Bridging gaps to save lives: UH hosts nanotechnology conference

02/17/05

Alliance for NanoHealth workshop fosters collaborations among regional researchers

HOUSTON, Feb. 17, 2005 Bridging gaps between medicine, biology, materials science, public policy and nanotechnology to provide new clinical approaches for saving lives, the Alliance for NanoHealth (ANH) is holding a workshop from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 23, hosted by the University of Houston.

Congressman John Culberson (R-TX) will be the keynote speaker at lunch, discussing the $6.4 million awarded to the ANH during the FY05 Appropriations process. The Appropriations Committee designated $1.6 million to construct and equip a full-service "clean room" at UH that features a non-vibration floor, static-free environment and special air filters to remove virtually all dust particles. Rep. Culberson has played a major role, soliciting strong congressional support, to promote and secure funding for the Alliance. Dedicated to fully funding peer reviewed scientific and medical research, he has been particularly focused on helping the ANH.

Located at the Hilton Americas in downtown Houston, this scientific workshop plans to promote networking and new research opportunities among researchers at regional institutions focused on research collaborations and advancements in the areas of bioanalytics, nanotechnology and bioinformatics. How nanohealth research may meet the needs of NASA exploration missions will be a key theme addressed.

Providing participants the opportunity to interact with regional researchers involved in life science investigations at the nano level and to understand the current NASA Roadmap for exploration focused on research in the area of autonomous health care, the workshop offers a unique opportunity to discuss mission-based NASA life sciences research with the regional researchers who are currently working on addressing the challenges faced by extended human space exploration, as well as those involved with nanotechnology research.

"A key outcome of this workshop is for the Alliance for NanoHealth, NASA and private industry to build new collaborations associated with local research institutions and economic development organizations," said Arthur C. Vailas, vice chancellor and vice president for UH System and the UH Office of Research and Intellectual Property Management.

The registration table opens at 8:30 a.m., and the morning session starts at 9:30 a.m. in the BOA DE room. This first session will offer presentations by NASA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, describing how those agencies might work with and benefit from the Alliance for NanoHealth research efforts. The afternoon session, starting at 1:30 p.m. in rooms 336, 340 and 343, will consist of study groups followed by a panel discussion with the goal of facilitating collaborative research among the Alliance partners, as well as building momentum to pursue state and national visibility and funding.

Comprised of world-class research institutions and innovative scientists and clinicians from within the Texas Medical Center and greater Houston community, the Alliance for NanoHealth member institutions are Baylor College of Medicine, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Rice University, University of Houston, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and The University of Texas Medical Branch. Combining a unique mix of disciplines and institutions with "wet" research meeting "dry" research, the Alliance allows for nanomaterials from the dry world to be used in solving medical problems in the ultimate of wet environments the human body. Collaborative research projects within the Alliance aim to address a multitude of medical issues, ranging from better drugs and more powerful diagnostic techniques to portable monitoring devices and smaller, more reliable implants, such as miniature, nanoscale, pacemakers.

Online registration for the workshop is required by Feb. 20 at http://www.nanohealthalliance.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=3394. For more information, contact Brenda Boyko, workshop coordinator and project director of research initiatives at UH, at 713-743-9259 or bsboyko@central.uh.edu.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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