June 24, 2021

The Welch Foundation Announces Nearly $23 Million in Texas Research Grant Funding

Houston, TX – June 24, 2021 – The Welch Foundation, one of the nation’s largest sources of private funding for basic chemical research, has announced its 2021 research grant funding of nearly $23 million. The funds will be allocated over the next three years, with annual payouts of $7,520,000 to colleges and universities across the state of Texas. Since inception, the Foundation has contributed nearly $1.1 billion to the advancement of chemistry.

“Ongoing basic chemical research is critical and provides the building blocks to help solve current and future problems,” said Adam Kuspa, President of The Welch Foundation. “Funding from The Welch Foundation is a valuable resource to Texas institutions. It helps set our state’s researchers apart from others and we look forward to seeing what invaluable scientific contributions come from this year’s grant recipients.”

The grants will help fund a number of research projects and investigators. Several highlights include:

  • Leila Romero, Assistant Professor and CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research at Baylor University’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is excited to begin exploring modes of asymmetric catalysis and to study how these new processes work. The funding will not only support their efforts in this research area, but more importantly, the training of young graduate students who may one day themselves become future innovators in chemical synthesis.
  • Kristin Hutchins, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Texas Tech University, looks forward to supporting the great team of graduate and undergraduate students within her group in the field of crystal engineering while driving this research direction forward. Her group plans to utilize the grant to specifically target problem pharmaceuticals, with hopes that the strategies they develop will have an impact on the drug-development process going forward.
  • Dr. Xiao-chen Bai, Assistant Professor of Biophysics and Cell Biology at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, leads a lab focused on understanding the activation mechanism of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). The Welch funding allows them to complete their studies on the understanding of activation mechanisms of RTKs, which will pave the way for developing novel strategies in cancer therapies.

2021 University and College Funding Breakdown:

Houston-Area Universities

  • Received funding for 35 grants, totaling $8,400,000
  • Grants awarded to Rice University, Texas A&M University, University of Houston and Baylor College of Medicine

Dallas-Fort Worth-Area Universities

  • Received funding for 42 grants, totaling $10,080,000
  • Grants awarded to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, The University of Texas at Dallas, University of North Texas, Baylor University, Southern Methodist University and Texas Christian University

Austin-Area Universities

  • Received funding for 11 grants, totaling $2,640,000
  • Grants awarded to The University of Texas at Austin

San Antonio-Area Universities

  • Received funding for 3 grants, totaling $720,000
  • Grants awarded to The University of Texas at San Antonio and Trinity University

West Texas-Area Universities

  • Received funding for 1 grant, totaling $240,000
  • Grant awarded to The University of Texas at El Paso

North Texas-Area Universities

  • Received funding for 2 grants, totaling $480,000
  • Grants awarded Texas Tech University

Since its inception in 1954, the Houston-based Welch Foundation has contributed nearly $1.1 billion to the advancement of chemistry through research grants, departmental research grants, endowed chairs and support for other chemistry-related programs in Texas. The Foundation supports a number of notable initiatives. In September of 2020, The Welch Foundation committed $100 million to establish The Welch Institute at Rice University, the largest grant in the Foundation’s 67-year history, as part of a strategic partnership focused on advanced materials research. The Foundation also presents the Robert A. Welch Award in Chemistry and the Norman Hackerman Award in Chemical Research each year. The Welch Award recognizes individuals who have made important chemical research contributions which have a significant, positive influence on humankind. The recipient receives a gold medallion and $500,000. The Hackerman Award recognizes the accomplishments of chemical scientists in Texas who are early in their careers. The current monetary amount of the award is $100,000.

For more information on the Foundation, please visit www.welch1.org.

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