Temple Health & Bioscience District (THBD) launches summer intern program to foster STEM education in central Texas

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July 10, 2019

Temple Health & Bioscience District (THBD) launches summer intern program to foster STEM education in central Texas
Local bioscience incubator selects summer interns for 2019 THBD Scholars Program

TEMPLE, TEXAS Temple Health and Bioscience District (THBD), Temple, Texas’ own not-for-profit, city-supported bioscience incubator, is proud to share the launch of its summer internship program, the THBD Scholars Program. This program attracts qualified college students from across central Texas who are interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. Program leaders pair them with local businesses and researchers for mentorship and training.

The THBD Scholars Program was formed by the Central Texas Scientific Advocacy Group, an organization co-founded in September 2018 by Tami Annable, THBD Executive Director; David Sprague, Ph.D.; Colin Dodson and Ryan Quinn, THBD tenants and co-founders of SiMMo3D; and with the support of the THBD Board of Directors. The program sponsors eight college students from May 31 to August 2, 2019. The program exposes students to various opportunities including but not limited to cancer and infectious disease research, 3D printing, entrepreneurship, public health, medical device technology. Students also benefit by acquiring tools to set them up for success in health-related fields.

This year’s scholars attend universities across Texas including the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Texas at Dallas, and Texas A&M University. THBD Scholars Program students include Isabella Cano, Alexis DeGraaff, Lun Gualnam, Tori Hagen, Amy Nguyen, Christopher Perez, Priyanka Reddy, and William Minnie.

“We are proud to welcome this bright group of students to Temple this summer for our newest intern program, the THBD Scholars Program,” said Tami Annable, co-founder of the Central Texas Scientific Advocacy Group and executive director of THBD. “We have seen the growth of the biotechnology industry in central Texas over the years and want to prepare these students for the future of the industry by fostering STEM-related education and hands-on research opportunities. We have the best and brightest students eager to learn from our wise mentors at top leadership positions in the healthcare, medical technology and research industries across central Texas.”

Local mentors and organizations joining THBD to provide real-world experience for the THBD Scholars Program include Bonnie Morehead, M.D. from the Texas Department of State Health Services; Scot Andrews, Impac Systems; Ryan Quinn, SiMMo3D; David Dostal, Ph.D., Matt McMillin, Ph.D., and Sharon DeMorrow, Ph.D., Dell Medical School and the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System (VA); Chetan Jinadatha, M.D., Central Texas VA.

“This is an exciting opportunity for college students to gain hands-on experience and mentorship from real professionals before entering the workforce,” said David Sprague, Ph.D., co-founder of the Central Texas Scientific Advocacy Group and president of Isolux Industries. “We are grateful for all of our mentors participating in the THBD Scholars Program. Their dedication and time to our future generation of STEM professionals will not only change lives, but also strengthen our community here in Temple and across central Texas.”

THBD, the only not-for-profit incubator of its kind in Texas, offers startups in the biotech and life science industries a comprehensive lab and office facility with state-of the-art equipment, startup resources and mentoring. The district offers the internship program as part of its mission to grow 21st century jobs by fostering bioscience education, research and healthcare in central Texas. For more information about the THBD Scholars Program and the Central Texas Scientific Advocacy Group, please contact Co-Founder Tami Annable at tamia@templebioescience.org.

The Temple Health and Bioscience District (THBD) was created as a result of legislation passed by the State of Texas in 2003 and approved by Temple voters to establish the facility in 2009. The THBD Office and Laboratory Facility provides premier office and lab space for early-stage biotech companies that are taking health-related products from conception to manufacturing. Temple’s Health and Bioscience District is governed by a seven-member board. The board members are elected by the citizens of Temple and serve staggered three-year terms. The operational activities of the District are led by an Executive Director who is appointed by the board. To learn more, visit: TempleBioScience.org. Join the conversation on Twitter @TempleHBD, Instagram @TempleHBD and on Facebook.com/TempleHBD.


Media Contacts:
Ashley Schlosser
(512) 968-0562

Kelsey Heitzmann
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Lunch and Learn webinar set

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July 8, 2019
Temple Daily Telegram | Janice Gibbs

The Temple Health and Bioscience District offers a monthly Lunch and Learn webinar series, featuring notable industry speakers, as a resource for entrepreneurs, startups, researchers, and health-related professionals.

For those who cannot attend in person, bioscience district webinars are free and easily accessible online or via phone. The calendar on the bioscience district website will include some of the Lunch and Learn webinar topics and dates.
The next Lunch and Learn will feature Abbas Dhilawala, chief technology officer with Galen Data, a cloud platform built for medical devices.

The webinar will be noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, at the Bioscience District Facility at 1802 S. First St., Temple.

Deadline to register is Monday, July 29, at tamia@templebioscience.org.

