Ecosystem

LIFE SCIENCE IN DFW

AN ECOSYSTEM BUILT FOR THE FUTURE

Dallas-Fort Worth is home to an enviable roster of corporations across major sectors, health systems to support growth, and life science innovators that have turned their discoveries into high-performing ventures.

CORPORATIONS

Major employers are exceptionally influential in the health and vitality of the DFW life science community. A few examples include:

HIGH-GROWTH COMPANIES

Life science entrepreneurs find it easier to start company in DFW. Here they will find an ecosystem that is ready to help. Notable companies include:

core strengths

centers of excellence

Diversity is our strength in the life science industry. Dallas-Fort Worth is unique in that you won't find just one industry or sector that dominates the region, rather you'll find multiple centers of excellence and expertise. A few stand out from the crowd and are at the core of our region's life science DNA.

Dr. Jerry Shay, right, of UT Southwestern Medical Center. [Photo: UT Southwestern] - Dallas Innovates

CANCER RESEARCH

  • CPRIT is now a $6 billion, 20-year initiative – the largest state cancer research investment in the history of the U.S. and the second largest cancer research and prevention program in the world.
  • UT Southwestern Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center is National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated.
  • Mary Crowley Cancer Research Centers located at Medical City Dallas Hospital  is one of the world’s largest gene therapy investigative facilities.
The Brain Performance Institute at 2200 Mockingbird Lane near Dallas Love Field is part of the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas.

BRAIN RESEARCH

  • Nationally Ranked in Neurological Care the UTSW Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute brings together transformative research and patient-centered care.
  • In 2022, UNT Health Science Center Institute for Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease received a $149 million NIH grant to fund a study of Alzheimer’s disease. One of the largest studies of the disease in the world. 
  • The UTD Center for Brain Health has been awarded more than $100 million in research and translational funding since 1999.
The Alcon Experience Center

EYE, SKIN, & DENTAL 

  • DFW is home to a large number of ophthalmic goods manufacturers including Alcon, DAC vision, EssilorLuxottica, Hoya, Atrion, and TruForm.
  • Galdmera, the world’s largest independent  dermatology company has its U.S. headquarters in Dallas and R&D facility in Fort Worth. Mary Kay Cosmetics HQ and global manufacturing, research and development operations are in Dallas.
  • Texas A&M Baylor College of Dentistry (TAMBCD) is a nationally recognized center for oral health sciences education, research, and specialized patient care.
Techstars Physical Health Accelerator brought participants and mentors from around the state, the country, and the world to Fort Worth's doorstep, the organization said. And "now they’re ready to make a difference," as the startups prepare to pitch on Demo Day. [Photo: Techstars]

WELLNESS & PHYSICAL HEALTH

  • Baylor Scott & White Sports Therapy & Research at The Star in Frisco. The facility includes a sports concussion center in which a team will research individualized treatment of sports-related concussion in athletes of all ages.
  • Global investment platform Techstars launched its physical therapy-focused accelerator program in Fort Worth in 2022.
  • Cooper Institute and Clinic’s Longitudinal Study is one of the most highly referenced databases on physical fitness and health in the world.
Video still from Lupagen's website. [Image: Lupagen} - Dallas Innovates

MEDICAL DEVICES

  • A strong cluster of medical device companies have significant operations in in DFW, including Abbott Laboratories, Smith & Nephew, Ferris Manufacturing, Integer, and Stryker.
  • The Texas Instruments Biomedical Engineering and Sciences Building will catalyze a unique partnership between UT Southwestern and UT Dallas, bringing their biomedical engineering programs together to foster innovative solutions.
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Children's Health Innov8 4 Kids - Dallas Innovates
  • CHILDREN’S CARE

    • Children’s Medical Center Dallas is one of only 14 national pediatric research centers sanctioned by the National Institutes of Health.
    • The Texas Scottish Rite Hospital Spinal System developed in the 1980s, modified in 2005, and manufactured and marketed by Medtronic, is the most widely used implant system in the world for spinal deformity.
    • Cook Children’s Congenital Hyperinsulinism Center in Fort Worth has become one of the top centers in the world.

EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES

Already a leader in AI/ML, Big Data, IoT, Software, and Gaming, Dallas-Fort Worth is poised to supercharge the life science industry.

 

We call this convergence — where emerging tech collides with life sciences.

