Building the strategy for excellence in medical research

College of Medicine’s faculty retreat dedicated to expanding the research portfolio
April 30, 2018

Texas A&M College of Medicine held a faculty retreat from April 6 and 7 at Lake Conroe in Montgomery, Texas, featuring sessions on strategic planning that overlap Liaison Committee on Medical Education accreditation requirements, multi-investigator grant ideas, and new faculty presentations. Carrie L. Byington, MD, dean of the Texas A&M College of Medicine, senior vice president of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center and vice chancellor for health services at The Texas A&M University System, opened the meeting with a keynote address to provide a vision for the future of the college’s research.

Three sessions were held. The first session, “drivers of a strategic plan,” explored current research examples in the College of Medicine’s three priority areas: rural population health, military medicine and engineering medicine. Faculty members with expertise in these areas gave presentations highlighting how the college is currently conducting research in neuroscience, medical physiology, translational cancer therapies and infectious disease to become a 21st century health care leader.

In the second session, the grant ideas featured faculty members who applied for X-Grants. These grants are part of a 10-year, $100 million interdisciplinary research program from the Texas A&M President’s Excellence Fund. This session was designed for current and future applicants to customize their proposals to maximize collaborations and chances of receiving funding.

In the third session, newer faculty members presented their research to the broader faculty collective to provide an insight on their work and seek potential collaborations. Finally, select faculty and trainees presented posters that highlighted their research to colleagues.

James Samuel, PhD, Regents Professor and head of the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology, served as facilitator for the retreat. “The retreat was focused on research with the intention of bringing research groups together from across the College of Medicine’s different locations,” Samuel said. “What stood out to me was the positive attitude each faculty member. Our overarching goal was to seek faculty who strive to be collaborative and find positive partnerships that expand their current research—now that’s a real commodity.”

— Tamim Choudhury

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