In the past several years, San Antonio’s medical, academic, and research sectors have collaborated at an unprecedented rate in an attempt to increase the number of research dollars coming into the city.

Knowing they can bring in more money working together than separately, the University of Texas at San Antonio, Southwest Research Institute, UT Health San Antonio, and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute have joined forces on various projects and shared faculty and search teams for talent. On Tuesday, Oct. 15, the leaders of the four institutions will share their experiences during a panel conversation about this collaborative effort, titled “The Growing Impact and Importance of San Antonio’s Billion-Dollar Research Collaborative.”

The second annual Medical Forum luncheon, hosted by the Rivard Report and moderated by Editor and Publisher Robert Rivard, will include UTSA President Taylor Eighmy, SwRI President and CEO Adam Hamilton, UT Health San Antonio President Dr. William Henrich, and Texas Biomed President and CEO Dr. Larry Schlesinger.

“When you look at the research and development profiles of the five entities, we are a $1.25 billion enterprise, and about half that sum is in biomedicine,” said Eighmy, who included Brooke Army Medical Center among the group. “The precision therapies we are working on to treat the medical conditions found in San Antonio are those that will be used to treat the U.S. population in the years ahead as it comes to mirror what we find now here.”

The luncheon will include a keynote address delivered by Air Force Maj. Gen. ( Ret.) Dr. Byron Hepburn, director of of UT Health San Antonio’s Military Medical Institute, and conversation about how the institutions’ combined bioscience research portfolio might impact San Antonio and how it not only includes biomedical research but also includes data integration, artificial intelligence, and applied research.

“Texas Biomed’s mission to pioneer and share scientific breakthroughs that protect [people, their families, and the] global community from the threat of infectious diseases will be accomplished through a bold initiative we have launched to double the size of the Institute in the next 10 years,” Schlesinger said.

Texas Biomed plans to add 20-plus principal investigators, build and enhance its facilities, and develop new programs for the next generation of scientists in the next two years, he said, noting the institute has added nine new faculty scientists. 

“We now are seeing nearly $1 billion in research funding coming into the city annually, driving tens of thousands of high-skilled jobs,” Rivard said. “Our aim is to give community leaders and citizens a much better appreciation of the incredible work underway fueled by those funds, and to ask the leaders what is on the horizon.”

Eighmy foresees more job growth being driven by the bioscience sector in the years to come.

“People talk about San Antonio being Military City or Cyber City, which is certainly true, but we are now on our way to becoming a knowledge economy city,” he said.

The luncheon will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio NW I-10 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and tickets can be purchased through Oct. 15. For more information, click here.

Roseanna Garza reports on health and bioscience for the San Antonio Report.