July 2018
Chris Chen, Ph.D., is principal investigator on the project.
SNPRC Testing Potential New Vaccine Therapy For Hepatitis B
July 28th is World Hepatitis Day. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 1.2 million people have chronic hepatitis B, according to the CDC. Texas Biomed has won an approximately $300,000 commercial contract to assist TheVax Genetics Vaccine Company, a pharmaceutical company in Taiwan, with testing a proprietary HBV vaccine in baboons. The animals got their first vaccinations on June 12, 2018. Principal Investigator Chris Chen, Ph.D., explains the vaccine delivers a Hepatitis B protein that will activate immune cells. Eight animals will receive six vaccinations over 20 weeks. Then, scientists will be observing the immune response. "Here's what makes this project unique," Dr. Chen said. "The idea is the vaccine could potentially work as a therapeutic as well as a prophylactic, or preventative measure." 


Dr. Ruth Ruprecht
Research Shows Promising New Route for Protection Against HIV Infection

A group of scientists at Texas Biomed have zeroed in on a new defense for protection against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Led by Ruth Ruprecht, M.D., Ph.D., the team used an animal model to show for the first time that an antibody called Immunoglobulin M (IgM) was effective in preventing infection after exposure. The study is published in the July 16, 2018 edition of the journal AIDS. "This basically opens up a new area of research," Dr. Ruprecht said.
Undetected Zika Infections May Be Triggering Stillbirths And Miscarriages
According to the Texas Health and Human Services Department, 381 cases of Zika have been reported since 2015. The disease is still poorly understood. Working with five other National Primate Research Centers, the Southwest National Primate Research Center took part in a newly-published Zika study that showed pregnancy loss due to Zika infections in women who don't show any symptoms may be more common than previously thought. The results of the study in nonhuman primates parallel human reports of more significant adverse outcomes in babies exposed to Zika virus during the first trimester.

Summertime is Prime Time for School Tours
Students from the Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy Scholars program interested in pursuing careers in biomedical sciences spent part of their summer learning about the amazing research going on at Texas Biomed. We love to share our science with students who share our passion for learning. Texas Biomed also hosted students from the UT Public Health High School Summer Program. Talented young people from all over San Antonio learned about our commitment to eradicating the threat of infectious diseases from some of our scientists and animal experts.
Listen! New Podcasts

Tom Slick, Jr.
Pioneer of the Possible & CRISPR
Texas Biomed founder Tom Slick was a true innovator, and our scientists are living out his vision every day. Click here to listen to "Tom Slick: Pioneer of the Possible" as his niece explores the life and ideas of our eminent founder.  
And, our latest podcast explores the fascinating technology deemed the Swiss army knife of the lab -- CRISPR -- and how Texas Biomed scientists are using gene editing to develop a new animal model to study liver cancer.
Subscribe to all of our podcasts either through iTunes, Android, Stitcher, TuneIn or by email. Click here to enter your email address and you will get a new episode delivered to  your inbox every two weeks.
Wendy Rigby
Media and Communications Specialist
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