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Nov. 17 symposia focus on bioterrorism, microorganisms

Distinguished scientists will discuss bioterrorism and microbial diseases in Texas during a pair of symposia from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel, 205 E. Houston St. The symposia conclude the annual meeting of the Texas Branch of the American Society for Microbiology. The public is asked to arrive for registration by 7:30 a.m. Cost is $10 a person.

Karl Klose, Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, is president of the Texas Branch.

One symposium, "Bioterrorism and Centers for Disease Control Select Agent Biology," will be offered in the hotel's Crystal Ballroom. The program schedule follows:

8 a.m."Bioterrorism," Ted Cieslak, Brooke Army Medical Center

9 a.m. "Countering Disease and Bioterrorism," Jean Patterson, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research

9:55 a.m."Linking Anthrax Toxin Synthesis to Bacillus anthracis Development," Terry Koehler, UT Health Science Center at Houston

10:30 a.m. "Role of macrophage effector mechanisms in controlling Brucella abortus infection," Renee Tsolis, Texas A&M University

11:05 a.m."Intracellular survival strategies of Coxiella burnetii," Jim Samuel, Texas A&M University

"Dr. Cieslak worked for USAMRIID (the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases) and knows a great deal about bioterrorism," Dr. Klose said. "Dr. Patterson is assisting our Health Science Center team on a project to develop oral vaccines for anthrax and tularemia. Dr. Koehler has performed some of the leading studies of anthrax infection. Drs. Tsolis and Samuel study two other potential bioweapons."

The Texas Department of Health will provide the other forum, "Microbial Diseases in Texas," in the Quadrangle Room. Topics will include incidence of hepatitis C in Texas, and bioterrorism and public health laboratory preparedness.

Contact: Will Sansom or Aileen Salinas