Photo of Brett Giroir, M.D., executive vice president and CEO of Texas A&M Health Science Center

Giroir to Serve as Keynote Speaker for Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Summit

June 1, 2014

Originally printed by Texas Healthcare Bioscience Institute.

Photo of Brett Giroir, M.D., executive vice president and CEO of Texas A&M Health Science Center

Brett P. Giroir, M.D., to deliver keynote address at the inaugural Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Summit June 4-5, 2014.

The Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute (THBI) announced two keynote speakers for the inaugural Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Summit on June 4 and June 5. The theme of the summit is “Steering Texas to Greatness”, and both Brett P. Giroir, M.D., Executive Vice President and CEO of Texas A&M Health Science Center, and Ronald DePinho, M.D., President of MD Anderson Cancer Center, will highlight how their programs will be changing the face of the life sciences industry in Texas over the next decade.

Dr. Brett Giroir, scheduled to speak the afternoon of June 4, will address Texas A&M’s initiatives to transform the 21st century “academic health science center” to maximize its impact on professional education, public health, and regional economic development.  An example of this transformation is the Texas A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM), a novel public-private partnership with The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that establishes a model for how government, academia, and industry can work collaboratively to promote the highest levels of innovation, product development and economic advancement.

“Academic health science centers must not only adapt to change, but lead it – in research, service, and innovative product development that solves our most urgent public health needs. Meaningful goals will only be achieved by severing the silos and institutional barriers between disciplines and institutions. ” Giroir said. “At Texas A&M, we are expanding our mission to embrace and implement a DARPA model of innovation that has resulted in most of the groundbreaking discoveries of the last 50 years. We are exploring multiple novel partnerships with government, non-profits, and commercial industries – because no single type of institution can meet the tremendous challenges our nation faces without expertise from other disciplines. “

On the morning of June 5, Dr. Ronald DePinho will talk about MD Anderson’s Cancer Moon Shots Program and how their aggressive approach to eliminating cancer directly impacts the growth of the biotech industry in Texas. Top researchers and physicians have long been working on innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancers throughout a large and diverse population. Now is the time to translate that science into treatments and cures. Some of this work, such as the development of new immunotherapy treatments – which enroll the body’s own immune system in fighting cancer – will involve partnerships with other health institutions and pharmaceutical companies. For instance, in these efforts, MD Anderson has signed agreements with Johnson & Johnson Innovation, LLC, and its affiliate Janssen Biotech, Inc., MedImmune, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. MD Anderson has also established a partnership with IBM to collaboratively develop the Oncology Expert Advisor powered by Watson, which will continuously absorb tremendous amounts of new cancer-fighting data to assist physicians here and around the world in identifying the most promising treatments for patients, based on the specific traits of the cancer they are fighting.  In addition, the Institute for Applied Cancer Science has industry-seasoned leaders and staff focused on the development of new breakthrough therapies for cancer patients.  This program can serve as a pipeline of novel drugs that can catalyze the establishment of new biotechnology companies in Texas.

“The goal of the Moon Shots Program is to accelerate transformation of the knowledge gathered across MD Anderson, in our labs and clinics to more effectively detect, prevent and combat cancer and more rapidly reduce the number of deaths,” explained Dr. DePinho. “A powerful side-effect of this work will be the establishment of new companies which create new jobs and bring new investments to the state. These discoveries will also lead to additional partnerships with some of the country’s top biotech and pharmaceutical companies.  The establishment of a robust academic-industry ecosystem will hasten the translation of knowledge into better treatments for our patients.”

The Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Summit, on June 4 and 5, at the Renaissance Hotel in North Austin, serves as an opportunity for innovators, product developers, investors, and legislators to come together to create a roadmap for Texas’ growth and success as a national leader in the biosciences field.

Tickets to the Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Summit are still available for purchase.

— Elizabeth Grimm

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