TAMEST Protégé Program

Elevating the Next Generation of Texas Researchers

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Each year, TAMEST members have a unique opportunity to help nurture the next generation of researchers in Texas. Through the TAMEST Protégé Program, early-career researchers are selected on an individual basis by TAMEST members to attend the TAMEST annual conference. Each year, 40-50 Protégés experience firsthand the premier gathering of the Texas scientific community, learning about state-of-the-art research taking place in Texas.

The program is designed as a mentorship tool for early-career researchers (ideally within 15 years of their first academic appointment or are early career industry professionals). Protégés benefit from the mentorship of TAMEST members and get to network with top researchers in the state at the conference. (TAMEST members may invite one protégé to join them at the conference.)

Many protégés have gone on to become stars in their field and be elected to the National Academies, including TAMEST members like Dr. Antonios Mikos, Rice University (NAM, NAE), Executive Vice President and Provost Sharon Wood, UT Austin (NAE), and even TAMEST Board Member Dr. Lora Hooper, UT Southwestern (NAS).

Protégé Program Benefits

O'Donnell Awards

Breakfast Meeting with National Academy Members

A special breakfast meeting for protégés and National Academy members takes place at each conference, providing protégés an opportunity to network and learn more about the National Academies from elected members. Past breakfast meetings have also featured conversations with presidents of the National Academies.

The breakfast meeting at the 2024 annual conference featured special guest the Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison. TAMEST President Brendan Lee, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM) hosted the breakfast meeting.

Protege Poster Contest

Protégé Poster Challenge

The 2024 TAMEST Protégé Poster Challenge was sponsored by Shell Global Solutions U.S.

The TAMEST Protégé Poster Challenge recognizes research that could have significant impact on scientific understanding and society.

Forty-two posters were invited to participate in the poster session at the 2024 annual conference on a first come, first served basis. Posters were self-organized into one of four categories: Medicine, Engineering, Science or Technology. Posters were displayed the afternoon of February 5 and all day February 6.

Protégé poster challenge finalists included: Aaron. T. Becker, Ph.D., University of Houston, Paola Passalacqua, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin, Stephen Yi, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin and Matthew Sieber, Ph.D., UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Finalists were invited to an exclusive VIP breakfast session with TAMEST leadership and special guests; networking opportunities with distinguished leaders of the Texas research and business community; and the opportunity to present their poster on the main stage to the TAMEST conference audience.

Download slides and view the video of the finalists presentations.

Learn more about the TAMEST Protégé Poster Challenge guidelines >

Protégé Program Testimonials

It definitely was an eye-opening experience – to see things more broadly, to see the broader vision of researchers’ work, that’s very helpful. Having a broader perspective may put you in a better position for funding, and meeting people from other universities helps you be able to put research teams together.
Executive Vice President and Provost Sharon Wood

Past Protégé and TAMEST Member, The University of Texas at Austin

TAMEST brought me into an inner circle that I didn’t know existed. My Ph.D. and postdoctoral advisors weren’t a part of a National Academy, so I wasn’t exposed to its potential before becoming a protégé. That introduction and exposure was extremely helpful to my career.
Dr. Brian Korgel

Past Protégé, O’Donnell Award recipient and TAMEST Member, The University of Texas at Austin

You have this amazing cadre of brilliant scientists in the state, and the protégé program provides an excellent opportunity to interact with them. Being exposed to such high quality science and having the opportunity to talk to that cadre of scientists was certainly inspirational.
Dr. Lora Hooper

Past Protégé, O’Donnell Award recipient and TAMEST Board Member, UT Southwestern Medical Center

The TAMEST Protégé Program is an eye-opening and empowering experience for someone rising in their career. It allows them to learn about leading-edge research taking place in Texas, helps them make contacts, connects them with this great group of people from across many different disciplines and at many different locations and in my view, it serves as a generally motivating experience at a great time in their career.

Dr. Fred Chang

TAMEST Member, Southern Methodist University


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