TAMEST Member News Roundup – March 2024

TAMEST loves to share the accolades of our membership. If you have been nominated for an award, been interviewed by the media or otherwise have a reason to celebrate, please share your news with TAMEST.

TAMEST In The News

The National: Nobel Laureate Foresees Reduced Cancer Deaths as Research Continues to Pay Off, Nobel Laureate and TAMEST Member James P. Allison, Ph.D. (NAM, NAS), The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

KBTX: NASA, Texas A&M Partner for Exploration Park Facility, TAMEST Member Robert O. Ambrose, Ph.D. (NAE), Texas A&M University

ASBMB: Honors for Jackson, Simon, Tagliabracci, 2024 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Biological Sciences Recipient Vincent Tagliabracci, Ph.D., UT Southwestern Medical Center

The Dallas Morning News: UT Southwestern’s Kern Wildenthal Named This Year’s ‘History-Making Texan,’ TAMEST Member Kern Wildenthal, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM), UT Southwestern Medical Center

The Cancer Letter: Roderic Pettigrew, Founding Director of NIBIB, Reflects on a Career as a “Physicianeer”— Merging Medicine with Engineering, TAMEST Board Member Roderic Pettigrew, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM, NAE), Texas A&M Health, Texas A&M University, Houston Methodist

Dallas Innovates: Texas Instruments Adds Rice University President to Its Board, TAMEST Member Reginald DesRoches, Ph.D. (NAE), Rice University

KBTX: Focus at Four: Retired NASA Astronaut on the “Next Step to Mars,” TAMEST Member Bonnie J. Dunbar, Ph.D. (NAE), Texas A&M University

BNN Breaking: Bioengineer Rebecca Richards-Kortum Champions Women’s Health Globally Through Innovation, TAMEST Member Rebecca R. Richards-Kortum, Ph.D. (NAE, NAS), Rice University

Nature: How an Unbalanced Microbiome Can Kickstart Tumour Growth, 2023 Mary Beth Maddox Award and Lectureship Recipient Florencia McAllister, M.D., The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Member Briefs

TAMEST Past President David E. Daniel Named Chair of the Texas Semiconductor Innovation Consortium Executive Committee

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has announced the inaugural members of the Texas Semiconductor Innovation Consortium Executive Committee (TSIC EC), which includes TAMEST Past President David E. Daniel, Ph.D. (NAE), The University of Texas at Dallas, Nobel Laureate David M. Lee, Ph.D. (NAS), Texas A&M University and TAMEST Member S.V. Sreenivasan, Ph.D. (NAE), The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Daniel has also been named chair of the committee. TSIC EC will govern the work of the Consortium and work with industry stakeholders to ensure Texas’ place as a national leader in advanced semiconductor research, design, and manufacturing. Read More

Baylor Researchers Led by Bert W. O’Malley Awarded the National Academy of Sciences 2023 Cozzarelli Prize in Biomedical Sciences

A team of researchers led by TAMEST Member Bert W. O’Malley, M.D. (NAM, NAS), Baylor College of Medicine, has received the 2023 Cozzarelli Prize in Biomedical Sciences awarded by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The annual Cozzarelli Prize recognizes outstanding contributions that reflect scientific excellence and originality. The Prize recipients are selected among more than 3,000 research articles that appeared in the NAS’s journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), in 2023. The study is about a crucial regulator of the anti-cancer immune response that could change the game in the fight against cancer. Read More

Texas A&M Inducts Hagler Institute’s Class of 202324

The Hagler Institute for Advanced Study at Texas A&M University inducted 14 Hagler Fellows and two Distinguished Lecturers — the largest class in its 13-year history — during its annual gala on March 1. The Class of 2023–24 includes TAMEST Members George Georgiou, Ph.D. (NAM, NAE), The University of Texas at Austin, and Mae C. Jemison, M.D. (NAM), The Jemison Group. Members of the new class will collaborate with faculty, researchers and students in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Agriculture and Life Sciences; the schools of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Engineering Medicine, and Education and Human Development; and Texas A&M University at Galveston. Read More