 

 

 

 

  • AI AND MACHINE LEARNING – Life science companies are infusing artificial intelligence and machine learning into the development of new therapies and care.  For example, Tenet Healthcare is leveraging AI in diagnostics, precision medicine, and patient adherence. DFW is strong in AI talent working at all types of companies. Dallas AI, is the largest nonprofit AI forum in the region with over 5,000 members.
  • BIG DATA – Bioinformatics, data analytics, and new software development are paving the way to new treatments and patient care. Verily, the life sciences and healthcare-focused subsidiary of Alphabet, which sits at intersection of healthcare, data science, and technology opened an office in Dallas in 2022. 
  • BLOCKCHAIN AND DLT – Richardson’s Hedera Hashgraph is a leader in enterprise-ready Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Proposed as a more secure than traditional blockchain, it can handle more than 100,000 transactions per second. The Texas Blockchain Council is a nonprofit industry association made up of companies and individuals that work in a variety of industries that are connected to Bitcoin, crypto, and blockchain technology.
  • AUGMENTED AND VIRTUAL REALITY – Building on our deep history of video game development and software engineering, companies are launching groundbreaking new technology in virtual reality for physical therapy and neurological treatments. Recognized as one of the best graduate schools for game design, SMU Guildhall trains the next generation of game developers.
  • IoT – DFW is home to some of the originators of IoT technology including Texas Instruments and AT&T.  That legacy has created over 200,000 computer, mathematical, engineering tech jobs in the region and now is converging with a rapidly growing life science industry. 5
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acclerators, incubators, and innovation centers

helping companies grow

The same landscape that fosters our largest companies also spurs explosive growth in our smallest. It’s easy to find support through one of our many life science related incubators and accelerators, and innovation centers.

Sample of DFW life science focused accelerators, incubators, and innovation centers and other support organizations

hosted on dallasinnovates.com

spotlight

Benches to Beds

Dallas-Fort Worth hosts several leading healthcare organizations that support growth through clinical trials and are training the next generation of life science talent. Our world class community hospitals and diverse population are coupled with industry and academia to grow research and independent platforms for multiple clinical trials.

- 6 Major Not-For-Profit Systems
- 2 Major For-Profit Systems
- Home to the VA North Texas Health Care System
- Dallas' Medical District serves 2.8 million patients a year.

UT Southwestern has four Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). Each IRB meets twice per month and is properly constituted to review all submissions and types of research. LEARN MORE

The North Texas Regional IRB is a collaboration involving several institutions in Dallas-Fort Worth to provide human subject protection review services to researchers of these partnering institutions…in a single IRB framework. LEARN MORE

Capital

Investment Activity

From 2016-2021, $4.4 billion of private capital went into DFW life science activities. 72% of investments in DFW life science startups came from out-of-state investors. DFW institutions and organizations received $131 million in NIH Funding and $72 million in Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Awards in 2021. Investors from coast to coast are paying attention to DFW.

spotlight

UNT HSC SBIR PHASE 0 Program

The HSC Next SBIR Phase 0 program is designed to help the owners of local forward-thinking small businesses apply for federal funds via mechanisms known as the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, collectively known as America’s Seed Fund.

Select companies will enter a comprehensive one-month, cohort-based program that meets weekly and guides them through the grant writing processes. Additionally, participants receive one-on-one mentorship with SBIR experts that help founders fine-tune their proposals to increase the likelihood of receiving federal funding.

Qualifying companies must be in Tarrant County, employ fewer than 500 employees, be U.S. owned and operated, work within U.S. borders, feature new or novel innovations, and focus on research and development with a plan to commercialize. LEARN MORE

contact us

The Dallas Regional Chamber's economic development team works directly with companies, location consultants, and local and state allies to market the region and attract new and expanding corporations. We serve as a single point of contact for companies, site selection consultants, and corporate real estate executives examining the region.

Kelly Cloud

Vice President – Life Sciences
Dallas Regional Chamber
214.746.6749 
kcloud@dallaschamber.org

READY TO MEET?

community

bioNTX

BioNTX is the bioscience and healthcare innovation trade organization in North Texas, an affiliate of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization in Washington, DC. They are the bridge between businesses and job opportunities, providing direct cost savings services, networking events, and educational programming to the bioscience and healthcare innovation community in North Texas.