TAMEST Member News Roundup – May 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

Innovation Map: Rice University’s EdTech Company Receives $90M to Lead NSF Research Hub, TAMEST Member Richard Baraniuk, Ph.D. (NAE) and Reginald DesRoches, Ph.D. (NAE), Rice University

Office of the Texas Governor: Governor Abbott Launches Texas Space Commission, TAMEST Member Robert O. Ambrose, Ph.D. (NAE), Texas A&M University, Daniel T. Jaffe, Ph.D., Vice President for Research at The University of Texas at Austin, and Heather Wilson, Ph.D., President of The University of Texas at El Paso

Science Alert: Scientists Destroy 99% of Cancer Cells in The Lab with Vibrating Molecules, TAMEST Member James M. Tour, Ph.D. (NAE, FRS), Rice University

The Statesman: How UT and Austin Community College are Helping Tackle Semiconductor Workforce Needs, TAMEST Member S.V. Sreenivasan, Ph.D. (NAE), The University of Texas at Austin

My RGV: $10M Renovation at UTRGV Building Aims to Draw Business, Reach Research Status, TAMEST Member Institution The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley

Medium: Quantum Scrambling: Substance Responses Matching Dark (black hole) Openings, TAMEST Member Peter G. Wolynes, Ph.D. (NAS, FRS), Rice University

Texas A&M Today: Texas A&M Heeds Gov. Abbott’s Call for Space Engineering Degree, TAMEST Member Robert O. Ambrose, Ph.D. (NAE), Texas A&M University

Rice Thresher: Rice Joins New Federal AI Safety Institute Consortium, TAMEST Members Lydia E. Kavraki, Ph.D. (NAM), and Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Ph.D. (NAE, NAS), Rice University

Member Briefs

In Memoriam: Darwin Prockop

TAMEST mourns the loss of TAMEST Member Darwin J. Prockop, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM, NAS), Texas A&M Health, a biochemist who held leadership positions at multiple institutions and was known for his work in biochemistry, specifically his research on collagen structure, function and genetics, which contributed to novel treatments for diseases involving collagen. He developed sensitive genetic tests for mutations in collagen to screen patients with Marfan syndrome and brittle bone disease. Read More

UT Health San Antonio President William L. Henrich Remembered as Friend, Mentor, Visionary at University Tribute 

UT Health San Antonio President William L. Henrich, M.D., was lovingly remembered for his energy, compassion, positivity and his unique gift for uniting people toward a common goal during a tribute ceremony honoring his legacy. Read More

Honoring Excellence, Inviting Involvement: American Academy of Arts and Sciences 2024 Member Announcement

TAMEST Board President Brendan Lee, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM), Baylor College of Medicine, and TAMEST Member Antonios G. Mikos, Ph.D. (NAM, NAE), Rice University, have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The 250 members elected in 2024 are being recognized for their excellence and invited to uphold the Academy’s mission of engaging across disciplines and divides. Read More

Pradeep Sharma Wins PNAS Cozzarelli Prize for Paper on Musical Perception

TAMEST Member Pradeep Sharma, Ph.D. (NAE), University of Houston, has won the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 2023 Cozzarelli Prize. Dr. Sharma’s paper is the only winner in the Engineering and Applied Sciences category chosen from more than 3000 research articles that appeared last year in PNAS. The paper examines the complex phenomenon of musical perception and begins to answer the incredibly complex question, ‘Why do some people hear music better than others?’ Read More

Kaushik Rajashekara Elected International Fellow of the Engineering Academy of Japan

TAMEST Member Kaushik Rajashekara, Ph.D. (NAE), University of Houston, continues to receive recognition and awards on a global scale. Dr. Rajashekara who ushered in the era of electric cars, working on the General Motors EV1 in 1995 when he was a Technical Fellow there, has been elected an International Fellow of the Engineering Academy of Japan, recognized for his contributions to power conversion and electrification of transportation. Read More

Eleven Faculty Members Elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Eleven faculty members at The University of Texas at Austin, including TAMEST Member Bridget R. Scanlon, Ph.D. (NAE), 2019 O’Donnell Award in Engineering Recipient Hal S. Alper, Ph.D., 2018 O’Donnell Award in Science Recipient Xiaoqin Elaine Li, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin and 2021 O’Donnell Award in Engineering Recipient Guihua Yu, Ph.D., have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society. The honor recognizes important contributions to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics — including pioneering research, leadership within a given field, fostering collaborations and advancing public understanding of science. Read More

