About Our Research

Houston Methodist is an academic medical center that is affiliated with Weill Cornell Medical College and the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University. The research and education programs at Houston Methodist are coordinated by the Institute for Academic Medicine, under the leadership of IAM director Mauro Ferrari, PhD, president and CEO of the Research Institute, and IAM co-director Timothy Boone, MD, PhD. It is advised by a council of chairs of the academic clinical and research departments, and the council of deans, which includes members of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science and National Academy of Engineers. 

Houston Methodist's primary academic affiliates are top-ranked Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. We also have affiliations with Texas A&M Health Science Center and the University of Houston. 

Our Research Philosophy

Houston Methodist clinicians and investigators all have the same goal, to build research teams that bridge the boundaries between specialties, innovate in health care technology, and train current and future clinicians and researchers from around the world in translational medicine and advanced technology. We want to improve global health by streamlining the path discoveries take into the clinic with inventive development practices.

Because most innovation occurs at the intersection of disciplines rather than within a silo, we have structured the research enterprise in a way that allows us to create interdisciplinary points of connection by providing platform technology support to clinical research programs throughout Houston Methodist. This intentional blending of departmental boundaries adds a new level of innovative, collaborative research, conducted by teams of scientists from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds.

The various medical disciplines intersect at one or all of three broad strategic areas — precision medicine, biotherapeutics and regenerative medicine and outcomes, quality and health care performance.

Precision medicine is a model in which health care — decisions, practices and products — is customized for the individual characteristics of each patient. Houston Methodist defines precision medicine, beyond the well-established ‘molecular signature’ from genetic and proteomic characteristics of a patient, to inclusion of anatomical and temporal information from imaging to provide a more a comprehensive understanding of a patient’s ‘health signature’ at a given encounter. We also take the next step in using this health signature to tailor the efficiency and precision of a treatment regimen for the patient to achieve the best outcome.

Biotherapeutics & regenerative medicine - definitions for regenerative medicine tend to focus primarily on stem cell biology and engineering. At Houston Methodist, we take a biotherapeutics approach to regenerative medicine by developing medical products for modulation of stem cell plasticity and differentiation, and modulators of immune-based degenerative and regenerative processes, and engineered biomaterials to support regeneration. These regenerative solutions are addressing challenges in heart tissue regeneration, transplant organ preservation and protection, and restoration of bone and joint function.

Outcomes, quality and health care performance uses interdisciplinary research to improve outcomes for patients in acute care settings. By improving clinical practice, supporting patient decision-making, evaluating innovative therapeutic procedures and promoting education for health professionals, we ensure that our research discoveries provide the most efficient and effective regimens and practice in clinical settings. Houston Methodist is particularly well positioned to tackle the clinical challenge of delivering high quality, cost-effective care, as an organization with a broad network of private and employed physicians with notably diverse patient populations.

Read our Vision Brochure to learn more.