Powerful ally in life sciences: UH research head to give keynote

HOUSTON, Feb. 6, 2007 Calling the University of Houston 'a powerful ally to the life science industry in our region,' BioHouston is featuring UH's new head of research, Donald L. Birx, as keynote speaker at its next breakfast forum Wednesday, Feb. 14.

BioHouston, a 501(c)(3) founded by regional academic and research institutions, is establishing the Houston region as a global competitor in life science and biotechnology commercialization and technology transfer to generate economic wealth for the area.

With nearly $75 million in annual research expenditures, researchers at UH collaborate with other Texas Medical Center institutions and regional biotechnology companies. Birx, vice chancellor for the UH System and vice president for research for UH, advocates collaborative strategic activities and research clusters that relate to and translate UH's research capabilities, as well as build on the strengths of the university and its community partners.

In his BioHouston talk 'Research Clusters and Industry Partnerships' Birx will outline the cutting-edge plans he has brought to Houston and the research under way at UH. In his address, he plans to cover how his 'clusters' approach translates to interdisciplinary research, UH's push for Tier I status, how his background in applied research and making marketable applications speaks to the areas of tech transfer and IP, and how his finance background enhances his role in managing scientific research endeavors. He also will elaborate on some of the particular cross-disciplinary research areas he sees as being especially dynamic at UH.

Birx holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Dayton, an M.B.A. in finance and M.S. in biophysics from Miami University in Ohio, and a B.S. in engineering physics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Prior to joining UH in 2006, Birx spent a decade at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruce

Contact: Lisa Merkl
University of Houston

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