2024 Annual Conference: VPR Research Workshop Agenda and Featured Speakers

Learn more about our speakers for the TAMEST VPR Research Workshop: CPRIT and Semiconductor Innovation.

Adriana Cruz

Adriana Cruz

Executive Director

Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office

Office of the Governor

In October 2019, Adriana Cruz was appointed to lead the Governor’s Office of Texas Economic Development & Tourism. EDT markets Texas as one of the world’s premier business and travel destinations. As Executive Director, Cruz provides leadership to Business and Community Development, Economic Development Finance, Texas Tourism, Texas Workforce Investment Council, Texas Music Office, and the Texas Film Commission.

Cruz has more than 20 years of leadership experience in economic development, marketing, and international business. Prior to her appointment to lead the Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office, Cruz was President of the Greater San Marcos Partnership, the regional economic development organization established to encourage and nurture economic growth in San Marcos, and Hays and Caldwell Counties. Previously, Cruz was the Vice President of Global Corporate Recruitment for the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

In April 2020, Cruz was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to the Strike Force to Open Texas, a team of nationally recognized private and public leaders to advise the Governor on safely and strategically reopening the state of Texas. In January 2020, Governor Greg Abbott appointed Cruz to the Advisory Council on Cultural Affairs, and named her vice chair of the council. In 2021, the Governor appointed Cruz to the Texas Freight Advisory Committee. She also serves on the Texas Economic Development Council and the Texas Workforce Investment Council. In addition, from 2016 to 2019, she served on the Texas Economic Incentives Oversight Board, to review the efficiency of Texas’ incentive programs.

In 2016, she won the Austin Business Journal’s Profiles in Power: Central Texas Women of Influence Award. Cruz holds a B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Texas at Austin, has been married for 34 years to her husband Rik, and has three grown children, and one grandson, living in the Austin area.

Michelle Le Beau

Michelle M. Le Beau, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer

Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)

Dr. Le Beau leads CPRIT’s academic research program in supporting innovative cancer research and recruiting world-class cancer researchers to Texas institutions. Her distinguished research career has focused on basic and translational research. She is recognized for her work identifying recurring chromosomal abnormalities and defining the clinical and genetic subsets of leukemia, characterizing the genetic pathways that lead to hematological malignancies, and the application of fluorescence in situ hybridization for clinical diagnostics and gene mapping.

Dr. Le Beau has also studied therapy-related neoplasms (t-MN), an aggressive myeloid leukemia developing after therapy for a primary malignancy. Dr. Le Beau and her colleagues are credited with recognizing several distinct cytogenetic and clinical subtypes of t-MN that are closely associated with the nature of the preceding treatment and are now recognized by the World Health Organization classification.

Prior to joining CPRIT in October 2021, Dr. Le Beau was the Arthur and Marian Edelstein Professor Emerita of Medicine and Director Emerita of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, which she led for 17 years. She is the recipient of the 2020 Henry M. Stratton Medal from the American Society of Hematology. The medal, one of the cancer field’s top honors, recognizes investigators who have made well-recognized contributions to hematology research. Dr. Le Beau also received the 2020 American Association for Cancer Research’s Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research. This prestigious award recognizes a champion of cancer research whose leadership and achievements have had a major impact on the field.

A graduate of Purdue University, Dr. Le Beau earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Illinois at the Medical Center.

Dr. Le Beau is CPRIT’s fourth chief scientific officer. She replaced Dr. James K.V. Willson, M.D., who retired after serving CPRIT’s chief scientific officer since 2016. He was preceded Dr. Margaret Kripke (2012 – 2016) and Nobel Laureate Dr. Alfred Gilman (2009 – 2012).


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