Texas A&M founding member of new Texas Medical Center research center
Texas A&M University Health Science Center will join the other founding organizations and the Texas Medical Center (TMC) to break ground on TMC3—a 30-acre collaborative research campus—in 2019. The forthcoming health care nexus will bridge the geographic gap between TMC’s existing clinical and research campuses and establish Houston as an international hub for biomedical research.
As one of four founding institutions—which also includes Baylor College of Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center—the Texas A&M Health Science Center will work collaboratively to bring top-tier researchers from the private sector, as well as leading researchers from its founding institutions, together in this groundbreaking project, expected to be complete in 2022.
“For more than 30 years, Houston has been home to our Institute of Biosciences and Technology, a translational research institute with a translational focus, and today, the Texas A&M Health Science Center builds on that tradition and is honored to be a partner in the transformational endeavor that is TMC3,” said Carrie L. Byington, MD, dean of the Texas A&M College of Medicine, senior vice president of the Texas A&M Health Science Center and vice chancellor for health services at The Texas A&M University System.
The project will include more than 1.5 million square feet and bring together leading researchers with a host of top-tier expertise from the private sector. The project marks the first time the founding institutions have built and shared space on a major scale in the Texas Medical Center.
“The TMC3 campus will establish Houston as the ‘Third Coast’ for life sciences, attracting the best scientific minds from around the globe,” said Texas Medical Center President and Chief Executive Officer William F. McKeon. “With TMC researchers working hand in hand alongside industry titans on this new TMC3 campus, the Texas Medical Center as a whole will further advance its position as a pre-eminent global player in life sciences.”
The groundbreaking project will generate a $5.2 billion stimulus to Texas and create 30,000 new jobs, according to a third-party economic impact study. Researchers will pioneer advancements in therapeutics, medical devices, regenerative medicine, genomics and data science, among other areas.
“For Texas A&M, this transformational endeavor offers us a platform for research and commercial pursuits in the Texas Medical Center,” Byington added. “TMC3 will be an important resource for the training of our EnMed students and a platform for our EnHealth initiatives. Looking to the future, we envision Texas A&M scientists and students contributing to innovative collaborations in the area of advanced imaging and drug discovery, as well as manufacturing of both drugs and devices with industry, hospital systems and a multitude of other health care stakeholders.”
The centerpiece of the TMC3 campus, resembling the indelible double helix shape of a DNA strand, will be a multistory building spanning nearly the entire length of the 30-acre complex. The shared facility will include core laboratories, restaurants, retail and commercial space.
The crown jewel of the facility will be an elevated park designed by famed High Line landscape architect James Corner. The rooftop park—which will be open to the public—will soar 60 feet above the campus and offer sweeping views of downtown Houston and will feature gardens, walking and running trails, and lifestyle programming such as meditation, yoga and tai chi.
“We want to drive collaboration, and we know that happens when top researchers work, live and innovate side-by-side,” McKeon said. “Breakthroughs do not just happen in the laboratory. They also take place over coffee, on group runs or during chance encounters with colleagues. The TMC3 campus will foster unparalleled opportunity for new discoveries on a daily basis.”
The new campus city center will also boast the TMC Hotel and Conference Center, which will be a destination for leading experts to convene.
“It has always been clear to me that if you want to be in the top tier of medicine, you have to be in the Texas Medical Center,” Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp said. “Texas A&M—along with the other schools involved with this initiative—undoubtedly will make a huge difference in the lives and health of Texans and people all over the world.”