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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
30-Jul-2014

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Contact: Kris Rodriguez
kris.rodriguez@utsa.edu
210-458-5116
University of Texas at San Antonio

San Antonio Life Sciences Institute awards $25,000 for stem cell research

Postdoctoral fellows are working on a stem cell treatment for stroke

IMAGE: The University of Texas at San Antonio Department of Chemistry Post-Doctoral Fellow Emily Boice and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Post-Doctoral Fellow Lei Huang....

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The San Antonio Life Sciences Institute (SALSI), a joint venture between The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, has selected the winners of the Postdoc Initiative Pilot Program. The winners, Emily Boice from UTSA and Lei Huang from the Health Science Center, will receive $25,000 for their project titled, "Novel engineered ferritins for tracking and protecting neural stem cells in post-ischemic environment."

Boice and Huang's research is focused on finding a treatment for stroke through stem cell therapy. After a stroke, the brain has a deficient blood supply, and areas surrounding it are filled with toxic iron. This toxicity is damaging to engrafted stem cells and prevents stem cell-induced healing. Boice and Huang are working on an innovative way to protect stem cells in the post-stroke, hostile environment and allow for them to be tracked by MRI machines.

Since stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and the leading cause of long-term disability worldwide, their research into this field could not only change the landscape of the disease in Texas but also the world.

The SALSI Postdoc Initiative program sought to bring together innovative postdoctoral research fellows from UTSA and the Health Science Center to collaborate on the development of new solutions that will ultimately advance research directions in targeted disease areas that impact the south Texas region. The initiative aims to benefit both postdoctoral fellows and their faculty mentors by introducing new technologies, expanding the research focus, and yielding data for innovative research proposals.

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country's leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university's schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 28,000 graduates. The $736 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways "We make lives better®," visit http://www.uthscsa.edu.

About UTSA

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is an emerging Tier One research institution specializing in health, energy, security, sustainability, and human and social development. With nearly 29,000 students, it is the largest university in the San Antonio metropolitan region. UTSA advances knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. The university embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property – for Texas, the nation and the world.



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