TAMEST Member News Roundup- April 2021

TAMEST loves to share the accolades of our membership. If you have been nominated for an award, been interviewed by the media or otherwise have a reason to celebrate, please share your news with TAMEST.

TAMEST In The News

CBS Austin: Local Doctors Prioritize Mental Health for Texans Struggling with Aftermath of Storm, TAMEST Member Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM), The University of Texas at Austin

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: COVID-19 vaccination site opening in Fort Worth’s Stop Six, TAMEST Member Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, Ph.D. (NAM), University of North Texas Health Science Center

Marketplace: For People Without Internet Service, Getting a Vaccination Appointment Can be Difficult, TAMEST Member Vivian Ho, Ph.D. (NAM), Rice University; Baylor College of Medicine

Wall Street Journal: Modern Life is Messing with our Microbiomes, But Science is Fighting Back, TAMEST Board Member Lora Hooper, Ph.D. (NAS), UT Southwestern Medical Center

Spectrum News: As Texas Opens Up COVID Vaccine Eligibility, Health Experts Urge Vigilance, TAMEST Member Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., (NAM), The University of Texas at Austin

KERA: New Research Uncovers a New Way Exercise Strengthens Bones and Immunity, TAMEST Member Sean J. Morrison, Ph.D. (NAM, NAS), UT Southwestern Medical Center

Houston Chronicle: Opinion: A Black Doctor and Scientist on Vaccinating Minorities, TAMEST Board Member Roderic Pettigrew, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM, NAE), Texas A&M University; Texas A&M Health; Houston Methodist

Texas Public Radio: Fronteras: ‘Salud America!’ Aims to Close Gap of Latino Participation in Cancer, Alzheimer’s Research, TAMEST Board Past President Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H. (NAM), UT Health San Antonio

The Conversation: ‘Frugal Design’ Brings Medical Innovations to Communities that Lack Resources During the Pandemic, TAMEST Member Rebecca R. Richards-Kortum, Ph.D. (NAS, NAE), Rice University

Member Briefs

M. Katherine Banks, Ph.D. (NAE)

Banks Named 26th President of Texas A&M University
TAMEST congratulates Member M. Katherine Banks, Ph.D. (NAE), Texas A&M University (Texas A&M), on being confirmed as the 26th President of Texas A&M by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. Dr. Banks, currently Vice Chancellor of Engineering and National Laboratories and Dean of the Texas A&M College of Engineering, assumes her duties June 1. President Banks also will carry the title Vice Chancellor of National Laboratories and National Security Strategic Initiatives because of her continued involvement with Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Bush Combat Development Complex at the RELLIS Campus. Read More

Arnold Named to Gulf Offshore Energy Safety Board
TAMEST congratulates Member Kenneth E. Arnold, P.E. (NAE), K Arnold Consulting Inc., on being named to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Gulf Offshore Energy Safety Board (GOESB). The goal of the board is to contribute ways to reduce the systemic risk for offshore energy activities. By convening regulators, academic researchers, and broader stakeholder communities, the GOESB will guide the development of studies, projects and other activities that reduce overall risk, reduce the likelihood of a catastrophic accident from occurring, and should an incident occur, lessen the severity of consequences to people and the environment. Read More

Hassan Named University Distinguished Professor
TAMEST congratulates Member Yassin A. Hassan, Ph.D. (NAE), Texas A&M University, on being named a University Distinguished Professor. The designation is the university’s highest faculty honor — it identifies faculty members who are preeminent in their fields and have made at least one landmark contribution to their discipline. University Distinguished Professors retain their current rank and title as well as the additional distinction. Read More

Pharr Receives Prestigious Award from Minerals, Metals and Materials Society
TAMEST congratulates Member and O’Donnell Award in Engineering Subcommittee Member George M. Pharr, Ph.D. (NAE), Texas A&M University, for receiving the 2021 William D. Nix Award by the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS). He was chosen “for [his] development of methods for the quantitative determination of material mechanical response by nanoindentation and its use to elucidate fundamental mechanisms of material behavior.” Pharr has made significant contributions in materials science during his distinguished academic career at Texas A&M, Rice University and the University of Tennessee. Read More

Preclinical Study Validates Antisense Oligonucleotides as a Feasible Approach to Treat MECP2 Duplication Disorder
Many cognitive neurodevelopmental disorders are a result of too many or too few copies of certain genes or chromosomes. To date, no treatment options exist for this class of disorders. MECP2 duplication syndrome (MDS) is one of these disorders that primarily affects boys. A preclinical study, appearing in the journal Science Translational Medicine, from the lab of TAMEST Member Huda Y. Zoghbi, M.D. (NAM, NAS), Baylor College of Medicine, provides experimental evidence that supports the use of antisense oligonucleotides as a feasible strategy to treat MDS. Read More

Study Shows that SRC-3 also Regulates Human Immune T Regulatory Cells
A study led by TAMEST Member and Chancellor Bert W. O’Malley, M.D. (NAM, NAE), Baylor College of Medicine, reveals a novel role of the steroid receptor coactivator 3 (SRC-3/NCOA3), a protein crucial for steroid hormone function and a prognostic marker for aggressive human breast and other cancers. The research team discovered that the protein SRC-3 also regulates human immune T regulatory cells (Tregs), which contribute to the regulation of the body’s immunological activity by suppressing the function of other immune cells, including those involved in fighting cancer. Read More

Hidden Structure Found in Essential Metabolic Machinery
In the lab of TAMEST Member and O’Donnell Award in Science Subcommittee Member Bonnie Bartel, Ph.D. (NAS), Rice University, a 2015 discovery is now challenging what scientists know about peroxisomes, compartments where cells turn fatty molecules into energy and useful materials. By using bright florescent reporters and confocal microscopy, a biochemist in Dr. Bartel’s lab found that within the peroxisomes there are sub compartments. These findings, published in Nature Communications, question the basic structure of peroxisomes and provide a new context for understanding peroxisomal disorders, such as severe metabolic disorders, neurodegeneration, obesity, cancer and age-related disorders. Read More

Riding the Wave to Memory-Forming Genetics
Making a memory involves groups of brain cells firing cooperatively at various frequencies, a phenomenon known as neural oscillations. The genetic base of this process is not clear. However, findings made by UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists have identified key genes in brain waves that are crucial for encoding memories. TAMEST Member and O’Donnell Award in Medicine Subcommittee Member Carol A. Tamminga, M.D. (NAM), UT Southwestern Medical Center, and the team of researchers worked with 16 volunteers from UT Southwestern’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit to perform numerous tests on specific brain tissues. The team noted that the identification of these key genes are important in human neural oscillations and could eventually be used to develop novel therapies for people with memory loss disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Read More

Lozano Elected Fellow of AACR Academy
TAMEST congratulates Member Guillermina Lozano, Ph.D. (NAM, NAS), The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, on her election to the 2021 class of Fellows of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Academy in recognition of her pioneering work to describe the p53 tumor suppressor pathway, which is undermined in many cancers. The mission of the AACR Academy is to recognize and honor distinguished scientists whose contributions have propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer. This year’s class of 25 inductees joins 231 existing fellows in working collectively to advance the mission of the AACR. Read More


TAMEST News and Updates

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