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Science + Start-ups = Better Health

A rendering of the new Texas Medical Center Helix Park

Anchoring Healthcare Innovation and Research Discoveries at Dynamic One in TMC Helix Park

What happens when scientific innovation moves in with start-up companies in the world’s largest medical center? Discoveries that usher in a new era of healthcare and excellence in patient care. In June 2024,
the Baylor Center for Medical Innovation (BCMi) – Baylor’s first center dedicated to transforming human health through innovation and partnership with the private sector – will open in the Texas Medical Center (TMC) Helix Park’s Dynamic One building.

Located outside the boundary of TMC’s original campus – and thus, its non-profit restrictions – Helix Park can set up forprofit companies in the biotechnology industry. Anchoring the Park’s 335,000-square-foot space that blends commercial life sciences and curated retail with affiliated academic and healthcare institutions, Baylor will lease lab and office space with the goal of concentrating highly innovative labs, focused on novel diagnostics and therapeutics with space to build start-up companies.

The Park will open a world of opportunities for Houston as it continues to evolve as a leader in biotechnology and medicine, driving forces behind the city’s future. Establishment of Helix Park will help make Houston a desirable location for some of the best and brightest minds in the world to live and work.

“Baylor College of Medicine moved to Houston in 1943 and was the first institution built in the Texas Medical Center,” said Paul Klotman, M.D., president, CEO, and executive dean of Baylor. “Our researchers and scientists will have the opportunity to access the uniquely concentrated research environment being developed at TMC Helix Park, facilitating the continuing advancement of innovation and compassionate care.”

A rendering of an Active Learning Theater in the new Cullen Tower

Within Helix Park, Baylor will initially house three of its leading BCMi programs – each with significant potential for commercialization to directly impact patients. The Therapeutic Innovation Center (THINC) bridges Baylor’s expertise in RNA and the gene control problems that can result from RNA abnormalities with drug discovery to produce therapies and cures for diseases like COVID, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and cancer.

The Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research seeks to understand how microbes living on or within the body impact health and disease. With studies spanning the globe, the Center has already created Diversigen, a company that helps scientists and healthcare entities with microbiome analysis using molecular techniques and informatics.

The Center’s work also gave rise to TAILФR or Tailored Antibacterials and Innovative Laboratories for phage Research, the third BCMi program at Helix Park. TAILФR uses customized viruses called bacteriophages to combat the growing global threat of antimicrobial resistance. This collective launched PHIOGEN, a company designed for bacteriophage screening and production for personalized patient therapies.

Ultimately, through BCMi, Baylor aims to cultivate and strengthen industry and academic partnerships and collaborations to accelerate new discoveries and bring healthcare solutions to the community.

Watch a brief video about the TMC’s new city center, TMC Helix Park.
Watch a video about TAILФR’s innovative science using bacteriophages against deadly antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.