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Baylor Research Advocates for Student Scientists (BRASS)

Baylor Research Advocates for Student Scientists (BRASS) is a volunteer group dedicated to the success of students in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine.

Each year, BRASS selects four first-year graduate students to be BRASS Scholars. Through mentorship, advocacy and raising support for BRASS Scholars’ training and research, BRASS helps to lay the foundation for tomorrow’s lifesaving advances in medicine.

The Mission of BRASS is the pursuit of excellence in biomedical research.

Become a BRASS member today

BRASS members work to provide a strong voice for the Graduate School students through:


BRASS members “adopt” BRASS Scholars and support their professional growth by introducing them to their personal and professional networks and other leaders in the community.


BRASS members make philanthropic gifts and collaborate with the Office of Advancement and Alumni Affairs to obtain scholarship support, research funding and assistance with travel to important scientific conferences for BRASS Scholars. BRASS has gifted more than $5 million in endowed funds to the graduate school at Baylor.


Graduate students train alongside some of the college’s most distinguished scientists to tackle cures for such medical challenges as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease. BRASS members learn about this work and BRASS Scholars’ research and share this information with the wider community.

What We Support

BRASS members provide mentorship and support for research and training for BRASS Scholars, top student scientists in Baylor College of Medicine’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The Graduate School is led by Dean Carolyn Smith, Ph.D., who holds the William R. Brinkley BRASS Chair.  

Visit the Graduate School to learn more about its programs and what uniquely primes it to develop tomorrow’s leaders in biomedical science.

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A Message from the President

Read a message from the 2024 BRASS President, Elsie Eckert.

BRASS Scholars 2023-2024

Eric Joshua Garcia

BRASS Scholar

Paige Hall

BRASS Scholar

Michal Tyrlik

BRASS Scholar

Julia Enterria Rosales

BRASS Scholar

“Being a BRASS Scholar has given me a very supportive group of people in Houston who really care about what I am doing as a student researcher. It is great to be able to interact with leaders in the community and promote biomedical research. Since most of the people involved in BRASS are not scientists, it has pushed me to learn to communicate science to non-scientists, which is so important since most science is supported by public funds. BRASS has also provided funding for my research and for travel to conferences where I can meet with international collaborators and learn from those in my field.”

Kristyn Hoffman
BRASS Scholar

Previous BRASS Scholars


Lifetime BRASS Members & Benefactors


Honorary Lifetime Members

Dr. William R. Brinkley*

Michael E. DeBakey, M.D.*

Sidney and Don* Faust, Sr.

Judi and Jack Johnson

Don D. Jordan

Myra Branum Wilson, BRASS Founder

Lifetime Benefactors






BRASS Endowments and Funding Partners

BRASS Sidney Broadfoot Faust Endowed Scholarship – Est. 2013
Benefactor – Sidney Faust

Buck Bukowski BRASS Travel Endowment – Est. 2009
Benefactors – Family and Friends of Lucian M. “Buck” Bukowski, Jr.

David & Eula Wintermann Foundation – Est. 2007
Benefactor and Research Partner – Jack & Judi Johnson

Don D. Jordan Endowed Scholarship – Est. 1997
Benefactors – BRASS Leadership and Friends of BRASS

Donald D. Sykora Endowed Scholarship – Est. 1997
Benefactor – Friends of Don Sykora

Donald E. McMahon Scholar Education & Recruitment Endowment Fund – Est. 2011
Benefactor – Ed McMahon

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo BRASS Support Fund – Est. 2008
Funding Partner, Research Partner and Benefactor – Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Myra Branum Wilson Endowed Scholarship – Est. 1997
Benefactors – BRASS Leadership and Friends of Myra Branum Wilson

William R. Brinkley – BRASS Endowed Chair – Est. 2007
Benefactors – BRASS Leadership and Friends of William R. Brinkley, Ph.D

BRASS Membership Levels & Benefits

Angel – $300
Guardian Angel – $500
Archangel – $1,000
Herald Angel – $2,000
Saint – $5,000
Lifetime Benefactor – $10,000

*Annual memberships at these levels renew every year at the Tea & Toddies annual event. 
Fair market value of each membership level is $250. 

Member Events


Tea & Toddies

BRASS’s signature fundraising event, Tea & Toddies, introduces new BRASS members into the fold. At the event, members hear about BRASS Scholars’ research and raise a glass to honor special member contributions. All proceeds raised in this enjoyable evening soirée support BRASS’s mission of pursuing excellence in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.


Scholars’ Reception

Each year, this event introduces four new BRASS Scholars to the BRASS community and celebrates the ongoing generosity of Jack and Judi Johnson through the David and Eula Wintermann Foundation, to BRASS. At this fun and laid-back reception, members mingle with each other and begin to form a relationship with the new Scholars, who members will mentor, guide and support throughout their academic journeys.


Holiday Party

BRASS’s annual holiday party is a time to celebrate the year of achievement about to conclude and all of the innovative research BRASS will support in the year ahead. This is an entertaining night that never fails to create special holiday memories for BRASS members, Scholars, friends and family.

Join Us

When you become a BRASS member, you’ll help us recruit top students to Baylor by offering scholarships, research funding and a network of Houston community leaders who welcome these exemplary graduate students into their circle of family, cultural, civic and social activities.