Texas A&M University Institute of Biosciences and Technology campus

International leader in precision medicine to join Texas A&M through Governor’s University Research Initiative

Kenneth Ramos named executive director of Institute of Biosciences and Technology, assistant vice chancellor for health services
January 29, 2019

Kenneth Ramos, MD, PhD, PharmB, an accomplished physician-scientist and internationally recognized leader in genomics, precision medicine, environmental health and toxicology, will join Texas A&M University Health Science Center in March to lead the Institute of Biosciences and Technology (IBT) in Houston and serve as assistant vice chancellor for health services at The Texas A&M University System. Ramos will join the university through the Governor’s University Research Initiative (GURI), enacted by Governor Greg Abbott in 2015 to attract transformative researchers to the state of Texas.

“The Lone Star State has long been a leader in science and healthcare, and the addition of the internationally recognized Dr. Ramos to the Texas A&M University Health Science Center to lead the Institute of Biosciences and Technology will further strengthen our state’s progress in these fields,” said Governor Abbott. “I have no doubt that the Texas A&M University System and the state as a whole will benefit greatly from his invaluable experience and wealth of knowledge from his years of research and time at the National Academy of Sciences. This grant represents Texas’ continued commitment to a world class workforce, excellence in higher education, and a diversified economy.”

The initiative provides up to $5 million in matching funds per researcher to assist eligible institutions of higher education in Texas to recruit distinguished scholars who will, in turn, serve as economic catalysts to the state’s economy for years to come.

“We at The Texas A&M University System appreciate Gov. Abbott for helping us to land such a gifted scientist and physician,” said Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp said. “Dr. Ramos’ experience—including his work with veterans and his background in cancer research—makes him an ideal fit for the Texas A&M University Health Science Center and the Institute of Biosciences and Technology.”

Ramos was designated an associate of the National Academy of Sciences in 2008 and elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2015. He comes to Texas A&M from the University of Arizona Health Sciences, where he was associate vice president for precision health sciences and executive director for the Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine. He has training in pharmaceutical sciences, chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology and medicine.

“The Texas A&M Health Science Center enthusiastically welcomes Dr. Ramos,” said Carrie L. Byington ’85, MD, vice chancellor for health services at The Texas A&M University System, senior vice president of the Texas A&M Health Science Center and dean of the Texas A&M College of Medicine. “His leadership and vast experience advancing health care through precision medicine, research, and new technology will benefit the IBT and will support the expansion of the Health Science Center in Houston. Dr. Ramos will be instrumental in further developing our research partnerships through our founding membership in the TMC3. He will join our leadership team supporting our research initiatives in Houston and across the state.”

Precision medicine, which takes into consideration an individual’s genes, environment and lifestyle during diagnosis, treatment and prevention, is a specialty of Ramos’.

“Precision medicine is new in terms of recognition but has actually been practiced since the beginning of time,” Ramos said. “We’ve always done the best that we can to see our patients as individuals, but now we have new tools and technologies to add insight we wouldn’t otherwise be able to get.”

Ramos focuses most of his practice on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). He consults with other physicians about their patients and helps them identify those who might be at a higher risk of lung cancer or worsening clinical outcomes.

“Texas A&M is an outstanding institution with a tremendous legacy, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to help transform the health care space in Texas and beyond,” Ramos said.

— Christina Sumners

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