TAMEST protégés are rising star researchers and scientists whose careers are on a trajectory to National Academies nomination. TAMEST protégés benefit from opportunities at the conference to network with the top researchers in the state and learn more about the science and innovation taking place in Texas. At this year’s conference, TAMEST will hold a special breakfast meeting for protégés and their mentors to network and learn more about the National Academies.
Several past TAMEST protégés have gone on to become stars in their field and achieve election to the National Academies, like Lora Hooper, Antonios Mikos and Sharon Wood.
“You have this amazing cadre of brilliant scientists in the state, and the protégé program provides an excellent opportunity to interact with them,” says Dr. Lora Hooper of UT Southwestern Medical Center, who attended the TAMEST annual conference as a protégé in 2007. “Being exposed to such high quality science and having the opportunity to talk to that cadre of scientists was certainly inspirational.” Hooper received the Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Medicine in 2013 and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences last year.
“I was very fortunate to be a protégé during the early years of TAMEST,” says Dr. Antonios Mikos of Rice University. “I had the opportunity to witness how TAMEST embraced, engaged and promoted the scientific community in our state, and there’s no question that this opportunity had a huge impact on my career.” Mikos attended the first TAMEST annual conference as a protégé in 2004, went on to receive the Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Engineering in 2007 and was elected into the both the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine in 2012.
“The value of networking, having the opportunity to interact with people in our state, the leaders in science, engineering, and medicine, but also the leaders in policymaking, that's enormous,” Dr. Mikos says.
“It definitely was an eye-opening experience to go as a protégé and see a broader perspective,” says Dean Sharon Wood, Ph.D. Wood attended several TAMEST conferences as a protégé and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2013. The following year, she was appointed Dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. “To see things more broadly, to see the broader vision of researchers’ work, that’s very helpful. Having a broader perspective may put you in a better position for funding, and meeting people from other universities helps you be able to put research teams together,” Dean Wood says.