TAMEST Recognizes CPRIT with Kay Bailey Hutchison Distinguished Service Award


TAMEST has announced the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) as the recipient of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Distinguished Service Award.

TAMEST is recognizing CPRIT for their work improving the lives of Texans, advancing cancer research and prevention and recruiting National Academy members to Texas. CPRIT’s success in attracting top-tier cancer scientists and companies to the state is an enormous benefit to Texas. It has catalyzed collaboration and connected research universities, doctors, scientists, hospitals, and companies across the state to form a cancer-fighting powerhouse.

CPRIT is the largest state funder of cancer research in the nation, and the second largest in the world. The institute has awarded over $3 billion in research and prevention grants, resulting in nearly $9.5 billion in non-state follow-on funding. Most importantly, CPRIT saves lives by providing hundreds of clinical trials, enrolling tens of thousands of patients and offering more than eight million prevention services for Texans across the state.

“TAMEST is proud to present CPRIT with the Kay Bailey Hutchison Distinguished Service Award for its distinctive vision and dedication supporting cancer researchers and innovators in Texas,” said TAMEST Board President Brendan Lee, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM), Baylor College of Medicine. “No other state has this kind of funding program that creates high quality jobs, recruits top tier scientific and medical talent, supports critical technology infrastructure, and enables transformative research and prevention programs to help thousands of cancer patients extend their lives.”

Sixty National Academy members and one Nobel Laureate have been named CPRIT grantees, including 17 recruited to Texas as CPRIT Scholars. In all, Texas institutions have brought 302 cancer researchers and their labs to the state with the assistance of CPRIT Scholar recruitment awards, including Nobel Laureate James P. Allison, Ph.D. (NAM, NAS) at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. CPRIT was also instrumental in the successful campaign to attract the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), a major new federal health research hub, to Texas.

“I am so pleased to see CPRIT being recognized with this award,” said The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison, TAMEST Honorary Chair. “This state-led organization has been instrumental in the success of cancer research in our state, not to mention a visionary model to other states on why funding and supporting scientific research is worth the investment to push innovation and business forward. This is a wonderful and well-deserved recognition.”

TAMEST will officially present the award to Wayne Roberts, CPRIT Chief Executive Officer and Michelle M. Le Beau, Ph.D., CPRIT Chief Scientific Officer, at the opening reception of the TAMEST 2024 Annual Conference: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, at the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center in Austin on Monday, February 5, 2024.

“I am honored to accept the Kay Bailey Hutchison Distinguished Service Award from our friends at TAMEST on behalf of CPRIT,” said Wayne Roberts, CPRIT Chief Executive Officer. “No other organization is positioned as well as TAMEST to understand the benefits CPRIT brings to Texas, the nation, and the world. This award acknowledges the success of our mission to make Texas a world-class leader in cancer research and prevention while connecting universities, researchers, physicians, companies, hospitals, and clinics across Texas to form a critical ecosystem of distinguished cancer-fighting talent.”

“CPRIT is not just our 45 agency employees housed in a state office building in Austin,” said Roberts. “It is the nearly 1,900 grant recipients at 133 research institutions, community organizations and companies spread across Texas from Houston to El Paso and Amarillo to the Rio Grande Valley. We are proud of our grantees’ accomplishments while we understand there is so much more work to do. This award is recognition that, together, Texans conquer cancer.”

TAMEST established the Kay Bailey Hutchison Distinguished Service Award in 2013 to recognize individuals and organizations who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in furthering TAMEST’s mission to bring together the state’s brightest minds in medicine, engineering, science and technology to foster collaboration and to advance research, innovation and business in Texas.

TAMEST named this award after Honorary Chair The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison, Former United States Senator and Former United States Permanent Representative to NATO, who received the inaugural award for her vision and commitment to advancing scientific research, technology innovation and educational achievement.

CPRIT is the eighth recipient of this award. Past recipients include Dr. John L. Junkins and the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study, Texas A&M University (2021); The Office of the President, The University of Texas at Austin (2020); Exxon Mobil Corporation (2017); Larry Faulkner and Kenneth Jastrow (2016); Peter O’Donnell Jr. (2014); The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison (2013).


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