.D., Tim Anderson, Ph.D., and Frederic Chevalier research schistosomiasis at Texas Biomed.<br /> <br /> Schistosomiasis is an important tropical disease caused by schistosome trematodes (a parasitic blood fluke). Those parasites are found in South America and the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. An estimated 200 million people worldwide are infected with schistosomes and 200,000 people die each year. Schistosomiasis is a waterborne disease. Infected freshwater snails release larvae (cercariae) which can infect humans during their water related activities.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Only one drug – praziquantel – is currently available to treat patients but drug resistance starts to emerge. Vaccines have been designed in laboratory but have never conferred decent level of protection to people in the field. Therefore new approaches are needed to identify drug targets, understand drug resistance, predict vaccine efficacy by understanding parasite population diversity and identify potential vaccine candidates.<br /> <br /> More than 6,000 snails used for research are housed at Texas Biomed.<br /> <br /> The Texas Biomed schistosomiasis lab has pioneered the use of genetic crosses between schistosomes in the laboratory for identifying the genetic basis of biomedically important parasite traits. Scientists have used this approach, together with exome sequencing, to identify the precise mutations that underlie oxamniquine resistance, and are now applying the same approach to understand praziquantel resistance, host specificity, parasite virulence, and multiple other important biomedical traits.<br /> <br /> High speed data processing in the Genomics Computing Center make this research possible. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 10:30 “Z” is for Zika – TXBiobytes Podcast Episode 003 https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/z-zika-txbiobytes-podcast-episode-003/ Tue, 27 Feb 2018 14:00:32 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=5581 The birth of a child is typically one of the happiest moments in a family’s life. But for mothers and fathers infected with the Zika virus, pregnancy can be particularly stressful, as they wait to see if their child will suffer the sometimes devastating consequences of infection. Mosquitos carrying the Zika virus are in the United States and infections are on the rise. Microcephaly appears to be the most devastating consequence and little is known how to stop it. Scientists at Texas Biomed have begun several projects aimed at understanding the Zika virus and its impact on newborns. Suzette Tardif, Ph.D., and Jean Patterson, Ph.D., talk about efforts to figure out how the virus works and how scientists can best test therapies to intervene. Discovered in Uganda in 1947, Zika virus has been impacting lives for more than half a century. While Africans have built up an apparent immunity, the Western Hemisphere was left relatively unscathed until near the end of 2013 when cases of Zika virus and its most dangerous known consequence of infection, microcephaly, were reported in Brazil. Mosquitos carrying the Zika virus are now in the U.S. Scientists at Texas Biomed have started several projects aimed at understanding this relatively unknown disease and are leading efforts to figure out how the virus works and how best we can test therapeutic strategies. They hope to: 1. Develop an animal model to determine a timeline for infection and answer the questions: how long will Zika last in the body? When will it be most problematic for pregnant women, and how long do men have to wait before having sexual contact? 2. When vaccines and therapies are being developed, test them in animal models that mimic human immune and gestational systems to make sure that the vaccine offers protection against the various strains of the disease and does no harm to mothers or unborn children. Applying the expertise of Texas Biomed scientists in virology, immunology, genetics, and pregnancy in several different nonhuman primate models will help lead to a better understanding of how Zika virus impacts fetal development. Texas Biomed scientists believe that different nonhuman primate models for this disease have the potential to reveal unique consequences of Zika virus infection. Zika virus is a long-term health issue for the United States, and it is imperative we know more. The birth of a child is typically one of the happiest moments in a family’s life. But for mothers and fathers infected with the Zika virus, pregnancy can be particularly stressful, as they wait to see if their child will suffer the sometimes devastatin... The birth of a child is typically one of the happiest moments in a family’s life. But for mothers and fathers infected with the Zika virus, pregnancy can be particularly stressful, as they wait to see if their child will suffer the sometimes devastating consequences of infection.<br /> <br /> Mosquitos carrying the Zika virus are in the United States and infections are on the rise. Microcephaly appears to be the most devastating consequence and little is known how to stop it.<br /> <br /> Scientists at Texas Biomed have begun several projects aimed at understanding the Zika virus and its impact on newborns.<br /> <br /> Suzette Tardif, Ph.D., and Jean Patterson, Ph.D., talk about efforts to figure out how the virus works and how scientists can best test therapies to intervene.<br /> Discovered in Uganda in 1947, Zika virus has been impacting lives for more than half a century. While Africans have built up an apparent immunity, the Western Hemisphere was left relatively unscathed until near the end of 2013 when cases of Zika virus and its most dangerous known consequence of infection, microcephaly, were reported in Brazil.<br /> Mosquitos carrying the Zika virus are now in the U.S. Scientists at Texas Biomed have started several projects aimed at understanding this relatively unknown disease and are leading efforts to figure out how the virus works and how best we can test therapeutic strategies.<br /> <br /> They hope to:<br /> <br /> 1. Develop an animal model to determine a timeline for infection and answer the questions: how long will Zika last in the body? When will it be most problematic for pregnant women, and how long do men have to wait before having sexual contact?