Texas Aiming for Center Stage Creates Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology

Texas Aiming for Center Stage Creates Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology

Sept. 16, 2013
A $3 million investment through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund  will bring together the Texas Heart Institute and Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to creat the Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology.

The Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, believes that if you “give bright and visionary people the freedom to innovate and pursue their dreams, good things will happen.”  And the good thing that is happening in Texas is the funding of the Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology.

A $3 million investment through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF)  will bring together the Texas Heart Institute (THI) and Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to explore a  multi-faceted approach to chronic disease for both human and veterinary health care, based on cell and organ failure.

In the U.S. alone, one in three individuals suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease and more than one million die from end-stage organ failure each year. 

"This center represents another step toward making Texas the forefront of biotechnology for generations to come," Gov. Perry said. "The investment is all a part of the culture of creation we've nurtured in Texas.”

The center will be led by Dr. Doris Taylor, director of Regenerative Medicine Research at THI and will include scientists, engineers, physicians, veterinarians and business managers from both THI and the University.

"Dr. Taylor is certainly one of the stars in the adult human stem cell field, and we feel extremely fortunate to have her at the Texas Heart Institute," said Dr. James T. Willerson, president and medical director at THI. "With the work already underway at Texas A&M, Dr. Taylor will be able to draw from expertise at both institutions to position the Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology as a world leader in adult stem cell research, organ transplantation, and personalized medicine."

The College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is home to the Michael E. DeBakey Institute for Cardiovascular Sciences. The institute is known as a leader in biomedical research programs in vascular studies and cardiovascular devices, making it a natural fit for the partnership.

 “We know that the health of animals and people is inextricably linked and this unique center will advance both human and animal health, “ said  Dr. Eleanor Green, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Note: The TETF is a $200 million initiative created by the Texas Legislature in 2005. To date, the TETF has allocated more than $203 million in funds to 142 early stage companies, and over $216 million in grant matching and research superiority funds to Texas universities. Additionally, since the inception of the TETF, more than $1.67 billion in additional investment from other non-state sources has followed on to the TETF investment, more than quadrupling the amount invested by the TETF.

About the Author

Adrienne Selko | Senior Editor

Focus: Workforce, Talent 

Follow Me on Twitter: @ASelkoIW

Bio: Adrienne Selko has written about many topics over the 17 years she has been with the publication and currently focuses on workforce development strategies. Previously Adrienne was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck? which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics and EHS Today

Editorial mission statement: Manufacturing is the enviable position of creating products, processes and policies that solve the world’s problems. When the industry stepped up to manufacture what was necessary to combat the pandemic, it revealed its true nature. My goal is to showcase the sector’s ability to address a broad range of workforce issues including technology, training, diversity & inclusion, with a goal of enticing future generations to join this amazing sector.

Why I find manufacturing interesting: On my first day working for a company that made medical equipment such as MRIs, I toured the plant floor. On every wall was a photo of a person, mostly children. I asked my supervisor why this was the case and he said that the work we do at this company has saved these people’s lives. “We never forget how important our work is and everyone’s contribution to that.” From that moment on I was hooked on manufacturing.

I have talked with many people in this field who have transformed their own career development to assist others. For example, companies are hiring those with disabilities, those previously incarcerated and other talent pools that have been underutilized. I have talked with leaders who have brought out the best in their workforce, as well as employees doing their best work while doing good for the world. 

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