Nov. 1964 Drs. Michael DeBakey and Edward Garret
Jim Allison, the chair of immunology and executive director of the immunotherapy platform at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, receives the Nobel Prize for his work on using T cells to ght cancer.
become some of the rst doctors in the world to successfully perform a coronary artery bypass.
Dr. Denton Cooley, who later founds the Texas Heart Institute, performs one of the rst heart transplants in the U.S.
The Texas Heart Institute successfully implants the rst portable, battery- powered heart pump.
The inaugural class of the UTHealth McGovern Medical School begins. Sept. 1970
Sept. 1976 Dr. Red Duke at Hermann Hospital helps lead the launch of Life Flight, the rst private hospital air ambulance service.
The TMC Innovation Institute develops and launches TMCx, a startup accelerator program. Since then it has helped raise $4.71 billion for over 300 new life science rms.
The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research is formally dedicated, continuing the work that started under the Southwestern Poliomyelitis Respiratory Center. It is among the nation’s leading rehab hospitals.
New developments 2020 & beyond
Like Clark, DeBakey and Cooley stayed on at the medical center for decades, a common thread among early TMC leadership that was key to its continued success, Boutwell said. “I think the early leaders set an example that you don’t plan for next year or the next after that, but you plan for the next decade or two,” Boutwell said. The same applies to the TMC’s programmatic changes, according to Boutwell. The TMC leadership has and continues to take the approach of learning from the past and applying it to the future. And with that has come a storied reputation that continues to build talent. Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, co-direc- tor alongside her colleague Dr. Peter Hotez, and the team at Texas Chil- dren’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development are one such example. The team, which worked on a COVID- 19 vaccine that was licensed in August by India-based biopharmaceutical company Biological E. Limited for use in that country, came to Houston in 2011 after spending 10 years in Wash- ington, D.C. “The attraction for us to come to Houston was the fact that we were being recruited with this notion that we were coming to a very large eco- system in health with the medical center,” Bottazzi said. “The recruit- ment was a joint venture amongst various institutions, including Texas Children’s and Baylor.” Meeting needs If there are some positives that have come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is how the TMC has increased
collaboration among institutions more than ever before, said Dr. Marc Boom, the president and CEO of Houston Methodist Hospital System. “What denitely continues to accel- erate during COVID has really been more cross-institutional collabora- tion,” Boom said. That includes taking a top-down approach to that collaboration, where seven days a week at 7 a.m., the CEOs of Texas Medical Center institutions touch base on needs and resources. “And then there’s operational teams and supply chain teams and HR teams and ethics teams and others that have been functioning across the TMC,” Boom said. This collaboration has taken the form of data sharing when the TMC releases daily updates on COVID-19 metrics, as well as equipment early on during the pandemic that was shared with institutions when needed. “I think this experience has been a real-time dramatic episode where it further reinforced to us the value of collaboration,” Boom said. And that collaboration extends to current and future eorts by the TMC as it seeks to continue to move health care forward for member institutions, said Dr. Bernard Harris, the vice chair of the medical center’s board of direc- tors, which provides support for the TMC leadership team and approves all major decisions about the medical center. To pursue that goal, the TMC has created institutions such as the Clini- cal Research Institute, which debuted in 2018. “That is to help the institutions stay ahead of the latest and greatest tech- nology that enables us to advance
health care,” Harris said. In addition, the institute has allowed a more seamless, unied interface for TMC institutions by allowing them to sign one set of doc- uments that could, for example, allow them to have access to a new medical device or therapy. The TMC is also increasing the work coming out of TMCx, an inno- vation center connecting entrepre- neurs with TMC resources to create medical devices and digital health solutions. The TMC does this through its Venture Fund, which invests in innovative products from promising entrepreneurs, Harris said. Investments include Alleviant Med- ical, which developed a minimally invasive device to treat congestive heart failure, and Corlnnova, which developed a soft robotic device that gently squeezes the heart in sync with the heartbeat to increase output. These areas will continue to remain focuses as the TMC looks to expand its campus through TMC3, which is slated to open in 2022 and serve as a center between the TMC’s clinical and research campuses. For Wooten, such innovation and presence in Houston paint the medi- cal center in a central role. “The Texas Medical Center is such an economic powerhouse,” Wooten said. “Not only the cancer research, but the biomedical portion of it is what keeps Houston what it is and evolved it from an oil town to this bio- medical tech town.”
Planned completion: 2022
A 37-acre campus oering 138,000 square feet of commercial and retail space and 112,000 square feet of shared research facilities for new bioscience eorts
The Texas A&M Innovation Plaza:
Planned completion: 2024
A 5-acre, $540 million campus with three oce towers housing an engineering medicine program, student housing, research facilities, oce and retail space, and parking
Planned completion: TBD
A 52-acre development planned to oer research facilities, oce space, residential, retail, dining and green space
For more information, visit communityimpact.com .
BELLAIRE MEYERLAND WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020
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