This is a summary list of all resource providers at University of Texas at San Antonio . The list includes links to more detailed information, which may also be found using the eagle-i search app.
Biophotonics has emerged in recent years as a key research field that leads to many revolutionary advances in biomedical science and clinical applications. It offers unique ways to image, analyze, and manipulate various biological systems (biomolecules, cells, and tissues) with great precision and accuracy. Especially, the possibilities of convergence with nanotechnology, allow biophotonics to address some of the most challenging problems. The primary focus of our research group is to develop cutting-edge ultrasensitive and ultrafast laser-based technologies and methodologies to address critical issues at the frontiers of biomedical science and technology. Our research activities embrace a wide range of areas in biomedical optics and nanobiotechnology, including ultrafast laser spectroscopy, multiphoton scanning microscopy, in vivo fiber-optic biosensing and imaging, photonic crystal biomolecular assay, in vivo two-photon flow cytometry, femtosecond laser interactions with nanoparticle-targeted cells and tissues, adaptive optical aberration correction in confocal microscopy, and single-molecule fluorescence imaging and spectroscopy.
-Orthopedic and cardiovascular biomaterials
The research areas at the AIMS lab include biomaterial constructs for both orthopedic and cardiovascular applications of tissue engineering and drug delivery. We are investigating cell interactions in cocultures and in a variety of polymeric scaffolds to develop biodegradable tissue engineering scaffolds for bone regeneration and angiogenesis in large bone defects. Tissue engineering approaches are also being employed to develop an in vivo coronary artery occlusion model as well as to improve treatment for aortic aneurysms. In the area of drug delivery, we are investigating the use of self-assembled monolayers to attach drug molecules to the surfaces of metal stents used in coronary arteries and other implants.
The Arulanandam laboratory is focused on understanding the mechanisms of host defenses at mucosal sites.
Develops new methods and models for quantification and understanding of biomechanical and biomedical engineering problems for the purpose of ultimate improvement of health and human well-being using mathematical modeling and computer simulation, and explore nanotechnology in biomedical applications.
We study the circuitry and neurons of the basal ganglia, with the goal of understanding the computational function of these structures at the cellular level, and their dysfunction in diseases, especially Parkinson’s Disease. Our experiments are focused on the ionic mechanisms that endow each cell type with its characteristic responses to synaptic input, the patterns of connectivity that deliver specific inputs to each cell, and the dynamics that arise from the combination of these.
The research goal of our lab is to understand the role of mechanical stress in the development and remodeling of the cardiovascular system and thus to improve the understanding, treatment, and prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Our lab currently has several funded projects, all aim at understanding the role of mechanical stress in arterial and heart remodeling and its relationship to cardiovascular diseases. Our research topics include the mechanism of artery kinking which often develops in elderly in internal carotid arteries and iliac arteries, the remodeling of arterial wall due to injury and pulse pressure, and the wall stress and remodeling of the left ventricle after an heart attack which will help us to understand the mechanism of heart failure after an heart attack."
Our research topics include the mechanism of artery kinking which often develops in elderly in internal carotid arteries and iliac arteries, the remodeling of arterial wall due to injury and pulse pressure, and the wall stress and remodeling of the left ventricle after an heart attack which will help us to understand the mechanism of heart failure after an heart attack.
These laboratories are dedicated to 'Cellular and Tissue Engineering' research activities which focus on in vitro studies of mammalian cell and protein interactions with material substrates, biomaterials (including nanostructured ones), biocompatibility, and the effect of select biochemical and biophysical (specifically, sustained and cyclic pressure and electrical) stimuli on mammalian cell function pertinent to new tissue formation and regeneration.
The Center for Research and Training in the Sciences (CRTS), previously known as Center for the Advancement of Life Sciences (CAS), was established within the College of Sciences (COS) in June 2005.
The mission of the CRTS is to promote Science, Research, and Education. The Center coordinates and administers programs related to all scientific disciplines under the direction of Dr. Andrew Tsin. Currently, the Center oversees 13 research and training programs with participants from various disciplines within UTSA. These participants include graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and postdoctoral fellows.
The Center of Excellence in Infection Genomics (CEIG) leverages established faculty and their expertise in microbial genetics, mycology, pathogenesis, and immunology at UTSA for genome based research on pathogenic microorganisms. The CEIG is focused on facilitating development of strategies that utilize genome targeted technologies, including genome expression analysis using microarrays, high-throughput structural-function analysis of proteins for drug development, rapid screening methodologies for identification of inhibitory small molecules, and rational bioinformatics approaches for identification of candidate antigens as vaccine candidates, for a better understanding of pathogens and their control. A major thrust of the CEIG is aimed at translation of this genomic information to practical solutions for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, as well as establishing training programs at different academic levels to meet the challenges of the 'Post-Genomic Era' in research in microbiology and infectious diseases.
