Biotechnology students at Texas A&M University-Texarkana are studying concepts and ideas that will one day change the way diseases are treated, says Professor Oscar Alzate.

According to a press release, The Nobel Prize for Physics was announced on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 and was awarded to a Canadian professor and his French and American colleagues for their work in laser techniques that have been adapted for eye surgery. One day later the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded for the discovery of methods to create drugs for treating human diseases using protein engineering based on monoclonal antibodies.

And while it might be easy to assume that this kind of work takes place in private laboratories or large research universities, just a few days prior to these announcements Dr. Oscar Alzate was discussing very similar applications with two of his biotechnology students at Texas A&M University-Texarkana.

Dr. Alzate, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Biotechnology at A&M-Texarkana had recently been discussing how to submit a monoclonal antibody-based drug proven to cure lupus to the US Food and Drug association with his student Arthur Gray. TAMUT student Keyonta Bland, who is preparing to defend his proposal that a particular type of laser should be approved for corneal surgery in patients over the age of 12, was discussing his project with Dr. Alzate as well. Within a few days of his discussions with these students, Dr. Alzate learned that the Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry were awarded for work similar to that of his students. What this shows, according to Alzate is that “TAMUT students like Gray and Bland are studying subjects that are at the very forefront of scientific discovery.”

Biotechnology is the application of biological sciences for the development of new and enhanced products and methodologies. The Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology at Texas A&M University-Texarkana is focused on the medical and healthcare aspects of biotechnology with courses in immunology, histology, and cytotechnology. A degree in biotechnology prepares students for careers in research and development, quality assurance and quality control, production, sales and marketing, administration, and technical support.

“As a scientist, it is wonderful to see that these important awards are being given to work in biotechnology,” Alzate added. “As a professor and a teacher, it’s even more exciting to realize that our students are being educated in subjects that will have a profound impact on humanity.”

For more information on the biotechnology program at Texas A&M University-Texarkana contact Dr. Oscar Alzate at (903)334-6703 by email at or visit the university website at

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