HSC recognized as most productive medical school for innovation impact by George W. Bush Institute

June 26, 2020

By Alex Branch

Hsc New Signs Web

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) is more productive at impacting the economy and society through innovation than any other U.S. medical school, according to a report by the George W. Bush Institute and Opus Faveo Innovation Development.

The report ranked universities and research institutions in categories by size and focus, such as medicine and research. HSC, where ground-breaking innovations with the potential to transform the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and retinal blindness are under development, was the top-ranked medical school.

In the report, the HSC is ranked first among pure U.S. medical schools for innovation impact productivity. Innovation impact productivity is a measure of how well an institution converts research inputs, such as research spending, into patents, licenses, startups, widely cited papers, and graduates.

HSC President Dr. Michael Williams called the recognition a result of the university’s deliberate commitment in recent years to foster the thinking, planning and execution necessary to drive innovation among faculty, staff and students.

Williams New 1

HSC President Dr. Michael Williams

“Now more than ever innovation and entrepreneurship are vital skillsets for future health care providers to thrive in this changing health care environment,” Dr. Williams said. “The recognition is a testament to the innovative mindset we are cultivating at HSC and our investment in an entrepreneurship ecosystem that moves new research discoveries from lab bench to bedside.”

Major research institutions are at the center of efforts to understand and combat COVID-19, the report stated. Institutions that build competitive research operations around life science, biotechnology and other vital STEM fields are an essential driver of America’s economic growth and pandemic recovery.

The report uses an Innovation Impact Index that differentiates itself by measuring productivity in turning research spending into overall innovation output, the report stated.

“Our research demonstrates that innovation impact productivity is not necessarily tied to the biggest or best-known schools,” said Christian Blackwell, co-author and Managing Director of Opus Faveo Venture Development. “By focusing on productivity, even smaller universities can have a large impact.  Moreover, institutions of all sizes could achieve very significant increases in impact by moving towards the productivity levels of high-performing peers.”

HSC has developed and licensed new technologies that could change the way we think about and treat some of the most pressing health issues. For example, technology that utilizes a blood-test based biomarker to screen elderly patients in a primary care setting to detect Alzheimer’s Disease or early cognitive loss has been exclusively licensed by HSC to Cx Precision Medicine, Inc., a Fort Worth startup firm, for development and commercialization.

HSC also has licensed cancer drug treatment technology that uses nanoparticles to specifically target cancer cells while sparing healthy cells, and a novel methodology and treatment process that could restore vision to patients with macular degeneration through the engineering of a patient’s own skin cells into photoreceptor-like cells that can be transplanted into the retina.

Outside the laboratory, HSC has taken a leadership role in Fort Worth to spark innovation and entrepreneurship, launching the Innovate Fort Worth podcast, teaming up with Fort Worth venture capital firm Bios Partners to create an Entrepreneur-in-Residence program to assist the University with technology commercialization and entrepreneurship, and partnering to restart Global Entrepreneurship Week in Fort Worth.

Dr. Scott Walters
HSC Regents Professor Dr. Scott Walters and colleagues share progress addressing nation’s opioid crisis

By Sally Crocker A special issue of the peer-reviewed scientific journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence has been released, profiling the efforts of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study to address the nation’s opioid crisis.  $350 million in funding has been committed to th...Read more

Oct 23, 2020

default photo
Pharmacy student finds universal language through magic

By Arnessa Blanks, Communications Intern  Fourth-year pharmacy student, Rohit Sampat, never thought his love of magic would help him in his pursuit to become a pharmacist.  Sampat says preparing for magic shows and interacting with different people has helped him tremendously as he prepa...Read more

Oct 22, 2020

Iman Zidan
Goldman Scholar dreams of owning a pharmacy and helping the underserved

By Krista Roberts Iman Zidan has big aspirations. Her ultimate goal is to own her own pharmacy to serve the less fortunate. “I continue to push myself everyday so that I am one step closer to successfully serving and giving back to my community as a future pharmacist,” she said.  ...Read more

Oct 20, 2020

John H. Harakal, D.O.
50 Heroes: John H. Harakal, D.O.

Students in the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine graduate with a thorough, hands-on knowledge of the musculoskeletal system – a knowledge that is hugely beneficial regardless of practice specialty or research focus. While that knowledge is foundational to osteopathic medicine, th...Read more

Oct 19, 2020