This uniquely Houston technology is an AI program that allows scientists to understand the functions of cells by evaluating cell activation, killing, and movement. Photo via Getty Images

T-cell immunotherapy is all the rage in the world of fighting cancer. A Houston company’s researchers have discovered a new subset of T cells that could be a game changer for patients.

CellChorus is a spinoff of Navin Varadarajan’s Single Cell Lab, part of the University of Houston’s Technology Bridge. The lab is the creator of TIMING, or Time-lapse Imaging Microscopy In Nanowell Grids. It’s a visual AI program that allows scientists to understand the functions of cells by evaluating cell activation, killing, and movement.

Last month, Nature Cancer published a paper co-authored by Varadarajan entitled, “Identification of a clinically efficacious CAR T cell subset in diffuse large B cell lymphoma by dynamic multidimensional single-cell profiling.”

“Our results showed that a subset of T cells, labeled as CD8-fit T cells, are capable of high motility and serial killing, found uniquely in patients with clinical response,” says first author and recent UH graduate Ali Rezvan in Nature Cancer.

Besides him and Varadarajan, contributors hail from Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Kite Pharma, and CellChorus itself.

The team identified the CD80-fit T cells using TIMING to examine interactions between T cells and tumor cells across thousands of individual cells. They were able to integrate the results using single-cell RNA sequencing data.

T-cell therapy activates a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer cells, but not every patient responds favorably to it. Identifying CD8-fit cells could be the key to manufacturing clinical response even in those for whom immunotherapy hasn’t been effective.

“This work illustrates the excellence of graduate students Ali Rezvan and Melisa Montalvo; and post-doctoral researchers Melisa Martinez-Paniagua and Irfan Bandey among others,” says Varadarajan in a statement.

Earlier last month, CellChorus recently received a $2.5 million SBIR grant. The money allows the company to share TIMING more widely, facilitating even more landmark discoveries like CD8-fit cells.

Rice University's SynthX Center, a collaborative lab focused on cancer treatments, named its inaugural seed grant recipients. Photo via Getty Images

3 Houston cancer-focused research projects receive seed grants from new innovative initiative

funding the future

Three groundbreaking projects have just received seed grants from a new Houston-based source.

This spring, Rice University launched its Synthesis X Center with the goal of fostering the growth of cancer technologies and medications. Now, the SynthX, as it is known, and Baylor College of Medicine’s Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center have announced joint awards of grants to promising teams, all of which have principals at either Rice or Baylor.

The teams include:

  • A project from Drs. Pabel Miah of Baylor and Lei Li of Rice that involves the development and optimization of high-resolution imaging technology that’s intended for use in removing breast cancer from patients. The researchers combine ultrasound with photoacoustic technology to produce real-time imaging that allows surgeons to spot hard-to-locate tumors. This could reduce or eliminate tumor localization procedures which are invasive and costly.
  • A leukemia treatment profiting from molecular jackhammers, a type of molecule invented in the Rice University lab of Dr. James Tour. He’s joined in the project by Drs. Xin Li and Yongcheng Song, both of Baylor. Molecular jackhammers vibrate more than a trillion times per second when activated by a specific light frequency. Doing this can kill nearby cancer cells. The new treatment is intended to disrupt the activity of a transcription protein called ENL that helps fuel the growth of leukemia cells in several acute forms of the disease.
  • A project that could discover how to inspire cancer cells to kill themselves, using a cancer-associated enzyme called lysine demethylase 4A. Baylor’s Dr. Ruhee Dere and Rice’s Dr. Anna Karin-Gustavsson are studying the KDM4A with the process of apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in mind for the aberrant cells.

The seed grants are managed by Rice’s office for Educational and Research Initiatives for Collaborative Health (ENRICH). Each of the three grants is intended to last two years and includes funds of up to $80,000.

The goal is to allow research teams to collect preliminary data that can be used to apply for more substantial grants from bodies like the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) or the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Three quarters of the funds will be provided in the first year. Teams that produce grant submissions with multiple principal investigators in that first year will be eligible to collect the additional quarter.