The High Performance Computing Center/Computational Biology Initiative (HPC/CBI) is a new interdisciplinary initiative at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) which was launched in January 2005. The overall goal of the initiative is to build infrastructure to significantly advance collaborative interdisciplinary bioscience research in San Antonio.
The Department of Biology includes 30 tenured or tenure-track faculty who teach and lead research programs in the biological sciences. Research and teaching expertise/interests include:
Cellular and molecular biology
Plant hormones and gene expression
The Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department is commited to developing well-rounded, competitive biomedical engineering professionals to support the University's mission.
1) To provide high caliber BME education to students interested in the field of Biomedical Engineering.
2) To provide opportunities for BME research to students with a unique combination of clinical and engineering experiences.
3) To form collaborations in bioengineering-related educational and research opportunities that will be of significant benefit to the San Antonio and South Texas technical and business communities.
4) To effectively support the University's mission by encouraging minority participation in graduate and undergraduate studies.
The Department is committed to providing a high-quality chemistry education to all students, including the next generation of chemists and a chemically literate populace. In addition to the basic knowledge of chemical systems and methods, emphasis will be placed on the development of the skills needed by scientists, such as critical thinking, logical reasoning, and the ability to learn and work independently. The programs of study will be designed to facilitate efficient completion of a degree, insofar as possible.
The Department is committed to carrying out chemical research and interdisciplinary research at the frontiers of science in order to increase the base of fundamental knowledge. The research will include the involvement of undergraduate and graduate students. The development of local, national, and international collaborations will be encouraged.
The Department is committed to providing an open, fair, and accepting environment for all students, faculty and staff.
The research in our laboratory focuses on the role of the immune system in human diseases, in particular on T lymphocytes in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, and in infectious diseases. Our studies are performed in conventional and genetically altered mice, and human peripheral blood cells, and include immunological techniques, molecular biology, as well as other techniques such as proteomics.
The overall goal of this laboratory is to elucidate the structural-functional relationship and the mechanical behavior of the hard tissues at all length scales, from nano to micro and from molecular to the whole organ.
Based on the understanding, we intend to develop effective strategies for prediction and prevention of aging/disease related failures of the tissue.
This laboratory houses an impressive collection of high-end microscopes including one of the most powerful transmission electron microscopes in the world. The microscope is kept in a specially designed space that inhibits intrusive vibrations. Its atomic resolution is propelling world-class research in nanotechnology, biology, chemistry, geology, engineering and medicine.
The laboratory's microscopes are accessible to trained collaborators from other institutions.
This lab is interested in bacterial pathogenesis -- how bacteria cause disease. They have worked most extensively with Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium that causes cholera, but they are also researching Francisella tularensis, the bacterium that causes tularemia, or rabbit fever.
Cholera is found only where there are widespread problems with sanitation, so improving water and food supplies would eliminate the disease. Since that is unlikely to occur, a safe, cheap, effective vaccine is needed that would protect people. To design such a vaccine, this lab is addressing questions such as: How does V. cholerae know that it is in a human body and that that is the place to express genes necessary for its survival and disease potential? What are the genetic factors responsible for V. cholerae to cause disease? How does this organism persist in aquatic environments, which lead to human infection?
Very little is known about F. tularensis or about tularemia. It is a highly virulent organism and can easily be aerosolized, so it is classified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a Category A select agent with the highest potential to be used as a biological weapon. This lab is working to identify genetic factors responsible for F. tularensis to cause disease and to develop suitable vaccine candidates to protect against tularemia infection.
The research activity includes (i.) the study laser-induced conformational changes of proteins; (ii.) the study of the structure/function relationship of protein active sties; (iii.) the investigation of methods to prompt non-native properties and functions in proteins and (iv.) early protein aggregation events. Much of the research focuses on viewing proteins as nanoparticles whose properties can be 'manipulated' for various applications.