Rice Lab Finds Better Way to Handle Hard-to-Recycle Material

Rice University researchers and collaborators including TAMEST Member James M. Tour, Ph.D. (NAE), have developed a new, energy-efficient upcycling method to transform glass fiber-reinforced plastic (GFRP) into silicon carbide, widely used in semiconductors, sandpaper and other products. Read More

TTU System Receives 6,000-Acre Land Gift to Expand Research & Educational Opportunities

The Texas Tech University System has received a major land gift of 6,000 acres from the 3 Rivers Foundation for Arts and Sciences for property that includes the Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus (CSAC) and facilities located 10 miles west of Crowell, Texas. The CSAC property sits in the “Big Empty,” an area that stretches from outside the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex to Amarillo and presents significant research, educational and community engagement opportunities for the TTU System and its five component universities. Read More

Proactive Professors: Engineering a Philanthropic Revolution

TAMEST Members George T. Ligler, D.Phil. (NAE), and Frances S. Ligler, D.Sc., D.Phil. (NAE), established the MTDE Endowed Excellence Fund for the Department of Multidisciplinary Engineering at Texas A&M University, leaving their mark as both faculty members and philanthropists. Read More

Naomi J. Halas Recognized for “Original Use of Optics Across Multiple Fields”

TAMEST Member Naomi J. Halas, Ph.D., D.Sc. (NAE, NAS), Rice University, has been selected as the 2024 recipient of the C.E.K. Mees Medal by Optica for “her design, fabrication, and demonstration of nanoparticles with specific optical and physical properties, the widespread application of which enables advances in fields including cancer therapy, water security, and light-driven chemistry.” Read More

Broad-Based Research Initiatives Help UT Austin Exceed $1 Billion in Annual Research Expenditures

For the first time, annual research expenditures at The University of Texas at Austin have exceeded $1 billion. According to data recently submitted to the Higher Education Research and Development Survey, the research community across campus conducted $1.06 billion in research during fiscal year 2023. The billion-plus dollars in expenditures represents more than 4,000 research projects that span every college and school at UT. It also represents a substantial jump — 25% — in research activity compared with fiscal year 2022. Read More

Rice’s Wiess School Launches Center for Nanoscale Imaging Sciences

The Wiess School of Natural Sciences at Rice University has launched the Center for Nanoscale Imaging Sciences to improve the capture, analysis and interpretation of images at the nanometer scale. The center will push the frontiers of nanoscale imaging, contributing to breakthroughs in fields such as nanotechnology, materials science, biology and biomedicine. “As a cross-disciplinary team, we will hopefully be able to expand upon and contribute to the emerging area of nanoscale imaging sciences and the various application areas they serve from biomedical sciences to material sciences,” said 2024 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Engineering Recipient Ashok Veeraraghavan, Ph.D. Read More

Making AI Safer: Texas A&M Joins National Consortium

Texas A&M University will join more than 200 major corporations, academic institutions, nonprofit groups and federal agencies in a national effort to improve the safety and reliability of artificial intelligence (AI). The U.S. Department of Commerce, through its National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), selected Texas A&M as an initial member of the new Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC). Read More

UTSA Research Expenditures Reach Record High, Further Driving Texas’ Economy

The University of Texas at San Antonio posted record-high research expenditures in FY 2023, according to institutional data. The university’s research expenditures grew to $152.3 million, up 7.5% from $141.7 million the previous year ($158.5 million counting unrecovered indirect funds), making FY 2023 the fourth consecutive year that UTSA’s annual research expenditures exceeded $100 million. Read More

NAI Welcomes 124 New Emerging Innovators

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has announced the 2024 class of Senior Members, comprised of 124 emerging academic inventors from several TAMEST Member Institutions. NAI Senior Members are active faculty, scientists and administrators from NAI Member Institutions who have demonstrated remarkable innovation producing technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact on the welfare of society. Read More



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