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Brazos Valley slowly becoming the research hub in the state of Texas

Posted at 5:01 PM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 18:01:53-04

BRYAN, TX — The state of Texas has been said to be a hub for COVID-19 research, a lot of which is happening right here in Brazos County.

In just ten days, Brazos County has been visited by the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, the US Surgeon General and the US Army Secretary as Texas A&M.

Brazos County is leading the nation in research innovation.

“You have some really extraordinary men and women the go through this university system,” says U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy.

iBio and Fujifilm’s COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing is helping put Brazos County on the map.

“After we walked through the vaccine development manufacturing facility out there [Fujifilm], she [Dr. Debroah Birx] had no idea this existed out here,” says Greg Hartman Chief Operating Officer, TAMU Health Science Center.

A&M professors are leading their own research, ranging from a worldwide clinical trial for the BCG vaccine to inventing new ways to detect viruses.

“We’ve had our schools of pharmacy doing work, helping to develop quality control measures for the distribution of vaccines we have folks in bioengineering who are looking at some really amazing ways to identify viruses not doing blood draws necessarily but using light to determine whether or not maybe infected with the coronavirus,” says Hartman.

And while partnerships with the federal government, higher education, researchers, and the private sector work tirelessly with one another to fight the novel coronavirus, Brazos County, as a community, has come a long way since March.

“We didn’t get the virus to decode the DNA of it until January and now we are in a position to have a vaccine by the end of the year, that's unheard of. Look at how the numbers have plummeted right here in Brazos County with 670 some active cases from well over 1000. Look at how well Texas A&M is doing,” says Congressman Bill Flores.

Looking towards the future, Brazos County is in a good position to be the leading research hub in the state of Texas

“All that innovation, all that science, those are things that really highlight what Texas A&M and Bryan College Station is about, which is a community about learning and a community about innovation and entrepreneurship and I think it's really going to put us in the forefront of this new science going into the future,” says Hartman.