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UTSA welcomes scientists from Beirut for Nov. 18 San Antonio Infectious Disease Symposium

November, 2011

Education, government and industry experts from across Texas and as far away as Beirut will gather at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) on Nov. 18 for the San Antonio Infectious Disease Research Symposium. The meeting, sponsored by the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases (STCEID) and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), is free and open to the public who have registered in advance.

The San Antonio Infectious Disease Research Symposium is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 18 at the UTSA Main Campus University Center.

Robert Gracy, UTSA vice president for research; Karl Klose, professor of microbiology and director of the STECID; and Alexander Abdel-Noor, chair of the American University of Beirut (AUB)’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology will open the symposium. Throughout the day, attendees will hear more than a dozen presentations from infectious disease researchers representing UTSA, the American University of Beirut, the U.S.D.A., the UT Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA), Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Brooke Army Medical Center and SA Scientific. UTSA students will also present posters documenting their research.

Sunil K. Ahuja, M.D. will close the symposium with his keynote address, “Tackling complexity: Decoding the genetic-epigenetic determinants of HIV-AIDS susceptibility.” Dr. Ahuja is UTHSCSA’s Dielmann Chair for Excellence in Medical Research and a professor of medicine, microbiology/immunology and biochemistry.

The infectious disease symposium will nurture a partnership that began in May, when a delegation of UTSA scientists visited Lebanon to learn more about the work of microbiology/immunology researchers and clinicians at the American University of Beirut (AUB). The trip was organized through the AAAS’s International Engagement: Responsible Bioscience for a Safe and Secure Society. The exchange program introduces researchers in the U.S. to researchers in the Middle East or Northern Africa for the purpose of developing joint research collaborations in health, agriculture and security with the potential to improve the well-being of the international community.

The STCEID was established at UTSA in 2005 to support the university’s teaching and research initiatives in molecular microbiology, immunology, medical mycology, virology, microbial genomics, vaccine development and biodefense. The center’s researchers study the pathogenesis of emerging infectious diseases such as chlamydia, tularemia, cholera, Lyme disease, valley fever and others.

There is no charge to attend the symposium for registered attendees. Lunch will be provided. To view the symposium’s full agenda, visit or contact Iselda Rodriguez in the STCEID at or 210-458-6569.



The University of Texas at San Antonio is one of the fastest growing higher education institutions in Texas and one of nine academic universities and six health institutions in the UT System. As a multicultural institution, UTSA aims to be a national research university providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.


UTSA serves more than 30,000 students in 135 degree programs in the colleges of Architecture, Business, Education and Human Development, Engineering, Honors, Liberal and Fine Arts, Public Policy, Sciences and Graduate School. Founded in 1969, UTSA is an intellectual and creative resource center and a socioeconomic development catalyst for Texas and beyond. For more information, visit


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