Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Current Editions

As the Weather Cools, Giving is Heating Up at the Institute!

As the summer comes to a close, our institution is bursting with new energy, ideas, and enthusiasm. 

Your contributions have played a vital role in helping us achieve our mission, and we are immensely grateful for your commitment. We would like to extend a heartfelt appreciation to each and every one of our donors, no matter the size of their contribution.

As we transition into the vibrant colors of fall, we reflect on a summer filled with accomplishments made possible by your support. The fall season brings new opportunities and challenges, and we recognize that continued support is essential to sustain the momentum.

If you have not done so already, we invite you to join us in this important work by supporting our mission in any way you can. Whether through a financial contribution or simply spreading the word about our organization, your support is critical to our success.

To join our Circles of Support, click here:

Thank you to everyone who joined us at The Harvard Club in New York City!

Banner for harvard event

We co-hosted a wonderful event with the CDC Foundation this week at the beautiful Harvard Club in New York City. Thank you to our guests for dining with us and engaging in discourse about such an important topic. A special thank you to our speakers for the event: 

  • Dr. Henry Walke, Director of the Office of Readiness and Response, CDC
  • Dr. Kayla Laserson, Director, Global Health Center, CDC
  • Dr. Judy Monroe, President & CEO, CDC Foundation
  • Dr. Larry Schlesinger, President & CEO, Texas Biomed
  • Dr. Akudo Anyanwu, Vice President, Development, Texas Biomed

Introducing our new Assistant Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations!

Cassandra Geary

Cassandra (Cassie) Geary joins Texas Biomedical Research Institute as the Assistant Director of Regional Corporate & Foundation Relations with nearly ten years of experience in Fundraising and Development. In this role, Cassandra will work with internal and external constituents to develop, implement, and grow corporate and foundation funding at Texas Biomed.

Prior to joining Texas Biomed, Cassandra worked for Rowan University as the Associate Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations for the Health Sciences. During her nearly six-year tenure, Cassandra developed and grew a portfolio of corporate and foundation funders in the Health Sciences. Cassandra’s expertise and dedication resulted in notable achievements, including being the third-highest fundraiser on the 12-person development team in 2023. She also secured an exceptionally competitive and prestigious seven-figure grant, demonstrating exceptional grant-writing and fundraising abilities.

Cassandra lives in Sewell, NJ, with her husband (Nathaniel) and daughter (Amelia). In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going to the beach, cooking/baking, and traveling to new places.

Introducing our Development Office Manager!

Dominique Conway

Dominique Conway joined Texas Biomedical Research Institute as our Office Manager this summer. Dominique is a highly motivated professional with a diverse background in executive administration assistance, program management, legal research, event management, and investigative solutions. With a keen attention to detail, exceptional organizational skills, and a commitment to delivering high-quality results, Dominique has consistently excelled in various roles. Her previous roles include positions held at Sendero Wealth Management, University of Houston Law Center, The United Way, and several political campaigns in the Southern region.

In addition to her administrative duties at Texas Biomed, Dominique conducts cross-functional training sessions with new hires and manages team onboarding responsibilities. Under Dr. Akudo’s leadership, she has created and implemented standard practices for several areas of the department with implications for projects across the board. She leads the design and creation of our two bi-monthly development newsletters. Since joining the team, Dominique spearheads several stewardship projects and maintains board member annual gifting. She runs lead on vendor contracts and manages the hiring of external gig workers. When the development team welcomes guests to campus, she personally leads all driving and walking tours and coordinates their visits from start to finish. 

Dominique lives in San Antonio, Texas with her son Caius. She enjoys cooking, traveling back home to California, exploring new restaurants, acrylic painting, and spending time with her local loved ones.

Newsletter to Donors – Changing Leaves, Changing Lives

With the changing of the leaves, we welcome in our busy season with open arms. The cooling weather inspires us to make new connections and forge ahead in our mission to combat infectious diseases through life-saving research! Together, let’s create a season of impact, inspiration, and lasting change.

A Chat with Board Member &
Campaign Committee Chair
Bobby Cavender

Bobby Cavender

What inspired you to join the Texas Biomed board?

“I was impressed with the commitment that the Texas Biomed board members were making in our community, the state, and globally with regard to the biosciences. I was aware of all the great leadership and community leaders that were on the board at the time and continue to be. I wanted to try to be a part of their success and the future of where Texas Biomed was headed.”

What excites you most about Texas Biomed?

“I am most excited about the direction we’re going under the leadership of Dr. Larry Schlesinger, the recent success with the COVID-19 vaccine, and all other human infectious disease therapies. My roles here have convinced me that Texas Biomed can be a global leader in the biomedical research space.”

As the board chair of the campaign committee, what are the main goals and objectives of the campaign?

“We have four pillars of engagement we are focused on for our Capital Campaign: recruiting the brightest, highly skilled faculty; building the Global Center for Bioscience; constructing the Animal Care Complex; and expanding the message and brand of Texas Biomed around the state and world through exceptional educational programming and business partnerships.”

Can you highlight some of the wins so far?

“Some of the successes are that we’ve been able to reach community leaders in Dallas. Austin. Midland, and Houston to arrange get-togethers in those communities. We utilize these opportunities to talk about Texas Biomed, our goals within the biomedical sciences field, and hopefully gather philanthropic support.”

How do you balance your responsibilities as President of Cavender Auto Group and as the chair of the campaign committee?

“I have a great leadership team at Cavender Auto Group that allows me the time and mental freedom to focus on some of my philanthropic efforts. I also have a great working relationship with Dr. Akudo Anyanwu. We meet each Friday morning to discuss our goals and plans to ensure we can be successful. The combination helps me maintain balance and focus as I progress in both roles.”

How do you see the future of infectious disease and the role that Texas Biomed will play?

“According to the foresight of Dr. Larry Schlesinger, infectious disease will be the #1 killer of human beings within the next 25 years. It’s not going away; the world has gotten much smaller, and mobility between undeveloped and developed countries has gotten smaller. Therefore, human infectious disease will continue to be a problem in our communities. Texas Biomed, with its facilities, scientists and primate center, is poised to be a leader in the combat against infectious disease.”

– Robert “Bobby” Cavender

UNGA Private Sector Luncheon: Are We Ready? Preparing for the Next Pandemic

We co-hosted our first event with the CDC Foundation on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly at The Harvard Club in New York City! This event provided us with a unique platform to share our vision, achievements, and future plans with a global audience. It was an incredible opportunity to engage with leaders, policymakers, and organizations from around the world, and explore avenues for collaborative action towards a better, brighter future. We are grateful for and actively engaging with the opportunities for partnership that have resulted from our successful event.


To our incredible donors, we thank you for your continued generosity. As October draws to a close. we treasure the partnerships we have and eagerly look ahead to a bright future. We wholeheartedly invite you to stand with us, knowing that your partnership has the power to transform lives and communities.

– Akudo Anyanwu, MD, MPH