Two UTHCT scientists contribute to essential manual for clinical microbiology labs; biotechnology grad wins thesis award

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Two scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler have written a comprehensive chapter on mycobacteria in a just published manual that will be used in laboratories around the world.

And a graduate of the Biotechnology Graduate Program has been honored for his master’s thesis. The biotechnology program is a collaboration between UTHSCT and Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches.

Richard Wallace, MD, and Barbara Brown-Elliott wrote the chapter entitled "Susceptibility Testing of Mycobacteria" in "Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing Protocols," a manual for clinical microbiology labs.

Clinical microbiology labs are important because they are often the first to detect drug resistant strains of microorganisms. Effective, standardized texts such as "Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing" are necessary to identify patterns of drug resistance.

Mycobacteria are potentially disease-causing microorganisms that can cause pulmonary and other types of diseases, such as infections of the skin and internal organs. Their chapter clearly defines the role of the clinical mycobacteriology laboratory in integrated patient care.

Dr. Wallace, director of UTHSCT’s Mycobacteria/Nocardia Laboratory, is professor of medicine and microbiology. Brown-Elliott is a medical technologist and is certified as a specialist in microbiology by the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

In addition, biotechnology graduate Koteswara Rao Gottipati received the William R. Johnson Outstanding Thesis Award on May 12 during SFA’s commencement ceremony. The honor recognizes the best thesis by an SFA graduate student based on its significance, originality of thought, and quality of writing.

Gottipati graduated in December 2006 with a master’s in science from the biotechnology program operated jointly by UTHSCT and SFA. His thesis was "Passive Cigarette Smoke Inhibits UB-induced Skin Tumors in Mice."

Barry Starcher, Ph.D., a UTHSCT professor of biochemistry, directed Gottipati’s research. Gottipati recently was formally honored at a UTHSCT awards ceremony. He currently works in the lab of Vijay Boggaram. Ph.D., a UTHSCT professor of molecular biology.

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