Texas A&M University
New Institute at Texas A&M to Help Move
Medical Discoveries to the Marketplace
Texas Institute for Preclinical Studies (TIPS)
By Tina Evans, Texas A&M University System
The new Texas Institute for Preclinical Studies (TIPS) at Texas A&M University.
A new institute at Texas A&M University is poised to help the State of Texas expand its leadership role in biotechnology innovation. The institute also will elevate the Texas A&M University System’s position as a major player in research and discovery leading to the commercialization of new technologies, products and start-up companies.
The Texas Institute for Preclinical Studies (TIPS), established in May 2007 by the A&M System Board of Regents, will help students, faculty, scientists and other researchers develop and create new intellectual property. TIPS will help new discoveries, particularly medical devices and therapies, move more quickly from concept to the marketplace to treat and prevent disease.
“This institute is uniquely positioned to perform preclinical development and testing of drugs and devices leading to human clinical trials,” said A&M System Chancellor Michael D. McKinney, M.D. “Faculty and students in the Texas A&M Health Science Center and Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Dwight Look College of Engineering, and Mays Business School will develop partnerships with major medical centers throughout the world to provide research and support services complementing institute activity.”
Along with companion activities at Texas A&M, including the new Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine (TIGM), TIPS has the potential to help keep intellectual property and capital in the state and create new jobs for Texans.
The institute will provide core services in developing and conducting research activities, including medical device and combination product safety studies in large animal models such as those with naturally occurring disease, preclinical studies using Good Laboratory Practices Standards (GLPS), and biomedical imaging to support pharmaceutical and medical equipment development.
TIPS will foster multi-disciplinary service, research and education by training veterinarians, physicians, scientists, technicians and engineers to meet the needs of Texas’ biomedical industry, and it will serve as a key resource for training undergraduate and graduate students as well as academic and industry personnel in regulatory issues.
Leading TIPS as its director is Theresa W. Fossum, D.V.M., a professor of surgery and holder of the Tom and Joan Read Chair in Veterinary Surgery at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. An internationally recognized veterinary surgeon and prominent leader in the field of heart research, Fossum also is the director for Cardiothoracic Surgery and Biomedical Devices in the Michael E. DeBakey Institute at Texas A&M.
TIPS is supported with funding from a variety of sources, including $40 million in Permanent University Fund (PUF) bonding authority for its construction. In July 2007, Governor Rick Perry awarded a $6 million grant from the state’s Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) to support the institute. This funding will go a long way, McKinney noted, in helping recruit star faculty who will make life-changing discoveries in the field of health care.
Another $2.5 million has been committed for TIPS by the Bryan-College Station community through the Research Valley Partnership, which focuses on promoting innovative economic development in the area.
The 112,000-square-foot TIPS facility will be located in Texas A&M University’s Research Park. Construction on TIPS is slated for completion in spring 2009.
Theresa Fossum, D.V.M., Director of TIPS and Professor of Veterinary Surgery at Texas A&M.