Temple College receives nearly $140,000 in grants

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November 2, 2020
Killeen Daily Herald | Joel Valley

Temple College announced it has received nearly $140,000 in grant funding to support students involved in its STEM-related programs.

The Temple Health and Bioscience District awarded Temple College $20,000 for high school students participating in the Texas Bioscience Institute Middle College Program, while the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board granted $119,171 to the nursing program.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s grant — awarded to offset the impact of COVID-19 on workforce training — will be used to purchase additional simulation equipment: five patient simulators, a bed, laptops and simulator software.

“Receiving these Nursing Innovation Grant funds will allow us to accommodate social distancing requirements and the growth in our associate degree nursing program,” Tracey Cooper, executive director of nursing, said in a news release.

Funding also will be used to purchase equipment used in the teaching of catheterization, intravenous infusions and proper acquisition of medications.

Temple College has notably strived to involve area youth with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-related programs, and spokeswoman Ellen Davis said the Temple Health and Bioscience District-issued grant will help further that cause.

She noted how $12,000 of the grant will be dedicated to high school students who are interested in participating in the program — courses that currently enroll 130 students from 12 area school districts.

Dr. Shelley Pearson, the associate vice president for health professions at Temple College, said these scholarships will benefit students unable to afford the related tuition the most.

“The Texas Bioscience Institute Middle College program is a great opportunity for area high school students to earn a significant portion of a four-year college degree before they graduate from high school,” Pearson said in a news release. “We are very grateful to the Texas Health and Bioscience District for investing in the future of our community with scholarships and financial support.”

Davis said the Temple Health and Bioscience District awarded $13,450 to 28 students just last year, and Thomas Baird — the Temple Health and Bioscience District board of directors’ chair — emphasized the importance of investing in local youth.

“Our board believes we must invest in our young people in our area, so we will have the doctors and scientists we will need in the future … to have a vibrant economy and a high quality of life for our whole community,” Baird said.

Temple Bioscience District joins Texas health consortium

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October 5, 2020
Temple Daily Telegram | By Shane Monaco

A new statewide collaboration between the academic, public and private sectors to fight the coronavirus and any future pandemics will see representation from Temple.

The Temple Health & Bioscience District has announced that it will be a part of the Texas Global Health Security Innovation Consortium, which will hold its virtual launch Tuesday morning. The consortium will provide resources for companies and groups currently fighting the pandemic, as well as for those aiming to combat future pandemics.

Tami Annable, executive director of the district, said she was excited the consortium asked her organization to be a part of this project and provide aid for work in this field.

“Just to know that Temple, Texas, is having a hand in making these decisions, and making this grow by adding our contacts to the pool is really exciting,” Annable said. “We are making our mark on COVID-19. And that is big — because we need to.”

The district will be one of more than 60 partners with the consortium, including universities, incubators, investors, chambers of commerce and medical companies.

Industrial Genetics, a member of the Bioscience District, is also one of the consortium members and is currently working on environmental testing.

Annable said the hope for the project is to become prepared for these future pandemics, as well as the coronavirus, by creating this infrastructure now so they don’t hit the nation “in-between the eyes”.

“What we do is listen to a 15 to 20 minute presentation from these companies, and they have an ask,” she said.  “The ask might be that they need an engineer or it might be they need contacts with the governor’s office. Then a team would get together and help them with that ask.”

Dr. Lisa McDonald, director of health care at the Austin Technology Incubator who is working with the consortium, said that while many of its partners are located in larger cities, she felt it was important to get smaller communities like Temple on board as well.

She said these smaller communities may have different viewpoints on how to solve specific issues compared to larger cities like Austin or Dallas.

While the consortium will officially launch Tuesday, McDonald said the consortium has been helping its members since it started to form in February.

“We began having conversations in February about the need to pull together resources across the state of Texas that were working on health security-related technology,” McDonald said. “We have a lot of those resources here in the state of Texas, but we wanted to think about doing the legwork to pull them together under one overarching organization so that innovators developing technologies can be paired with the resources they need, and ecosystem partners that have those resources to give can be put in contact with innovators.”

McDonald said the consortium is currently conducting surveys with various companies and organizations to see how they can be helped, with about 90 interested parties so far.

Local Startup Company Launches Surface and Wastewater Testing for the COVID-19 Virus (SARS-CoV-2)

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As the battle to combat the spread of COVID-19 wages on nationwide, the team at Temple Health and Bioscience District (THBD) collaborates with innovators across Central Texas to ensure public health and safety. This August, a new tool was introduced in Temple, Texas to help identify the virus and mitigate risks.

While many other developers and manufacturers focus on diagnostic testing to identify the virus in patients, Industrial Genetics, a startup company at THBD, has developed a way to identify the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) in wastewater and on surfaces.

“Industrial Genetics was created to help provide clarity amidst uncertain times,” says Founder and President David Sprague, Ph.D. “The first step to winning the war against COVID-19 is to determine where the outbreaks are taking place before the effects of COVID-19 have taken hold. Our diagnostic testing is the ideal way to see if there is a problem at your organization by determining the amount of virus in your wastewater and on surfaces. By providing evidence-based understanding of SARS-CoV-2 and the pandemic, our customers can then proceed confidently to identifying the correct solution.”

This advancement allows businesses and organizations to obtain more data on COVID-19 risks in high-traffic areas, which is particularly important as schools reopen this fall. In addition to schools, healthcare providers, office settings, and essential businesses all have a tremendous need to understand the risk of contracting COVID-19 within their environments and among colleagues and staff.

All of the testing will be conducted locally at the Temple Health and Bioscience District (THBD). This 5,000 sq. ft office and laboratory facility consists of seven tenant offices, three tenant labs, 700 sq. ft of common lab space, administrative offices, two conference rooms, and a break room. Industrial Genetics is part of the THBD incubator which boasts an impressive array of equipment designed to help researchers like Dr. Sprague launch innovative technologies to improve public health.

“We are so proud of the work that Dr. Sprague and his team are conducting,” says THBD Executive Director Tami Annable. “As we all search for answers amid the pandemic, Industrial Genetics is taking the next steps to ensure safer work, school, and medical environments.”

To inquire about surface or wastewater testing for your organization and for more information, visit IndustrialGeneticsLLC.com.

With the advent of new technologies like Industrial Genetics’ testing, THBD continues to attract startups and small businesses looking to make waves in Central Texas’ thriving life science ecosystem. To learn more about the incubator, visit templebioscience.org.