The Texas Biomedical Research Institute, or Texas Biomed, is an independent biomedical research institution located in San Antonio, Texas, with specialized research in genetics, virology, and immunology. It was founded in 1941, and since then has made considerable contributions to scientific knowledge in order to improve health conditions.
The major achievements at Texas Biomed are the outcome of investigating diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, infectious diseases and recent disease threats such as dengue, SARS and avian flu. They also study possible bioterror agents (like anthrax and Ebola), as well as the role of genetics in human diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, epilepsy, and mental illness. The pregnancy disorder known as preeclampsia and issues related with fetal growth and devolvement or hormonal research are also under investigation at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute.
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Funding for the Texas Biomedical Research Institute comes from government and corporate grants and contracts, as well as public donations. Operating on an annual budget of nearly $55 million, around two-thirds of Texas Biomed’s budget is funded by competitive, peer-reviewed grants from the National Institutes of Health and other funding agencies. Another 11 percent comes from contracts with biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms. Contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals help the institute with its remaining expenses, costs that are also met by the earnings from Texas Biomed’s permanent endowments.
The institute is led by board of trustees and relies on the support of the community, made of friends, sympathizers, and benefactors. One of its major supporters is The Argyle, a stately southern mansion and prestigious private club devoted exclusively to supporting Texas Biomed. There are also community partners who donate funds and raise community awareness of the Institute through their participation in the Golden Circle, Benefactor Circle, President’s Circle, Chairman’s Circle, Founder’s Council, and the Forum.
Texas Biomedical Research Institute is home to 85 doctoral-level scientists who work in multidisciplinary teams of physiologists, biochemists, geneticists, virologists, immunologists, molecular biologists, cell biologists, physicians and veterinarians. Texas biomed employs approximately 400 employees, between doctoral staff, technical support staff (more than 125 persons) and general and administrative staff (around 200 persons).
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The campus at Texas Biomed is situated on about 200 acres, with plenty of room for expansion. Research is performed amid a 480,000 square-foot space, including laboratories, offices, an animal hospital, a library, and specially designed animal facilities, including two six-acre corrals.
Major research fields at Texas Biomed
Texas Biomedical Research Institute works to solve problems related with infectious and often fatal diseases like Hepatitis B and AIDS. The Institute is well-known in its central role in working towards a Hepatitis B vaccine and eventual cure. Cancer research is another priority, where the institute has made some major advances, such as the discovery of new treatments for breast and prostate cancer as well as potential new discoveries to treat melanoma.
Considering that heart disease is now epidemic, a lot due to the wide spreading of factor high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes, Texas Biomedical Research Institute tries to answer question related to the disease. For example, institute researchers found a link between those factors and genes.
Regarding neonatal conditions, the premature baboon model was developed by the Texas Biomedical Research Institute to study the many diseases that often plague premature infants, especially those related with pulmonary and respiratory diseases. In the course of such investigations, scientists at Texas Biomed discovered preventive measures to combat those infections that can often be fatal.