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About the Gulf Coast Consortia

The GCC delivers important advances in bioscience research and training by empowering individuals to go beyond the limitations of any single institution, discipline or degree program.

Located in Houston’s Texas Medical Center, GCC is one of the largest inter-institutional cooperatives in the world with a focus on building strong collaborative research groups and interdisciplinary training opportunities for PhD students and postdocs.  GCC brings together the strengths of its member institutions to build interdisciplinary collaborative research teams and training programs in biological sciences at their intersection with the computational, chemical, mathematical, and physical sciences. GCC provides a unique, cutting edge collaborative training environment and research infrastructure beyond the capability of any single institution. Its mission is to train the next generation of biomedical scientists and to enable scientists to ask and answer questions that cross scientific disciplines to address the challenging biological issues of our time and, ultimately, to apply the resulting expertise and knowledge to the treatment and prevention of disease.

GCC is composed of eight prominent and geographically proximate Houston-Galveston area institutions:

Created in 2001 through an operating agreement signed by the president of each member institution, the GCC represents an unprecedented degree of inter-institutional cooperation to facilitate training programs and research teams contributing in important new or growing disciplines, including interdisciplinary fields such as biomedical informatics, drug development and precision environmental health. Leaders of the GCC member institutions recognize that the scale and complexity of today’s biomedical research problems increasingly require scientists to move beyond traditional single investigator or single discipline projects. They have publicly articulated their support for the GCC as a model for collaboration. They acknowledge the strategic benefits in merging their institutions’ unique and highly complementary strengths and capabilities, recognize the challenges of melding different institutional cultures and missions, and they value the GCC’s effectiveness as a mechanism for managing inter-institutional interactions. In 2001 the GCC was created with a $3.5M gift from the W. M. Keck Foundation to foster collaborative research and training.

The GCC comprises of a training arm, the Keck Center, and a research arm, with multiple communities focused on specific areas of interest to the GCC’s participating faculty.

The GCC Oversight Committee, the GCC’s governing body, is comprised of Institution Representatives appointed by each member institution president, along with training and research executive committee leaders, chairs emeriti and GCC staff leaders. In addition to providing strategic direction, governance and operational guidance for the GCC, this group provides formal approval for new consortium start-up and, through the institutional roles of its members, insures alignment of consortium interests with the strategic interests of GCC member institutions.

GCC Oversight Committee Institutional Representatives for 2023 include: Claudia Neuhauser, PhD, University of Houston (committee chair); Mary Dickinson, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine; Edward A. Jones, MBA, Houston Methodist Research Institute; Shreya Kanodia, PhD, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; Seiichi Matsuda, PhD, Rice University; Kevin A. Morano, PhD, UTHealth; Ken Ramos, MD, PhD, Institute of Biosciences and Technology of Texas A&M University; and Randall Urban, MD, UT Medical Branch at Galveston.

Also serving on the Oversight Committee are Peter Davies, MD, PhD, Institute of Biosciences and Technology, chair emeritus; Karen Ethun, GCC Executive Director; Melissa Glueck, Keck Center Director; and Suzanne Tomlinson, PhD, GCC Research Programs Director. Stan Watowich, PhD, UT Medical Branch at Galveston, Research Consortia Executive Committee chair; Lynn Zecheidrich, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine, Keck Center Executive Committee chair.

The training arm of the GCC, the Keck Center, currently supports over 50 trainees through competitive grants from federal and state agencies, and has over 400 affiliated faculty. Within the Keck Center, the emphasis is on continuing its 32-year successful tradition of fostering interdisciplinary and multi-institutional training. The Keck Center provides a unique intellectual and physical setting in which to train the next generation of scientists with expertise in multiple disciplines, able to reach across boundaries to advance insight and understanding. The Keck Executive Committee formulates training policy in terms of didactic courses, seminars, workshops, retreats, selecting trainees, and advising Keck Fellows and mentors, while leaving individual program directors latitude to tailor the implementation of these to the unique needs of their program.

The GCC’s research arm comprises of consortia and clusters, which serve to catalyze interactions and provide a supportive environment for collaborative research programs that require expertise beyond that available in any one institution. Currently, the Research Consortia support over 700 faculty engaged with consortia in the following areas: Antimicrobial Resistance, Cellular and Molecular Biophysics, Immunology,  Innovative Drug Discovery and Development (formerly Chemical Genomics), Mental Health Research, Regenerative MedicineSingle Cell Omics, and Translational Pain Research. Cluster, form when faculty come together around a common goal or interest, establish a working vision, and engage interest among the broader faculty community in the GCC. When there is critical mass to commit to a shared vision, the researchers are encouraged to apply to the GCC Oversight Committee for the formation of a new cluster.


GCC leadership is composed of accomplished academics by their own right from a variety of disciplines, whose professional focus is now helping bring light to the gray areas that have traditionally existed between the conventional boundaries separating academic institutions and disciplines.

GCC Staff

Karen Ethun

GCC Executive Director

Melissa Glueck

Director, Keck Center

Suzanne Tomlinson, PhD, MBA

Director, Research Programs and Strategic Initiatives

Dawn Koob

GCC Research Program Administrator

Autumn Marsden, Ph.D.

GCC Research Program Administrator

Kim Smith

GCC Research Program Administrator

Vicki Alger

Training Administrator

Elizabeth Lawrence

GCC Training Program Administrator

Vanesa Wray

GCC Accounting Assistant

Frequently Asked Questions

The member institutions are:

Baylor College of Medicine
Rice University, University of Houston
University of Texas Health Science Center
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
University of Texas Medical Branch
University of Houston
Institute of Biosciences & Technology-TAMHSC
Houston Methodist Research Institute

The GCC is located in the BioScience Research Collaborative

6500 Main St., Suite 160
Houston, Texas 77030

in heart of the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas.

The GCC was formed in March of 2001 by an Operating Agreement signed by the presidents of the member institutions.

The GCC seeks funding for both research and fellowships, but does not independently endow either; we act as the functional administrators for grants once they are secured.

One of the GCC goals is to provide a vehicle for the member institutions to secure funding that no one institution would pursue alone. By working together, we are able to bring new and innovative grants to the Texas Medical Center area.

For more information, contact
Karen Ethun

Additionally, you may write the GCC:
Gulf Coast Consortia
6100 Main Street, MS-141
Houston, TX 77251-1892

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    Contact Us: (713) 348-4753

    Karen Ethun: kethun@rice.edu