Cell, organ biotechnology center opening in Texas

Published on October 16, 2013
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A new center in Texas is aiming to become a global leader in adult stem cell research, organ transplantation, and personalized medicine. 

Gov. Rick Perry announced on Sept. 13 a $3 million investment through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund to create the Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology in collaboration with the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and Texas Heart Institute.

Texas A&M’s veterinary college is home to the Michael E. DeBakey Institute for Cardiovascular Sciences. The institute is known for its biomedical research programs in vascular studies and cardiovascular devices. 

The new center will be co-located at the existing laboratories in Houston and College Station, and will take a multifaceted approach to chronic disease for both human and veterinary health care, looking at cell and organ failure. It will be led by Dr. Doris Taylor, director of regenerative medicine research at THI, whose concentration is on the adult human stem cell field. Scientists, engineers, physicians, veterinarians, and business managers from THI and Texas A&M will be a part of the center.

Dr. Eleanor M. Green, dean of the veterinary college, said in the press release, “We know that the health of animals and people is inextricably linked and this unique center will advance both human and animal health. Texas A&M veterinary students, medical students, undergraduate students, graduate students in biomedical sciences and other students from the Texas Medical Center and beyond will benefit from participating in the use of advanced stem cell technologies to advance the research of cardiovascular science, personalized medicine, organ replacement, regeneration and repair, and more.”

The Texas Emerging Technology Fund was created by the Texas Legislature in 2005 to enhance the quality of the Texas higher education system and its research potential by attracting world-class researchers to institutions in the state. To date, the fund has allocated more than $203 million to 142 early-stage companies and over $216 million in grant matching and research superiority funds to Texas universities.