Christopher Cummings, Ph.D. appointed director of research development at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital

Christopher Cummings, Ph.D. has been appointed to the new position of director of research development at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (NRI) at Texas Children's Hospital, the world's first basic research institute dedicated to childhood neurological diseases.

The position explores and develops the NRI's relationships with industrial partners and supports innovation on the NRI campus by identifying new grants at the federal, state and foundation levels. In his role, Cummings will reach out to industry and academic representatives to create new models for university alliances and to shepherd these models at the NRI on a broad, interdisciplinary scale. He also serves as an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM).

"As someone who has experience in basic academic research, biotechnology and venture capital, Chris has a wealth of skills to draw on in his efforts to bridge the gap between the various sectors," said Dr. Huda Y. Zoghbi, director of the NRI and professor of molecular and human genetics, neurology, neuroscience and pediatrics at BCM. "We welcome him enthusiastically to the NRI team and believe his efforts will help us forge new collaborations that fuel progress in neurological research."

Cummings joins the NRI from a specialty life-science investment company that creates biopharmaceutical incubators and invests in early development stage assets from international pharmaceutical and biotech partners in oncology, virology and central nervous system disorders.

"Being part of prestigious academic medical institutions, the NRI is exceptionally well positioned to be a partner with pharmaceutical and biotech companies in developing innovative approaches to fuel the next generation of breakthrough therapies ? especially for complex neurological diseases," said Cummings. "This is a very compelling place to be and the right time to come on board as the demand to bring new therapeutics forward, and the escalating costs of doing so, is driving big companies to seek collaborations with academia."

Cummings earned his bachelor degree in microbiology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology at Baylor College of Medicine. After earning his Ph.D., Cummings went into industry as a scientist at an emerging biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of new drugs and drug targets for the prevention and treatment of diseases of the central nervous system. His entrepreneurial spirit compelled him to leave and co-found EnVivo Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on therapeutics for devastating disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia.

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Center for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, a second community hospital planned to open in 2017. The organization also created the nation’s first HMO for children, has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.