By UTMB communications department

Scott Weaver, director of the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity and scientific director of the Galveston National Laboratory, has received a $1.2 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The award for “Development of a multivalent Chikungunya/dengue virus vaccine” will help facilitate vaccine strategies to prevent and control these dangerous mosquito-borne diseases, in collaboration with Dr. John K. Rose, director of the molecular virology program at Yale University. Weaver is an internationally recognized virologist and vector biologist whose research has provided valuable insight into tropical virology and the prevention of bioterrorism. He has received numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health and has four patents in vaccine development.

Virus research pioneer
Dr. Robert Couch, a nationally renowned retired clinical virologist, is an adjunct professor in the UTMB Division of Infectious Diseases. Couch recently retired from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where he was best known as the leader of Baylor’s Viral Respiratory Research Center. He will be teaching and serving as a mentor and co-investigator for research. His areas of research specialization are influenza, acute viral respiratory infections and diseases and vaccine development.

Gastrointestinal cancer support group
The GI cancer support group meets at 5:30 p.m. today in Room 1.132 of the Rebecca Sealy Building, at the corner of Market and Eighth streets. The group meets the second Tuesday of each month. Contact Robert Webster, 409-789-5074, or

The Lunch Bunch
“How to handle adult caregiver stress” will be presented by Nancy Engle of Interfaith Care Ministries and Alice Williams, director of Libby’s Place Adult Day Services in Galveston, at the next meeting of the Lunch Bunch from noon to 1 p.m. today at the UTMB Specialty Care Center at Victory Lakes, 2240 Gulf Freeway South in League City.
Call 832-505-1600, email or visit

Weight loss seminar
The UTMB Center for Obesity and Metabolic Surgery will present a free seminar on weight loss options, including medical and surgical treatments, at 6 p.m. Thursday at the UTMB Specialty Care Center at Victory Lakes, 2240 Gulf Freeway S., League City. Call 832-505-1500 or go to

Presidents Day
UTMB schools and business offices will be closed on Presidents Day, Feb. 17; however, clinics will be open. John Sealy Hospital and the Trauma Center never close.

Lefeber Winter Lecture Series on Aging
The 19th annual Lefeber Winter Lecture Series, presented by the Sealy Center on Aging on consecutive Tuesdays through March 4, continues today from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Levin Hall South Auditorium, located at 10th and Market streets. “Back to the future — Alzheimer’s prevention trials” will be the topic of Dean M. Hartley, director of science initiatives, medical and scientific relations with the Alzheimer’s Association. Next week’s lecture will address HIV as a model of accelerated aging. Contact Kelley Prevou at or 409-747-1987.

Inside UTMB is compiled by the communications department at the University of Texas Medical Branch.