TAMEST Member News Roundup- October 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: More Insurers Will Stop Waiving Out-of-Pocket Expenses for COVID Treatments, TAMEST Member Vivian Ho, Ph.D. (NAM), Rice University/Baylor College of Medicine

Physics World: Life Beyond the Nobel: Russell Hulse’s Path from Binary Pulsar Discoverer to Plasma Physicist, TAMEST Member and Nobel Laureate Russell A. Hulse, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Dallas

The Texas Tribune: A Texas-made COVID-19 Vaccine is in Demand Overseas. Why not Here?, TAMEST Member Peter J. Hotez, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM), Baylor College of Medicine

The Telegraph: What are the Battery Technologies of the Future, and When Will They Arrive?, TAMEST Member and Nobel Laureate John B. Goodenough, Ph.D. (NAE, NAS), The University of Texas at Austin

Member Briefs

In Remembrance Peter O'Donnell

Peter O’Donnell, Jr., one of Texas’ greatest philanthropists, passed away October 10th in Dallas, Texas. Peter and his wife Edith were passionate supporters of science, research and education in Texas. Their shared vision to nurture and recognize the next generation of scientists has had a profound impact on our state’s research community, a legacy that lives on through the Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards. Read the Obituary

NIH Awards UT Southwestern Researchers $4.4 Million to Study the Genetic Basis of Vocal Learning 

A UT Southwestern Medical Center research team has received the National Institutes of Health’s prestigious Transformative Research Award to further their study of zebra finches to investigate the genetic basis of vocal imitation abilities. The award grants $4.4 million over five years to TAMEST Member Joseph Takahashi, Ph.D., (NAM, NAS), Professor and Chair of Neuroscience; Todd Roberts, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Neuroscience; and Kent Hamra, Ph.D., a Senior Research Associate in Obstetrics and Gynecology. The Transformative Research Award is part of nearly $9 million in prestigious NIH Director’s Awards received by UT Southwestern researchers from the NIH Common Fund’s High-Risk, High-Reward Program, which supports scientists pursuing highly innovative research with the potential to have a broad impact on biomedical, behavioral, or social sciences. Read More

New Hydrogel Tablet Can Rapidly Purify Contaminated Water

As much as a third of the world’s population does not have access to clean drinking water, according to some estimates, and half of the population could live in water-stressed areas by 2025. Finding a solution to this problem could save and improve lives for millions of people, and it is a high priority among scientists and engineers around the globe. Scientists and engineers at The University of Texas at Austin, including TAMEST Member Keith Paul Johnston, Ph.D. (NAE) and 2021 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Engineering Recipient Guihua Yu, Ph.D., have created a hydrogel tablet that can rapidly purify contaminated water. One tablet can disinfect a liter of river water and make it suitable for drinking in an hour or less. Read More

University of Houston Professors Develop Intranasal COVID Vaccine

Past TAMEST Protégé Navin Varadarajan, Ph.D., University of Houston, has developed a COVID-19 vaccine that can be administered through the nose, with hopes to soon test on humans. Dr. Varadarajan, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UH, has devoted much of his post-doctoral work to immunology and understanding how the body protects itself. His background in immunology gave him the idea for an intranasal vaccine, which can be effective in triggering a strong immune response at the site of pathogen infection. Along with Dr. Xinli Liu, associate professor of pharmaceuticals at the UH College of Pharmacy, Varadarajan launched a biotech company AuraVax Therapeutics Inc., to develop the vaccine. So far, the scientists have tested the drug on mice and ferrets in a laboratory setting; early results show comprehensive COVID immunity within seven days, Liu said. Read More

Rice University Vice Provost for Research Will Step Down After Seven Years

Yousif Shamoo, Ph.D. announced that he is stepping down as Rice University’s Vice Provost for Research after seven years in the position. Shamoo’s transition will go into effect January 2022, according to an announcement from TAMEST Member and Provost Reginald DesRoches, Ph.D. (NAE), Rice University. Dr. Shamoo joined Rice’s faculty in 1998 and previously served as Rice’s director of the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering from 2008-2014. He was appointed to the vice provost of research position in 2014. Read More

Texas A&M, Aggie Women Network Announce 2021 Eminent Scholars

TAMEST Member Karen Wooley, Ph.D. (NAS), Texas A&M University and Dr. Valerie Hudson were named 2021 Eminent Scholars by Aggie Women and the Texas A&M Office of the President. The award recognizes outstanding research, scholarship and service among women faculty. Recipients of the Eminent Scholar Award receive a $4,000 gift and will be honored at the Aggie Women Network Awards Luncheon on October 29, 2021. Read More

Former Astronaut Honored with Thayer Award at West Point

Former NASA astronaut, engineer, social scientist, Peace Corps Medical Officer and TAMEST Member Mae C. Jemison, M.D (NAM), The Jemison Group, became the 63rd recipient of the Sylvanus Thayer Award at West Point in October. Dr. Jemison was the first African American woman to embark on a space mission when she was selected in September 1992 to make an eight-day journey on the shuttle orbiter Endeavor as the mission’s science specialist, overseeing 44 different experiments while onboard. Jemison is also the leader of 100 Year Starship, an organization that aims to facilitate human space travel to another star system within 100 years. Read More

AIME Announces Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal Winner in Texas

TAMEST Member Oliver C. Mullins, Ph.D. (NAE), Schlumberger Limited is the 2021 recipient of the AIME Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal. Established in 1936, this award recognizes distinguished achievement in improving the technique and practice of finding or producing petroleum. This award is administered by the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Learn More

 

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