Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine at TAMU Groundbreaking

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006  •  Speech

Thank you, John (White). 

I am honored to be here with Congressman Kevin Brady, Dr. Bob McTeer, Chairman John White and other members of the Board of Regents, Dr. Nancy Dickey, Dr. David Prior and the leader of one of the world’s foremost genetic research firms, Lexicon Genetics, Dr. Arthur Sands.

Today we are breaking ground on a facility that will help make Texas an international focal point for medical research and job growth in the life science industry, the Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine at Texas A&M University.

This facility was made possible because of the groundbreaking work of Lexicon Genetics, because of the vision of our higher education leaders, and because the State of Texas committed $50 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund recognizing that genetics research will lead to life-saving medical treatments and therapies.

Lexicon is the world leader in mapping the mouse genome, which has a counterpart in 99 percent of the human genome. 

The purpose of this institute is not to study mice, but to cure man. 

By creating a “knockout mouse” with a specific gene turned off, scientists can learn the function of that gene, and later, develop treatments for human diseases and conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, birth defects and cancer.

And to meet that goal, Lexicon is using $35 million of the Enterprise Fund grant to create two copies of its knockout mouse cell line library, including the one housed here at Texas A&M. 

Not only will TIGM’s libraries and resources be available to researchers from universities across Texas, they will also be open to members of the private sector who will use the knowledge gained at the Institute to develop new technologies.

TIGM will not only be a great source of hope and healing for the sick and injured, but a tremendous source of opportunity and jobs for Texas families. 

Over the next decade, TIGM will create 5,000 new high paying jobs in Texas with an average salary of $60,000. 

And it will attract scores of biotech firms that want to be near the world’s premiere genetic research facility. 

One of the most critical goals of research at institutions of higher education must be to move innovations from the lab to the marketplace: the process known as commercialization. 

There is no greater example of the potential of commercialization than the mouse genome project.

TIGM will also help Texas draw down millions more in federal and private research dollars. 

The National Institute of Health has identified this type of mouse genome research as one of the most promising for creating the next generation of medical treatments. 

With TIGM, Texas is now at the front of the line for public and private sector grants.

By investing taxpayer dollars in high-tech research and development projects like TIGM, Texas stands to reap economic and scientific benefits far greater than the money spent up front. 

History shows that when government, industry and academia join forces to solve great challenges, the possibilities for revolutionary developments are limitless.

With the breaking of ground on the Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine at Texas A&M University, we have taken a critical step towards that future.  Thank you.

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