The southernmost tip of the great state of Texas is known as the Rio Grande Valley (see map below), and University of Texas Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa is campaigning hard for the establishment of a South Texas School of Medicine, to be part of a new regional University of Texas research campus. UT already has two smaller campuses in the Rio Grande Valley, in Edinburg and Brownsville; mid-way between those two border cities is Harlingen, which is currently home to a Regional Academic Health Center that, under the Cigarroa plan, would become a full-fledged medical school. The new UT university campus would incorporate both the Brownsville and Edinburg college campuses, but with greater resources available to strengthen its research capacity. UT System Board of Regents voted to approve both plans last month. The next step is to convince the state legislature to give its support.
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In an attempt to shore up both the reputation and functionality of the nations's largest state-funded cancer agency, officials at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) just announced the appointment of Dr. Margaret Kripke as the agency's new chief scientific officer. The embattled agency has faced accusations from many of its key scientists that irregularities and favoritism in the funding process have undermined their scientific credibility and put commercialization above research.
Storms both meteorological and political have dominated the front page news in the past month, but the upset that has rocked Texas' Cancer Prevention & Research Institute (CPRIT) since the spring continues to make headlines in the science press. The journal Nature has published regular editorials since the flap began, intensifying in late October with the exodus of chief scientific officer and Nobel winner Alfred Gilman (right) and nearly 30 other scientists from the state cancer funding agency's review board. Here is our recap of the story, the issues at stake, and a look at where CPRIT is positioned to go from here.
New research at Texas Medical Center is underway at the newly opened Neurological Sleep Medicine Center in the Memorial Hermann Hospital. This progress is taking place amidst the tireless construction and restless activity of downtown Houston.