Governor announces Emerging Technology Fund investment in stem cell research at Texas A&M Health Science Center

February 12, 2009

(TEMPLE, TX) — Governor Rick Perry today announced a $5 million investment through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) to recruit leading scientists focused on regenerative medicine technologies to the recently created Texas A&M Health Science Center (HSC) College of Medicine Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Scott & White.

“Commercialization of adult stem cell research will provide much needed solutions for Texans suffering from various tissue and organ disorders while protecting the unborn from exploitation,” Gov. Perry said. “This investment will promote innovation and commercialization in this evolving biotechnology sector and attract top researchers and outside investment to the Institute of Regenerative Medicine.”

The institute, established in August 2008 through combined support from the HSC-College of Medicine and Scott & White, will use adult stem cells to develop new therapies to combat human diseases such as osteoarthritis, diabetes, Parkinson’s, spinal cord injury, stroke, Alzheimer’s, cardiac diseases, kidney diseases and pulmonary diseases.

“This investment by the state in the expansion of the Texas A&M Health Science Center ensures that Texas will continue to serve as a leader in medical research and innovation,” said Nancy W. Dickey, M.D., president of The Texas A&M Health Science Center and vice chancellor for health affairs for The Texas A&M University System. “Formation of this institute and recruitment of these world-class researchers will facilitate the growth of science, creation of new discoveries and expansion within the biotechnology industry.”

Darwin J. Prockop, M.D., Ph.D., a world-renowned professor in cellular and molecular biology, leads the institute and ultimately a team of more than 70 researchers, scientists and technicians working in 40,000 square feet of research space that will include 28,000 square feet of research laboratory space and a 6,000-square-foot clinical Good Manufacturing Procedures laboratory facility. The institute also will provide academic programs for career development and job training, as well as serve as an engine of new scientist development for the state of Texas.

“We are pleased that Central Texas is now home to this unique and groundbreaking work made possible by the more than 30-year medical education and research partnership between the Texas A&M University System and the world-class Scott & White Healthcare system,” said Alfred B. Knight, M.D., president and CEO of Scott & White.

The ETF is a $200-million initiative created by the Texas Legislature in 2005 at the governor’s request and reauthorized in 2007. A 17-member advisory committee of high-tech leaders, entrepreneurs and research experts reviews potential projects and recommends funding allocations to the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the house. To date, the ETF has allocated $56 million in funds to 16 universities, attracting more than 40 top researchers and their teams to the state and creating more than $69 million of industry capital investment.

— Marketing & Communications