The Texas Emerging Technology Fund will invest $3 million to create the Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology, in collaboration with the Texas Heart Institute in Houston and Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in College Station, Texas
, located northwest of Houston.
"This center represents another step toward making Texas the forefront of biotechnology for generations to come," Gov. Rick Perry said. "The investment is all a part of the culture of creation we've nurtured in Texas, built upon the concept that if you give bright and visionary people the freedom to innovate and pursue their dreams, good things will happen. I could not be prouder that this life-affirming research will be conducted here in our state, and I can't wait to see it put into action."
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, the Governor’s Office said. The new center will take a multi-faceted approach to chronic disease for both human and veterinary health care, based on cell and organ failure. It 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."
Dr. Eleanor Green, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences said, "It was clear from the beginning that this partnership between two highly regarded institutions and the State of Texas was special. 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.”