My laboratory studies the opportunistic pathogenic fungus Candida albicans. C. albicans is part of the normal human microbiota. However, as an opportunistic pathogen it is capable of causing overt disease (candidiasis), but usually only in hosts with defective immunity. The frequency of candidiasis has increased dramatically in the last decades as a result of an expanding population of immunocompromised patients. As a result, candidiasis is now the fourth most common nosocomial infections. The seriousness of this problem is heightened by the fact that, even with treatment using available antifungal agents, mortality rates lie in the 30- 40% range for these infected patients. As an opportunistic pathogen, it is clear that mechanisms of host immunity and pathogen virulence intertwine, giving rise to the highly complex nature of host-fungus interactions. However, the interplay between host immunity and fungal virulence has traditionally been ignored and most investigations into these topics are overwhelmingly “one-sided” which has resulted in a dangerous dichotomy between “microorganism-centered” and “host-centered” views of candidal pathogenesis. Thus, studies in my laboratory try to integrate these two facets to better understand and offer a more global perspective of C. albicans pathogenesis. Results have already provided new paradigms in the host-fungus relationship during candidiasis.Some of the highlights of this research program are:
1) Role of filamentation in virulence.
3) Development of novel immune-based strategies to combat candidiasis
The MEMS Research Laboratory (MRL) in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) was established in June 2004 by Dr.Arturo A Ayon.
Areas of research include the utilization of MEMS actuators onphase array antennas, Nanotechnology, CMOS-compatible microwave varactors, Negative index of refraction materials for imaging and other photonic applications, sensor arrays, Micro-chemical reactors, Micropropulsion employing solid fuels.
This laboratory was made possible thanks to Sony Electronic Inc, donation of nearly $2 million worth of equipment as a way of "giving back to the community". With this generous donation UTSA will train students for careers in micro and Nanotechnology areas which will be a gaint leap in turning UTSA into a first-class research facility.
Microchips are one of the most promising analytical platforms due to the great advantages with respect to conventional bench-top equipment. Microfluidic devices are able to offer custom design, high throughput, sensitivity, selectivity and portability. In order to achieve a real point-of-care measurement device, simple instrumentation has to be integrated to drive the injection and separation.
Electrochemical detection (ECD) methods have been widely applied for the detection of bio-compounds because they are less susceptible to decreases in signal magnitude during miniaturization and are already portable and inexpensive.
For these reasons, we are very interested in studying the design, operation and biological applications of microchips and capillary electrophoresis. In addition, we are also interested in the rational design of biosensors.
Functional Hybrid Biomaterials Lab
The research interest of our laboratory is developing functional hybrid biomaterials solution for implantology, regenerative medicine and specific diseases by means of surface modification, tissue engineering and nanotechnology. Our research lies at the interfaces of fundamental material science, biology and clinical applications at the macro- micro- and nano- scale level, where basic understanding of biology inspires the development of functional hybrid biomaterials for medical applications. We believe quality work depends on idea, passion and persistence."
Tissue Engineering Lab
Tissue engineering consists of four categories: scaffold, drug release, cell and signals. In our lab, we focus on optimization of scaffold design and fabrication to mimic the in vivo natural environment, to aid and induce tissue regeneration. In our lab, bioceramics, polymer and composite scaffolds with different composition, geometry structure and shapes are fabricated using different techniques, and their effect on bone cell and bone tissue have been evaluated. Currently our research is in the field of controlled biodegradable rate of scaffolds with porous covered polymeric microsphere, thereby achieving a controlled release rate of growth factor and drugs within antibacterial effect. In addition, we are interested in applying the developing biomaterials for specific diseases such as bony birth defects and cancer therapy.
Laboratory research includes the study laser-light interactions with biological materials and the optical characterization of tissues to understand the interaction. Much of the research focuses on the development of non-invasive diagnostic and therapeutic tools for medical application.
The mission of the Biophotonics Core is to provide cutting edge technology for the study and manipulation of biological samples using light. A state-of-the-art inverted confocal/multi-photon system by Zeiss, complete with oxygen and temperature control, permits long-term in-depth imaging of live tissues. Our instrumentation also includes technology to probe at the molecular level for protein-protein interactions within live samples. The core partners with the RCMI Computational Systems Biology Core to create a data acquisition and analysis pipeline that ensures a streamlined and seamless workflow for researchers. To ensure that the full potential of core technology is realized, the Biophotonics Core provides personal training in the use of all instrumentation, as well as the latest methods of data analysis.
