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Research Education in Texas to be highlighted by presentations at State Capitol Wednesday

Presidents and provosts of five Texas universities and student representatives of each school will discuss research projects and how their research benefits Texans during ‘Research Education in Texas’ on Wednesday (Jan. 15) at the State Capitol.

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AUSTIN, Texas—Presidents and provosts of five Texas universities and student representatives of each school will discuss research projects and how their research benefits Texans during “Research Education in Texas” on Wednesday (Jan. 15) at the State Capitol.

A reception featuring the presidents of Texas AandM University (Robert M. Gates), the University of Houston (Arthur K. Smith), the University of North Texas (Norval F. Pohl), the interim president of Texas Tech University (Donald R. Haragan) and the executive vice president and provost of The University of Texas at Austin (Sheldon Ekland-Olson) will be held from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Capitol Grill.

During the reception, students will explain their work to legislators, detailing the background of the projects and their potential for positive impact on life in Texas.

Some of the research projects led by faculty members and supervised by students that will be on display include:

  • The University of Texas at Austin: “Miniature Microscopes for Early Cancer Detection” — research focuses on the early detection of curable pre-cancers that have the potential to significantly lower cancer mortality and incidence. Research at The University of Texas at Austin strives to engineer enhanced imaging systems and fiber optic microscopes that provide better identification of tumors at the earliest possible stages, when therapies have the best chance of being curative.
  • Texas AandM University: “Anthrax Detection” — studies the use of quantum mechanics to slow the speed of light, causing air molecules to vibrate. Anthrax has a vibration “signature” different from pollen, and this research may one day yield anthrax detectors that could be stationed in buildings for quick readings.
  • Texas Tech University: “Effective Deterrence for Aviation Security” — provides a systematic approach to compare and evaluate different types of aviation security strategies to improve the prediction, prevention and detection of terrorist activities in the war against terrorism.
  • University of Houston: “Emerging Advanced Material Technologies” — highlights two research centers pursuing multidisciplinary research on new material technologies, with applications ranging from medical devices, to energy transmission and generation to chemical and biological sensors.
  • University of North Texas: “Applied Neuronal Network Dynamics” — focuses on uses of nerve cell networks as biosensor systems for identification and evaluation of pharmacological and toxicological materials. Broadband-based biosensor responses also can be used in military and homeland security scenarios.

Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn has said that Texas receives $5 in economic benefit for every $1 spent on higher education, with a total benefit of $28 billion.

During the week of Jan. 27-31, the five universities also will feature displays in the Capitol Rotunda ground floor that will highlight other significant research projects at the institutions.

For more information contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847.