For the Faculty and Staff of The University of Texas at Arlington

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cancer research

Detecting cancer: Dr. Samir Iqbal, left, and Dr. Shawn Christensen are working on a collaborative project that more accurately detects certain types of cancer.

Researchers detect disposition for cancers with nanotechnology

Researchers Samir Iqbal and Shawn Christensen are perfecting a system to detect a gene mutation implicated in 90 percent of pancreatic cancers and often in lung cancer by running tiny amounts of blood over nanomaterials.

Their work will help physicians give more information to patients who are predisposed to certain maladies and prescribe therapy and healthy behaviors that may delay or eliminate the risk of certain diseases.

Dr. Iqbal, assistant professor of electrical engineering, and Dr. Christensen, assistant professor of biology, have shown that the research is “a major breakthrough that can benefit millions of people who acquire diseases like cancer from their inherited or malfunctioning genes.”

“What it means potentially is that anything that is known to be a genetic marker for certain diseases can be detected within a few minutes,” Iqbal says. “We use electrical detection to fish for certain genes and detect these from very, very small samples.”

“Our work could be used to detect any genetic marker,” Christensen says. “If a disease has a known genetic component to it, we can tell you whether you have the gene that might lead to the disease.”

Their screening process uses about a quarter of a milliliter of blood, or a little more than the amount of blood needed from a diabetic to test for blood glucose.

Read more about using gene mutation screening research.

Samar Mohanty and Kytai Nguyen

Laser 'tweezer' cell manipulation could lead to better drug delivery

Samar Mohanty, assistant professor of physics, and Kytai Nguyen, associate professor of bioengineering, are part of a collaborative research effort in the Biophysics and Physiology Lab that uses laser beams to manipulate cells that lead drug-carrying nanoparticles to cancer cells that need the medicine.

These focused laser beams are called optical tweezers and are used in cell manipulation.

The team has tested the process at the microscopic level using human cells and will present the research at this month's meeting of the American Physical Society in Dallas.

Dr. Nguyen says results from this research would help investigators design nanoparticles that have more therapeutic benefits while reducing severe side effects often seen in chemotherapy.

See more about the optical tweezer development.

Second informational Town Hall meeting set for March 25

At a February Town Hall meeting, President James D. Spaniolo pledged to maintain clear and regular communications with the University community on budget challenges facing the University during the 82nd Session of the Texas Legislature.

Faculty and staff are invited to attend the second informational meeting this semester hosted by the president and Provost Donald R. Bobbitt. The session is intended to provide an open forum to hear concerns, answer questions, and reaffirm the University’s ongoing commitment to our long-term institutional priorities.

The meeting will take place noon-1 p.m. Friday, March 25, in Room 245W of the Business Building.

ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp

Science is fun: Bernard Harris, fourth from left, works with campers during a science experiment at last year's camp.

ExxonMobil presents two-week camp in July

The ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp—a free two-week residential camp for middle school students—returns to campus July 17-29.

The event is one of 25 planned this summer at universities throughout the U.S. to increase interest in math and science. It is made possible by an $80,000 grant to the UT Arlington College of Science from the ExxonMobil Foundation and Dr. Harris, who is a NASA researcher and the first African-American astronaut to walk in space.

To be selected, applicants must be members of traditionally underserved or under-represented populations and entering sixth, seventh, or eighth grade in fall 2011. For other requirements and instructions on how to apply, visit Applications are due by Friday, April 8.

Streets closed Thursday and Friday

Parts of Third Street and West Street on the southeast side of campus will be closed 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Friday, March 17-18, as trucks haul away a chiller that was disassembled at the Thermal Energy Plant this week.

The area affected is south of the Health Services Center and west of the Business Building. For more information, see Blazing Construction.

Benefit Yourself

Fresh Start from Tobacco

Health Services offers free tobacco cessation education classes as UT Arlington moves toward becoming a tobacco-free campus in August. The Fresh Start from Tobacco program consists of four one-hour classes designed to educate and assist individuals who are ready to make a fresh start from tobacco use. These seminars cover steps to understanding addiction, quitting and coping strategies, and receiving help. It is important to attend all four sessions. Free. See class schedule for times. Tuesday, March 22, and Wednesday, March 23. Room B03, Health Services Center. See a complete listing of HR training classes.

Kids and Teens

Kids and Teens University

LEGO and Planetarium summer youth programs are available through Continuing Education. Register your children at Kids and Teens. Come to the open house Wednesday, May 18. Continuing Education, 2-2581.

Word 2010

Learn basic techniques in this mainstay of word processing. Free. 9-11 a.m. Thursday, March 24. Room 123, Hammond Hall. See more information on OIT Training.

Employment Information

Check out employment opportunities at Have questions? Call Human Resources/Employment Services at 2-3461 or TDD 2-8139, or e-mail The University of Texas at Arlington is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.

Sports Notes
Brian Nephew

Hit man: Senior third baseman Brian Nephew went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored in Tuesday's 3-2 win over TCU.


