College of Medicine announces new department to bridge gap between clinical excellence and scientific discovery
Through a new Department of Clinical Translational Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center is cultivating physician scientists who are intent on transforming health from bench to bedside. Approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the new department will serve as an academic home for clinical teaching and physician-scientist faculty within the Texas A&M College of Medicine, and will provide the infrastructure for new degree programs as the college continues to expand.
Clinical faculty members are currently housed within community-based hospitals across the state. The move will allow cross-disciplinary medical faculty that do not have a designated clinical affiliation to call Texas A&M Health Science Center home, where they will focus medical education and academic mentorship of students in the clinical realm, as well as clinical translational research in the lab. The newly formed department will allow these interdisciplinary physician scientists greater access to researchers in a number of disciplines across Texas A&M University, including chemists and engineers, enhancing collaborative cutting-edge research opportunities that will transform the future of 21st Century health care through novel discoveries taken from bench to bedside for the care of patients.
“A new department in clinical translational medicine will allow us to recruit the best of the best physician scientists with multifaceted specialties into one academic home to mentor young physicians, while advancing research that has the potential to save lives across the globe,” said Paul Ogden, MD, interim dean of the Texas A&M College of Medicine. “A department of this nature will open new doors at Texas A&M for research that leverages scientific expertise within both the health science center and university.”
One such faculty member that will be a perfect fit in the new model is Carolyn Cannon, MD, PhD, a pediatric pulmonologist and eminent scientific leader known for her work developing novel treatments for the most challenging childhood respiratory diseases. Cannon, one of the most recent faculty recruits for the Texas A&M College of Medicine, is a practicing physician training Texas A&M medical and MD/PhD students in the Texas Medical Center in Houston. In addition to her academic role, Cannon is involved in multidisciplinary research with scientists at the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry, focused on discovering new ways to deliver therapeutics to fight lung infections in children living with cystic fibrosis.
“A true physician scientist with a passion for patients and students, combined with a dedication to the discovery of novel life-saving treatments, Cannon exemplifies the new breed of faculty members this new department will cultivate,” Ogden said.
The department will initially house 16 current clinical faculty members in Bryan-College Station and Round Rock, with plans to hire an additional 45 faculty members over the next five years.