Here's what Houston organizations are benefitting from the latest CPRIT funding announcement. Photo via Getty Images

Houston organizations snag chunk of recently announced $49M cancer research grant funding

show me the money

Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine is beefing up its team of cancer researchers.

The college just received $6 million from the state agency Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to recruit three cancer researchers: Graham Erwin, Michael Robertson and Dr. Varun Venkataramani. Each researcher is getting $2 million.

In addition, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center snagged a $2 million CPRIT grant to recruit Simon Eschweiler.

In all, CPRIT recently announced $49 million in cancer research and prevention grants, including nearly $24 million for recruitment of cancer researchers.

Here’s a rundown of the recruitment grants awarded in Houston:

  • Graham Erwin. Erwin is a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Stanford Cancer Institute. He’s a biologist who specializes in DNA sequencing related to the development of cancer therapeutics and diagnostics.
  • Michael Robertson. Robertson also is a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford. He focuses on molecular and cellular physiology at Stanford’s medical school.
  • Dr. Varun Venkataramani. Venkataramani, a neuroscientist, is a brain tumor researcher at University Hospital Heidelberg, one of the largest hospitals in Germany.
  • Simon Eschweiler. Eschweiler is a research assistant professor at Southern California’s La Jolla Institute for Immunology. He specializes in immunotherapy for cancer patients.

Aside from the recruitment grants, three institutions in the Houston area received nearly $6 million in funding for cancer treatment and prevention programs. Here’s an overview of those grants:

  • Almost $2.5 million for expansion of a program at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston that supplies HPV vaccinations for new mothers.
  • Nearly $2.5 million for an MD Anderson program that promotes physical activity for cancer survivors.
  • Almost $500,000 for an MD Anderson program to increase treatment of tobacco users who are participating in opioid treatment programs.
  • Nearly $500,000 for a University of Houston program designed to help LGBTQ+ Texans lead tobacco-free lives.

“From new research programs, recruitment of preeminent scientists to Texas, pilot studies, new technology, and expanding the reach of successful cancer prevention programs, [the] grants highlight the effect CPRIT is having on not just cancer research and prevention efforts, but on life science infrastructure in Texas,” Wayne Roberts, the organization’s CEO, said in a news release.

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas recently announced fresh funding for cancer researchers, and Houston organizations received more than 40 percent of it. Photo via Getty Images

Here's what Houston cancer researchers secured fresh funding from Texas nonprofit

grants incoming

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has awarded around $40 million in grants to cancer researchers and cancer research institutions in the Houston area.

The Houston-area grants represent more than 40 percent of the statewide grants recently approved by Austin-based CPRIT.

The largest local grant, $6 million, went to Hongfang Liu and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. The grant helped attract Liu to UTHealth Houston. She is a pioneer in biomedical informatics, an emerging field in cancer research.

Liu comes to Houston from the Mayo Clinic. At UTHealth Houston, she will be director of the Center for Translational Artificial Intelligence in Medicine within the School of Biomedical Informatics as well as vice president for learning health systems.

In a news release, Dr. Giuseppe Colasurdo, president of UTHealth Houston, says the recruitment of Lui “will strategically enhance the position of Texas as a national and international leader in data science, artificial intelligence, and informatics applications in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer.”

Other CPRIT grant recipients at UTHealth Houston were:

  • Lara Savas — $2,499,492 for early detection and treatment of breast and cervical cancer among Latinas
  • Chao Hsing Yeh — $1,046,680 for an acupressure program to help patients manage cancer-related pain
  • Belinda Reininger — $999,254 for a lifestyle intervention program in South Texas
  • Paula Cuccaro — $449,959 for a targeted approach to boosting HPV vaccinations

What follows is a rundown of other CPRIT grant recipients in the Houston area.