Baseball hosts UT San Antonio in weekend series

After getting off to a 2-1 start in the Southland Conference, the baseball team hosts UT San Antonio in a three-game SLC series Friday-Sunday, March 18-20, at Clay Gould Ballpark. See the schedule below in the Going Out section for game times.

The Mavericks are 10-7 overall, following wins over ninth-ranked TCU and Louisiana Tech in non-conference games this week.

Martin places third in NCAA heptathlon

Romain Martin capped the indoor season with a third-place finish in the heptathlon at the NCAA Track and Field Championships last weekend at College Station.

Martin was seventh after the first day but turned in a strong performance in the pole vault as he climbed to third on the second and final day of competition.

The Mavericks begin the outdoor track season Saturday, March 19, at the Horned Frog Invitational in Fort Worth.

Movin' Mavs finish third while hosting national tourney

Jorge Sanchez scored 25 points and John McPhail had nine assists in leading the Movin' Mavs to a 65-62 overtime victory over Alabama in the men's third-place game at the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Intercollegiate National Tournament last weekend in Texas Hall.

Wisconsin-Whitewater defeated Illinois 66-54 to win the men's title, and Alabama topped Wisconsin-Whitewater 58-56 for the women's crown.

Sports shorts

  • Golf—Sophomore Paul McConnell took medalist honors at the San Diego Intercollegiate Golf Tournament on Tuesday as the Mavericks shared the team title with SMU. Border Olympics begins Friday, March 18, in Laredo.
  • Softball—Mavericks are 5-1 in the Southland Conference and 18-11 overall. Play at Central Arkansas this weekend. Host Nicholls State Saturday-Sunday, March 26-27.
  • Women's Tennis—Off to a 4-0 start in the conference and 8-2 overall. Junior Maria Martinez-Romero has a 10-0 singles record with eight of the wins coming at the No. 3 position.
  • Men's Tennis—Hosts Columbia and New Mexico State Friday, March 18, and Sunday, March 20. Record is 5-5 overall and 0-1 in SLC.

(For more sports news, go to,, or

Going Out

Friday, March 18

Men's Tennis Mavericks vs. Columbia. Free. 2 p.m. UTA Tennis Center. Athletics, 2-2261.

$2 Movie: Life As We Know It Two single adults become caregivers to an orphaned girl when their mutual best friends die in an accident. Rated PG. 5:30 p.m. Also 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 19. Planetarium, 2-1183.

Baseball Mavericks vs. UT San Antonio. Free with UTA ID. 6:30 p.m. Also 2 p.m. Saturday, March 19, and 1 p.m. Sunday, March 20. Clay Gould Ballpark. Athletics, 2-2261.

Sunday, March 20

Brent Phillips

Men's Tennis Mavericks vs. New Mexico State. Free. 11 a.m. UTA Tennis Center. Athletics, 2-2261.

Monday, March 21

Guest Trombone Recital Features Brent Phillips, right, of the Baylor University music faculty. Free. 7:30 p.m. Irons Recital Hall, Fine Arts Building. Music, 2-3471.

Tuesday, March 22

Clavier Series Piano Recital Features UT Arlington piano students. Free. 7:30 p.m. Irons Recital Hall, Fine Arts Building. Music, 2-3471.

Wednesday, March 23

A Night with the Science Guy Making science entertaining and accessible is something Bill Nye's been doing most of his life. All advance tickets for the Maverick Speakers Series presentation at 7:30 p.m. have been distributed. Guests without tickets will be seated as space permits. Arrive at Texas Hall by 6:30 p.m. and check in at the Guest Relations window. An additional Bill Nye Roundtable discussion, hosted by ACES, will be held at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are available at


Gallery 76102 "A Certain Shade of the Aftermath," an exhibit by Timothy Harding, deals with U.S. history, corporate infrastructure, heavy metal music, terrorism, and popular culture. Free. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and 2-6 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. Through March 31. Gallery 76102, Fort Worth Center.

Six Flags Over Texas Exhibit Celebrate 50 years of an Arlington landmark with this interactive exhibit "What You Wish the World Could Be: The Early Years of Six Flags Over Texas." Free. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Through May 14. Special Collections, sixth floor, Central Library.

Combat Narratives: Stories and Artifacts from UT Arlington Veterans Artifacts, memorabilia, and gear on loan from UT Arlington military veterans and objects carried, used, or found by U.S. servicemen and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. Free. Through May 21. Sixth floor atrium, Central Library. Library and OneBook.

Exposure: Photos from the Second Battle of Fallujah Photographs from the Second Battle of Fallujah taken by UT Arlington student and Marine Corps veteran Joel Chaverri. Free. Through May 21. Sixth floor parlor, Central Library. Library and OneBook.

Planetarium Open during Spring Break. See the complete Planetarium schedule, 2-1183.

(For an expanded list of events, see the UT Arlington Calendar.)



Editors: Jim Patterson, Teresa Newton

Executive Director for University Publications: Mark Permenter

Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing: David Johnson

Vice President for Communications: Jerry Lewis

Published by University Communications. Photography, video, design, and online services provided by the Department of Communications and Marketing.

© 2011 The University of Texas at Arlington


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