International Educator - May/June 2013 - 45

Solutions
SCORPIONS ARE NOT STOPPED BY THE U.S.-MEXICAN BORDER.
Neither are the many U.S. and Mexican academics who collaborate to study those venomous creatures and many other issues that the two countries share.

COURTESY OF LESLIE BOYER

Leslie Boyer, associate professor of pediatrics and pathology at the University of Arizona,
who has had a longtime research partnership with Alejandro Alagón Cano, a professor at the
Biotechnology Institute of the Department of Molecular Medicine and Bioprocesses at the
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, with a vial containing their latest experimental
antivenom. In this photo, the glass vial is not completely empty: it contains a fine layer of snowy
white dust at the bottom. Boyer says: “Alejandro brought it to impress me because it just might
be the purest antivenom ever made, requiring only a minuscule dose for full potency. I am having
trouble containing my mirth because the specimen is so tiny that the vial contains mostly air.”

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

Alagón, who had won
the 2005 Mexican National
Prize for Arts and Sciences, the highest distinction
awarded by the Mexican
government, knew how to
produce the Mexican antivenom in a very pure form
and had connections to
manufacturers in Mexico.
Alagón could rapidly test,
develop, and guide the manufacture of antivenoms.
Boyer was a Harvard Medical School-trained
doctor and clinical researcher with connections to
the U.S. health regulatory bureaucracy and who was
also director of the University of Arizona’s Venom
Immunochemistry, Pharmacology, and Emergency
Response (VIPER) Institute. She could help supervise top-tier clinical trials of drugs in the United
States and guide them through federal regulatory
hurdles there.
After initially publishing research findings in the
New England Journal of Medicine, they realized a remarkable opportunity presented itself: what if they
could obtain the most rigorous regulatory acceptance

M AY + J U N E . 13

Tens of thousands of individuals are stung by scorpions on both sides of the border each year. If they are
lucky, they are saved from severe illness or possible
death by injection of an effective antivenom in time.
In 1999 University of Arizona Associate Professor
of Pediatrics and Pathology Leslie Boyer, then pregnant with her daughter, was invited by the National
Geographic Society to tag along on a National Geographic expedition with a film crew in Mexico, hot on
the trail of a Mexican antivenom that was saving lives
in Mexico, yet was unknown in the United States.
The expedition wrapped up in Cuernavaca, in
the laboratory of scientists at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM). There Boyer
witnessed an apparent miracle: as a mouse lay rigid,
dying from scorpion venom, Boyer watched with
amazement as one of the scientists injected the mouse
with antivenom. Miraculously, within minutes, it was
well on the way to full recovery.
Later, Boyer began speaking with one of the scientists, Alejandro Alagón Cano, a professor at the
Biotechnology Institute of the Department of Molecular Medicine and Bioprocesses at UNAM. They began
to realize that by combining their respective skills, they
could yield results neither could on his or her own.

45  



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2013

International Educator - May/June 2013
Contents
From the Editors
Front Lines
In Brief
Voices: Kofi Annan
Peace Pathways
Shared Solutions
San Francisco State Shines in Long-Term Study Abroad
Education Abroad
Foreign Student Affairs
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2013 - International Educator - May/June 2013
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Contents
International Educator - May/June 2013 - From the Editors
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Front Lines
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 8
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 9
International Educator - May/June 2013 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 12
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 14
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 15
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 16
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 20
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 22
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Voices: Kofi Annan
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 26
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 30
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Peace Pathways
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 36
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 40
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 42
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Shared Solutions
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 45
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 46
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 50
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 52
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 53
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 54
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 56
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 58
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2013 - San Francisco State Shines in Long-Term Study Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 62
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 64
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 65
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 66
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 67
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 68
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 69
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 71
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 72
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 73
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 74
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 75
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 77
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 78
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 79
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 80
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 81
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 83
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 84
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 85
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 86
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 87
International Educator - May/June 2013 - In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Cover3
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Cover4
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