UT Health San Antonio professor earns $500,000 UT System Faculty STARs award

Star trophy with blue background.

Ching-Kang Jason Chen, PhD, from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (also called UT Health San Antonio), was recently awarded a $500,000 UT System Faculty Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention (STARs) award by the UT System Board of Regents.

Chen, a professor in both the Departments of Molecular Medicine and Ophthalmology in the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine, plans to utilize the funds to strategically acquire new equipment and renovate laboratory space to build an infrastructure conducive to all aspects of modern vision research.

“One of my goals since joining UT Health San Antonio has been to strengthen the vision research environment through facilitating collaborations between the Departments of Molecular Medicine and Ophthalmology,” Chen said. “There is an immediate need to assess and, when applicable, upgrade or acquire novel functional analysis devices such as multielectrode arrays, electroretinography and optical coherence tomography, and microfluidics-based cell sorter. Equally important is a dedicated dark room space for electrophysiological recordings and small animal vision behavioral assessment, which the UT System STARs award will help us secure,” he said.

“The state-of-the-art technologies funded by the UT System Faculty STARs award will enhance UT Health San Antonio’s vision research among multiple departments, including the Departments of Molecular Medicine, Ophthalmology, Biochemistry and Structural Biology, and Neurology,” said Tim Huang, PhD, professor and chair in the Department of Molecular Medicine and the Alice P. McDermott President’s Distinguished University Chair in Molecular Medicine.

The University of Texas Board of Regents created the STARs award program in 2004 to help attract and retain the best-qualified faculty. The program provides funding to assist in purchasing state-of-the-art research equipment and make necessary laboratory renovations to encourage faculty members to perform groundbreaking research at UT institutions throughout Texas.

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