The local biomedical community says it is on track when it comes to performing potentially life saving research in the five key areas which have been identified as ripe for local innovation, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  "Cancer, diabetes, infectious disease, neuroscience, and regenerative medicine," said Kennett Trevett, president of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute and president of the umbrella group Biomed SA.


  Biomed SA Wednesday night presented its Julio Palmaz Award for Innovation in Healthcare and the Biosciences to internationally known researcher and medical device inventor Robert Langer.  The Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineer has more than 815 issued or pending patents, and has been named as one of the six 'heroes whose inventions may save your life.'


  "Dr. Langer's stature as a world famous engineer, medical inventor, and entrepreneur makes him a standout choice for this year's award," said Bruce Leslie, President of Alamo Colleges and the head of this year's selection committee.  "He is recognized as the world's most cited engineer and one of history's most prolific medical inventors.  He has played a pioneering role in advancing multiple technologies, working at the intersection of academic research and the commercial market with transformational results."


  Langer said he was honored to receive an award named in honor of Palmaz, the former UT Health Science Center researcher who invented the balloon expandable stent, recognized as one of the most significant medical advances of the past half century.  Langer pointed out that he and Palmaz were inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame at the same time.


  Trevett says research being done in San Antonio has already made great strides in improving lives through inventions and processes perfected here.


  "Yes, technology can really advance us," he said.  "It has led to what used to be a lot of inpatient procedures and stays turning into outpatient procedures.  But it is also critically important that physicians learn the art of healing as well."


  Trevett pointed out that many of the diseases and conditions San Antonio biomedical researchers and companies are working hard to fight are actually man made, and have come onto the scene fairly recently.  He cited obesity as one example.


  "We are doing a lot in this community with reducing childhood obesity," he said.  "That is really where you need to catch it."