Aging populations, rising chronic diseases, global pandemics and costs are some of the biggest challenges in the health care system, Dhilawala said. Better data collection, intelligent analysis, and utilization of cloud-based technologies can help address some of the challenges in terms of security, privacy, cost and time.
The Temple Health and Bioscience District is one of two sites to live stream the Texas Health CoLab’s monthly learning series from Dell Medical School.

“These are great opportunities to learn from people at the top of their game,” said Tami Annable, executive director of the Bioscience District. “We need more people locally to take advantage of these discussions.”

The live streams are held once a month.

On July 25, Jason Storck will talk about “Key Issues for Health Care Startups in Employment Law Compliance.”

Topics over the past several months have included: Constructive Disruption in the Health Care Sector: How to Succeed; In Vitro Diagnostics: Development & Regulatory Pathways; Developing Your Brand Persona; Health Data: Don’t be Creepy with your Tech; Corporate Transactions for Early Stage Companies; and Health, Design & Business: Design Thinking for Health Innovation.

For information on the Lunch & Learn and Texas Health CoLab’s monthly learning series from Dell Medical School, contact Annable at 254-935-3963.

Bioscience board meets new interns

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June 29, 2019
Temple Daily Telegram | Janice Gibbs

Members of the Temple Health and Bioscience District board of directors met four of its summer interns at its June meeting.

The Bioscience District supports a summer scholars program for college students and other internships for Texas Bioscience Institute students.

Alexis DeGraaff, a student at Texas A&M University and a graduate of Texas Bioscience Institute, is interning with Dr. Chetan Jinadatha, a lead researcher with the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System.

“He has his hands in so many projects I’m getting to do a little bit of everything,” DeGraaff said. “I’m getting to do whole gene sequencing.”

Part of the project is tracing back viruses to determine how they spread, she said.

Tori Hagan is from Austin and is a student at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. She is getting a degree in biology. Her goal is to become a physician’s assistant.

Hagan is working with David Dostal, a researcher at the VA, where she analyzes echoes.

“I’m working with data right now and I think I’m pretty good with the echoes,” she said.

Lun Gualnam is a senior at the University of Texas at San Antonio and will graduate with a public health degree.

“I came to Temple specifically for this program,” Gualnam said. “I saw a flyer at my school and thought it as a good opportunity.”

Gualnam is working with Dr. Whitney Thomas, an epidemiologist at the Texas Department of Health Services.

“She does case investigation,” she said.

Amy Nguyan is a graduate of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and will be attending medical school in San Antonio.

Nguyan is working with Sharon DeMarrow at the Dell Medical School, whose research is in liver cancer.

The board approved a $6,000 grant to the Temple College Biological Research Institute for three student-driven research projects to measure Zebra Mussel Growth and Public Awareness in Lake Belton and Stillhouse Hollow Lake.

“Our lakes are changing,” said Thomas Baird, chairman of the Temple Health and Bioscience District board. “Oxygen levels are dropping, which means fewer fish.”

The zebra mussel research is under the guidance of Jason Locklin, chairman of the Temple College biology department.

The study will compare zebra mussel growth rates in different Bell County lake environments; assess the effectiveness of eDNA sampling as a means of monitoring zebra mussel presence; and assess local public awareness of zebra mussel infestation and spread.

Cara Wessels, a potential accelerator tenant, wants an office in the Bioscience District’s facility, Tami Annable, Bioscience District executive director, reported.

Wessels participated in the pitch competition at the District’s annual conference in May.

She has her doctorate in reproductive physiology in animal science. Her focus is on selecting the healthiest embryo to transfer for better pregnancy outcomes. Wessels founded a start-up company to commercialize her efforts.

THBD 2019 MedTech Conference and Pitch Competition

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On Friday, May 3, 2019 the Temple Health and Bioscience District hosted its fourth annual medical technology conference, “Growing to Success: Startup & Beyond.” For the second year in a row, the conference included a pitch competition in which ten early-stage startups presented their technology to a panel of judges for a chance to win up to $10,000 in funding and paid business expenses from Temple-based companies. This year’s event brought in more than 90 registered attendees, a significant increase in attendance from last year’s conference.

The THBD team extends a huge thank you to all of this year’s attendees, pitch participants and expert speakers and panelists. Topics ranged from analyzing the future of the medical marketplace, to weighing the pros and cons of international vs. domestic business, to branding for success. In addition, we are pleased to congratulate Nabaco, the grand prize winner of this year’s pitch competition. We hope the takeaways and connections from this conference help bring new concepts to life!

Local broadcast media and publications including KXXV-TV, local ABC affiliate for Temple/Waco/Belton, and the Temple Daily Telegram covered the conference. Executive Director Tami Annable was invited onto KXXV’s morning lifestyle segment, Central Texas Living, on May 2 for a live interview to discuss the conference and its impact on the community. See coverage from the Temple Daily Telegram including presentation summaries and pitch competition winners.