Newsletter Issue 10
From the Founding Director
If life moves at the speed of relationships, as some contend, then the Hagler Institute is a vessel for enhancement of many lives among faculty and students at Texas A&M and others throughout the world. Every day I am amazed at the variety and quality of the relationships being formed directly, or indirectly, through the Hagler Institute. To get a glimpse of what I mean, just check out this latest newsletter. Additionally, I am honored to present to you a new section called Hagler’s Heroes, that we will revisit from time to time. As we near the end of 2019, I wish for all of our friends and supporters a happy and productive 2020 full of many blessings. 

Best wishes to all,
Faculty Fellow Features
Congratulations are in order for Maryellen Giger, 2016-2017 Faculty Fellow and A.N. Pritzker Professor of Radiology at The University of Chicago. Her work in artificial intelligence in radiology, and her lab’s invention, QuantX, has made TIME magazines’ BEST INVENTIONS 2019: 100 Innovations making the world better, smarter and even a little more fun. QuantX, contains software that analyzes data from MRIs with special application in diagnosing breast cancer. QuantX assists radiologists and has a proven 20% improvement in overall accuracy in finding previously missed cancers and in reducing false positive readings for breast cancer.  Professor Giger is currently collaborating on research with faculty and students at Texas A&M University as part of her multi-year involvement in the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study.
Edwin L. (Ned) Thomas, 2019-2020 Faculty Fellow, comes to the Hagler Institute from Rice University, where he is Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering. Professor Thomas and his team of scientist and engineers published an article on October 28, 2019 in the prestigious journal NATURE , titled “Seeing mesoatomic distortions in soft-matter crystals of a double-gyroid block copolymer”. His work is an investigation into understanding the structures of crystals of "soft" materials, such as polymers, at the very small-scale (nano) level. In this investigation, Professor Thomas used a special new microscopy tool, "slice and view" scanning electron microscopy to elucidate the nature of a self-assembled block copolymer crystal and found surprisingly large distortions, much larger than for "hard" crystals such as silicon and diamond. His work raises the question of the ability of researchers to make perfect soft crystals, which are necessary for many of the envisioned applications.
The joint MIT/Harvard seminar series benefited on November 13, 2019 by a presentation from 2018-2019 Faculty Fellow of the Hagler Institute, Cameron Jones. Jones, who occupies the Thomas W. Powell ’62-Heep Foundation Hagler Institute Chair for Science, is visiting Texas A&M University over multiple years, and he has been in residence at Texas A&M during this fall semester. Known world-wide for his contributions to chemistry, the MIT/Harvard group invited Jones to provide insights into his current investigations at Texas A&M. Jones presented his work “Magnesium(I) Dimers: Universal Reductants for the Synthetic/Catalytic Chemist?" to an audience that included MIT chemist Chris “Kit” Cummins, former 2016-2017 Faculty Fellow of the Hagler Institute. Jones came to Texas A&M University from Monash University in Australia, where he holds the RL Martin Distinguished Chair of Chemistry and is Director of the Monash Catalysis Institute.
A misconception by some is that undergraduates do not benefit much from Hagler Institute Faculty Fellows who team with A&M faculty and top graduate students to solve some of our world’s challenging problems. The fact is, as this newsletter has highlighted before,  there is considerable contact between Faculty Fellows and undergraduate students. For one recent example, on November 18, a crowd gathered in the Bethancourt Ballroom of the Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M University to hear a well-known electrical engineer discuss changes in the future provision of electricity. The occasion was the fall 2019 Eminent Scholar lecture of the Hagler Institute, presented by Dr. Vincent Poor, a 2018-2019 Faculty Fellow from Princeton University.  His presentation, “Smart Grid: The Internet of Energy," unveiled how the future of electricity delivery is an intricate combination of computer networks and mechanical infrastructure that makes the electrical grid more efficient, allows for more integration of renewable energy sources, and provides capability for greater consumer control. At a reception following his presentation. Dr. Poor talked with many undergraduate students personally, who were obviously inspired by his insights. 
If you want a good approximation of how many medical and genetics science awards there are in this world just check the resume of Dr. Huda Zoghbi. Dr. Zoghbi is Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics, Howard Hughes Institute Investigator at Baylor College of Medicine, Director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, and 2019-2020 Distinguished Lecturer of the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study.  On October 16 of this year, The American Society of Human Genetics honored Zoghbi with the 2019 Victor A. McKusick Leadership Award at the organization’s annual meeting in Houston, TX. She received this prestigious award from her peers for discovering the genetic bases for several rare disorders, including Rett syndrome and spinocerebellar ataxia, and for studying mechanisms and potential therapies that demonstrate the value of genetics research. 