Using AI to Improve Diagnosis of Rare Genetic Disorders

Baylor College of Medicine researchers including TAMEST Board President Brendan Lee, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM), and TAMEST Member Hugo J. Bellen, D.V.M., Ph.D. (NAS), are trying to make the process of diagnosing rare Mendelian disorders more efficient using artificial intelligence. The team developed a machine learning system called AI-MARRVEL (AIM) to help prioritize potentially causative variants for Mendelian disorders. The study is published in NEJM AI. Researchers from the Baylor Genetics clinical diagnostic laboratory noted that AIM’s module can contribute to predictions independent of clinical knowledge of the gene of interest, helping to advance the discovery of novel disease mechanisms. Read More

Richard Tapia Celebrated for 50 Years of Service at Rice

TAMEST Member Richard A. Tapia, Ph.D. (NAE), National Medal of Science winner, was celebrated for five decades of service to Rice university at Rice’s Faculty Club. He is widely recognized as a national leader in the preparation of women and underrepresented minorities for advanced degrees in science, engineering and mathematics. Read More

New Leadership Appointments at UT Health San Antonio Announced

TAMEST Member Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D. (NAM), UT Health San Antonio, has agreed to serve as the acting dean of the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine and will continue to direct the Alvarez Center for Transplantation Hepatobiliary Surgery and Innovation. Read More 

Rice’s Moshe Vardi Awarded Honorary Title by the University of Calabria

TAMEST Member Moshe Y. Vardi, Ph.D. (NAE, NAS, FRS), Rice University, an expert in computational logic, artificial intelligence and databases, has been awarded an honorary title by the University of Calabria, Italy. Dr. Vardi was recognized for his research “long in duration, broad in the diversity of the topics covered and literally full of propositions of original and innovative ideas [that have had] a very significant and very beneficial influence on the development of research in computer science in the last 30 years.” Read More

Marion Ball: Honored for Innovation

TAMEST Member Marion J. Ball, Ed.D. (NAM), The University of Texas at Arlington, was honored with the John P. Glaser Health Informatics Innovator Award, given by UTHealth Houston’s D. Brady McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics. “Dr. John Glaser is a person I have long admired,” says Dr. Ball. “To be receiving the award that bears his name, and to be in the company of those who have received it before me, is indeed an honor.” Read More

Robert Ambrose Recognized at Faculty Awards Banquet

The Engineering Genesis Award for Multidisciplinary Research was created to honor Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) researchers who have secured a grant of $1 million or more for a research project. TEES recognized these researchers including TAMEST Member Robert O. Ambrose, Ph.D. (NAE), at the College of Engineering Faculty Awards Banquet. Read More

Zhifeng Ren Receives UH’s Farfel Award

2014 O’Donnell Award in Science Recipient Zhifeng Ren, Ph.D., is the 2024 recipient of the University of Houston’s highest faculty honor, the Esther Farfel Award. Dr. Ren, UH’s Paul C. W. Chu and May P. Chern Endowed Chair in Condensed Matter Physics, was recognized for his excellence in research, scholarship, teaching and service. At UH, he serves as director of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH (TcSUH). He has garnered international acclaim for his work in high performance thermoelectric materials; catalysts for water splitting; nanosheets for enhanced oil recovery, solar energy conversion; flexible transparent electrodes; and carbon nanotubes and nanocomposites. Read More

Rising Researcher Honored by Texas Scientific Community

TAMEST recently recognized a University of Texas at Arlington bioengineering professor as an emerging researcher. Justyn Jaworski, assistant professor of bioengineering, was named a TAMEST protégé, a program that sends early-career researchers to the TAMEST conference. TAMEST Member Florence P. Haseltine, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM), The University of Texas at Arlington, nominated him. Read More

New Associate Vice President to Accelerate Innovation, Research Commercialization and Startups

The University of Texas at Austin has appointed Mark Arnold as the new Associate Vice President for Discovery to Impact, the University’s connection unit between campus innovators and industry. In this new role, Arnold will enhance the University’s research commercialization efforts; formalize a dedicated technology transfer office to revitalize the University’s intellectual property, licensing and business development efforts; and launch Texas Startups, a new division within Discovery to Impact that will position UT as a national leader in incubating, accelerating and investing in more undergraduate, graduate and faculty startups. Read More





TAMEST News and Updates

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