Science and Engineering Research Center
fourth floor project completed
Construction of the lab space on the fourth floor of the Science
& Engineering Research Center (SERC) has been completed. The lab
space is approximately 20,000 square feet of new construction
which will support biology and biochemistry research at the
University of Houston. Three vital research teams will be
relocating into the new space from other buildings on campus.
Dr. Robert J. Schwartz- Dr. Schwartz is a professor in the
Department of Biology and Biochemistry and also serves as the
Director of the Center for Molecular Medicine and Experimental
Therapeutic. During his more than 35 years in Houston, Dr.
Schwartz became widely recognized for his research on the
developmental and genetic aspects of congenital heart disease.
In this field, he has received 11 US patents and co-founded
Dr. Preethi Gunaratne- The long-term goal of Dr. Gunaratne’s
laboratory is to understand the role of microRNAs, a species of
short non-coding RNAs, in regulating the balancing act
underlying a stem cell’s decision to self-renew or
differentiate. MiRNAs have been strongly linked with stem cells,
which have a remarkable dual role in development. They can
either continuously replenish themselves (self-renew), or
differentiate irreversibly into cells that execute a limited
number of specific actions. The goal is to understand how and
under what conditions miRNAs make this determination through
Post Transcriptional Gene Silencing (PTGS) and Transcriptional
Gene Silencing (TGS).
Dr. Bob Fox- Dr. Fox’s research is aimed at understanding the
structure and function of protein molecules in terms of their
chemistry and physics. The approach is to study the folding and
function of natural proteins, and to learn from the design of
new protein molecules. The laboratory has joined the new field
of synthetic biology, and is engineering new proteins and
signaling pathways to develop novel therapeutic approaches.
Please contact Kelly Buehler, Senior Project Manager, if you
have any questions related to this project at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 713-743-9637. For more
construction project information, please visit the
Facilities Planning and Construction
website or visit our