Texas A&M System Approves New Tarleton State Biotech Institute in Downtown Fort Worth

Tarleton State University received the go-ahead for a new biotechnology institute as part of Texas A&M-Fort Worth’s burgeoning downtown research campus.

Approved in mid-August by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, the biotech institute is situated in one of the nation’s fastest-growing life sciences hubs.

“More than 5,000 biotechnology manufacturing and research and development firms — think Novartis, Alcon, AstraZeneca — call Texas home,” according to the university. And DFW now ranks seventh in the U.S. for life science and biotech jobs. 

The Tarleton State Biotechnology Institute will focus on discovery and innovation in bioinformatics and computational modeling. The institute will concentrate on multidisciplinary research impacting industries from agriculture and medicine to energy and the environment, according to a news release.

A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said the institute will cultivate partnerships between academia and industry, create a talent pipeline, and inspire next-gen scientists and workforce professionals.

“We’re proud of that,” he said in a statement. 

Urban research campus in downtown Fort Worth

The institute is part of a broader initiative involving the Texas A&M System, the city of Fort Worth, and Tarrant County. An urban campus across from the downtown Water Gardens will serve as an anchor for an innovation district designed to stimulate business growth and workforce development.

The first structure, set to replace the current Texas A&M Law School, is slated to open by 2025, with the rest completed by 2027. A groundbreaking ceremony in June marked the beginning of construction.

“The vigorous support of Chancellor Sharp and the A&M System regents enhances everything we do,” said Tarleton State President James Hurley in a statement. “Thanks to their backing, we’re boosting quality of life through life-changing education. This has been our commitment for nearly 125 years.”

Tarleton State is already expanding its footprint with an 80-acre campus in southwest Fort Worth. That campus has a second building already “well under construction”—the $66 million Interprofessional Education Building. With more than 100,000 square feet designated for classroom and specialized lab space, it’s expected to address two of the region’s most pressing challenges: access to quality healthcare and education. Occupancy is planned for 2024.

The campus’ Fall 2023 enrollment topped 2,200 students. With its new buildings, Tarleton State expects the campus to serve up to 10,000 students by 2030. 

Tarleton State University, a founding member of The Texas A&M University System, is experiencing notable growth in several areas from enrollment and research to athletics and philanthropy, according to the news release.

The university says it has “transformed the lives” of 16,000 students across its various campuses in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Texas A&M-RELLIS, as well as through its online programs. Adhering to its foundational values of “excellence, integrity, and respect,” Tarleton emphasizes practical, “real-world learning” in its academic programs, aiming to address needs at local, state, and national levels.

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