Bioscience district launches new website during open house event

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January 31, 2019
Temple Daily Telegram | Janice Gibbs

Temple Health and Bioscience District opened its doors Thursday to the public for an open house and the launch of its new website.

This is the district’s second open house, the first took place after the facility opened in 2015 and before the building had any tenants.

This time around, the individuals whose companies have offices and labs in the building were available to talk to visitors who were curious about what takes place in the building at the corner of South First Street and Avenue R.

Ryan Quinn of SiMMo3D was in a lab with the company’s heart simulator that could be used to train physicians on different procedures that cardiac surgeons perform on patients.

Quinn and his partner, Colin Dodson, have patented the training device, which is made using 3-D manufacturing and technology.

“It’s a beating heart that is very realistic,” he said. “We use MRI/CT data so we know everything is anatomically realistic.”

The heart model was demonstrating was electrophysiology, the electric activity within a heart.

The heart was set up to train how to close a left atrial appendage.

“Not everyone has one but it’s one of leading causes of stroke and afib (atrial fibrillation),” Quinn said. “Blood can pump into appendage, but if it’s not pumped out it can pool, clot and then cause a stroke.”

The training on treating the problem needed to be upgraded, he said. Cadavers can be used, but the heart doesn’t pump. There are pig labs, but those are expensive and you only get one shot at fixing the problem.

The company has 16 of the devices so the surgeon has a number of opportunities to try new approaches.

George Robinson, a Temple Bioscience Institute student, served a summer internship with SiMMo3D and is now a part-time employee with the company.

Robinson said he was introduced to the concept of entrepreneurship in science by SiMMo3D and plans to go to college and look at how he can use that knowledge in the field of physics.

Tami Annable, Temple Health and Bioscience District executive director, gave a tour of the equipment in the common lab that is used by tenants and researchers in the community.

The Bioscience District has recently purchased an improved 3-D printer with increased capacity for printing using different resins.

Kelsey Heitzmann, account executive with Live Out Loud public relations firm in Austin, showed off the new website.

“It provides information about what the district is all about, leadership with information about Tami,” Heitzmann said. “It provides information on what we’re all about — we’re here to grow 21st century jobs.”

There’s a calendar and board meeting minutes and a list of collaborators on the site, www.templebioscience.org.

The page includes virtual tours of the facility, including the office and lab space and the common lab.

“You can zoom in on equipment to see what the equipment looks like,” she said. “It’s very interactive.”

There will be information on the upcoming conference the district holds each May.

“We highlight our interns, because that’s something we’re proud of here,” Heitzmann said. “We talk about our TBI (Texas Bioscience Institute) interns and Temple ISD high school interns.”

There will be a blog that will be another place to share information on what’s going on, she said.

There’s also a lab check-in portal that individuals set up an account and sign in for a particular piece of equipment for an allotted time.

Why THBD?

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As you may know, big things are happening to Texas’ biotechnology industry. What you may not know is that Temple is one of the fastest-growing cities in Texas due to the increasing presence of medical companies, hospitals and industry influence in the area.

The growth of the biotech industry in our area forged legislation by the Texas legislature to create the Temple Health and Bioscience District (THBD), our nonprofit bioscience office and laboratory facility supported by taxpayers and the city. The legislation was created to support the economic development of the biotech industry in Texas. Our goal is to recruit top startups from around the world to grow their companies here in our state.

Located in the middle of Texas, only a couple of hours from Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, Temple is at the center of Texas’ growing biotech corridor. THBD is the only publicly funded, not-for-profit district in the state of Texas that caters to bioscience, biotech and health-related startup companies. Our mission is to grow 21st century jobs by fostering bioscience education, research, and healthcare in central Texas.

At THBD, we provide our tenants with everything they need to take their ideas from conception t o commercialization. Our 5,000-sq. ft. laboratory and office facility provides tenants with equipment for prototyping, testing, 3D printing and tissue culture. In addition to office and laboratory space, THBD provides resources, funding opportunities, mentorship and networking opportunities with local area collaborators including Baylor Scott and White hospital system, USDA, Agrilife Research Center, Texas A&M Health Science Center (medical school) and the fourth largest U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in the country.

Election for Bioscience board members scheduled

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January 28, 2019
Temple Daily Telegram | Janice Gibbs

An election is scheduled May 4 to elect three members to the board of directors of the Temple Health and Bioscience Economic Development District for three-year terms.

The seats up for election are held by Gregg Strasburger, Thomas Baird and John Keilla. All have indicated they will seek re-election.

The election was called for during the board of directors’ January meeting.

Dr. Damir Nizamutdinov has filed paperwork for a spot on the ballot.

The district will hold an open house 3-5 p.m. Thursday at its lab and office facility at 1802 S. First St.

During the event the bioscience district will launch its new website.

“This is a unique opportunity to preview Temple Health and Bioscience District’s new website, to hear the latest announcements for 2019, and to tour the facility,” said Tami Annable, executive director of Temple Health and Bioscience District.

Individuals from across Central Texas and the bioscience community are invited to learn about all the resources available at the Bioscience District, including the new and improved 3D printer in the common lab.

WashSense, the first tenant in the facility, has completed its newest installation, which is showing a 10 percent infection reduction in the first 30 days, post installation.

WashSense Hand Hygiene system was developed to address the issue of health care-associated infections. The touchless device is installed at hand-washing sinks and hand sanitizer stations. Bluetooth technology measures the hand washing and provides administrators with group and department performances and overall facility patterns.

The next Lunch and Learn will be noon-1 p.m. Tuesday at the Bioscience District, 1802 S. First St.

Daniel Staab, co-founder of Starling Culture, will present “Responsible Communication is the Catalyst for Igniting Your Startup.”

RSVP to tamia@templebioscience.org by 3 p.m. Monday.

Bioscience open house Thursday

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January 26, 2019
Temple Daily Telegram | Janice Gibbs

As the Temple Health and Bioscience District advances so do its partner/tenants, early-stage biotech companies that are taking health-related products from conception to manufacturing.

The district will hold an open house 3-5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, at 1802 S. First St., across from the Temple VA.

During the event the bioscience district will launch its new website.

“This is a unique opportunity to preview Temple Health and Bioscience District’s new website, to hear the latest announcements for 2019, and to tour the facility,” said Tami Annable, executive director of Temple Health and Bioscience District.

Individuals from across Central Texas and the bioscience community are invited to learn about all the resources available at the Bioscience District, including the new and improved 3D printer in the common lab.

Tours of the facility will be offered. Current tenants will be on hand to talk about their project. Hot and cold snacks and drinks will be served.

“We’ll have all the equipment going so people will have an opportunity to ask any questions,” Annable said.

Thanks to the support of collaborators and the community, Temple Health and Bioscience District continues to grow as does Central Texas’ biotech corridor, she said.

What started as legislation in 2003 has prospered. Temple Health and Bioscience District is now a fully operational office and laboratory for biotech, health-related startup companies.

This event is a celebration of Temple Health and Bioscience District’s continued success and a look at the future of the District.

The event is open to the public and is free, but registration is requested. Attendees may RSVP at www.eventbrite.com/e/thbd-open-house-and-website-preview-party-tickets-54978607495.