Texas 4000 Presents Gift at Annual Welcome Gathering

The Department of Biomedical Engineering hosted its annual welcome gathering on August 29. The event kicks off each year by welcoming all undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff. This year’s event was especially momentous as Texas 4000 presented $50,000 from funds they raised through their annual charity bike ride to support two cancer-related research projects within the department. Two researchers, Professor Aaron Baker and Professor Mia Markey, were awarded $25,000 each.

Texas 4000 presentation

Left to right: Nishant Verma, graduate student in Mia Markey's lab; Lance Pyburn, Texas 4000 Program Director; Dr. Aaron Baker; Dr. Mia Markey; Liz Peters, 2011 Texas 4000 cyclist; Jamille Ruebsahm, Texas 4000 Executive Director; and Michelle Hagens, Texas 4000 Board Member.

Professor Markey will study methods to help physicians determine whether or not brain cancer has recurred within patients. Her project is in partnership with NeuroTexas Institute of St. David’s Healthcare and her collaborators include Dr. Matthew Cowperthwaite and Dr. Mark Burnett. Their approach will be to develop new computer algorithms to help physicians better understand brain MRI images, and will lead to detection of brain tumor recurrences at earlier stages in order to improve patient quality of life and potentially survival.

The aim of Professor Aaron Baker's work is to develop an innovative technology that will allow drugs to better prevent cancer from spreading.

Texas 4000 will also give $40,000 to the Department of Biomedical Engineering to establish an endowment for further cancer-related research.

About Texas 4000

Texas 4000 is an annual charity bike ride beginning in Austin and ending in Anchorage, Alaska. Cyclists raise money to participate in the ride that ultimately supports cancer research. Texas 4000 is a not-for-profit organization founded by BME alumnus Chris Condit, who now serves on the group’s board of directors.

View photos from the Welcome Gathering.

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