Symposium Considers How Houston’s Past Can Shape the Future

The University of Houston will host the T.T. Chao Symposium on Innovation Thursday, April 27, bringing together leaders in technical, entrepreneurial and policy arenas to consider how the city can build on its traditional strengths – including its entrepreneurial spirit – to prepare for the 21st century.

The discussion will go beyond energy and space to include biomedicine and materials.

“We want to demonstrate the ways that new technologies, as simple as a smartphone and as forward-looking as augmented reality, are changing the ways in which we imagine and practice medicine,” said Jody Roberts, director of the Institute for Research at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, which is sponsoring the symposium. “By connecting bodies across great distances – whether as a remote diagnostic tool for cancer screening or helping earth-based researchers work more fluidly with astronauts in space – these tools are doing more than creating and capturing images. They are changing how we imagine healthy bodies, and how we can participate in their care.”

Speakers will include:

  • Ioannis Kakadiaris, UH professor of computer science, electrical & computer engineering, and biomedical engineering
  • Petra Wilder-Smith, director of dentistry at the Beckman Laser Institute, University of California-Irvine
  • Baraquiel Reyna, deputy manager, Exploration Medical Capability, NASA Johnson Space Center
  • William Buras, director Life Sciences Research & Development, Tietronix Software
  • Dorit Donoviel, director, Biomedical Innovation Lab, Center for Space Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine


WHAT:                               T.T. Chao Symposium on Innovation, focused on how the innovative spirit of Houston’s

                                            industrial and entrepreneurial past can address society’s needs in the 21st century.

 WHEN:                               1:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27.

 WHERE:                             Bert F. Winston Band and Performance Complex, 3780 Cullen Blvd.

 MEDIA CONTACT:            Jeannie Kever, 713-743-0778, m – 713-504-3769,




Photo credit: Carson Flickr (CC BY 2.0)