Centers, Institutes & Labs
The College of Medicine operates a number of research facilities, including an electronics instrumentation shop, an animal surgery complex, an infectious biohazard laboratory animal suite, and a center for flow cytometry and image analysis. Key areas of collaborative research include alcoholism, cardiovascular diseases, cancer biology, molecular pathogenesis of infectious agents, experimental therapeutics and drug development, primary protein structure and function, and aging and developmental biology.
The Cardiovascular Research Institute was established in 1998 when the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved changing the name from the Microcirculation Research Institute which was established in 1981. The name change reflected the expanding scope and role of the scientists' work. The purpose of the cardiovascular science faculty is to foster communication and collaboration among faculty involved in cardiovascular research, education, and training. As part of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, the institute is made up of four divisions: Vascular Biology, Molecular Cardiology, Molecular Medicine and Lymphatic Biology.
The Center for Airborne Pathogen Research and Tuberculosis Imaging Resources is a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional organization that combines the expertise of researchers that investigate pathogens that are principally transmitted via an aerosol route. Within this Center are experts with animal and molecular pathogenesis models as well as technology and instrumentation to perform cutting edge research. Particularly unique to the Center is the application of this technology to high containment agents and extensive experience with the Madison Chamber aerosol delivery system. This center is also the home of the innovative Tuberculosis Imaging Resources project to develop real-time optical imaging solutions for tuberculosis and make them accessible to the scientific community. The primary rationale and goals of the Center are to provide valuable resources, technology and collaborations that foster unique opportunities in research and education.
The Center for Cell Death and Differentiation is the result of collaboration between Scott & White and the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. The Scott & White/TAMHSC/COM Center for Cell Death and Differentiation reflects the vision of Dr. W. Roy Smythe, Chair of the Department of Surgery, that those institutions provide not only a forum of exchange for scientists, health care professionals, and academics, but also a link between research and results. The Mission of the Center for Cell Death and Differentiation is to develop greater understanding of cell death and cell differentiation, and through cutting-edge research, education, and multidisciplinary collaboration, translate our understanding into tangible results that will affect how patients are treated and will contribute to our improving their quality of life.
The Center for Health System and Design was established in collaboration with the Texas A&M University System College of Architecture to coordinate interdisciplinary research and education programs that transfer technology developed by disciplines outside medicine into health care. The center supports programs for graduate student training in interdisciplinary approaches to problems in health care facility design and development. The center has undertaken programs that incorporate units of study from public health and preventive medicine, health care economics and medical sociology. The center studies ways to increase understanding of the effects of health care facility design and planning on the organization and delivery of care through health services research.
The Center for Microencapsulation and Drug Delivery (CMDD) is a multidisciplinary faculty group from five colleges with the capability to design and test delivery of pharmaceuticals. Ongoing research includes basic and applied microencapsulation technologies for biomedical use, controlled release drug delivery systems, non-biomedical applications in nanotechnology, molecular biology assay systems, and microcapsule products for petrochemical, agricultural and environmental control industries. Associate members of the CMDD include researchers from other universities, the Institute for Research, Inc., Houston, Texas; and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
An unprecedented interest in sports medicine and sports science has occurred over the past several years. It is now recognized that there is a fundamental scientific foundation for the training of athletes, both to improve performance as well as to reduce the risk of injury or reinjury. New surgical techniques allow athletes to return to competition sooner and with minimum effect on subsequent performance. New training techniques and an improved understanding of the nutritional needs of the athlete has resulted in substantial improvements in athletic performance. The Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance (ISMHP) serves as a central administrative structure to facilitate an active interchange among scientists and the practitioners (strength and sport conditioning coaches, athletic trainers, health and wellness coordinators, clinicians and rehabilitation specialists), and as a first-class research and teaching facility at Texas A&M University.
The Institute of Ocular Pharmacology is conducting research to benefit individuals who suffer from age-related and other conditions of the eye. Its research includes the delivery of drugs to the eye through the eyeball as well as through the blood stream. It is the first institute of its kinds in the world to develop collaboration between opthamologists and pharmacologists to advance eye drug research. As an interdisciplinary organization with members from the College of Medicine and numerous other colleges and institutes, the institute studies and develops formal mechanisms as the molecular level.
The Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine's Institute for Regenerative Medicine (IRM) at Scott & White Hospital was established in August 2008 as joint venture between the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, Scott & White, and the Temple Bioscience District. The goal of the IRM is to bridge the gap between basic science and clinical translation in the field of regenerative medicine and experimental cell therapeutics. Through active collaboration between basic scientists and clinicians in Central Texas, the IRM hopes to tackle the ambitious task of discovering novel therapies for intractable diseases to relieve human suffering.
The LMPV is a state-of-the-art facility for investigation of viral pathogens. The research focus includes basic studies on viral life cycle and replicative mechanisms, pathogenesis studies in animal models, and development and evaluation of viral diagnostics and therapeutics. The goal of the LMPV is to assemble a critical mass of senior and junior virologists in a common environment that will foster collaborative interactions, intellectual synergy, and the efficient use of resources.
The Wehner-Welch Research Lab occupies a contiguous 7-room, 3,723 sq. ft. laboratory complex that contains three hoods and the usual utilities. One room includes a 180 sq. ft. walk-in cold room and a 109 sq. ft. dark room for photocrosslinking and photosensitive preparations. A spectroscopy lab houses the four spectrofluorimeters and laser. The lab is investigating several biochemical processes, including the movement of proteins through or into a membrane (protein trafficking), nascent protein folding, ER-associated degradation (ERAD) of misfolded proteins, and the creation of holes in mammalian cell membranes by bacterial toxins. Two other processes that have been examined extensively are blood coagulation and protein biosynthesis. The molecular machinery involved in each of these complex processes consists largely of multi-component complexes of proteins or of proteins and nucleic acids, most of which are membrane-bound. The lab's research and published work therefore includes studies of protein-membrane, protein-nucleic acid, protein-protein, and protein-metal ion interactions.