Scientists discuss latest tactics for protecting military personnel, healing war-wounded

WHAT: Top scientists from Texas and the nation gather in San Antonio – also known as “Military City USA” – to share ideas on how best to protect and heal U.S. service members fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. This timely and crucial discussion takes place at the annual conference of The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST).
Topics include bioterrorism, blast-induced traumatic brain injury, body armor, post-traumatic stress disorder and regenerative medicine.

WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 7, and Friday, Jan. 8, 2010.

WHERE: The Westin Riverwalk Hotel, 420 W. Market St., downtown San Antonio.

WHO: Keynote addresses will be delivered by:
• Retired Army Lt. Gen. James B. Peake, M.D., a former secretary of veterans affairs and Army surgeon general
• Charles M. Vest, Ph.D., president of the National Academy of Engineering and president emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
• S. Ward Casscells, M.D., former assistant secretary of defense for health affairs and a professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, an honorary chair of TAMEST since its founding, will give a special address at 12:45 p.m. Friday. UT Health Science Center at San Antonio President William L. Henrich, M.D., M.A.C.P., will serve as master of ceremonies at the opening luncheon. TAMEST incoming vice president Stephen A. Holditch, Ph.D., of Texas A&M University, will deliver closing remarks.

NOTES: Attendance is by invitation only; however, reporters are welcome to cover sessions. Please call (210) 567-2579 or (210) 567-3026 for a full agenda or further assistance. Sessions that might be of interest include:
• 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, “Preventing Injury, Illness and Disability to Our Armed Forces”: Panelists will discuss bioterrorism, fatigue and the use of unmanned aircraft to protect soldiers on the ground. Featured speakers include C.J. Peters, M.D., a renowned physician, virologist and former Army colonel who is currently at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
• 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, “Protecting Our Armed Forces Against Injury Illness and Disability”: The discussion will encompass portable power for soldiers, new concepts in body armor, and ways to protect against blast-induced traumatic brain injury. Presenters include Charles E. Anderson Jr., Ph.D., and James D. Walker, Ph.D., who collaborated on cutting-edge research at San Antonio’s Southwest Research Institute on how bullets pierce armor.
• 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 8, “Recovery from Injury, Illness and Disability for our Armed Forces”: This panel will talk about advances in combat casualty care, post-traumatic stress disorder and regenerative medicine. Panelists include Alan Peterson, Ph.D., a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and professor of psychiatry at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio who heads up STRONG STAR, a $33 million research program to help military personnel cope with combat-related stress.
TAMEST was founded in 2004 to bring recognition to Texas’ top achievers in medicine, engineering and science. With Nobel laureates and 240 members of the National Academies among its members, TAMEST works to position Texas as a national leader in these fields while fostering the next generation of scientists. For more information, visit

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $668 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $16.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $36 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 25,600 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and other health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit

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