UTMB’s Dr. Scott Weaver
was named as a Fellow by the National Academy of Inventors and will be inducted into the academy on April 5, 2018 during its annual conference in Washington, D.C. Weaver, globally recognized for his expertise in mosquito-borne diseases, is the director of the UTMB Institute for Human Infections and Immunity and scientific director of the Galveston National Laboratory. His work has been widely published and he holds nine patents in vaccine development. He is the chairman of the Global Virus Network’s Zika Task Force and co-chairman of the Chikungunya Task Force, which formed to speed the process for creating vaccines and much-needed diagnostic tools for these viruses, as well as to advocate for research efforts. Weaver is also the recipient of the Robert C. Gallo Award for Scientific Excellence from the GVN. “This is an incredible honor, with selection being made by noted authorities from organizations including the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as well as National Academy of Inventors Fellows,” said Dr. David Niesel, UTMB senior vice president and dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and chief research officer. “Dr. Weaver is one of our leading scientists who is making substantial contributions to emerging infectious disease research.” The Academy stated that election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional accolade bestowed to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and welfare of society. “UTMB is extremely proud that Dr. Weaver has been recognized by the National Academy of Inventors,” said Dr. Danny Jacobs, UTMB executive vice president and provost, and dean of the School of Medicine. “As leader of an internationally recognized research program, Dr. Weaver has developed innovative vaccine technologies that will likely improve our ability to fight the spread of dangerous viruses such as chikungunya.”
UTMB is a part of the network presenting late-breaking research data showing that inducing labor when a woman is in the 39th week of a lowrisk pregnancy results in better outcomes for both the mother and the baby. The data suggest that inducing labor could lead to fewer cesarean section births. The presentation was at the 38th annual meeting of the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine on Feb. 1 in Dallas. In the study, low-risk pregnant women from 41 hospitals across the U.S. nearing the end of their first pregnancy were divided into two groups—3,062 women had their labor induced in their 39th week and 3,044 women were allowed to go into labor when their bodies began the process naturally. The women in the induced labor group were significantly less likely to need a cesarean section and were significantly less likely to develop preeclampsia/gestational hypertension. The babies born to women in that group also were significantly less likely to need respiratory support. “This is the first large and geographically diverse study to test induction of labor in low-risk women,” said UTMB’s Dr. George Saade,
division chief of obstetrics and maternal- fetal medicine. “The results clearly show that if we are looking for an approach to decrease cesarean birth, induction of labor at 39 weeks is that approach. This is also the first intervention to show such a significant reduction in pregnancy-related hypertension, a condition that can result in significant morbidity for both mother and baby.”
Compiled from press releases written by Donna Ramirez. Find out more at www.utmb.edu/newsroom.