The Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) recently reported a 34% increase in research expenditures in 2014, according to a news release. The increase in spending, which includes a 68% increase in federal funding, marks the first time that the Center has spent more than $100 million in research. This milestone establishes TAMHSC as one of the fastest emerging medical research institutions in the United States today.
The Center is using the increase in funding and expenditures to advance research into challenging health issues, which has already led to several major breakthroughs. Brett P. Giroir, M.D., chief executive officer of TAMHSC, recently highlighted the work of the institution’s members, students and staff while announcing the new budget numbers.
“Our level of growth is a remarkable accomplishment in an era when research funding, particularly from the federal government, is either flat or decreasing,” Giroir said. “Achieving this milestone is objective evidence that the focus on excellence within Texas A&M Health Science Center and the hard work of our faculty are being widely recognized and rewarded throughout the medical sciences research communities.”
“We are quite literally bringing life-saving treatments from the lab to the people who need them most, and the entities that support such work — from the National Institute of Health to the Gates Foundation – are taking notice,” he added.
In addition, the experts at the facility are also investigating a new treatment for bacterial infection that is expected to kill organisms that are drug resistant, such as the deadly MRSA “super bug.” There is also a project underway that aims to increase knowledge on the impact of stress in the healing process, as well as to determine ways of managing post-procedure pain.
“Some might say that 2014 was an unusually busy year for this institution, but in reality we are setting a new pace that will inform the monumental efforts yet to come,” Giroir said. “From extending our burgeoning partnership with Houston Methodist in the area of discovery translations to the expanding infrastructure in Houston, Dallas and the biocorridor in Bryan-College Station, the foundation that we are laying today truly is transforming health.”
“That’s an exceptionally exciting prospect, not just for our faculty and staff, but most importantly for our students who are training with some of the best researchers in the field today so that as graduates they are poised to serve as leaders in 21st Century health care,” the CEO added.
Last year, TAMHSC focused on establishing strategic partnerships with some of the most renowned institutions in the State, including Houston Methodist and the Texas Medical Center in Houston. In addition, the facility has also enriched its staff with nationally awarded faculty members, and launched researcher centers such as the National Institutes of Health Center of Excellence with the purpose of utilizing environmental health investigation to improve human health.
New degree programs were also launched and planned to open soon at the Texas A&M College of Nursing and Texas A&M School of Public Health, including the new Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program, which will open in the spring semester and integrate the Master of Science in Nursing. 20 students have already been accepted for the program, and 20 more will be accepted for the 2016 spring semester.
The members of TAMHSC demonstrated the center’s expertise several time throughout last year, namely by assuming national leadership positions, such as directing the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response formed by Governor Rick Perry to lead the response to Ebola in Texas.