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Student Laura Montier Studies Treatments for Epilepsy Disorder

  Laura Montier
  Laura Montier, a Ph.D. student in biology, studies treatments for the epilepsy disorder Dravet Syndrome. Photo courtesy of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Biology Ph.D. student Laura Montier is researching a particular epilepsy disorder known as Dravet Syndrome. She conducts her research in the lab of Jokūbas Žiburkus, associate professor of biology and biochemistry in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

"Infants with Dravet Syndrome get their first seizures when they are six-months to one-year old. These seizures, which continue to increase in frequency and severity, are accompanied by delayed developmental milestones and autistic symptoms," Montier said. "Families with children suffering from Dravet Syndrome are on a very difficult path, as only 20-30 percent of patients survive until age 20."

Montier's research is looking at adapting a drug for use in patients with Dravet Syndrome. This drug, which mimics a molecule in our brain called adenosine, has already been FDA-approved for use as a heart medication in adults. Read the full story

Nursing Students Head to Spanish Class

Maria Perez 
Maria E. Perez, instructional assistant professor of Hispanic studies at University of Houston Sugar Land. Photo courtesy of UH Sugar Land.

The University of Houston College of Nursing will offer a class in Beginning Medical Spanish to prepare students to care for patients with limited English-language proficiency. The two-week class will be offered at UH Sugar Land during the May mini-semester.

"Among many Hispanic patients there are language barriers and a mistrust of the health care system," said Maria E. Perez, instructional assistant professor in the Department of Hispanic Studies. "Health care professionals who can successfully communicate and understand their patients will be better equipped to overcome these challenges and to empower their patients to be active participants in their health decisions."

Unlike a traditional Spanish language class, Perez says students won't focus on extensive verb conjugation. Rather, the goal will be to develop language skills that will allow them to obtain basic patient history and perform physical assessments with empathy and culturally appropriate interactions. Read the full story

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University News

The Associated General Contractors of Americas Houston Chapter recognized six University of Houston construction management students for their academic performance during the Patrick J. Kiley Excellence in Leadership Scholarship Awards. Students won 12 awards, including 4 national awards, with values up to $7,000. Read the full story

Faculty are encouraged to activate their membership, sponsored by UH, to the National Center for Development and Diversity (NCFDD), which provides professional development, training, and mentoring. For more information on NCFDD, click here. Faculty are also encouraged to sign up to access Magna Commons, which offers on-demand versions of Magna's online seminars, covering a broad range of topics of interest to faculty and administrators. For more information on Magna Commons, click here.

College of Architecture Adjunct Professor Jesse Hager won the Ben Brewer Award for the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Houston Chapter's 2017 Young Architect of the Year.

Mechanical engineering senior Grant Mottershaw received the 2016 Rumbaugh Outstanding Student Leader Award in Detroit at the Society of Automotive Engineers International World Congress. Read the full story

Three University of Houston librarians - Kerry Creelman, Lindsay Cronk, and Kelli Getz - have won positions in the 2017 American Library Association division and round table elections.

Professors of History Nancy Beck Young and Leandra Zarnow recently won a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a Summer Seminar titled "Gender, the State, and the 1977 International Women's Year conference."

Travels with Shasta

Shasta in Lausanne Switzerland   

Shasta's visiting Lausanne, Switzerland for the Young Hoteliers Summit at École hôtelière de Lausanne with Hilton College students. Be sure to tag @uhprovost and add #travelswithshasta for your own experience with our favorite Coog!

Send us your photos of Shasta's travels, in Houston and abroad, to, tweet them @SashaProf , or share them on Facebook! In the meantime, view all of Shasta's travels on the Office of the Provost website.


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Paula Myrick Short, Provost | | 832.842.0550 |

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