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UTA In The News — Monday, January 4, 2016

Monday, January 4, 2016

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Laser gene therapy

UTA physicists have developed a new platform that uses ultrafast near-infrared lasers to deliver gene therapy to damaged areas of the retina to enable vision restoration in patients with photo-degenerative diseases, reported Innovation Toronto, Science Daily, Med India, Science Codex, Science Newsline and Health Canal. Samarenda Mohanty, assistant professor of physics and head of UTA’s Biophysics and Physiology Group, demonstrated the effectiveness of the new method in a recent article published by the Nature journal Light: Science & Applications.

Outstanding faculty

The Dallas Morning News noted that three additional UTA faculty members have been named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors for a total of 13, the highest number for a Texas university and the second-highest number in the nation. The 2015 class will include UT Arlington’s Duane Dimos, vice president for research; David Nygren, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Physics; and Kenneth Reifsnider, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The new fellows will be inducted April 15 as part of the academy’s fifth annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Better imaging

Shouyi Wang, an assistant professor of industrial, manufacturing and systems engineering in the UTA College of Engineering, is working to develop a new, personalized respiratory-motion system that leads to a clearer, more precise image of the tumor to be destroyed, reported Congoo News and Medical Xpress. Wang is the principal investigator on a three-year, $250,000 National Science Foundation grant supporting the research.

Glucose reading device

Kyungsuk Yum, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at UTA, is developing an internal nanotechnology device to simplify blood sugar testing, reported BioNews Texas. Yum is developing the device with support from a $100,000 Texas Medical Research Collaborative grant.

Medical anthropology and Congoo News reported on new research from UTA showing that a growing number of North Americans are heading to Central European locations such as the Czech Republic seeking low-cost in vitro fertilization treatments to create a particular kind of family. The trend is detailed by Amy Speier, an assistant professor of medical anthropology, in her forthcoming NYU Press book, "Fertility Holidays: IVF Tourism and the Reproduction of Whiteness."

New state laws

Allan Saxe, associate professor of political science at UTA, was quoted in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article about the more than 50 new state laws going into effect after the New Year saying, “for the most part, many of these laws and regulations are driven by special interests and they may or may not benefit the broader community.”

Ecological environment

The Dallas Morning News reported on work by David Hopman, an associate professor of landscape architecture in the UTA College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs, to test polycultures in a small garden on campus. Polycultures combine different species of plants together, creating an optimal setting for them to thrive.

Masterful teacher

Joshua Lansford, senior lecturer in the UTA Department of Modern Languages, was highlighted on BrioSoul, a web collective of independent bloggers, by a former student who reflected on what made Lansford a great professor. The student wrote that “for those 50 minute lectures, Professor Lansford gave 100 percent of who he was to each and every one of us.”

Road to the White House

KLIF/570 AM interviewed Allan Saxe, UTA associate professor of political science, about the current contenders for the GOP presidential nomination. Saxe also discussed Jeb Bush’s rhetoric against Donald Trump with KTRH/740 AM.

Air pollution in Delhi

Triple published a guest column by Meghna Tare, executive director for the Institute for Sustainability and Global Impact at UTA, about the need for a long-term vision to fight air pollution in Delhi. “What Delhi needs is to have the ambition to be a smart city with good infrastructure, access to public transportation, cleaner/alternative fuels for all modes of transportation, and strict enforcement of Clean Air Standards,” Tare wrote.

Clinical depression and marriage

Jane Hickerson, a licensed clinical social worker and assistant dean of field education in the UTA School of Social Work, was quoted in an essay about clinical depression and marriage in the Texas Observer. When it comes to depression, she says “optimism is replaced with pessimism, and logic is thrown out the window.”

Alumnus in the spotlight

UTA alumnus Jay Veal was named a 2015 Best of the Best in Education by, an online entertainment, news and lifestyle network. Veal is CEO of INC Tutoring and a campus math instructional coach for the Dallas school district. Veal earned his undergraduate degree in information systems and a Master of Education, Curriculum and Instruction, from UTA.

Alumnus in the spotlight

The Dallas Business Journal will honor UTA alumnus R. Jeronimo Valdez, founder and managing partner of Valdez Washington LLP, with a 2016 Minority Business Leader Award, the publication announced late last month. Valdez earned his undergraduate degrees in political science and history from UTA.

Alumnus in the spotlight

Bank SNB has named Clay Jett as Regional President for its South Texas region, reported Jett earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from UTA, with concentrations in finance and economics.

Alumnus in the spotlight

Alumnus Raymie Ramsey has been named principal of Johnson Middle School, reported Rambler Newspapers. Ramsey earned a bachelor’s degree in communication/business from UTA.

Student guest column

Erin Straub, a UTA student, wrote about her experiences living through Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath in a guest column for The Dallas Morning News.