<br /> <br /> 2. When vaccines and therapies are being developed, test them in animal models that mimic human immune and gestational systems to make sure that the vaccine offers protection against the various strains of the disease and does no harm to mothers or unborn children.<br /> <br /> Applying the expertise of Texas Biomed scientists in virology, immunology, genetics, and pregnancy in several different nonhuman primate models will help lead to a better understanding of how Zika virus impacts fetal development. Texas Biomed scientists believe that different nonhuman primate models for this disease have the potential to reveal unique consequences of Zika virus infection.<br /> <br /> Zika virus is a long-term health issue for the United States, and it is imperative we know more. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean Much Ado About Malaria – TXBioBytes Episode 002 https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/much-ado-malaria-txbiobytes-episode-002/ Tue, 13 Feb 2018 12:00:00 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=5524 Dr. Cheeseman and his team are coming up with new ways to look at different strains of malaria. Alieu Dia, Ph.D. and Ian Cheeseman, Ph.D., use flow cytometry to study malaria parasites.   Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people around the world every year. Scientist Ian Cheeseman, Ph.D., of Texas Biomed specializes in the genetics of the parasite that causes malaria. His newest study published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution was recently highlighted in the Editors Choice section of the prestigious journal Science. “At the basic level we simply do not know what’s in a malaria infection, even though this has profound implications for how we think about treating and eradicating this disease,” Cheeseman said. Using various technologies, these scientists are literally cracking open cells and using single cell DNA sequencing to discover previously unknown characteristics of malarial infections. Dr. Cheeseman and his team are coming up with new ways to look at different strains of malaria. - Alieu Dia, Ph.D. and Ian Cheeseman, Ph.D., use flow cytometry to study malaria parasites. -   - Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that kills hundreds... Dr. Cheeseman and his team are coming up with new ways to look at different strains of malaria.<br /> <br /> Alieu Dia, Ph.D. and Ian Cheeseman, Ph.D., use flow cytometry to study malaria parasites.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people around the world every year. Scientist Ian Cheeseman, Ph.D., of Texas Biomed specializes in the genetics of the parasite that causes malaria. His newest study published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution was recently highlighted in the Editors Choice section of the prestigious journal Science.<br /> <br /> “At the basic level we simply do not know what’s in a malaria infection, even though this has profound implications for how we think about treating and eradicating this disease,” Cheeseman said.<br /> <br /> Using various technologies, these scientists are literally cracking open cells and using single cell DNA sequencing to discover previously unknown characteristics of malarial infections. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 12:00 TB or not TB – TXBioBytes Episode 001 https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/tb-not-tb-txbb001/ Wed, 24 Jan 2018 15:54:57 +0000 http://www.txbiomed.org/?p=5401 Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio is a new focal point for TB research, with scientists studying the disease from dozens of angles, researching new therapies and a better way to vaccinate people against the insidious infection that targets the lungs. Tuberculosis is an ancient health threat that’s still claiming several thousand lives each day around the globe. It’s the world’s deadliest infectious disease. And TB isn’t just a third world concern. It’s an American problem, too. The World Health Organization Global TB Strategy aims to eradicate TB by 2035. In 2016, Bexar County had one of the four highest rates of TB in the state, along with Harris, Dallas, and Hidalgo Counties. Texas, California, Florida and New York have the highest rates of tuberculosis in the U.S. Eusondia Arnett, Ph.D., and a team of researchers are working on TB at Texas Biomed. The new President/CEO of Texas Biomed, Larry Schlesinger, M.D., is a globally-recognized expert researcher in the TB field. He is joined at Texas Biomed by Joanne Turner, Ph.D. and Jordi Torrelles, Ph.D. Between the three of them and their team members, these scientists are poised to make real progress in their collaborative work. With their expertise in both lab and animal research, the new Tuberculosis research team at Texas Biomed is a unique asset for South Texas. Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio is a new focal point for TB research, with scientists studying the disease from dozens of angles, researching new therapies and a better way to vaccinate people against the insidious infection that tar... Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio is a new focal point for TB research, with scientists studying the disease from dozens of angles, researching new therapies and a better way to vaccinate people against the insidious infection that targets the lungs.<br /> <br /> Tuberculosis is an ancient health threat that’s still claiming several thousand lives each day around the globe. It’s the world’s deadliest infectious disease. And TB isn’t just a third world concern. It’s an American problem, too. The World Health Organization Global TB Strategy aims to eradicate TB by 2035.<br /> <br /> In 2016, Bexar County had one of the four highest rates of TB in the state, along with Harris, Dallas, and Hidalgo Counties. Texas, California, Florida and New York have the highest rates of tuberculosis in the U.S.<br /> <br /> Eusondia Arnett, Ph.D., and a team of researchers are working on TB at Texas Biomed.<br /> <br /> The new President/CEO of Texas Biomed, Larry Schlesinger, M.D., is a globally-recognized expert researcher in the TB field. He is joined at Texas Biomed by Joanne Turner, Ph.D. and Jordi Torrelles, Ph.D. Between the three of them and their team members, these scientists are poised to make real progress in their collaborative work.<br /> <br /> With their expertise in both lab and animal research, the new Tuberculosis research team at Texas Biomed is a unique asset for South Texas. Texas Biomedical Research Institute clean 13:16