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.