The objective of the Computational Systems Biology Core facility (CSBC) is to provide computational support for basic and translational health research at UTSA with the following specific aims:
- Build the computational infrastructure to support modeling and simulation of biological systems
- Live cell imaging
- Protein Biomarker research
The Nanotechnology and Human Health Core is part of the RCMI program at UT San Antonio. It focuses on the synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials for imaging, labels for bioassays, and active targeting for in vivo or in vitro diagnostics. The Core studies the interaction of nanoparticles with living cells for application in the targeted delivery of drugs, genes, and proteins; tissue engineering scaffolds; artificial organs and implants; and bioimaging and cell labeling. Additionally, the Core supports development of new advanced characterization methods to study biological tissue using nanoparticles and advanced electron microscopy techniques to produce three-dimensional structural information for imaging cell membranes, organelles, and other subcellular structures.
The RCMI Proteomics & Protein Biomarkers Cores at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) are focused on capillary liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS) and -tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS), to identify, characterize, and quantify proteins. The Proteomics Core develops novel methods, while the Protein Biomarkers Core applies these methods to discover and validate novel protein biomarkers of disease. Highly specific and sensitive protein biomarkers offer profound health care benefits for diagnosis and treatment, including understanding and reducing health disparities in minority populations. Moreover, protein biomarkers are promising therapeutic targets for new drugs.The RCMI Program at UTSA is funded by Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) grants from the National Center for Research Resources (5 G12RR013646-12) and the National Insitute on Minority Health & Health Disparities (NIMHD)(8 G12MD007591-12) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), UTSA, and generous donations.
The Image Analysis Core provides state-of-the-art techniques and software for making use of 3-dimensional images acquired via the RCMI Advanced Imaging Center. Our existing facility, like other centers of its kind, offers investigators the capability to acquire large, high resolution, three dimensional data sets, often as time series. The Core assists investigators in establishing methods for reducing these complex data sets to a form suitable for statistical analysis.
The Core draws on the computational resources of The Computational Biology Initiative (CBI) at UTSA to implement standard best practices in image analysis and deliver state of the art image storage, visualization, and quantification to users of the image center, or to users obtaining similar images from equipment in their own laboratories.
The mission of The Neurostatistics Core is to promote the use of the most effective and current biostatistical methods among Neuroscience faculty and students, and to make these methods more generally available. It is designed to overcome the communication gap between experimental neuroscientists and statisticians by integrating statistical experts, in the form of Applied Biostatistics PhD students, directly into the laboratories of SNRP Project Investigators.
The major research focus has been on characterizing the molecular basis of the host-pathogen interactions of infectious agents that are transmitted to humans and domestic animals by arthropod vectors. Our efforts are directed at 1) determining alterations in regulation of gene expression by pathogenic bacteria in response to disparate environmental signals encountered in the arthropod or vertebrate hosts; 2) delineating alterations in metabolic pathways commensurate with the host-dependent nutrient availability; 3) identification of biomarkers of vector-borne infections and inflammation; 4) validation of molecular therapeutics to ameliorate the symptoms of vector-borne infections, and 5) identification of targets as sensors of virulence and infection.
Questions in the above areas are addressed by employing state of the art technologies in areas of Bioinformatics, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Proteomics, whole genome microarrays as well as protein-protein interactions. Established animal models and established collaborative efforts will be used to validate manipulation of the genomes of intractable, vector-borne pathogens.
The South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases (STCEID) was established to focus state and national attention on UTSA in the fields of molecular microbiology, immunology, medical mycology, virology, microbial genomics, vaccine development and biodefense. One of the major areas of emphasis at STCEID is on the pathogenic mechanisms of emerging infectious diseases.
The Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group (TCBG), an NIH Resource for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics, was founded by Professor Klaus Schulten in 1989 and is located at the Beckman Institute of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). The group is led by Professor Klaus Schulten (Physics) with Professors Alek Aksimentiev (Physics), Laxmikant Kale (Computer Science), Zaida Luthey-Schulten (Chemistry) and Emad Tajkhorshid (Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Pharmacology). Research and development activities of the TCBG focus on structure and function of supramolecular systems in the living cell, as well as on the development of new algorithms and efficient computing tools for physical biology.
"The UTSA Neurosciences Institute is the multidisciplinary research organization for the Neurosciences at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Our mission is to foster a collaborative community of scientists committed to studying the biological basis of human experience and behavior, and the origin and treatment of nervous system diseases. ", Formerly the RCMI Cajal Neuroscience Research Center (CNRC)
UTSA’s RCMI program is supported by a $12.6 million grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) (support transferred from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) effective December 23, 2011) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to enhance the research capacity and infrastructure at minority-serving universities that offer doctorates in health sciences. The RCMI program has contributed significantly to UTSA’s expansion of research capabilities through the creation of advanced research core facilities that are available to all UTSA researchers, the recruitment of outstanding biomedical faculty members, and support for faculty development research projects.
