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.