Navigation Links
2 UT Southwestern scientists honored as rising stars in Texas research

DALLAS Dec. 11, 2012 The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST) today announced that two UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers are among the four chosen for the 2013 Edith and Peter O'Donnell Awards.

Dr. Lora Hooper, associate professor of immunology and microbiology, and Dr. Youxing Jiang, professor of physiology, will be honored at a banquet at the Westin Galleria in Dallas on Jan. 17 in conjunction with TAMEST's 10th annual conference. Both are accomplished Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators, and Dr. Hooper also has an appointment in UT Southwestern's Cancer Immunobiology Center. Each year, the awards honor outstanding achievements by early-career investigators in science, medicine, engineering, and technology innovation. Each award consists of a $25,000 honorarium, a citation, a trophy, and an invitation to speak at the conference.

The 2013 O'Donnell Award in Medicine honors Dr. Hooper for her discovery of immune mechanisms that promote host-bacterial interactions. These discoveries in part explain how beneficial bacteria can safely exist in the intestinal tract and may ultimately reveal what to do when illness-causing bacteria predominate. The 2013 O'Donnell Award in Science recognizes Dr. Jiang's efforts to elucidate the atomic structures of membrane-bound ion channels, which are cell surface proteins that allow specific charged particles like sodium and potassium ions to pass through or be blocked by cell membranes.

"The achievements of Dr. Hooper and Dr. Jiang exemplify the breadth of research under way at UT Southwestern, important work with benefits we hope will extend across the state of Texas and throughout the world of medical science," said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern.

"We are grateful to Edith and Peter O'Donnell for their support of scientific advancement." Ion channels are so fundamental to human existence that problems in these proteins are blamed for a range of conditions called channelopathies, which include some forms of epilepsy, migraine, fibromyalgia and paralysis. Solving the atomic structure of ion channels, a very high-tech way of visualizing them at the atomic level, is a major step toward understanding and better treating these conditions, Dr. Jiang explained.

"I am deeply honored," said Dr. Jiang. "This award recognizes the hard work of many outstanding scientists in my lab. I am also grateful for the incredible support that the physiology department and the university have provided to us."

Much of Dr. Hooper's research focuses on the battles that take place, or don't, in a sort of "demilitarized zone" in the intestine. That zone is a 50-micron-wide area about half the width of a human hair between the intestinal wall and the normally good, or commensal, bacteria that live in the gut. Under normal conditions, these bacteria aid in digestion and the delivery of nutrients from the food we eat without damaging the delicate intestinal lining. When something goes wrong with this arrangement the bacteria are able to invade the intestinal wall and can cause inflammatory bowel disorders.

"It is a tremendous honor to receive this award, which is a reflection of the contributions of many excellent students and colleagues that I've worked with in my lab, as well as the collaborative environment and standard of scientific excellence at UT Southwestern," Dr. Hooper said. Last fall, Dr. Hooper published a study in the journal Science showing for the first time how a protein that her laboratory discovered in 2006 works to police the intestinal demilitarized zone and keep bacteria from damaging the intestinal lining.

Most recently, in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in October, her laboratory found that gut bacteria launch biological warfare against other bacterial species in response to environmental stress, such as changes in available nutrients or the presence of antibiotics. The bacteria go to war by churning out viruses that attack other bacterial species. The scientists hope to harness this intestinal warfare to develop ways to fight antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.

Other 2013 O'Donnell Award winners are Dr. Li Shi of UT-Austin for engineering and Dr. Timothy Nedwed of ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company for technology innovation.


Contact: Deborah Wormser
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Related medicine news :

1. Midlife fitness staves off chronic disease at end of life, UT Southwestern researchers report
2. UT Southwestern named the official health care team of the Dallas Stars
3. UT Southwestern investigators awarded $48.2 million in latest round of CPRIT grants
4. UT Southwestern study suggests new treatment target for deadly brain tumors
5. UT Southwestern study shows treating diabetes early, intensively is best strategy
6. Drug resistant leukemia stem cells may be source of genetic chaos, Temple scientists find
7. UCLA cancer scientists identify liposarcoma tumors that respond to chemotherapy
8. To make old skin cells act young again, boost their surroundings, U-M scientists show
9. Temple scientists target DNA repair to eradicate leukemia stem cells
10. Green scientists propose safety testing system for development of new chemicals
11. Scientists discover mechanism that could reduce obesity
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
2 UT Southwestern scientists honored as rising stars in Texas research
(Date:10/13/2017)... Abilene, Texas (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... publication this week that explains one of the most popular and least understood books ... seems like cryptic and puzzling descriptions that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the ... in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the ... She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent and San ... using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million Americans are ... cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about 75 percent ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( ), one of the ... new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides optimal support and ... pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that is circulated from ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Information about ... intend to develop to enable prevention of a major side effect of chemotherapy ... especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed on-label as ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017  According to the Centers for Disease ... end of October . PhysicianOne Urgent Care is helping communities across ... Westchester, NY , by offering no-cost* flu shots through the end ... mandated by certain health insurance regulations. ... The best time to get a flu shot is by the end ...
(Date:10/2/2017)...  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, the combined central specialty pharmacy ... benefit manager Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime), today officially began ... unveiling of new signage at its headquarters in ... a few other company-owned facilities across the country. This ... of whom will begin to see the AllianceRx Walgreens ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... 28, 2017 Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Early ... of wearable and home sensors for real-time monitoring of ... Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on disruptive health solutions ... affordable analytical system to record and integrate behavioral, cognitive, ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: