Select Baylor Faculty Promote Their Research at ‘Baylor Research on the Hill’ event in Washington DC

June 1, 2018
News - Research on the Hill Headshots
Dr. Caleb Martin

Drs. John Wood, Scott James, Howard Lee and Truell W. Hyde met with elected officials and federal funding agency representatives.

Contact: Whitney Richter, Director of Marketing and Communications, Office of the Vice Provost for Research, 254-710-7539
Written by: Gary Stokes, Office of the Vice Provost for Research

WACO, Texas (June 1, 2018) – For the second successive year Baylor Vice Provost for Research Dr. Truell W. Hyde led a small group of select “Rising Star” researchers to Capitol Hill to promote just a small sample of the promising and vital research being done at Baylor.

The three Baylor researchers who accompanied Hyde represented nearly a hundred tenured and tenure-track faculty members nominated over the last three years by their deans for the Rising Star designation. This year’s Rising Star contingent included Dr. John Wood, Robert A. Welch Distinguished Professor, Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas Scholar, and associate editor for the Americas of the journal, Tetrahedron Letters; Dr. Scott James, assistant professor of geosciences and assistant professor of physics; and Dr. Howard Lee, assistant professor of physics and recipient of the 2017  DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Young Faculty Award, who found the trip to the nation’s capital productive and rewarding.

“I really appreciate being selected to participate in the Baylor Research on the Hill event. It was great to share our cutting-edge research with members of Congress, their representatives, and others,” Lee said. “I always enjoy the chance to share and promote our research with non-scientists. I think this kind of event enhances the visibility of Baylor’s research and provides the chance for faculty to engage more with key government agencies, officers, and program managers. I hope we will have more of these kinds of events in the future to show the promise of Baylor’s research.”

James and Wood voiced similar assessments: “I was pleased and honored to have the occasion to talk shop at this year's Baylor Research on the Hill reception,” said James.  “What a fantastic opportunity to highlight Baylor's research — including my own little niche. The representatives and their aides showed a keen interest in our research and how it can weigh into sound political decision-making.”

Wood added, “The trip provided an excellent opportunity to engage—in person—both the Texas legislators and our specific funding agency program officers. I believe awareness of ongoing research at Baylor has lagged due to the rapid growth it has experienced over the past few years. [Dr. Hyde] has recognized this and is organizing opportunities like 'Baylor on the Hill' as an excellent means of ensuring that awareness keeps pace with real advances.”

BRICHyde brought event attendees up-to-date on activities at the BRIC — the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative — and expressed his admiration for the researchers in the group and their work.

“Our Rising Stars — John, Scott and Howard — were very well received in Washington and are prime examples of Baylor’s tradition of focusing on high-quality research that makes a real difference in people’s lives,” Hyde said. “John’s work in synthesizing molecules from natural substances has already made significant contributions to the fight against cancer, and Scott’s research into hydropower is moving us closer to sustainable, alternative sources of energy. Howard’s work with ultra-thin nano-materials has the very real potential to reduce the size of many electronic devices by orders of magnitude while increasing their efficiency,” he said, adding, “We have every confidence that their work will improve people’s lives around the world.”