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UTEP Partners with Health Organizations and Institutions for Symposium


UTEP Partners with Health Organizations and Institutions for Symposium


WHAT: MCA Biomedical Research Symposium
WHEN: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26
WHERE: Camino Real Hotel

The University of Texas at El Paso has partnered with several health organizations and institutions to foster biomedical innovation in El Paso.

The first MCA Biomedical Research Symposium will gather biomedical scientists, researchers, clinicians, graduate student and other medical professionals from across the region. The goal of the conference is to motivate and facilitate inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional collaborations that can lead to biomedical innovations or solutions.

In July, the Texas Higher Education Coordination Board approved UTEP's master's and doctoral degree programs in biomedical engineering. UTEP biomedical researchers – faculty and students – are developing technology to diagnose and treat those afflicted with illness and bodily harm in low-resource settings. Below is a summary of UTEP's cutting edge biomedical facilities, researchers and collaborations.

UTEP Border Biomedical Research Center (BBRC):

The $45 million state-of-the-art center has six core laboratories, which allow faculty to conduct vital research using advanced technology.

  • The Analytical Cytology lab provides UTEP scientists with advanced instrumentation to study cell structure, function and disease state.
  • The Bioinformatics Computing lab offers high performance computing capabilities to support computer modeling and database development.
  • The Cell Culture and High Throughput Screening (HTS) Core lab is a comprehensive research facility that provides investigators with advanced technology to conduct cell-based experiments and test a large number of compounds against cancer, pathogens, and other diseases.
  • The DNA Analysis Core Facility supports UTEP researchers in their nucleic acid-based research studies such as sequencing, typing and fingerprinting.
  • The Statistical Consulting Lab provides BBRC faculty with statistical and computing support.
  • Biomolecule Analysis lab supports scientists by specializing in the separation and characterization of biomolecules.

Established in 1992, with support from the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCM) and the National Institutes of Minority Health Disparities (NIMHD), the BBRC addresses health issues relevant to the population along the U.S.-Mexico border.

UTEP Biomedical Research:

Homer Nazeran, Ph.D., UTEP professor of electrical and computer engineering is developing a low-cost, patient-friendly biomedical device in the form of a headband to help individuals monitor their sleep, and doctors diagnose sleep apnea.

Thomas Boland, Ph.D., UTEP director of biomedical engineering is leading to the development of 3-D printed breast implants for cancer patients who have undergone lumpectomies. TeVido BioDevices, which currently holds a license agreement with UTEP on Boland's patent-pending technology, was formed to transition the research into the commercial space.

Wen-Yee Lee, Ph.D., UTEP associate professor of chemistry is developing a treatment to remove endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in reclaimed water and drinking water.

EDCs are chemicals commonly found in household and industrial products, including BPA in plastics and nonylphenols found in detergents and pesticides, that are capable of disrupting hormonal balance within humans and wildlife and leading to reproductive disturbances.

Xiujun (James) Li, Ph.D., UTEP assistant professor of chemistry is studying and developing a more rapid, low-cost and highly sensitive diagnosis of meningitis. Li plans to use a small paper-based 'lab-on-a-chip' – a device that integrates multiple laboratory functions onto a tiny microchip – as the new diagnosis method.

Igor Almeida, Ph.D., UTEP professor of biological sciences has developed a fully protective vaccine for Chagas disease. In 1997, he co-invented the only test in the world that could both diagnose and follow up the treatment of Chagas disease. Today, his test is being used in a $3 million project funded by the Wellcome Trust to see if new and existing drugs against the parasite can reliably treat the disease.

June Kan-Mitchell, Ph.D., UTEP professor of biological sciences is working to create an effective vaccine for HIV. Her ultimate goal is to trigger the human body to make a protective immune response against HIV if it is detected.

Roger Gonzalez, Ph.D., UTEP professor of mechanical engineering, and president and founder of LIMBS International – a leading international nonprofit organization providing ultra low-cost prosthetics around the world – is working to provide new research and education opportunities for students.

UTEP Biomedical Collaboration:

In May 2012, UTEP and Premier Biomedical, Inc. signed a collaboration agreement to conduct joint research of Premier's sequential-dialysis technique, a method for the removal of harmful molecules that cause diseases.

The research projects will use Premier Biomedical, Inc's. patent-pending technology to "Remove the Pathophysiologic Basis of the Disease"™ developed by its co-founder, Dr. Mitchell S. Felder.

The team will concentrate initially on developing treatments for traumatic brain injury, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease.

UTEP Biomedical Research Video:


The University of Texas at El Paso
College of Engineering
Engineering Building Room A148
500 W University Ave
El Paso, TX 79968

Phone: (915) 747-6444
Fax: (915) 747-5437

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