Discovery: HSC Opens COVID-19 Test Site for Tarrant County First Responders

In this weekly roundup of research and development activity in North Texas, you'll also read about four UTA faculty members being honored by the National Academy of Inventors as Senior Members.

COVID-19 testing

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HSC remote COVID-19 test site aims to protect first responders

A COVID-19 testing site available only for first responders in Tarrant County has been set up off campus by the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC).

COVID-19

A worker gathers a sample at the HSC remote testing site for first responders. [Photo: HSC]

The drive-thru testing site is for first responders only who may have been exposed to COVID-19 but haven’t shown symptoms, according to a statement.

“Our first responders are on the front lines of this health crisis, working tirelessly to protect all of us from this deadly pandemic,” HSC President Michael R. Williams said in a statement. “This new testing site will help protect our first responders and keep those who are healthy out in the community providing their valuable services.”

The testing site is a partnership including HSC, Catalyst Health Network, the Fort Worth Fire Department, and Keith Argenbright, M.D., a professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and director at the Moncrief Cancer Institute.


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Currently, any first responder who may have been exposed to COVID-19, but is not experiencing symptoms, must go into a 14-day observation period, according to a statement. By testing first responders in self-observation about 72 hours after their potential exposure, those who test negative could be back at work much sooner.

COVID-19 testing inventors

Pranesh Aswath, professor of materials science and engineering; Wei Chen, professor of physics; Haiying Huang, professor of mechanical engineering; and Robert L. Woods, professor of mechanical engineering. [Photo: Courtesy UT Arlington]

National Academy of Inventors honors four UTA faculty as Senior Members

Four faculty members from the University of Texas at Arlington are included in the 2020 class of the National Academy of Inventors as Senior Members.

According to a statement, NAI Senior Members are active faculty, scientists, and administrators who have shown remarkable innovation by producing technologies with a potentially significant impact on the welfare of society.

The new members from UTA are: Pranesh Aswath, professor of materials science and engineering; Wei Chen, professor of physics; Haiying Huang, professor of mechanical engineering; and Robert L. Woods, professor of mechanical engineering.

These four bring UT Arlington’s total number of NAI Senior Members to five, as its Associate Vice President for Research Jon Weidanz was elected to the inaugural class of Senior Members in 2019.

NAI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging inventors in academia. UTA notes that it has 17 NAI Fellows—a distinction separate from that of a Senior Member—which is the most of any university in Texas, according to a statement.

“The representation of UTA throughout the NAI showcases our University and faculty as catalysts for discovery that leads directly to positive impacts on our national and global communities,” Interim Vice President for Research James Grover said in a statement. “The ability to translate research to patented, solution-based technologies is no easy feat, but our faculty are among the best to do it.”

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