Texas Governor Rick Perry says the state will invest 5.5-million dollars at UHÎ¾ to create the Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling.
"It's announcements like these today that I think show the people that these are dollars that are used wisely, that will multiply many-fold and create an environment in this state. Human capital is the key consideration of the emerging technology fund."
President Dr Renu Khator told the Governor the announcement validates her vision for the University.
"You're right, this is a monumental step for us toward our pursuit to become a top-tiered institution here in the state of Texas, and we have many more in the pipeline and the come. Just giving you a warning that we would be coming again."
World renowned hormonal expert Jan Ake Gustafsson will serve as director of the center. He is bringing a staff of researchers with him.
"President Khator has opened up a health initiative at University of Houston and our new center for nuclear receptors and cell signaling is an important part of this initiative. I can see fantastic opportunities in tying together technological research with life sciences. Often new ideas and breakthroughs occur at the borders of scientific disciplines. It's when they come together in the border zone that you can have new breakthroughs, new ideas, you can advance the field."
Dr Michael Lieberman director of the Methodist Hospital Research Institute, which will house the Texas International Center for Cell Signaling and Nuclear Receptors.
"There are many things that we can't do at a research institute associated with a hospital. We don't have engineering. We don't have physics, or chemistry, applied mathematics and basic fundamental biology. On the other hand, we have an impeccable knowledge of the molecular biology of disease. We have great translational research, and we have the ability to do clinical research as well. So, that there's enough overlap between the two programs to hold us together, but not so much that we duplicate one another."
Studies have shown that nuclear hormone receptors can be used to treat a host of illnesses including diabetes, Parkinson's disease, ALS and depression. The center will work to commercialize this research.
Pat Hernandez, KUHF...Houston Public Radio News.