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • Kenneth Hu — $2 million to recruit him as a first-time, tenure-track faculty member
  • Dr. Kelly Nelson — $1,998,196 to support a program for early detection of melanoma
  • Robert Volk — $1,988,211 for a lung cancer screening program
  • Jian Hu — $1.4 million for research into brain and spinal cord tumors in children
  • Die Zhang — $1,399,730 for research into cognitive issues caused by radiation treatment
  • Peng Wei — $1,199,994 for research into the evolution of bladder cancer
  • Boyi Gan — $1,050,000 for the study of cell death in breast cancer patients
  • Sue-Hwa Lin — $1,050,000 for a novel immunotherapy to treat the spread of prostate cancer to the bones
  • Joseph McCarty — $1,050,000 for research into invasive cells in patients with brain or spinal cord tumors
  • Cullen Taniguchi — $1,049,997 for the study of immune responses related to pancreatic cancer
  • Dr. Andrea Viale — $1,049,985 for the study of immune responses related to pancreatic cancer
  • Michael Curran —$1,049,905 for research into blocking DNA damage related to radiation therapy and immunotherapy
  • Wantong Yao — $1,049,854 for research into a novel therapy for pancreatic cancer
  • Eleonora Dondossola — $1,025,623 for the study of therapy resistance among certain patients with prostate or kidney cancer
  • Niki Zacharias Millward — $1,019,997 for the study of a type of kidney cancer that begins in the lining of small tubes inside the organ

Baylor College of Medicine

  • Xi Chen — $2 million for the study of immunotherapy resistance among some breast cancer patients
  • Melanie Bernhardt — $1,392,407 for research aimed at improving treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children
  • Pavel Sumazin — $1,371,733 for research into hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer
  • Maksim Mamonkin — $1,050,000 for improving treatment of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoblastic lymphoma

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

  • Ana Rodriguez — $2,257,898 for an HPV vaccination program in the Rio Grande Valley

Houston Methodist Research Institute

  • Ewan McRae — $1,999,977 to recruit him to Houston from the United Kingdom’s Cambridge University as an expert in RNA therapeutics

University of Houston

  • Lorraine Reitzel — $448,726 for lung cancer screening programs
A team of researchers out of the University of Houston has secured funding to continue research on aggressive stomach and esophageal cancers. Photo via Getty Images

UH team lands $4.7M grant for discovery linking origins of two aggressive cancers

funds granted

Frank McKeon, professor of biology and biochemistry and director of the Somatic Stem Cell Center at the University of Houston, will lead a new five-year $4.7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to advance important findings about aggressive stomach and esophageal cancers.

McKeon and a team of researchers have already uncovered a surprising finding about two types of cancers: stomach and esophagus esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) and intestinal gastric cancer (iGC). According to their research, the two cancers have identical precursor stem cells or "cells of origin."

The cells are highly susceptible to mutations, which can cause them to develop into cancerous lesions.

Currently, patients who present these types of lesions struggle with an advanced disease with a low survival rate, according to a statement from UH.

"We anticipate that the identification of these cells will enable drug discovery to pre-empt these cancers at their site of origin,” McKeon said in a statement.

Uncovering this information about the cancers' cells of origin also helps researchers group EAC and iGC as a cluster distinct from other gastric and esophageal cancers.

McKeon will be joined on the project by Wa Xian, research associate professor of biology and biochemistry at UH, and Dr. Jaffer Ajani of MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Xian is an expert in stem cell cloning. The team aims to clone the EAC and iGC precursor legions to better understand the evolution of the cancers as part of their research.

"We anticipate that our studies will provide new insights into the biology and origin of these remarkably similar and widespread cancers, provide datasets essential for prospective early detection screens and yield highly selective therapeutics that eliminate the nascent lesions essential for the evolution of these cancers,” McKeon added in the statement.

Other UH researchers have received major grants for cancer-fighting innovations in recent months. Shaun Zhang, director of the Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling at the University of Houston and a M.D. Anderson professor in the Department of Biology & Biochemistry, received a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a cancer-fighting virus in July.

The nonprofit Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) also shelled out nearly $22 million in grants to successfully lure nine high-profile cancer researchers to Houston late last year.

Wa Xian (left) research associate professor of biology and biochemistry, with Frank McKeon, professor of biology and biochemistry and director of the Somatic Stem Cell Center at UH. Photo via UH.edu

A UH professor is fighting cancer with a newly created virus that targets the bad cells and leaves the good ones alone. Photo via Getty Images

University of Houston researchers snag $1.8M to develop cancer-fighting virus

immunotherapy innovation

Viruses attack human cells, and that's usually a bad thing — some Houston researchers have received fresh funding to develop and use the evil powers of viruses for good.

