President’s Perspective

Building a BioBridge to Denmark

HRH Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth of Denmark visits the TMC


William F. McKeon is the president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center. William F. McKeon is president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center (photo: Mark Mulligan/Houston Chronicle)
By William F. McKeon | March 27, 2019

It’s not every day we host royalty here at the Texas Medical Center, so my recent meeting with Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth of Denmark was already something special. But it wasn’t just her title that was impressive. HRH Crown Princess Mary is a leader in health care and innovation in Denmark and, like leaders across the Texas Medical Center, she, too, is committed to advancing discovery in the life sciences.

That’s why I’m so eager to work with her and the government of Denmark to establish the next Texas Medical Center BioBridge. “BioBridges” are important partnerships the Texas Medical Center establishes with international collaborators. These partnerships align the startup ecosystems of other nations with that of the TMC and accelerate the pace of clinical research by encouraging collaboration between academic researchers here and abroad.

In 2016, we established our first BioBridge with Australia; we followed that with a United Kingdom BioBridge in 2018. The TMC Innovation Institute is developing a reputation around the globe as one of the most vibrant life science business accelerators, thanks to its strategic location within the world’s largest medical city. Foreign partners compete to gain access to the TMC Innovation Institute because it represents the very best setting for companies looking to establish a business base in the United States.

Leading Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth of Denmark on a tour of the Texas Medical Center.

More clinical research is conducted in the Texas Medical Center than any other place on Earth. Incredibly, the pace of that research will accelerate as we roll out an artificial intelligence platform that’s poised to transform the arduous process of matching patients to clinical trials. What once took months will soon take mere seconds.

At our meeting, experts from Denmark and the TMC shared updates on important collaborative projects already underway between Denmark and TMC institutions.

HRH Crown Princess Mary was fully knowledgeable about the emerging technology needed to advance health care in both our nations, so I was pleased to receive her invitation to visit Copenhagen later this year to formalize our partnership. Our meeting was further proof that we can always learn from our friends and colleagues around the world in our collective pursuit to advance care.

 

William F. McKeon
President and Chief Executive Officer
Texas Medical Center




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