(AUSTIN) On Monday, the Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering, Science and Technology (TAMEST) presented the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) with the Kay Bailey Hutchison Distinguished Service Award at their 2024 Annual Conference held in Austin. Wayne Roberts, CPRIT Chief Executive Officer, and Dr. Michelle Le Beau, CPRIT Chief Scientific Officer, accepted the award on behalf of the agency at the opening reception of the conference held at the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center.

“We at CPRIT share TAMEST’s mission to bring together the state’s brightest minds to foster collaboration and advance research, innovation and business in Texas,” said Roberts. “To receive an award named for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and her commitment to advancing scientific research and technology innovation is an incredible honor.”

“It’s both humbling and gratifying to be recognized for our contributions, but it’s an extraordinary honor for CPRIT to receive this award from one of our most accomplished partners – TAMEST,” said CPRIT Chief Scientific Officer Michelle Le Beau, Ph.D. “Texans created CPRIT to expedite innovation in research and breakthroughs in cancer prevention, and the development of novel treatments.  Thankfully, cancer death rates have fallen by 33% over the last 30 years because of new therapies, early detection, and prevention programs.  Many stakeholders contributed to this success, but none more than CPRIT’s partners – the universities, cancer centers, medical centers, hospitals, prevention services providers, and the biotech and pharmaceutical industry across Texas who form a cancer fighting powerhouse.” 

TAMEST established the Kay Bailey Hutchison Distinguished Service Award in 2013 to recognize individuals and organizations who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in furthering TAMEST’s mission to bring together the state’s brightest minds in medicine, engineering, science, and technology to foster collaboration and to advance research, innovation, and business in Texas.

TAMEST named this award after The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison, former United States Senator, and former United States Permanent Representative to NATO, who received the inaugural award for her vision and commitment to advancing scientific research, technology innovation and educational achievement.

“I am so pleased to see CPRIT being recognized with this award,” said The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison, TAMEST Honorary Chair. “This state-led organization has been instrumental in the success of cancer research in our state, not to mention a visionary model to other states on why funding and supporting scientific research is worth the investment to push innovation and business forward. This is a wonderful and well-deserved recognition.”

CPRIT is the eighth recipient of this award. Past recipients include Dr. John L. Junkins and the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study, Texas A&M University (2021); The Office of the President, The University of Texas at Austin (2020); Exxon Mobil Corporation (2017); Larry Faulkner and Kenneth Jastrow (2016); Peter O’Donnell Jr. (2014); The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison (2013).


Created by the Texas Legislature and approved by a statewide vote in 2007, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) is instrumental in the Lone Star State’s fight against cancer. In 2019, Texas voters again voted overwhelmingly to support CPRIT with an additional $3 billion, for a total $6 billion investment in cancer research and prevention.

To date, the agency has awarded more than $3 billion in grants to Texas research institutions and organizations through its academic research, prevention, and product development research programs. CPRIT has also recruited 302 distinguished researchers to Texas, supported the establishment, expansion, or relocation of 62 companies to Texas, and supported over 9.3 million prevention services reaching all 254 counties in Texas.

The agency recently released its 2023 Annual Report online, featuring interactive maps showing CPRIT grant data, program spotlights, and grantee videos, as well as agency milestones and financial data. You may read the report here:  https://2023annualreport.cprit.texas.gov/

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