The developing cancer treatment is called oncolytic virotherapy and has risen in popularity among immunotherapy research. The viruses can kill cancer cells while being ineffective to surrounding cells and tissue. Basically, the virus targets the bad guys by "activating an antitumor immune response made of immune cells such as natural killer (NK) cells," according to a news release from the University of Houston.

However exciting this rising OV treatment seems, the early stage development is far from perfect. Shaun Zhang, director of the Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling at the University of Houston, is hoping his work will help improve OV treatment and make it more effective.

“We have developed a novel strategy that not only can prevent NK cells from clearing the administered oncolytic virus, but also goes one step further by guiding them to attack tumor cells. We took an entirely different approach to create this oncolytic virotherapy by deleting a region of the gene which has been shown to activate the signaling pathway that enables the virus to replicate in normal cells,” Zhang says in the release.

Zhang, who is also a M.D. Anderson professor in the Department of Biology & Biochemistry, has received a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue his work.

Zhang and his team are specifically creating a new OV — called FusOn-H2 and based on the Herpes simplex 2 virus.

“Our recent studies showed that arming FusOn-H2 with a chimeric NK engager (C-NK-E) that can engage the infiltrated natural killer cells with tumor cells could significantly enhance the effectiveness of this virotherapy,” he says. “Most importantly, we observed that tumor destruction by the joint effect of the direct oncolysis and the engaged NK cells led to a measurable elicitation of neoantigen-specific antitumor immunity.”

Shaun Zhang is the director of the Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling at the University of Houston and M.D. Anderson professor in the Department of Biology & Biochemistry. Image via UH.edu

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Texas profits from 4th best state economy in the U.S., report finds

report

Despite growing sentiments that the U.S. is on a path towards a recession, Texas is pulling a lot of weight as one of the best state economies in the nation, according to a new annual report from WalletHub.

Texas' strong state economy ranked No. 4, with Washington (No. 1), Utah (No. 2), and Massachusetts (No. 3) claiming the top three spots.

The study analyzed all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on 28 metrics to determine the "Best & Worst State Economies" in 2024. Each state was ranked across three major categories: Economic activity, economic health, and innovation potential.

The Lone Star State earned a score of 60.08 out of 100 possible points, nipping at the heels of Massachusetts, which earned 61.52 points. For comparison, Washington claimed its No. 1 title with a score of 71.10.

Here's how Texas performed within the three major categories in the study:

  • No. 2 – Economic activity
  • No. 7 – Economic health
  • No. 24 – Innovation potential

Most notably, Texas tied with Louisiana for the No. 1 most exports per capita nationwide, according to the report's findings. Texas also had the second-highest change in GDP (gross domestic product) from 2022 to 2023.

Texas has the 10th highest amount of "startup activity," which WalletHub calculated as the rate of newly established firms. Texas also scored No. 10 in the country for its annual median household income of $75,647.

Nonfarm payrolls – defined as the number of workers employed in the U.S. (excluding those the farming, nonprofit, active military, and private household sectors) – is another indicator for measuring each state's economy. Texas had the third-highest change in nonfarm payrolls from 2022 to 2023, according to WalletHub, behind Nevada and Florida.

Although the overall state of Texas' economy may be strong, that doesn't guarantee all Texans will reap the benefits from that success. WalletHub analyst Cassandra Happe explained there's more to improving state residents' financial success than just relying on the economy.

"Factors like a low unemployment rate and high average income help residents purchase property, pay down debt and save for the future," Happe said. "The best state economies also encourage growth by being friendly to new businesses and investing in new technology that will help the state deal with future challenges and become more efficient."

On the other end of the economic scale, Hawaii and Mississippi flopped with the worst state economies in the U.S. in 2024, ranking No. 50 and No. 51, respectively.

