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Why we are Unique

Within the IIMS we have strong, stable, highly effective partnerships that include a wide range of organizations, such as higher education institutions, public and private hospital systems, military health care and research facilities, private research foundations, and public health departments. We have brought together major talent and a broad array of resources to create a unique, synergistic system that adds substantial value to all participating organizations, residents of our region and other institutions in Texas and throughout the United States. Some of the most important of these include:

  • San Antonio is home to the largest military health care and biomedical research operations in the United States providing unique collaborative opportunities not available elsewhere.
  • The Southwest National Primate Research Center housed at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute contains unique resources through their large pedigreed primate colonies. These primates enable long-standing collaborations among many IIMS partners and represent an outstanding resource for translational research activities.
  • The IIMS serves a 46,000 square mile area including the Lower Rio Grande Valley populated by predominantly Hispanic residents comprising some of the poorest people plagued by the highest rate of health disparities in the US, providing an opportunity, challenge and obligation for us to make a significant impact on human health.
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center has invested substantially in research resources and infrastructure to support IIMS programs in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, including a 47,000 sq ft translational research facility with the only Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) lab in the region and a state-of-the-art clinical research center opening in late 2008. A BSL3 lab is a secure facility that can safely handle experiments using infectious and toxic compounds.
  • Because of the population we serve, IIMS will focus on development, validation, and implementation of cross-cultural and community-based research methods, an area of major faculty expertise.

Funding for the IIMS comes from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) through a Clinical and Translational Science Award and substantial additional operational support from the UT Health Science Center and collaborating organizations.