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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

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Medical Center welcomes UH


UH continued its goal toward being a nationally competitive research institution by partnering with the Texas Medical Center to become its newest member institution.

The partnership is part of President Renu Khator’s health initiative.

‘Stronger ties to the medical institutions of the Texas Medical Center will expand UH researchers’ opportunities to participate in translational biomedical research and clinical trials,’ Assistant Vice President of University Health Initiatives Dr. Kathryn Peek said.

The Texas Medical Center plans to collaborate with the University in the areas of basic science, computer science, mathematics, engineering and social science, Peek said.

Of all the UH degrees awarded annually, 25 percent are in health-related fields.

‘This membership is an important step,’ Texas Medical Center Chairman of the Board David M. Underwood said. ‘Already many members of the UH faculty collaborate with faculty members and scientists in the member institutions of the Texas Medical Center.’
The College of Pharmacy has been a member of the Texas Medical Center since 1980. College of Pharmacy Dean F. Lamar Pritchard believes that the new partnership will enhance existing connections and is crucial to the success of the College of Pharmacy’s Doctor of Pharmacy program.

‘It is my hope that President Khator’s new health initiative will lead to many additional collaborative opportunities for the College of Pharmacy,’ Pritchard said.

Pritchard believes the partnership will also enhance interdisciplinary teaching for health sciences and drug discovery.

‘The new UH partnership with the Texas Medical Center will open a world of opportunities for many of our University’s other top programs,’ Pritchard said.

With the grants received from Khator’s health initiative, the administration plans to construct a 167,000 square foot Health and Biomedical Sciences Center, which will house surgical facilities and laboratories for health research.

According to a press release, more than $61 million of the University’s research awards and grants are health-related. Peek said that this figure is about 55 percent of UH’s current annual research grants and expenditures.

Peek, a biomedical educator of 25 years and an administrator at the Texas Medical Center, will, alongside fellow UH professor Jan-‘Aring;ke Gustafsson, offer students instruction on health research at the new Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling.

‘Dr. Jan-‘Aring;ke Gustafsson is an internationally renowned expert on nuclear receptors ‘- a class of proteins that controls gene expression by interacting with 20 percent of new drug research and development stems,’ Peek said. ‘Dr. Gustafsson and his team of UH and Texas Medical Center researchers are taking the lead in an emerging field of research that could hold the key to treating cancer, heart disease and diabetes.’

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