Discovery: UTA Team Leads Fort Worth Medical Innovation District Planning, UNT Economist Tapped as Fellow

In this roundup of research and development in North Texas, you'll also read about a prestigious summer research program sending a UT Dallas senior 'across the pond.'

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UTA research team takes on Fort Worth Medical Innovation District planning

Last month, we told you about the City of Fort Worth’s big plans to create a 1,200-acre, first-of-its-kind regional medical innovation district just south of downtown.

Shima Hamidi

Now, a team of urban studies researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington is putting the district’s strategic development plan together, with Shima Hamidi, director of UTA’s Center for Transportation Equity, Decisions, and Dollars, overseeing the project.

UTA said that Hamidi and her team, led by Research Associate Ahoura Zandiatashbar, are working with the community, healthcare facilities, hospitals, and other businesses to determine the district’s strengths and weaknesses. They’re also looking at the physical assets, networking capacities, business ties, social makeup, and challenges.

“Fort Worth already benefits from many assets essential to making it attractive for medical and health-related firms,” Hamidi said in a statement. “We want to offer recommendations on how to boost the current medical district into what is more than a grouping of facilities and build a matrix from which decision-makers can come to rational decisions. We will deliver a list of best policies, strategies, and drivers for an equitable medical innovation district. We hope to provide a vision for growth.”

The city is trying to create the nation’s most-livable medical district—one that can be a center for innovation, discovery, and creativity—while meeting the public’s medical needs, said Brenda Hicks-Sorensen, assistant director of economic development for the city of Fort Worth.

“If we can attract the right kinds of firms to the medical innovation sector, we believe the district will become self-perpetuating,” Hicks-Sorenson said.


Guohua Feng

UNT professor named fellow of prestigious economics society

A University of North Texas economics professor has been named a fellow in The Society for Economic Measurement.

Guohua Feng joins a list of SEM fellows that includes Nobel Prize Laureates and professors representing universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Cambridge, and MIT. Founded in 2013, the international professional society promotes the advancement of research on economic measurement, and it selects fellows based on their work to evolve applied or theoretical economic measurement.

“To be named to such an elite list of economists that includes 39 Nobel Prize Laureates is a significant honor,” Feng said in a statement.

Feng’s research is centered on productivity and efficiency, econometrics, and economic growth. He developed economic indexes to measure productivity in areas such as sustainable development and banking. 

UTD biomedical engineering student joins prestigious program abroad

A biomedical engineering student at the University of Texas at Dallas is getting a prestigious research opportunity this summer to study in London.


Alikhan Fidai

Alikhan Fidai, of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, has been accepted into the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Summer Research Academy (SRA) Abroad. 

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the program offers students the opportunity to participate in STEM summer research programs at UT System institutions or globally at a lab of the fellow’s choosing.

“I have been extremely fortunate to have participated in both of these programs and have gained valuable research skills as well as mentorship from professors here at UT Dallas,” Fidai said.

At UT Dallas, Fidai has evaluated bacterial adhesion on dental biomaterials in Danieli Rodrigues’ Biomaterial for Osseointegration and Novel Engineering (BONE) lab. He was mentored by Juan González, director of the LSAMP program at UT Dallas, dean of graduate education, and Francis S. Johnson chair for graduate education; and biomedical engineering graduate student Danyal Siddiqui.


Discovery: UTA Prof Pursues Novel ALS Research, Legislature Gives UNT $10M for New Manufacturing Tech Center

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