The top 10 states with the best economies are:

  • No. 1 – Washington
  • No. 2 – Utah
  • No. 3 – Massachusetts
  • No. 4 – Texas
  • No. 5 – California
  • No. 6 – Colorado
  • No. 7 – Florida
  • No. 8 – North Carolina
  • No. 9 – District of Columbia
  • No. 10 – Arizona
The full report can be found on wallethub.com

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

Newly named CEO to lead Houston gold hydrogen biotech co. into high-growth phase

HOUSTON INNOVATORS PODCAST EPISODE 239

Using microbes to sustainably unlock low-cost hydrogen sounds like the work of science fiction, but one Houston company is doing just that.

Gold H2, a spin-off company from Cemvita, has bioengineered subsurface microbes to use in wells to consume carbon and generate clean hydrogen. The technology was piloted two years ago by Cemvita, and now, as its own company with a new CEO, it's safe to say Gold H2's on its way.

"First of all, that was groundbreaking," Prabhdeep Singh Sekhon, CEO of Gold H2, says of the 2022 pilot in the Permian Basin, "to be able to use bugs to produce hydrogen within a couple of days."

"2024 is supposed to be the year where Gold H2 takes off," Sekhon, who joined the company in April, tells the Houston Innovators Podcast. "It was one of those opportunities that I couldn't turn down. I had been following the company. I thought, 'here is this innovative tech that's on the verge of providing a ground-breaking solution to the energy transition — what better time to join the team.'"

Sekhon shares on the show how his previous roles at NextEra Energy Resources and Hess have prepared him for Gold H2. Specifically, as a leader on NextEra’s strategy and business development team, he says he was tasked with figuring out what the energy industry looks like in the next five, 10, and 20 years.

"Green hydrogen was a huge buzz, but one of the things I realized when I started looking at green hydrogen was that it's very expensive," Sekhon says. "I wanted to look at alternatives."

This journey led him to what Cemvita was doing with gold hydrogen, Sekhon says, explaining that the ability to use biotechnology to provide a new revenue stream from the mostly used up wells struck him as something with major potential.

"The idea of repurposing existing oil and gas assets to become hydrogen assets, leveraging current infrastructure to drive down overall deliver costs — to me I thought, 'wow, if they can make this works, that's brilliant,'" he says.

Now, as CEO, Sekhon gets to lead the company toward these goals, which include expanding internationally. He explains on the show that Gold H2 is interested in expanding to any part of the world where there's interest in implementing their biotech. In order to support the growth, Sekhon says they are looking to raise funding this year with plans for an additional round, if needed, in 2025.

"When we compare our tech to the rest of the stack, I think we blow the competition out of the water," Sekhon says, explaining that Gold H2's approach to gold hydrogen development is novel when you look at emerging technology in the space. "We're using a biological process — cheap bugs that eat oil for a living."

10+ can't-miss Houston business and innovation events for June

WHERE TO BE

From networking meetups to expert speaker summits, June is filled with opportunities for Houston innovators.

Here's a roundup of events you won't want to miss out on so mark your calendars and register accordingly.

Note: This post may be updated to add more events.


June 6 — Ion Block Party and Chef Showcase

On the first Thursday of each month, Block Party brings together startups, tech enthusiasts, and business visionaries in a dynamic and festive environment.

June’s special edition of Block Party will be a Chef Showcase! The District’s robust food and drink offerings showcase hyper-local concepts that reflect Houston’s reputation for having a culturally diverse restaurant industry.

This event is Thursday, June 6, from 4 to 7 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

June 6 — Houston Blockchain Alliance Monthly Meetup

This in-person event is a great opportunity to connect with fellow blockchain enthusiasts in the Houston area. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, come and engage in lively discussions, share insights, and network with like-minded individuals. Discover the latest trends and advancements in blockchain technology while enjoying a friendly and casual atmosphere.

June's guest speaker, Alex Guerra of SYS Labs, will talk about DeFi today v. DeFi tomorrow. Alex is a business developer at SYS Labs and co-founder of Pachira Finance.

This event is Thursday, June 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at The Cannon. Click here to register.

June 8 — Celebration of Entrepreneurship

Head to IAG Technology for an exciting evening dedicated to all things entrepreneurship. Whether you're a seasoned business owner or just starting out, this event has networking, learning, and celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit.