In 2005, UTSA established the RCMI Cajal Neuroscience Research Center (CNRC) that evolved into the UTSA Neurosciences Institute, one of the most dynamic groups of collaborative researchers in South Texas. RCMI support helped develop the Computational Biology Initiative (CBI), which fosters the use of state-of-the-art core computational and analytic facilities to advance bioscience research in San Antonio. The UTSA Proteomics Core and the Advanced Imaging Center were also created through RCMI support. Additionally, the RCMI program has helped UTSA obtain other important federal grants, such as the Specialized Neuroscience Research Program (SNRP).
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio serves San Antonio and the 50,000 square-mile area of South Texas. It extends to campuses in the metropolitan border communities of Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley.
More than 3,000 students a year train in an environment that involves more than 100 affiliated hospitals, clinics and health care facilities in South Texas.
Blood, the vascular tissue, is vital for nutrient transport, immune-surveillance, hemostasis, and wound healing, which maintain normal physiology. A number of cardiovascular diseases can be traced to an imbalance in the otherwise tightly regulated interactions between different cellular and acellular components (such as proteins and lipids) of blood. Since blood is a flowing fluid, the cells and molecules constantly experience different types and magnitudes of force, which can influence their interactions, and hence the fine line between health and disease.
Our approach is multidimensional, which takes into account the physical, chemical and biological effects in blood for reliable understanding of cardiovascular diseases, and treating them effectively. We use a number of techniques drawn from fields as disparate as Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Biology and Medicine to understand the causes of cardiovascular diseases, and develop treatment methodologies. Our research has both fundamental and applied components: on one hand, we improve our mechanistic understanding of these disorders such as abnormal cell adhesion or changes in cellular physiology, and on the other, develop new devices for treating these disorders, such as drug screening and delivery systems.
The focus of the Vision Research Laboratory is to understand the biochemical and cellular/molecular events in the eye related to normal visual functions and to abnormal/disease conditions.
A major emphasis of the laboratory is to investigate the mechanism of pigment regeneration in the cone visual system. Upon light adaptation, cone pigments are bleached to initiate electrical signals in the cone photoreceptors. These signals are then transmitted by neurons to the brain for color visual perception. In order to sustain such visual function, cone pigment must be regenerated in-situ but the underlying mechanism of this cone pigment regeneration is not known. Using animals models, the kinetics of cone pigment bleaching and regeneration are studied in details using biochemical methods. The cellular mechanisms of cone pigment regeneration are also studied using Muller cells and retinal pigment epithelial cells in culture. Specifically, we focus on the abilities of these cells to esterify, isomerize and oxidize the vitamin A (retinoid) chromophore of cone visual pigments.
An additional emphasis of the vision research laboratory is to learn how hyperglycemia and/or insulin induce vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion by retinal cells. Retinal pigment epithelial cells, retinal pericytes, and endothelial cells are maintained in culture. Growth factors such as VEGF, transforming growth factor (TGF), and bone morphological proteins (BMP) are assayed for protein end-product using ELISA. The expression of these proteins is measured by RNA protection assays. We are particularly interested in the effect of BMP-4, TGB-β, and PEDF on the secretion of VEGF by retinal cells. Our long term goal is to learn how cytokines mediate angiogenesis leading to diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration.
The research in our laboratory utilizes the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans as a model organism to study host-fungal interactions for the purpose of developing novel immune therapies and/or vaccines to treat or prevent invasive fungal infections. C. neoformans, the causative agent of cryptococcosis, is an opportunistic fungal pathogen that has the propensity to cause respiratory tract infections in severely immune compromised individuals and possesses a unique predilection to invade the central nervous system causing life-threatening meningoencephalitis.
We focus our research in three main areas:
1) To define protective host immune responses against C. neoformans infections.
2) To identify targets for anti-fungal drug development.
3) To characterize C. neoformans biofilm-forming conditions.
The X-ray diffraction facility, under the supervision and care of Dr. Hadi Arman, offers the chemistry department with the means of single crystal X-ray diffraction analysis which is the most reliable route for ascertaining the structure of crystalline materials. The facility maintains a state of the art Rigaku diffractometer. This sealed tube system is equipped with a CCD area detector and can analyze samples at various temperatures. The facility also performs data processing, analysis and solution on samples. In addition to the diffractometer, the facility also has access to the electronic Cambridge Structural Database..
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