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May 6, 2009

Media Contact: Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler

HOMETOWN RELEASE: Palestine Resident Wins UT Tyler Student Research Competition

Clark with his award and poster Curtis A. Clark of Palestine, a graduate student at The University of Texas at Tyler, won first place in the 2009 Student Research Poster Competition, Dr. Arlene Horne, associate vice president for research and federal relations, announced.

He was one of 39 students who won internal research grants in December 2008 and presented their findings in the poster competition, which was a first-time event and hosted by the UT Tyler Office of Sponsored Research.

“Recognition by the Office of Sponsored Research gave me a genuine impression of motivation and achievement,” said Clark. “I am grateful for their support of research at UT Tyler and the opportunity to be involved in such an exciting event.”

Clark, who will graduate this May with a master of science degree in biology, won $200 and an all-expense paid trip to a national meeting to present his research results on “Effects of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Elastase Exposure on Epithelial Tight Junction Structure and Function.”

“The goal of this particular research endeavor is to better understand the molecular mechanisms by which Pseudomonas aeruginosa disrupts human airway epithelium during the infection process,” Clark added. “With this knowledge and additional research will come increased understanding of the interaction between bacterial pathogens and hosts, allowing for improved diagnostics and development of more precise treatment modalities for individuals afflicted with pulmonary infections.” 

After graduation, Clark plans to “pursue interests similar to this in a field related to the study and preservation of populations affected by infectious diseases.”

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. Nearly 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

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