Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Helps Secure $50 Million for Biomedical Research Facilities

Texas Biomedical Research Facility in San Antonio is eligible to apply for this new funding

Washington | Olya Voytovich, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Leslie Martinez, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), September 26, 2018

WASHINGTON— Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) helped secure $50 million in the fiscal year 2019 “minibus” appropriations bill for biomedical and behavioral research facilities. This funding will allow public, nonprofit and not-for-profit entities to compete for funds that will allow them to expand, remodel and renovate existing research facilities, or build new facilities to meet the demands of the nation’s top biomedical researchers. Monies for these facilities are provided to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research to find cures and develop treatments to address threats posed by current and emerging infectious diseases. This was successfully included in an appropriations package containing the Defense and Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations bills. It passed both chambers and will be sent to the President shortly to be signed into law.


Much of the Nation’s biomedical research infrastructure, including laboratories and research facilities at academic institutions and nonprofit research organization, is outdated and is lagging in developing new therapies, vaccines and cures. To help maintain medical research standards and adapt to growing demand, Congressman Cuellar has made it a priority to help secure funding for biomedical research.


Texas Biomedical Research Institute


Texas Biomedical Research Institute, a premier research facility in San Antonio, is eligible to apply for extramural grants under this new funding, that will provide key funding for biomedical research on chronical and infectious diseases. Texas Biomed partners with hundreds of researchers and institutions around the world, targeting advances in the fight against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, psychiatric disorders, problems of pregnancy, AIDS, hepatitis, malaria, parasitic infections and a host of other infectious diseases. They are the only institution in the country with both National Primate Research Center and Biosafety Level 3 and 4 laboratories, where scientists study the deadliest of pathogens. If granted, Texas Biomed would use this funding toward the improvement and development of the Texas Biomed campus. Building and infrastructure projects in the coming years would include a new, central research building, a new translational science building, a new Biosafety Level (BSL) 3 and BSL4 laboratory and advanced animal research facilities.


“I would like to thank Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) for his leadership on this matter in the Senate,” said Congressman Cuellar. “The threats posed by current and emerging infectious diseases are real and continue to grow. Texas Biomedical Research Facility is a premier research facility in my district, with great researchers and staff who tackle these types of cases on a daily basis. That is why I worked hard to secure this crucial funding on the appropriations committee, so that research facilities have the necessary resource to discover and share critical breakthroughs that help protect susceptible populations.”

Congressman Cuellar continued, “I thank Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Committee Chairman Tom Cole and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro working with me on to secure this funding. I would also like to thank my fellow colleagues, Representatives Will Hurd (TX-23), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Michael McCaul (TX-10), Lamar Smith (TX-21), and John Moolenaar (MI-4) for working with me on this issue in a bipartisan manner.”


“The development and support of infrastructure for scientific research is a critical need in our country, as is the overall demand to fund biomedical research,” said Texas Biomed President/CEO Larry S. Schlesinger, MD. “This funding provided by Congress for biomedical research facility modernization and construction creates an excellent opportunity for Institutions like Texas Biomed to compete for grants that will facilitate our continued growth and the development of life-saving, scientific discoveries. We are grateful for the strong bipartisan support of bioscience in our community by our Texas congressional delegation. Senator John Cornyn, Representative Henry Cuellar and Representative Will Hurd were instrumental in the promotion and procurement of these funds, and we are pleased for their strong championing of science and Texas Biomed.”