Off campus

Growing Houston coworking space announces plans for new Galleria-area satellite

The Cannon – Post Oak will open on January 21, which is well ahead of its new space in West Houston that's currently under construction. Pictured is a rendering for the West Houston space. Courtesy of The Cannon

While The Cannon is currently in the midst of construction on its 120,000-square-foot space in West Houston, the coworking space has announced a new office that will open ahead its main campus.

The Cannon – Post Oak, located at 675 Bering Drive (near the Woodway Drive intersection), will open on January 21. The Cannon partnered with Houston-based commercial real estate group Griffin Partners to open the new location just west of The Galleria.

"The size and scale of Houston can create challenges for entrepreneurs and small businesses to make the trip out to our main campus, so we've recognized that it's increasingly important for us to grow our presence across the city and create more accessible solutions for Houston's entrepreneurs," says Founder and CEO Lawson Gow, son of David Gow, owner of InnovationMap's parent company Gow Media.

"We're especially thrilled to partner with an innovative group like Griffin Partners who shares our entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to Houston."

Griffin Partners has a portfolio of 4.5 million square feet Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, and Texas valued at over $750 million. The team is similarly excited, as the partnership marks the company's first foray into coworking space.

"We are excited to work with The Cannon and expand our offerings to include coworking space, allowing us to reach a brand new population and create new opportunities for Houston's entrepreneurs, small businesses and startups," says Edward Griffin, the company's president and CEO.

Community members from the off-campus site will be a part of The Cannon's overall community and will have access to Cannon events and can even have access to the main campus for a few days a month. The Cannon has various membership options.

The floor plan shows 16 offices available for renting, as well as both open and dedicated desks in a shared area. There's also a kitchen, one conference room, and two smaller meeting rooms in the floor plan. According to the website, members will have 24/7 access, a gaming room, and unlimited coffee and tea.


Via thecannonhouston.com

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A new AI-optimized COVID screening device, a free response resource, and more — here's your latest roundup of research news. Image via Getty Images

Researchers across the Houston area are working on COVID-19 innovations every day, and scientists are constantly finding new ways this disease is affecting humankind.

From a COVID breathalyzer to a new collaboration in Houston — here's your latest roundup of local coronavirus research news.

A&M System to collaborate on a COVID-19 breathalyzer

A prototype of the device will be used on the Texas A&M campus. Photo via tamu.edu

Researchers at Texas A&M University System are collaborating on a new device that uses artificial intelligence in a breathalyzer situation to detect whether individuals should be tested for COVID-19. The technology is being developed through a collaboration with Dallas-based company, Worlds Inc., and the U.S. Air Force.

The device is called Worlds Protect and a patient can use a disposable straw to blow into a copper inlet. In less than a minute, test results can be sent to the person's smartphone. Worlds Inc. co-founders Dave Copps and Chris Rohde envision Worlds Protect kiosks outside of highly populated areas to act as a screening process, according to a news release.

"People can walk up and, literally, just breathe into the device," says Rohde, president of Worlds Inc., in the release. "It's completely noninvasive. There's no amount of touching. And you quickly get a result. You get a yay or nay."

The university system has contributed $1 million in the project's development and is assisting Worlds Inc. with engineering and design, prototype building and the mapping of a commercial manufacturing process. According to the release, the plan was to test the prototypes will be tried out this fall on the Texas A&M campus.

"Getting tech innovations to market is one of our sweet spots," says John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M System, in the release. "This breakthrough could have lasting impact on global public health."

Baylor College of Medicine researchers to determine cyclosporine’s role in treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients

BCM researchers are looking into the treatment effect of an existing drug on COVID-19 patients. Photo via BCM.edu

The Baylor College of Medicine has launched a randomized clinical trial to look into how the drug cyclosporine effects the prevention of disease progression in pre-ICU hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The drug has been used for about 40 years to prevent rejection of organ transplants and to treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

"The rationale is strong because the drug has a good safety profile, is expected to target the body's hyperimmune response to COVID and has been shown to directly inhibit human coronaviruses in the lab," says Dr. Bryan Burt, chief of thoracic surgery in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor, says in a press release.

Burt initiated this trial and BCM is the primary site for the study, with some collaboration with Brigham and Women's. The hypothesis is that the drug will help prevent the cytokine storm that patients with COVID-19 experience that causes their health to decline rapidly, according to the release.

The study, which is funded by Novartis, plans to enroll 75 hospitalized COVID-19 patients at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center who are not in the ICU. There will be an initial evaluation at six months but Burt expects to have the final study results in one year.

Rice launches expert group to help guide pandemic response

A new response team is emerging out of a collaboration led by Rice University. Photo courtesy of Rice

Rice University is collaborating with other Houston institutions to create the Biomedical Expert Panel, supported by Texas Policy Lab, to assist officials in long-term pandemic recovery.

"Not all agencies and decision-makers have an in-house epidemiologist or easy access to leaders in infectious disease, immunology and health communications," says Stephen Spann, chair of the panel and founding dean of the University of Houston College of Medicine, in a news release. "This panel is about equity. We must break out of our knowledge siloes and face this challenge together, with a commitment to inclusivity and openness."

The purpose of the panel is to be available as a free resource to health departments, social service agencies, school districts and other policymakers. The experts will help design efficient public health surveillance plans, advise on increasing testing capacity and access for underserved communities, and more.

"The precise trajectory of the local epidemic is difficult to predict, but we know that COVID-19 will continue to be a long-term challenge," says E. Susan Amirian, an epidemiologist who leads the TPL's health program, in the release. "Although CDC guidelines offer a good foundation, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when managing a crisis of this magnitude across diverse communities with urgent needs."

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