University Celebrates Grand Opening of Genomics Research Laboratory

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By University Communications
Wednesday, 02 28 2024

Congressman Tony Gonzales, Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp, and Texas A&M-San Antonio President Salvador Hector Ochoa kicked off the ceremony

Congressman Tony GonzalezSAN ANTONIO —Today marked a significant milestone for Texas A&M University-San Antonio as it hosted the grand opening of the new Public Health Genetics and Genomics Laboratory. Guests including Congressman Tony Gonzales, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, and Texas A&M-San Antonio President Salvador Hector Ochoa gathered at the San Antonio Technology Center to commemorate the occasion. 

“The most brilliant minds in genomics are here,” said Sharp. “This facility will enable researchers to change the lives of Texans and identify those who are pre-disposed to certain diseases. They’re helping make San Antonio the regional leader in genomic research.”    

The inauguration of the research laboratory signifies a collaborative effort to address public health challenges in South Texas. Gonzales was instrumental in securing nearly $2 million in funding for the facility through the Department of Health and Human Services and the Health Resources and Services Administration.  

“Progress doesn’t happen on its own, it takes a partnership,” said Gonzales. “Today kicks off an exciting new chapter in public health and it’s happening right here in San Antonio. I love it when ideas turn into reality. I can’t wait to see the research that comes out of this new state-of-art-facility.” 

The research center boasts innovative equipment designed to identify and study genetic factors influencing prevalent diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. These afflictions disproportionately affect communities in Texas, emphasizing the critical need for targeted research and intervention strategies.   

“This research center will address society’s most complex health challenges and help improve the quality of life for Texans,” said Ochoa.  

Under the direction of Dr. Vijay Golla, vice provost for research and health sciences, a dedicated team of experts, including Drs. Ravindranath Duggirala, Donna M. Lehman, Srinivas Mummidi, and Rector Arya, will lead groundbreaking research initiatives. Initial studies will focus on Mexican American families, aiming to unravel the intricate interplay between genetic predispositions and environmental factors contributing to disease susceptibility. 

The Public Health Genetics and Genomics Laboratory is currently being housed at the San Antonio Technology Center with plans underway to transition the facility to the Texas A&M-San Antonio campus. The future construction of the Public Health and Education Building backs A&M-San Antonio’s commitment to advancing healthcare education and research in collaboration with esteemed partners such as the Texas A&M University Health Science Center and University Health.


About Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Established as a stand-alone university in 2009, Texas A&M University-San Antonio is a comprehensive four-year public university that reflects the culturally diverse, heritage-rich community it serves. Situated on nearly 700 acres in South San Antonio, the University offers 39 undergraduate degrees and 23 graduate degrees to about 7,620 students. A&M-San Antonio is home to the Henry G. Cisneros Institute for Emerging Leaders and the Cyber Engineering Technology/Cyber Security Research Center. The University holds the Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) designation and is one of 39 higher education institutions in the U.S. to have received the Seal of Excelencia certification from Excelencia in Education for its support of Latino student success. More than 77 percent of A&M-SA students identify as Hispanic, and approximately 72 percent are the first in their families to attend college. A&M-San Antonio is a military-embracing institution; the University was recently awarded the 2023 Gold Veteran Education Excellence Recognition Award (VEERA) from the Texas Veterans Commission. Visit for more information. #onamission