Come celebrate entrepreneurship and the launch of Earn On Purpose, a business mentoring and coaching company. At Earn on Purpose, entrepreneurship is simplified through solid fundamentals and practical strategies for success.

This event is Saturday, June 8, from 5 to 10 pm at IAG Technology. Click here to register.

June 10 — 2024 Energy Drone & Robotics Summit

Connect with 1500+ global energy & industrial robotics, drone & data leaders at a time of rapid growth in the robotics sector. Hear from expert speakers on the latest ideas, use cases, best practices, tech, and trends as innovators, regulators, the most energy asset owners & service firms and more break these topics down.

This event begins Monday, June 10, from 4 to 6:30 pm at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott. Click here to register.

June 11 — Software Day at the Ion: From Seed to Success

Software Day at the Ion is a program series hosted by the Ion and Mercury, where software founders can connect with mentorship at Houston’s HQ for innovation.

This monthly series provides support, inspiration, and connections needed to help startups on their path to rapid, sustainable growth. Each month, Software Day will include office hours (by application), a keynote session, and networking.

This event is Tuesday, June 11, from 3:30 to 7 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

June 13 — 2024 Speaker Series: Dynamic Innovations in Energy Efficiency

Co-hosted by the TEPRI, in partnership with the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice, this event will spotlight just and effective strategies to boost energy efficiency, ensuring equitable access to sustainable energy solutions for all Texans. Keynote addresses by Dr. Robert D. Bullard, renowned environmental justice advocate and recipient of the 2024 Time Magazine Earth Award, and Donnel Baird, founder of BlocPower and inaugural recipient of TIME’s 2022 “Dreamer of the Year.”

The event is Thursday, June 13, from 2 to 4 pm at Melcher Hall. Click here to register.

June 13 — Out In Tech Monthly Mixer

Out in Tech Houston is the local chapter for Out in Tech, the world’s largest non-profit community of LGBTQ+ tech leaders. Check out their relaxed social-mixer event, hosted on the second Thursday of every month.

This event is Thursday, June 13, from 7 to 8:30 pm at Second Draught. Click here to register.

June 18 — Juneteenth Journey: Bridging Past and Present Through Technology

This special presentation will offer insights into the historical significance of Juneteenth, and illuminate the evolution of technology from the 1860s through World War II to modern Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the technology of today. Experts from the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum and Emancipation Park Conservancy will illustrate how technology has evolved as well as the parallels between the innovative spirit of the Buffalo Soldiers and today’s technological advancements, emphasizing the role of diversity and inclusion in driving innovation.

This event is Tuesday, June 18, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm a the Ion. Click here to register.

June 20 — Visionary Voices: Leading Authentically with Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill

Celebrate Pride Month with a special edition of Ion’s “Visionary Voices” speaker series, featuring a powerful conversation between two leaders who’ve paved the way for LGBTQ+ representation in their respective fields – Woodside Energy CEO Meg O’Neill and former Houston Mayor Annise Parker. Attendees will gain insights into the unique experiences and milestones that have shaped both Meg and Annise’s careers, as well as the importance of visibility and representation in corporate leadership and public service.

This event is Thursday, June 20, from 3:30 to 6 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

June 25 — State of AI: Generating Real Business Value with AI

This comprehensive one-day free event organized by the Houston-based CODE Group is designed to equip decision-makers, C-level executives, and software developers with strategies to harness AI effectively. The event kicks off with a keynote from Markus Egger, Microsoft Regional Director, on “Harnessing AI for Tangible Business Outcomes,” setting the stage by demonstrating how AI can integrate seamlessly into business applications to enhance productivity and innovation.

This event is Tuesday, June 25, from 9 am to 5 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

June 28 — Young Professional Climate & Career Mixer

Climate Connect is a community resilience education and engagement program launching in Houston, Texas and powered by the Coalition of Community Organizations and Verizon. This meetup is for those interested in networking, learning, and exploring career opportunities in the field of climate change. The event will take place at 6500 Rookin Street, Houston, TX 77074 (Building E), where you can connect with like-minded individuals, meet industry professionals, and discover new, green career paths.

This event is Friday, June 28, from 5:30 to 7 pm at 6500 Rookin St. Click here to register.