Turning vision into reality

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.