Medical Venture Formed After Networking Event

Monday, April 20, 2015

News Release
For Immediate Release     


Medical Venture Formed After Networking Event

Two San Antonio institutions will collaborate to improve the effectiveness of stem cell transplants.

(SAN ANTONIO; April 7, 2015) A Texas Transplant Institute clinical doctor and a Texas Biomedical Research Institute scientist are developing a new research project to improve the results of stem cell transplants. The project began as the result of an informational networking event sponsored by The Health Cell, an organization for leaders in business, military and academia across all health care sectors.

 Dr. Carlos Bachier, medical director, Adult and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplant Program at Methodist Hospital said, “I started collaborations with Dr. Qiang Shi after meeting him at The Health Cell event,The Promise & Reality of Stem Cells, in November 2014.”  

 Dr. Bachier was a panelist at this forum. He and his team at the transplant program perform over 250 transplants annually for adult and pediatric patients. After the presentation, Dr. Qiang Shi, staff scientist at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, approached Dr. Bachier and they discovered their mutual interests in research. After regular meetings, they decided to pursue one specific area of study.

 Before receiving stem cell or bone marrow transplant, patients receive intense chemotherapy to kill the underlying malignancy or cancer. According to Dr. Bachier, low blood counts are common after the transplant for a period of one to three weeks. He says, “This period is especially longer in umbilical cord blood stem cell transplant. Our research is to investigate how to speed up the recovery of blood cells after the transplant.”

 In February, a proposal for further support was submitted to the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Shi says, “My part is to conduct the research while Dr. Bachier supervises and guides it from the clinical perspective. It’s the combination of bed and bench.”

 This new venture exemplifies the collaborative nature of San Antonio’s health care community in general, and The Health Cell in particular. “The Health Cell is an important think tank in our community,” says Dr. Bachier. “The different participants of this group work in niches in our community that at times will not interact with each other enough to take advantage of each other’s strengths.”


“Today there is so much knowledge that no one can work alone,” adds Dr. Shi. “We need collaboration to accomplish what we want. The Health Cell promotes what will be the future of research – working with disciplines besides your own.”


 About The Health Cell:The Health Cell will leverage the collaborative spirit of San Antonio’s health and bioscience industry to engage, through unique personal and professional growth, the people who will propel the community toward maximum sector success.