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The Eagle - 'Proud to be an Aggie:' Rep. Flores on hand for opening of new Texas A&M research facility

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Bryan, April 12, 2017 | comments
By Kelan Lyons

Saying Texas A&M University's latest research space makes him "proud to be an Aggie," U.S. Rep. Bill Flores was one of several special guests who gathered Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the grand opening of the new Human Clinical Research Facility.

Flores, who is back in his home in the 17th District for the congressional Easter break, was one of four guest speakers who celebrated the new research facility's opening. Richard Kreider, the new facility's executive director; Nicolaas Deutz, director of the Center for Translational Research in Aging and Longevity; and Michael K. Young, Texas A&M's president, also gave speeches during the hour-long dedication ceremony. Joyce Alexander, dean and professor at A&M's College of Education and Human Development, introduced the speakers and, after their remarks, dismissed the crowd for facility tours, demonstrations and a reception.

After Flores used the obligatory "Howdy" to begin his public remarks, the congressman praised his alma mater. Flores said the school's commitment to research, which is partly funded by taxpayer money, has led to "amazing returns" that drive research forward and increase our understanding of the world and its challenges.


Flores, a member of Texas A&M's class of '76, intimated that the federal government played an important role in funding scientific research, stating that "nobody can best fund research like the federal government." The statement was intended to allay concerns that the new president's budget would drastically reduce the availability of federal funding for research vital for scientific understanding and public safety.

Released last month, Trump's "America First" budget -- which is merely a proposed budget -- slashed the funding of the National Institute of Health by $5.8 billion, imperiling federal funding for research projects conducted in university laboratories across America.

"Don't worry about that," Flores told the crowd on Tuesday afternoon. "Congress controls the budget, not the president."

Young echoed Flores' sentiments, saying that research -- and the funding that has made it possible -- has helped the university to remain on the cutting edge.

"We will look back at this moment in time as a real important point in U.S. history," Young said.


The new 23,000 square-foot Human Clinical Research Facility "is dedicated to the study of translational research on nutrition, exercise, and metabolism in relation to aging and the common diseases of our aging population," according to the facility's website. The facility has exercise and rehabilitation training rooms, a data storage area, faculty and researcher offices, a metabolic kitchen, a rehabilitation area, resting energy expenditure rooms, medical exam and procedure rooms, wet lab facilities, 12 beds for overnight research studies and a compounding facility to "prepare solution for intravenous infusion/injections," according to the website. The facility is intended to be a hub for human clinical research studies conducted on A&M's campus and will not be solely focused on issues affecting older people; possible research topics include studies involving muscle atrophy, diet and exercise, sleep apnea and the impact of chronic illnesses on the brain, among other topics.

"This building represents what is the very best about this university," Young said.

Flores -- who last month issued public statements supporting the American Health Care Act, a replacement for the Affordable Care Act -- expressed hope that the new research facility would lead to a "healthier and happier Texas."

Just before dismissing the crowd for tours of the new building and a reception, Alexander said the goal of the facility and its researchers was to "give back hope. Often."

To learn more about the new Human Clinical Research Facility, visit

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Tags: Education

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After careful consideration of the pros and cons of the border security and government funding bill, I elected to support President Trump by voting for the bill. This bill averts another partial government shutdown, provides an important down payment on a physical border barrier to address the security crisis along our southern border (all of which will be built in Texas), gives ICE the resources they need to detain violent criminals, and funds key initiatives to improve border security technology. I cannot and will not ever vote against a national security funding bill when there is not another achievable option to enable the federal government to fulfill its most important Constitutional mission – keeping hardworking American families safe.

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RT @realDonaldTrump: Democrats in the Senate are still slow walking hundreds of highly qualified people wanting to come into government. Ne…