Welcome to the Bente lab!

The Bente Lab studies how tick transmitted viruses cause human disease, and how they are maintained in nature by the tick vector and animal hosts. A better understanding of where these viruses are most vulnerable in nature and in the human body will guide the development of treatment and interventions that will stop the virus in its track.

The Galveston National Lab was completed in 2008 at a cost of more than $174 Million. The facility consists of more than 63,000 square feet of laboratory space, including 12,000 square feet of Biosafety Level 4 labs for the safe study of some of the world’s most dangerous human pathogens. Sophisticated mechanical systems throughout the facility that support the safe operation and ensure the physical security of the facility and the containment of the science make up the remaining 185,000 square feet in the facility. During its first 10 years of operation, the lab has developed a respected reputation for important medical research. It has helped UTMB attract internationally respected faculty who assemble talented research teams to focus on groundbreaking research to understand the pathogenesis of global public health threats and to develop diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. Research funding primarily comes from federal grants from agencies including NIAID, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and others. In addition, scientists working in the GNL collaborate with national and international partners from universities, national agencies, public health organizations and the biomedical industry on translational medical research on pre-clinical research and high containment studies. The lab employs nearly 300 individuals, including graduate students and post-docs who are provided the unique opportunity to train under the tutelage of some of the most talented researchers working within the field of infectious disease research.

Living and Working in Galveston

Galveston is a small city on an island off the coast of the Texas mainland.  Less than an hour from the excitement of America’s 3rd largest city (Houston), Galveston offers a slower-paced lifestyle and a friendly community of people from all over the world who share a desire to live and work in an environment that combines professional and educational opportunities with a laid-back beach vibe.

Galveston has embraced its heritage through the preservation of the largest collection of Victorian architecture in America, with quaint coastal cottages and stately Victorian mansions lining the streets of the historic East End of the island.  The downtown business district, known as the Strand, is home to dozens of festivals and parties each year.  Art galleries and restaurants are abundant, and locals and tourists alike enjoy the people watching and free entertainment that keep the island interesting and fun.  The Port of Galveston is home to three cruise lines, and on any given day you can marvel at the majesty of cruise ships coming and going to exotic ports of call.

The Galveston Seawall is where sun and fun coalesce.  It’s a perfect place for outdoor activities, ranging from a leisurely bike ride to body surfing in the Gulf of Mexico. There’s no shortage of things to do outside thanks to a year-round semi-tropical climate.  Galveston is a health-conscious, friendly city, where those Born on the Island (BOIs) welcome newcomers, who often adopt the label of “Islander by Choice” (IBC). This combination of a highly educated population, an abundance of recreational and social activities and civic pride make Galveston Island an exceptional place to live and work.  It’s like no other place in Texas, making it a special place to live, study and work, whether for a few years or a lifetime.

The University of Texas Medical Branch, established in 1895, is the city’s largest employer, educating thousands of students studying medicine, nursing, physical therapy and other health professions.  UTMB Health is a fast-growing academic medical institution, with a state-of-the-art hospital and dozens of medical clinics.  Texas A&M University also has a campus in Galveston, and Galveston College has been named the Best Community College in Texas several years in a row.

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