The Texas Biomedical Research Institute began as the scientific dream of its founder, Thomas Baker Slick Jr. A businessman, inventor, oilman, rancher, engineer, philanthropist, peacemaker and adventurer, Tom Slick might best be described as a visionary. Motivated by the philosophy that the welfare of mankind could best be advanced through scientific endeavor, he dared to imagine a “city of science” in South Texas that could be a “great center for human progress through scientific research.”
Although at the time many people believed his grand ideas were impractical, he succeeded in establishing three premier scientific research organizations that continue to carry out his vision: the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Southwest Research Institute, and the Mind Science Foundation.
On December 16, 1941, when he was only 25, Tom Slick, Jr. established the Foundation of Applied Research (FAR) by a trust indenture. Endowed with 1,875 shares of the Slick-Urschel Oil Company, FAR’s mission was to provide fundamental research and advanced education, covering agricultural research, the natural sciences and medicine. FAR’s name was changed in 1952 to the Southwest Foundation for Research and Education, succeeded by the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in 1984. In 2011, the name was changed to Texas Biomedical Research Institute.
The Institute has made important contributions in the fight against disease, working in such fields as cancer, heart disease, sterility, endocrinology, microbiology, virology, biochemistry and mental retardation.
Grants-in-aid have been and are being received from such sources as The National Institutes of Health, Texas Heart Association and Foundations interested in its medical research programs. These agencies make their grants-in-aid only for part of the cost of specific research projects. To continue to receive such grants-in-aid, The Institute must underwrite outstanding personnel and facilities and it must be able to take care of its own general expense. This independent stature comes only from private philanthropy. Those individuals who support The Institute have the satisfaction of knowing that each dollar contributed is matched by nine dollars of grants-in-aid from the national agencies.