Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research
Texas Biomedical Research Institute (Texas Biomed), located in San Antonio, Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, is an independent biomedical research institution, specializing in genetics and in virology and immunology. Texas Biomed is funded by government and corporate grants and contracts, and donations from the public.


Founded in 1941 by Tom Slick
Tom Slick
Thomas Baker "Tom" Slick, Jr. was a San Antonio, Texas based inventor, businessman, adventurer, and heir to an oil business. Slick's father, Thomas Baker Slick, Sr., a.k.a. "The King of the Wildcatters", had made a fortune during the Texas oil boom of the 1920s.-Career:During the 1950s, Slick was...

 as the Foundation of Applied Research, Texas Biomed became the Southwest Foundation for Research and Education in 1952, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (SFBR) in 1982, and Texas Biomedical Research Institute on February 1, 2011.


Located on a 200 acre (0.809372 km²) campus on the northwest side of San Antonio, Texas Biomed employs over 75 doctoral level biomedical scientists, including 28 principal investigators and 400 staff members. Focused on basic biomedical research, the Institute is divided into the Department of Genetics
Genetics , a discipline of biology, is the science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms....

 and the Department of Virology
Virology is the study of viruses and virus-like agents: their structure, classification and evolution, their ways to infect and exploit cells for virus reproduction, the diseases they cause, the techniques to isolate and culture them, and their use in research and therapy...

 & Immunology
Immunology is a broad branch of biomedical science that covers the study of all aspects of the immune system in all organisms. It deals with the physiological functioning of the immune system in states of both health and diseases; malfunctions of the immune system in immunological disorders ; the...

. The Southwest National Primate Research Center, a part of Texas Biomed, is an international resource that provides specialized facilities and expertise in research with nonhuman primates to investigators from around the US and other countries. It maintains 4,000 nonhuman primates.

Texas Biomed maintains the only privately-owned Biosafety level 4
Biosafety level
A biosafety level is the level of the biocontainment precautions required to isolate dangerous biological agents in an enclosed facility. The levels of containment range from the lowest biosafety level 1 to the highest at level 4 . In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and...

 (BSL-4) laboratory in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, developing bioterrorism defenses and novel strategies against incurable infectious diseases.

The AT&T Genomics Computing Center, "the world's largest computer cluster devoted to statistical genetic analysis," helps scientists find genes that influence susceptibility to diseases at record speed.

Scientific Accomplishments

  • Developed high frequency ventilator to rescue premature babies from death or lifelong disabilities.

  • Played key role in developing the current hepatitis B vaccine
    Hepatitis B vaccine
    Hepatitis B vaccine is a vaccine developed for the prevention of hepatitis B virus infection. The vaccine contains one of the viral envelope proteins, hepatitis B surface antigen . It is produced by yeast cells, into which the genetic code for HBsAg has been inserted...

     now administered in 116 countries.

  • Identified genes that influence heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other common health problems.

  • Developed vaccines, antibodies and antitoxins for deadly agents of bioterrorism such as Ebola
    Ebola virus disease is the name for the human disease which may be caused by any of the four known ebolaviruses. These four viruses are: Bundibugyo virus , Ebola virus , Sudan virus , and Taï Forest virus...

    , botulinum neurotoxins
    Botulinum toxin
    Botulinum toxin is a protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, and is considered the most powerful neurotoxin ever discovered. Botulinum toxin causes Botulism poisoning, a serious and life-threatening illness in humans and animals...

    , and anthrax
    Anthrax is an acute disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Most forms of the disease are lethal, and it affects both humans and other animals...


  • Developed promising hormone-derived therapies with potential to treat breast and prostate cancer.

  • Developed invaluable animal models for research on cancer
    Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

    , heart disease
    Heart disease
    Heart disease, cardiac disease or cardiopathy is an umbrella term for a variety of diseases affecting the heart. , it is the leading cause of death in the United States, England, Canada and Wales, accounting for 25.4% of the total deaths in the United States.-Types:-Coronary heart disease:Coronary...

    , obesity
    Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems...

    , AIDS
    Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

    , and hepatitis
    Hepatitis is a medical condition defined by the inflammation of the liver and characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the tissue of the organ. The name is from the Greek hepar , the root being hepat- , meaning liver, and suffix -itis, meaning "inflammation"...

     among other public health problems that afflict millions around the globe.

  • Created methods to diagnose infections with herpes B virus
    Herpes B Virus
    Herpes Simian B virus is the endemic simplexvirus of macaque monkeys. B virus is an alphaherpesvirus, which consists of a subset of herpesviruses that travel within hosts using the peripheral nerves...

    , which is lethal to humans.

Current Research Projects

  • Investigating genetic and dietary factors that have major roles in influencing susceptibility to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.

  • Evaluating novel approaches to curing hepatitis C
    Hepatitis C
    Hepatitis C is an infectious disease primarily affecting the liver, caused by the hepatitis C virus . The infection is often asymptomatic, but chronic infection can lead to scarring of the liver and ultimately to cirrhosis, which is generally apparent after many years...

    , which infects three percent of the world’s population and is the leading cause of liver failure in the US.

  • Developing vaccine strategies for Ebola
    Ebola virus disease is the name for the human disease which may be caused by any of the four known ebolaviruses. These four viruses are: Bundibugyo virus , Ebola virus , Sudan virus , and Taï Forest virus...

    , HIV
    Human immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive...

    , Lassa fever
    Lassa fever
    Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus and first described in 1969 in the town of Lassa, in Borno State, Nigeria, in the Yedseram river valley at the south end of Lake Chad. Clinical cases of the disease had been known for over a decade but had not been connected...

    , West Nile virus
    West Nile virus
    West Nile virus is a virus of the family Flaviviridae. Part of the Japanese encephalitis antigenic complex of viruses, it is found in both tropical and temperate regions. It mainly infects birds, but is known to infect humans, horses, dogs, cats, bats, chipmunks, skunks, squirrels, domestic...

    , Japanese encephalitis viruses, and herpes.

  • Genetically characterizing the parasites which cause malaria
    Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

     and schistosomiasis
    Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease caused by several species of trematodes , a parasitic worm of the genus Schistosoma. Snails often act as an intermediary agent for the infectious diseases until a new human host is found...

    , with the common goal of developing more effective drugs and disease control strategies for these global health problems.

  • Studying genetic determinants of susceptibility to Chagas disease
    Chagas disease
    Chagas disease is a tropical parasitic disease caused by the flagellate protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. T. cruzi is commonly transmitted to humans and other mammals by an insect vector, the blood-sucking insects of the subfamily Triatominae most commonly species belonging to the Triatoma, Rhodnius,...

     and intestinal worm infections in order to discover novel strategies for these diseases common in the developing world.

  • Studying ways of preventing or treating diseases caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), herpes simplex virus
    Herpes simplex virus
    Herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 , also known as Human herpes virus 1 and 2 , are two members of the herpes virus family, Herpesviridae, that infect humans. Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are ubiquitous and contagious...

    , and dengue virus
    Dengue virus
    Dengue virus in one of four serotypes is the cause of dengue fever. It is a mosquito-borne single positive-stranded RNA virus of the family Flaviviridae; genus Flavivirus...


  • Developing the monodelphis domestica as an animal model for various diseases.

See also

  • Southwest Research Institute
    Southwest Research Institute
    Southwest Research Institute , headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is one of the oldest and largest independent, nonprofit, applied research and development organizations in the United States...

  • University of Texas Health Science Center

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.