• Experimental COVID-19 vaccine could outsmart future coronavirus variants

    An experimental vaccine aims to solve that problem by priming the immune system to recognize both the spike protein and a second — and far more stable — viral protein. “We think of it as a one-time solution for all the COVID variants,” said Haitao Hu, an immunologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch and senior author of a study describing the vaccine in Wednesday’s edition of the journal Science Translational Medicine. The Seattle Times published this article, also. The Galveston County Daily News reported this news as well.

  • New COVID vaccine booster available in Galveston County

    The Galveston County Health District and the University of Texas Medical Branch will begin offering the updated BioNTech and Moderna bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines. “While we cannot precisely forecast effectiveness in any individual, we expect that the new messenger-RNA bivalent vaccines will offer better protection against these strains than previous options,” the medical branch said.

  • An update on COVID post-acute sequelae

    These are symptoms persisting weeks, months and even years after the initial infection. We are still trying to understand the root cause of the kind of multi-system symptoms and how to reliably diagnose them. Dr. Victor Sierpina wrote about the ongoing research.

  • Scientists are studying a new cancer cure approach

    Scientists have an exciting new treatment approach to cure advanced-stage ovarian and colorectal cancer. The bad news is that it has only been tested in mice. The good news is that testing it in humans is the next step and clinical trials could begin soon. Drs. Norbert Herzog and David Niesel wrote all about in the latest Medical Discovery News column.

  • Omicron boosters are the future of COVID vaccines in the U.S.

    Dr. Pei-Yong Shi, an expert in vaccine development and virology at the University of Texas Medical Branch, commented on shots that Moderna and Pfizer made for both the Beta and Delta variants that went through human trials. “The companies have tried multiple modified sequences before,” he said. “I’m totally in support of this recommendation of bivalent boosters,” Shi adds. “I think we can always say we want more clinical data, but if that’s the case, we’re always playing the catch-up game.”

  • How to make your workout as fun as a video game, according to behavioral scientists

    Elizabeth Lyons of the University of Texas Medical Branch said some people love video games because there's a lot of unpredictability and surprise. Lyons tries to mimic these characteristics in her own fitness game designs. As part of her research, she created a Facebook page to help motivate older women in Galveston, Texas, to go for daily walks. To keep the participants on their toes, she posts fun challenges on the page. “A lot of the things we've been trying to do with challenges is bring back a sense of childlike wonder," she said – kind of like what you get when you're exploring a video game world for the first time.

  • New boosters could begin annual COVID shot routine

    The booster is designed specifically for the omicron variant, said Dr. Janak Patel, director of infection control and health care epidemiology at the University of Texas Medical Branch. “This is our first effort to move towards a vaccine that is adapted to the more virulent strains,” Patel said. The idea is this booster could begin what scientists hope will be an annual cycle of vaccination against COVID, he said. “This is the future,” Patel said. “I believe this is the future for learning to live with COVID infection.”

  • Author Lisa Nikolidakis opens up about healing after years of abuse

    On the program Town Square, Dr. Jeff Temple offered perspectives on abuse during the conversation. Temple is vice dean for Research and Scholarship at the School of Nursing; the John Sealy Distinguished Chair in Community Health; and the director of the Center for Violence Prevention at UTMB.

  • UTMB project earns perfect score in grant renewal effort

    Researchers at the Center for Violence Prevention at the medical branch received the rare score on their renewal of a grant focusing on long-term effectiveness of dating violence prevention program. The program, known as Fourth R, is presented to middle schoolers to teach them the dangers of abusive relationships and the benefits of healthy ones. “I am thrilled to receive such a rare perfect score,” said researcher Jeff Temple, vice dean for research at the School of Nursing and director of the center.