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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 three companies.

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 or by phone at 713-743-9637. For more construction project information, please visit the Facilities Planning and Construction website or visit our Facebook page.