TAMEST Member News Roundup- June 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

Houston Chronicle: As COVID rages in India, Hotez’s vaccine provides hope to prevent future waves, TAMEST Member Peter J. Hotez, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM), Baylor College of Medicine

Houston Chronicle: A Half-Million Texans Haven’t Returned for Their Second COVID-19 Vaccine Dose. Why?, TAMEST Member Vivian Ho, Ph.D. (NAM), Rice University/Baylor College of Medicine

Houston Business Journal: Rice University to Demolish, Rebuild Science and Engineering Building, TAMEST Member Reginald DesRoches, Ph.D. (NAE), Rice University

National Geographic: Survivors Recall the Terror of the First F5 Tornado, TAMEST Natural Hazards Summit Co-Chair Kishor C. Mehta, Ph.D. (NAE), Texas Tech University

KSAT-12 News: San Antonio Researchers Hope New Study Benefits Latino Cancer Survivors, TAMEST Board Past President Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H. (NAM), UT Health San Antonio

Fleet Equipment Magazine: How to Increase Diesel Truck Sustainability, Efficiency Via Lubricants, TAMEST Member Selda Gunsel, Ph.D. (NAE), Shell

Forbes: This Nobel Prize-Winning Molecule Could be the Best Thing for Anti-Aging, TAMEST Nobel Laureates Robert F. Curl, Ph.D. (NAS), and the late Richard E. Smalley, Ph.D. (NAS), Rice University

Mirage News: MD Anderson and Other top U.S. Cancer Centers Call for Urgent Action to get Cancer-Preventing HPV Vaccination Back on Track, TAMEST Member Maura L. Gillison, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM), The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Member Briefs

TAMEST Member Moshe Y. Vardi from Rice University Wins Knuth Prize

TAMEST congratulates its Member Moshe Y. Vardi, Ph.D. (NAE, NAS), Rice University, for receiving the 2021 Donald E. Knuth Prize, one of theoretical computer science’s most prestigious awards. Dr. Vardi, University Professor and the Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering, was honored for “high-impact, seminal contributions to the foundations of computer science.” The Knuth Prize includes a $10,000 award and is given annually to one person for major research accomplishments and contributions to the foundations of computer science over an extended period of time. Read More

Researchers Develop New Metal-Free Recyclable Polypeptide Battery that Degrades on Demand

A multidisciplinary team of researchers from Texas A&M University has made a breakthrough that could lead to battery production moving away from cobalt. In an article published in the May issue of Nature, TAMEST Member Karen L. Wooley, Ph.D. (NAS), and a team of researchers outline their research into a new battery technology platform that is completely metal free. This new battery technology platform utilizes a polypeptide organic radical construction. Read More

TAMEST also congratulates Dr. Wooley on being named the 2021 SEC Professor of the Year.

New Gene Editing Strategies Developed for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists led by TAMEST Member Eric N. Olson, Ph.D. (NAM, NAS), successfully employed a new type of gene therapy to treat mice with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), uniquely utilizing CRISPR-Cas9-based tools to restore a large section of the dystrophin protein that is missing in many DMD patients. The approach, described online in the journal Science Advances, could lead to a treatment for DMD and inform the treatment of other inherited diseases. Read More

Cellphone Converts into Powerful Chemical Detector

Scientists from Texas A&M University have developed an extension to an ordinary cellphone that turns it into an instrument capable of detecting chemicals, drugs, biological molecules and pathogens. The advance, authored by TAMEST Member Peter M. Rentzepis, Ph.D. (NAS), is reported in Reviews of Scientific Instruments by AIP Publishing. The system includes an inexpensive diode laser as a light source, oriented at right angles to the line connecting the sample and the cellphone camera. The right-angle arrangement prevents back reflected light from entering the camera. Read More

Study Explores How Private Equity Acquisitions Impact Hospitals

Private equity investment in hospitals has grown substantially in the 21st century, and it accelerated in the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now a study of short-term acute care hospitals acquired by private equity firms finds they not only have higher markups and profit margins, they’re also slower to expand their staffs. The study was published in Health Affairs and completed by a multi-institutional team of investigators including TAMEST Member Vivian Ho, Ph.D. (NAM), Rice University/Baylor College of Medicine, and examined private involvement in short-term acute care hospitals and combed through proprietary databases to identify private equity transactions involving such hospitals between 2003 and 2017. Read More

The Latino COVID-19 Vaccine “Change of Heart” Bilingual Storytelling Campaign

To help move Latinos from vaccine hesitancy to vaccine confidence, the Salud America! national program led by TAMEST Board Past President Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H. (NAM), UT Health San Antonio, is uplifting the stories of real Latinos who overcame misinformation, got the vaccine, reconnected with family and are helping end the pandemic. Find and share Latino #VaccineChangeofHeart stories (with videos, fact sheets and social graphics) in English and Spanish. Read More

Advanced Microscopy Reveals Twin Boundary Defect in Soft-Block Copolymer

Using a sophisticated electron microscopy technique, researchers from Texas A&M University have uncovered a single microscopic defect, known as a “twin” in a soft-block copolymer. The study, led by TAMEST Member Edwin L. Thomas, Ph.D. (NAE) and his team, found a twin boundary defect in a soft polymer material having a double gyroid shape for the first time. The results have been described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). This microscopic defect could be manipulated in the days to come to produce materials that have unique photonic and acoustic characteristics. Read More

 

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