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Clinical Research
George and Angelina Kostas Gifts Help Houston Methodist Become Leaders in Heart and Vascular Nanotechnology Research
George J. Kostas was born in Massachusetts in 1919 but spent his youth in Greece. At age 14, he returned to America unable to speak English, yet determined to attend college. After college, George moved to Baytown to pioneer the design and operation of the first synthetic rubber tire production plant during WWII at General Tire and Rubber. He was key to the U.S. government's synthetic rubber manufacturing initiatives after World War II. His wife, Angelina (Lea), was a devoted lifelong member of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral and served as a member of the Philoptochos charitable society for 70 years. The couple was married 62 years.
George was grateful for America and wanted to give back for the opportunities he was given. He focused his attention on religious institutions and nanotechnology innovations to advance science, manufacturing, medical technologies, education and homeland security. One of the beneficiaries of his generosity has been Houston Methodist Research Center for Cardiovascular Nanomedicine.
The Kostas family with Alan B. Lumsden, MD and John Cooke, MD, PhD
A generous gift from the Kostases allowed the Houston Methodist Academic Institute to begin operations at the George and Angelina Kostas Research Center for Cardiovascular Nanomedicine in 2014.
The Kostas Research Center has facilitated the interactions of our cardiovascular physicians and scientists, with nanomedicine experts and bioengineers, in a very unique environment that sparks innovation. I am so thankful for the support of the Kostas family, which is vaulting us to new heights in translational science, such as our development of novel mRNA nanotherapeutics.
John Cooke, MD, PhD
Chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences
The center fosters international collaboration and brings together top laboratory and physician scientists from the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and the Houston Methodist Research Institute Department of Nanomedicine to investigate how emerging technologies in nanomedicine can be used to heal damaged hearts and vascular tissue. The Kostas's gift also has funded an annual international scientific meeting in Houston, the George and Angelina Kostas Research Center for Cardiovascular Nanomedicine Annual International Meeting, which will be held virtually Oct. 18. The Kostas Center is directed by Houston Methodist Academic Institute President and CEO Dirk Sostman and the Heart & Vascular Center Medical Director Alan B. Lumsden, MD, along with the executive committee. The center's program and working group leaders include some of Houston Methodist's best nanotechnology researchers and cardiovascular physicians and surgeons, such as Guillermo Torre-Amione, MD, PhD; Elvin Blanco, PhD; Miguel Valderrábano, MD; John Cooke, MD, PhD; and William Zoghbi, MD. The groups work in sequence to translate discoveries quickly into technologies for human clinical trials.
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