Mansour M. Zadeh, PhD, from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) has been awarded a $1.5 million award from The UT System. A professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Dr. Zadeh was awarded a Faculty Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention (STARs) award to support his microbiome and mucosal immunology research.
Dr. Zadeh said the funds will be used to renovate his current lab and purchase state-of-the-art equipment to create a new collaborative research hub. The gastroenterology and nutrition division is in the Department of Medicine, part of the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine.
“The microbiome has quickly become known as the body’s ‘second brain’ and plays a deeper role in our health and mental well-being than we could have ever conceived,” Dr. Zadeh explained. “We need to create research platforms that will bring together experts from various fields of study to comprehensively investigate the role of the microbiome in health and disease. My team and I are particularly excited to create a precision medicine program on the gut-brain axis.”
Dr. Zadeh’s laboratory focuses on research that reveals the mechanisms of the microbiome and its associated metabolites — the intermediates and products of metabolism such as vitamins like B12 — involved in health and gastrointestinal diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer and others.
“Our fundamental goal is to train a new generation of investigators in the field of microbiome and mucosal immunity research,” Dr. Zadeh shared. “Additionally, my team and I are working closely with the Office of the Vice President for Research to establish a new center that will help usher in a new era of research at UT Health San Antonio.”
The UT System Board of Regents launched the STARs program in 2004 to help attract and retain the best-qualified faculty. Multiple types of STARs awards support the enhancement of UT institutions across the state.