Shortly thereafter, on October 27-28, The Hagler Institute co-sponsored a conference organized by Zoghbi of top scientists from around the world who are investigating the role of the MECP2 gene in causing Rett Syndrome in hopes of finding a cure. Rett Syndrome is second only to Down Syndrome in special needs females, but is far more debilitating than Down Syndrome. You can hear Dr. Zoghbi in person at Texas A&M University and learn more about her work on April 13, 2020. At that time, Dr. Zoghbi will be presenting the Hagler Institute’s spring 2020 Eminent Scholar Lecture.
Audience of research scientists at conference co-sponsored by the Hagler Institute
The Hagler Institute is known for bringing the world’s top scholars to Texas A&M University. What is less well known is that the institute recruits individuals who are at the top of their professions in business, as exemplified by Dr. Harold Adams ’61.   Adams is a 2014-2015 Faculty Fellow, an A&M Distinguished Alumnus, and the only Aggie thus far to be inducted into the Hagler Institute. SPIRIT, the magazine of the Texas A&M Foundation, featured an extensive article about Adam’s work in its Fall 2019 issue. Adams’ career took him from activities and distinction during school years at Texas A&M, to New York and then to Washington DC, where he integrated modern buildings into the historical architecture of Lafayette Square. He became friends, and worked for, the Kennedy family, and helped in the planning of President Kennedy’s presidential library. After President Kennedy was killed, Adams designed Kennedy’s gravesite. Adams became president of RTKL at the astounding young age of 29 and developed it into a multinational architectural firm, designing and building, among other things, the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Harold Adams is now Professor of Practice at Texas A&M helping to ensure that students in A&M’s College of Architecture are receiving relevant and frontier knowledge in this fascinating area of study. 
Hagler's Heroes:
Chancellor John Sharp and President Michael Young
Hagler’s Heroes are those individuals who have been instrumental in the success of the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study. It is fitting that we begin this series with John Sharp , Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, and Michael Young , President of Texas A&M University. Each understood the importance of the excellence mission of this institute, and each directed funds to make this institute a reality.

When John Junkins, Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering, received approval to pursue his idea for an advanced study institute on December 9, 2009 as part of the Academic Master Plan, he received authorization for some funds. Junkins recognized the amount was insufficient to launch the institute and initiated an effort to find the needed funds. Chancellor Sharp, though in his first week on the job, met with Professor Junkins for what the Chancellor now refers to as a rather expensive lunch. Junkins explained his dream that the advanced study institute would dramatically enhance excellence for Texas A&M, and that is all it took for Chancellor Sharp to “buy-in” to the vision. Chancellor Sharp pledged $5.2 million in start-up funds over a five-year period, procuring ample time for the institute concept to be validated and establish momentum. Perhaps more importantly, Chancellor Sharp shortly thereafter launched the Chancellor’s Research Initiative (CRI), which together with the Hagler Institute, has underwritten a transformational influx of talent to Texas A&M.

 The Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study was launched in September 2011 with Chancellor Sharp’s $5.2 million commitment added to resources provided through the Academic Master Plan. After several years of outstanding achievements and important contributions to Texas A&M, it was clear that the advanced study institute had become a proven concept, but it needed permanent support. With start-up funds depleted in the early years, President Young pledged recurring annual support for the institute to continue at its then current level of at least 8 to 10 Faculty Fellows per year, each with graduate student fellowship support. President Young provided the base from which to grow the Institute with donor endowment support. 

Simply put, Texas A&M’s Institute for Advanced Study, now the Hagler Institute, would not exist without commitments reflecting the love of the pursuit of excellence at the highest levels of administration.  We are honored to designate Chancellor John Sharp and President Michael Young our inaugural Hagler’s Heroes.
If you have news to share, please send articles, suggestions, or other information to:
Dr. Clifford L. Fry
Associate Director
Hagler Institute for Advanced Study at Texas A&M University