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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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Congratulations to the Texas A&M Center for Population Health and Aging on receiving the Redefining American Healthcare Award. I commend everyone at the center for the hard work they are doing to improve the quality of life for older adults in the Brazos Valley, the state of Texas and our nation.

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Congratulations to the Texas A&M Center for Population Health and Aging on receiving the Redefining American Health…